What a Week!

This has not been the easiest of weeks on the island. We have had a sudden death, which involved a lot of police being on the island and talking to everyone, and another person having to go in to hospital. We have had several long power cuts, and the weather has not been good. The winds have been steadily getting worse since Thursday, with gale force winds since Friday, reaching severe gales today with that forecast to continue until Monday morning. Fortunately they should go down over Monday afternoon.

Through all of this, the one bright spot was Thursday lunch! The Community Association do a Christmas lunch for the Over 60s each year.

The Community room is always very festive, and we all have crackers – and have to wear the hats! First course this year was a choice of melon….


….or soup….


and the main was turkey and all the trimmings:


And the lunch is followed by some sort of entertainment. This year it was a group called Charlie’s Angels from Sandwick, on the West Mainland. They had a fairly bumpy ride to the island, but the boat got in early enough for them to be shown the island and to get over the crossing well before the food!


The group were a typical Orkney ‘entertainment’. Not just singing, but poems and stories as well. – story telling is alive and well in the Northern Isles. Many of the songs they sang were well known, and we were invited to join in.

I videoed one song, just with my camera. It is on You Tube – a song called Kirkwall Bay, well known over here, about returning home to Orkney by boat and coming in to Kirkwall Bay, and the welcome you get when you do so.



Soon after this song, the power went out again!! It was pitch black. But Alan Rosie, one of the farmers on the island, found his way out to his pick-up, and came back with a real of cable and two lights, which were soon strung up as ‘spot lights’. And we continued with the programme!


It wasn’t too long before the power came on again, and Alan was able to switch off his generator. Charlie’s Angels finished their programme and then there was more food – Christmas cake and mince pies, home made shortbread and biscuits – with another cup of tea.


During the afternoon the wind had been rising. On my way home I was nearly blown off my feet – it was very gusty. And I have hardly set my nose outside since!!

There are days I am glad my work involves staying at home…!


8 thoughts on “What a Week!

  1. Awww…and a good time was had by all I am sure….Would love to experience an Orkney Christmas Season someday…Gale force winds and all….

  2. Och, sounds like Christmas in some rural areas here – except that it is the heat which keeps people indoors. We are expecting temperature of about 40’C today – and hoping it will be cooler on the 25th!
    Sudden death is always a shock but somehow always worse close to Christmas. Hope the community can pull together and through it – and you enjoy both Christmas Day and Hogmanay!

  3. Hi Elizabeth,
    Christmas greetings from South Florida in the US.

    I enjoyed your post so much. What a different life in a your close knit community than the detached mayhem that goes on here in Miami.
    Hope the weather softens and that you have a good Christmas Day. I loved reading about the restoration of your spinning wheel. Stay warm and make pretty things.

  4. perfect .. sounds lovely..
    our church celbrates the building of our church with a soup supper.. then the kids old & young do a Christmas play.. next year will be out 100th year !

    so glad you got to enjoy such a wonderful time before the winds really got bad.
    I would love to share a Orkney Christmas.. always fun to hear how others round the world celebrate :-0
    God Bless You & Yours this Christmas time.. & a blessed & wonderful New Year !

  5. Sounds like the Thursday lunch made up for all the bumps & sadness of the previous week! Do you think Santa will be able to find the Island with all the wind & weather??? Merry Christmas from the Wet Coast of British Columbia, just a few miles south of Vancouver. We’ve had our own little blast of winter – our new Billion Dollar bridge dropped huge chunks of ice on the morning commuters & had to be closed for most of the day. And the second morning gave us snow on top of ice & ALL the bridges ended up being closed for a time. By dinner, it was mostly all gone. Like you, I’m so glad I can work at home!!

  6. That made me ever so slightly homesick for being back up the road instead of being doon sooth. I always remember Arthur Pottinger singing this one on Radio Orkney 🙂

    Hope the wind dies down a bit shortly and that the power holds!

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