Posted by Anna on Sunday, 10 April 2016
Oh my it’s been a while since either of us wrote a blog – shocking ! I think it must be something to do with the way the year is moving
on. Suddenly. January and February are very dreary months, with the occasional interesting storm to liven things up, but the evenings are still long and dark and although we had some lovely days, to be honest there weren’t that many of them.
However, we had plenty to keep us occupied. We have, as most of you will know, purchased a very splendid blue container, now named Kevin, which serves a dual purpose – he provides shelter to Badger in the storms and has stored our worldly goods for the past 18 months or so. Bear in mind we could only live in half the house while the builders did their stuff getting the old part of the house renovated and insulated and then we “moved” into that bit while the relatively new part was also insulated and the extension built. So the first two-three months of 2016 saw us starting to unbox all the exciting things we hadn’t seen for so long.
Except … you just can’t believe how much “stuff “ we brought up that we find we neither want nor need ! Of course there were lots of things we greeted with little cries of joy and tenderly moved to places within the cottage. But OH BOY were there a lot of things that we looked at with amazement and put hastily in the Charity Shop pile.
We also hadn’t realised how many books and pictures we possessed – the Old Railway Station was just SO much bigger than Mill Cottage. So a lot of the books have gone to a new home in our award winning library (they had a visit from JK Rowling a couple of weeks ago … she just dropped by for tea and cake!), and at the moment the pictures still reside either in Kevin or in the roof space that Mark had thoughtfully arranged to be created above the new office.
So with the unpacking and unboxing we have been kept busy – and Mark has spent time doing the extra jobs like putting in some bookshelves for my cookery books, putting up the pulley for the clothes airer, into the extremely useful utility room, painting the wardrobe doors in the spare room and a load of other bits and bobs.
Watching the year gather momentum is an amazing experience – the light changes constantly and the evenings are getting longer and longer – seems faster since the Equinox somehow, and of course the clocks going forward helps a lot. The cacophony of birds wakes us in the mornings – we have loads of sparrows and starlings of course, fighting over the bird feeders and fat balls, but overhead the curlew “wind themselves up”, the oyster catchers swoop across shouting at each other, battalions of geese fly overheard and you can see exactly where the farmers are busy either putting slurry on the fields or ploughing by the following of gulls making the field look white as they search for all the yummy bits being churned up. The Sea Eagles have returned to Hoy and we are all hoping they manage to raise a chick this year. There are daily postings on the Orkney Wildlife Facebook page about incoming migrants and we have been blessed with many nights of Aurora sightings, some just a green glow (but then you get the amazing starscape to enjoy as well) and others with real dancers. We are so fortunate that there is very little light pollution here. Well none really. So a clear night is a real treat.
Last week my daughter Vickie and her partner Mark came up for a week, which was just wonderful ! We had been looking forward to it with great excitement and weren’t disappointed. Vickie knows the Island but it was Mark’s first visit – he ran the gamut of the weather from cold and very wet to glorious sunshine, but as they both say they would love to come back I don’t think we managed to put them off.
And now we look forward to the visit of Mark’s son Oliver and his wife Nicola who are flying up in early May.
And now … having baked a loaf of linseed and sesame malt bread, a dozen seeded rolls and 2 dozen Swedish cinnamon buns it’s time to cook supper. More about our lives in due course !