|A pair of stolen wellies, on a mission for a bucket of sand.|
I'd wibble on about the weather again, but I fear you'd all fall asleep as soon as you open the page. Another weekend of dreadful weather and a week ahead forecast with gales and rain. Deep joy. Lets just leave it at, February is not a kind month in my garden. The only poor soul out there flowering in my garden is the beloved common daisy, Bellis perennis. What a very cheery sight of things to come. But, I'm afraid that is it. I know I've got moss there too, in this climate, moss gives the rain something to do. If I lost the moss in the lawn I fear it would just sink. Thank goodness for wellies, I say, what on earth would I do in this climate without mine. Which is why I was reminded of the stolen wellies......... which aren't infact actually mine.
|Bellis perennis the beautiful common daisy and first to flower this year in my garden!|
Ok, with the weather being bad, I've alot of time to reflect on life. Now, getting back to the stolen wellies I've not normally got too many criminal tendancies. I've one of those faces which is instantly noticed if I'm guilty of a crime. However, on occassion, I appear to find myself a victim of my own circumstances. Honest. The sand, I'm afraid we did indeed steal - the wellies are more of a doubtful shift of location from the North of England to the far Northern Isles. I happenned to borrow the wellies from my closest friend and almost sister in North Lincoln. I may have accidentally kidnapped those wellies to the far north when I left her home at Xmas. Whoops, I am, in real life, a wellie-napper.
|The whale bone, Birsay - this is where we were headed to.|
Anyway I can't get on with anything 'out there' in the garden, so I thought why not a nice walk. Today proved to be just as windy as yesterday (upto 50 MPH) but not raining. Perfect walking weather in this house. Right clothes on we departed, for once, before lunch for a lovely blustery walk - along the cliffs at Birsay toward a bit of local art/history called 'The Whale Bone'. Good for a blustery walk to clear away the cobwebs and its also a good place with a very good shell-sand beach to gather/borrow/steal a bit of that for the chickens. It's a grand walk for a girl, a dearest beloved, a young daughter and a very hairy dog (who doesn't like the wind!). We set off togged up in our lovely winter clothes and braced ourselves for a very cold but invigorating adventure.
|Benches sunk into the hill side as a windbreak, perfect. Local stone looks great.|
As you tumble out of your car, the first sight that greets you here are the benches set about for picnics made from local stone - there are three of these and they do give a good level of shelter from the wind. Great idea in this weather. The local stone is teeming with lichens and mosses - whom appear to grow quite happily oblivious of the weather. Our walk isn't a long one, takes about half an hour each way - but it's fun to walk along the coast and watch the weather. We saw seals, black gilliemots (not a penguin, like some of my family thought.....), gulls and large flocks of starlings, all defying the weather like us, out and about for a bit of fresh air.
|Peedie up ahead, guarding the way incase of any danger......|
I love walking here, it's a real treat to get out and look at the coast line. Whilst Peedie is not great in the wind, he appreciates the shelter the stone dyke gives him! Often he forgets we are with him, until he takes a look around to make sure we are still there..........
|Looking back from Peedie's perspective.|
The coast line around here is breathtaking, I love walking around it. Whilst I am not a fan of blustery weather when it continues to keep me out of the garden, I do like walking in it and watching the waves. I'm also on the look out for wild flowers as the ground here is very beautiful in the summer. For now the only thing that I can see getting ready to bloom is the Lesser Celandines, but even they aren't out yet.
|Trying to get going in Feburary................the celandine!|
Further up around the coast we find more benches - but, um, as you can see they take them in during the winter and put them back in the summer. I guess it saves them being damaged in the storms and makes them last longer? All that you can sit on right now is the concrete pad they are bolted on to............
|View back to the Brough of Birsay, cemented bench foundations - no bench!|
And here we are - we've reached the whale bone! I love to have our picture taken here, we have pictures of the children from 2001 when we first moved up to Orkney. My daughter was 4 and my son was 6 when we arrived on the islands - always fun to have a look at the photos of us sitting here on various trips!
|The Whale bone, Birsay, Orkney|
|Beautifully covered in lichens - plants do really get everywhere!|
Once we'd had a sit and played with the dog - we decided it was time to walk back, head for the beach and get our conterfeit sand.
|Peedie having a play in the wind battered grass.|
|The beach before the crossing to the small island infront - the Brough of Birsay|
|Beautiful, waves crashing but very cold!|
I like this place in the summer too as there are alot of lovely bits of beach to play around on - the coast line is rugged and I enjoy the wild flowers too. Todays mission however, in the stolen wellies was to find a bucket of shell sand for the hens to have in their apartments to keep them a good supply of grit. Being surrounded by coastline and beaches it did feel a bit silly going into the local hardware store and buying 'imported' shell grit for them. They prefer to have local stuff, honest! The hens prefer to have a low-carbon claw print.
|It's only a peedie bucket, honest. The hens will appreciate how local it was.|
|Here is the scene of the crime, I fear I've not ruined a beautiful landscape too much with my meagre hen fuelled extraction?|
|All wellies are addicted to sea water, fact! I had to do it, its only fair to them.|
|Peedie deciding that despite the lovely view, the wind was too much and it was time to go home!|
Happy that we'd got out and had some air, did a bit of a mission for the hens and got the stolen, unloved, forgotten, poor wellies out for a walk (and a dip in the sea!) - it was time for home. Now, don't despair, having found out I'd kidnapped/stolen/set free these wellingtons from a life of boredom elsewhere, I did confess. My lovely 'sister' admitted that the young child they previously belonged to had outgrown them. They were indeed unloved, neglected and unwanted size 4 wellies, which I was very welcome to rehome. There you go, not really stolen, merely unwittingly recycled!
In the car on the way home, we continued our - can we really eat local stuff debate. On happenning upon the local shop we popped in and found local bread, biscuits, flour, oatmeal, butter, cheese, fish, meat, haggis (!), wine, beer, a few veggies. We left the shop talking about what we'd miss/need to get from elsewhere if we do indeed try to eat local/seaonal like they did in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Whilst there is alot of talking, no ones saying 'No you insane woman, no!' - which I'm taking as the green light to find out more about what we might be able to do.
A walk in a force 6-8 gales does do you good clearly, it empties the mind and lets you all blether. Perfect, especially in recycled/borrowed/stolen wellies!