January Remembered

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!


Christmas shopping in Shearer’s

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.

note pram in the foreground and REAL fire

all the shelves etc are originals

note hand cart front right

As well as lots of lovely things to buy, if you look, there are all sorts of bits about from long ago.

girdle (top right) goes on the fire to cook pancakes (drop scones)

this is one of the high desks where the clerks would sit and hand write the ledgers

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…!