Monday, 23 January 2012

The first fish box of the season - located: Yesnaby, Orkney

Now before you, we have a happy (soggy, but happy) lass having snagged the first fish box of the year on the local pretty cliff top walk from Yesnaby!  Hurrah, how happy am I. New readers to this blog, or indeed old readers may be bemused by my excitement on spotting fish-boxes or wonder the etiquette which they are governed by in this household, when being wild-collected. I love them, fish boxes are simply large plastic study boxes which are brilliant for absolutely everything from adventuring, to growing plants in to baking a cake. OK, I lied about the cake bit. You can stack cooking equipment in them, even cake tins but baking in them, probably a step too far. Therefore, I give you the box in the photo, retrieved at the weekend when we managed a nice blustery walk up along the cliffs at the west side of the island of Yesnaby. A few nice links in there to tempt you to find out more. We go here a lot walking and when its been windy, the sea can be quite amazing boiling and bubbling, frothing and foaming, dropping foam like snow over the headland, quite bizarre to watch, being rained on by foamy snow.
At this time of year the exciting, ever-changing bubbling, stormy sea compensates for the washed out wet, wind blow, rock strewn vegetation, which to be fair looks like its been bleached, wrung out and left in a heap to dry in a hurricane in a down pour, I've never seen this place so wet and forlorn. That about sums up what you'll see, soggy, windblown anemic grass clinging on for dear life, dodging boulders tossed up by the sea. Whilst in the summer the cliff top vegetation is a myriad of coastal heathland plants of which the rare Primula scotica introduces it to ourselves only twice a year in late May and July. But not today, today we see rank, soggy vegetation begging for a towel, rocks battering themselves on the shoreline and stones strewn along the headland - so far in, you can be in awe of how far the wind will fling them inland. Poor vegetation up on that cliff top. At least the short summer allows it to flourish and be beautiful, in the mean time, we watch the sea rather than hunt for rare flowers, not wanting to stare at the forlorn grass too much in case we upset it more.
I'll leave you with a choppy sea and the sound of the wind for a moment......and the ever changing waves crashing up and over some of the cliffs as we walk, its truly amazing walking here.
Once walking back, hammered by the wind, we spy in the bay a fish box, as etiquette dictates, its  only allowed home if it's whole, (or in this case only slighly holey, but whole enough for me), its in the current visible tide line, therefore not above the line and this means its clearly not snagged by another cliff walker. We did see a few more walkers today - 3 or 4 braved the winds and went for a blustery walk along the cliffs, like us, but they didn't snag a fish box.  But, I'm not sure they were as keen as I was,  they didn't clamber like a mountain goat (not) so I'm sure I'll be forgiven.
Hurrah, I have kept my end of the fish box collecting etiquette its mine for the taking. Now that I'm a happy bunny, we admired the sunset. Raging through the wind and the clouds and the rain approached.
Time for home me thinks, fish box on noggin' - the lang waak hame up the hill tae the car was not unpleasurable as I took my new find homewards. 
                           I wonder what I'll grow in it? Fab walk despite the sogginess and the wind!

[These photos are the property and the wonderous art of Mr Flowers, who's never annotated enough for the fine photography that often appears on my blog! Thank you Mr Flowers for the fine photography on this walk and for capturing my fish box find beautifully.]


  1. Where would we be without fish boxes? Have you seen any aurora where you are, Fay? Used to be the highlight of my year seeing some Merry Dancers.

    1. *runs out in pjs to check again, I missed them yesterday* back in a blink............

  2. in total ignorance, i am wondering where do these fish boxes come from? they do look remarkably sturdy and good for a lot of things.

    i love the sound of the ocean, crashing with waves. i was almost there looking at the pictures (kudos to the photographer).

  3. It looks wild up there, lovely, but wild.

  4. Journeys to Scotland - a lot of them fall off fishing boats and then drift ashore. They are indeed useful objects though!

    Fay - well found, and Mr F, thank you for the lovely pics! I especially love the ones with the waves crashing about - you can almost hear the sound of it, in those....

    Robyn xx

  5. Mr. O picks up 5 gallon buckets off the side of the road. Often very dangerous on freeways. Must be related to scooping fish boxes from the sea. Nice to catch up reading your amazing posts again Fay!

  6. Always nice to have another good, sturdy box. And for free. And you are cleaning up the beach.
    Another advantage - If you travel to another country, you know the word for 'fish' in their language. Useful for ordering a meal in an eating place!

  7. Mr Flowers certainly takes most excellent photos, I can almost hear and smell the sea. Congrats on the fishbox capture!

  8. I am so pleased for you Fay, I read all about the etiquette and am satisfied that you complied fully regarding the rules. I take it there is no point of B&Q opening up in the Orkney's.