to be a season of its own up here. Some
days hark back to winter, others forward to spring. And all the while, the days lengthen
start of the month the sun was still low enough for some interesting sky
shots. I love the juxtaposition of the
900 year old Cathedral spire with the two industrial chimneys of the power
also the month of the shed! We have no
flat space to put it, so it is going in the car port. Nick and The Butler have done all the work.
It is not finished yet – ‘flu has got in the way – but it is going to be great when it is! (The same ‘flu that meant I didn’t write a post last week.)
have continued doing what they do best – sleeping and getting in to
mischief. Magnus was not pleased to be
woken for some snaps, so he proceeded to yawn hugely until I have finished!
bushes were changing. The Alder has
these cone-like fruiting bodies which stay on the branches all winter.
Birch has a host of catkins which look dull and brown in some lights, and a
brilliant rust red in others.
and lichens are starting to grow…
… and by
the end of the month some bushes like this Blackthorn, have come into bud.
We have had some lovely days, where I was able to open some windows for the first time. They have a setting where they will open a couple of inches, but no more. Eilidh spent hours trying her hardest to get out…!
The end of the month also saw the first cruise liner of the year, the Astoria. My usual afternoon dog walk has good views of ships coming and going, and also at anchor. I am no sure yet whether we will be able to see those at the Hatston pier. Time will tell!
Yesterday evening I noticed, through the window, that the sky was looking colourful. Over the next 20 minutes or so I took this series of photos from the back of my carport. Photos have been cropped slightly, but the colour has not been altered. Enjoy!
The main thing I remember about this January is the skies. I never tire of skyscapes, and Orkney never tires of providing stunning ones.
Morning walks started in the dark, and as the month progressed the sun rose earlier and earlier. The saturated neons of the first half of the month gave way to pastels just as the cold spell hit us.
I love snow – even little bits! The past couple of weeks have been below zero with ice making the roads and pavements like a skating rink. Fortunately my granny wagon is excellent in the ice, so it was walks as usual.
At the very end of the month, we had a slight thaw, and I saw these snowdrops. Spring will come!
There is a traditional grocers in Kirkwall called William Shearer. They have been going quite a while, and in recent years have changed with the times to sell a lot of speciality foods as well as Orkney produce. They have been in the same building for a long time, and at present, for most of the year, only the ground floor is used.
However, over part of the building there is an upper floor, left much as it would have been a hundred years ago, and before Christmas that area is opened up and filled with Christmas goodies.
As well as lots of lovely things to buy, if you look, there are all sorts of bits about from long ago.
I couldn’t JUST take photos of course. So I HAD to do my Christmas food shopping while I was there. Various things – from special sardines and savoury biscuits to jars of fruit in various alcoholic liquids; the odd packet of chocolate enrobed fruit, and chocolate enrobed ginger biscuits (Duchy Originals for those to whom that means something – didn’t see any of the lemon ones this year, but I will be going back to check it out again!!).
This is my first time off Flotta for 4 weeks, and I am now staying on South Ronaldsay to look after Nigel while Steve has his holiday. I have been shopping twice in two days, and tomorrow we are all going out to lunch in Lucano’s, the wonderful Italian restaurant in Kirkwall. All this excitement….!! And what is more, my car has been mended and when I go home, it will be able to take it back over with me. Bliss…!