Posted by Mark on Thursday, 6 November 2014
late Thursday – Anna turned up in the car and we unloaded the cats in their cage into the kitchen. We then went around to inspect our new abode. The previous people had left the place nice and clean although their love of cheap energy saving lamps meant that the place was very dark which didn’t show things in their best light.
On further examination we discovered that they had also left a modern juke box, two washing machines , a large comfy sitting room chair in the house and a pile of stuff in the garage which included horse riding gear, a work bench and pool table ! We were not impressed with these extra items and got immediately on the phone to the vendor and asked, very nicely of course, if could they remove this stuff before tomorrow morning? As it turned out the daughter was due to pick up the horse stuff and juke box earlier in the week but she was planning to come over today instead, however she couldn’t get here any earlier than 10 pm as she was working, so it looked like we would have to stay up waiting for her and the boyfriend to arrive, after all we were not the slightest bit tired or stressed by now!
We had decided previously to sleep in Badger for the first night but decided to keep the cats company in the house so we got the bedding out of Badger as well as the two folding chairs and made up the bedroom and set the chairs in the sitting room. We thought it would be a good idea to light a fire in the small sitting room so we jumped in the car and drove to Stromness ( about 3 miles away and the second largest town on the island ) to buy some combustible material. We drove into the garage there and purchased a bag of kindling, a bag of fire wood, and a pack of fire lighters, we had all we needed for a lovely warm fire for our first night ( the wine and glasses were in the car already!). However when we got back to the cottage and I had made up the fire, it was at this point we discovered that we had forgotten to buy any matches! It was unlikely that we would find a couple of boy scouts to rub together at this time of night so a different plan was required. Simples! Put the gas on in Badger light some paper and take it to the cottage, we even managed to find an old candle in the garage so we could use this instead of a burning torch, but the Orcadian wind ( not a medical condition ) was against us, blowing out the candle as soon as I got outside Badger. Not to be outsmarted we found an old tin which we melted some wax into and stuck the candle into it, this tin would serve as a shield from the wind. After a couple of tries we managed to transfer ‘man’s magic fire’ into the house and light the fire. My fire building skills had not left me and a lovely warm fire soon was roaring away. We sat with a glass of wine and toasted our new life in Orkney.
The vendor’s daughter and boyfriend turned up as promised and took away most of the stuff, the rest for the dump was put in the garden top be collected later ( still waiting ) they were very apologetic, another problem dealt with and sorted.
I must confess a feeling of ‘oh s**t what have we done’ on our first night, the rooms looked so small when empty, had we bought a place far too small for us? Thankfully this feeling soon past the next day as our stuff was placed in the rooms but more of that in the next post.