I'm taking a leaf out of Jacqui's book and sharing a seven days here in photos. So, one of the best things about the run upto xmas in Orkney is not the dark and short days. It is the opening of Shearers Xmas shop, in Kirkwall. Located like a really cheerful secret upstairs in the attic of the shop a real treat awaits complete with open fire to warm those cold snowy toes. Its only open for a peedie blink (a short while) and whilst downstairs the main shop is a thriving ironmongery/deli/garden centre/animal food/seed and tattie merchant, always busy, just now its down stairs spaces are bursting with xmas trees whilst upstairs is a haven of all thing xmas'y and a raging coal fire. Blissful.
The village xmas tree arrived and was justly tethered on four corners to protect it from the gales which slaughtered us this week. We had a spell of nasty easterlies which reached over 50mph this week. So guy ropes on trees are quite normal here, aside the gales, the trees are generally quite feral in this treeless landscape and need restrained lest they run off down the village pier and attack the fish on a bid for freedom to far off lands with forests. The Orkney flag stands guard, watching the tree's every move, just in case.
Just for a change, another nice trip on a plane for the day for a regional meeting in Scotland. It sounds exotic, but really planes are like buses or trains here. Hopping to Inverness within an hour can be far preferable to a few hours on a ferry and a 3-4 hour drive each way. Much easier to hail a pilot and sit with your feet up for an hour whilst he 'drives' you south. I always think the airport here is beautiful - aside the rainbows of this day, the views out to sea are breathtaking, hardly urban suburban sprawl. 15 flights 'south' a day, means we're well connected.
Walking the coast continues to be my mission here as the weather allows. A new walk this time around the edge of the airport from Inganess up the coast for a few miles. Umbels ripped of their seeds in the ferocious winds still stand tall silhouetted against the sea.
A bit of wellie window shopping? Well you never know when a pair might just jump out and say - 'these ARE the wellies you are looking for......' We need wedding wellies (yes really what other bridal footwear would a person need) - are these appropriate or too girlish, or suitably bridal? Whilst OK for nuptials, I suspect they'll get gey (very) guttery in the garden. Mind you I do have room for another pair - I've only 5 pairs at the moment. So there is a real wellie vacancy.
A xmas present preview. Yes this is the pot I wanted for Xmas from Mr Flowers. Who says romance is dead? Nothing says Xmas like a 1/2 tonne cast iron pot. No chance of that blowing away in the wind. And yes I opened it before Xmas, how else was I going to cook in it before we leave on our Xmas adventures?
And the first dish in the Xmas pot was a very suitable dish of leftovers - special fried rice. Whilst not very Scottish, a firm favourite in this house and I've almost got it sussed. Fear not the next dish was mince and tatties (very Scottish) so the pot forgave me. Although being a French beast, I'm not sure it (Mr Pot) approves of either Chinese or Scottish cooking. A decent Beouf Bourguignone should sort it out, shouldn't it. I'm currently putting recipes together for the manchild at university and I think I've got this one licked. Must post it up soon on his cooking blog......before we head on our adventures to the land of snow and Tartiflette.
And speaking of upandcoming adventures - I spyed this whilst in Kirkwall oggling wellies - one for Robyn who's on an adventure here next year.........yet another reason why Orkney rocks.
Well that's a few of my random seven days - pop over and see Jacqui at The Barefoot Crofter to see more of hers.
Until then - have fun! Aside packing for snowy climes and sorting the hoonds xmas stockings before they head off to their friends houses for the holidays, I'm considering a new wellie purchase............