Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Only in Orkney

My parents received this letter today addressed to

''Mrs ........ SRN on her birthday & Mr ......... & her daughter and her children at a newly built bungalow on the islands c/o postmen of the islands (if they would be so kind) The Orkneys Scotland''

Orkney is small but not THAT small and Orkney people do not like Orkney being referred to as The Orkneys. All in all a huge thumbs up and well done to the postal team for managing that one.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Wind,Westray and giant spacehoppers

I was due to go to Westray for the weekend on Friday and had been looking forward to it for several weeks. I've only had a brief visit there and was ready to see a bit more of the much talked about island. Some say it's where God goes for His holidays. Sadly the one day I was due to set sail was the day the winds really picked up. Not a bonnie day at it has to be said. I had read the forecast and was feeling slightly sick at the thought of being sick on a rocky boat. I was given a pep talk from a friend about the finer points of a boat's bottom. The outer isles boats have a flat bottom so they sit on top of the water. (or was it a flat bottom?) anyway I'll leave all the technical stuff to him. All I cared about was his reassurance that I would survive the crossing and emerge without looking green. I woke on the Friday morning with renewed bravery and vigor. I was ready to tough it out on the flat (or is it round?) bottomed boat and packed my overnight case. The winds had other ideas and and just over an hour before we were due to leave the boat was cancelled (along with nearly all the other boats I hasten to add!) So my visit to Westray is on hold and my breakfast lived to see another day. Shame. I was genuinly feeling braver than normal. Maybe I was just too proud to wimp out.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Instead of chilling out in Westray I found myself sitting on a giant space hopper at a church family fun night in aid of Sport relief. Most things in life seem to get smaller. (creme eggs, wagon wheels you ken the way?) but this was the biggest space hopper I've seen and I was itching for a go. I had to bounce round a course and didn't bounce very far! It was exhausting but a great way to keep fit. I think my space hopper days are over but I had ace fun. I've a feeling though it wasn't a good look. ah well.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

White stuff, clever stuff and a bit o' ranting

For someone who always seems to have plenty to say I've had an epic fail at keeping this blog up to date. *must try harder*

Mark Twain famously said, 'Everybody complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it.” The complaining about the weather drives me insane. People saying the same thing over and over. However I have now been driven insane by the weather and find myself in the category of complainers. I am well and truly, completely and utterly sick of it. (snow that is) I am reliably informed that Orkney has had one of its worst winters since blah, blah, blah. See that's another thing. Whenever we are given an account of the weather on the news it's always 'since records began' The lady with the BBC voice calmly tells us it's been the hottest October, the wettest May, the snowiest June, the driest rainfall 'since records began' anyway, the bottom line is Orkney isn't that bad compared to many places (heck even Florida got snow!) but it's bad enough to make me grumpy. I had an attempt at trying to trick the weather by doing some spring cleaning the other day but it took no notice. It feels like Narnia. Hurry up Aslan, get on the move!

On to the clever stuff......
After 18 months being here I finally got to see the Northern Lights the other night. Otherwise known as the Merry Dancers. Now here comes the dumbed down science bit..concentrate.... apparently there has been very little activity over the last 4 years and Northern Lights sightings have been significantly reduced. However due to clever stuff with the sun and light and north pole and magnets etc it is set to improve greatly over the coming months and I was even told that by this time next year seeing the Northern Lights will stop being a novelty. Jury is still out on that one, but for the sighting I did get, I drove out to Birsay where it was pitch black. I stood outside my car and listened to the waves whilst looking up in wonder at the green and white lights dancing away and thought ''wow, this is clever stuff''