If I had one super power it would be to time travel. I would love to go back 100 years or so to see Orkney operating at that time. One of the big fascinations for me ever since I moved here was the number of old stone houses and ruins there are dotted around. It’s part of the charm of Orkney that there is so much of the past that has not been torn down to build housing estates and multi story car parks.
In the field a few yards from our house are these two buildings. We look out onto them from our sitting room. Sometimes I put on my wellies and go through the long grass to investigate. One of them has furniture and books, dressers and old stoves all abandoned and covered in decades of dust. I have never gone in but I’ve looked in the windows and wondered what stories these houses could tell.
Just a short walk from my house is another complete with rusty iron gate and two chimneys. Who lived here and what was their story? There are hundreds of these wee houses all around the countryside in various states of repair. If only I could go back and see how they managed their lives in simpler but also harsher times. I’m sure I wouldn’t last 5 minutes without my creature comforts but I would love to see nevertheless.
There are miles and miles of stone walls all over Orkney that many a hard working farmer has spent yesteryear building.
Some have seen better days but much of it looks like they are here for many years to come. Considering the strong winds and harsh winters we can get up here I think these builders knew what they were doing an walls and houses were made to last.
The beautiful town of Stromness is steeped in history and the streets narrow and unspoiled. A nightmare for driving, as if you choose to run the gauntlet of driving one end of the town to the other you have to accept that there is much driving, stopping, reversing, letting a person past, driving forwards before the next oncoming car meets you. But if you embrace it as part of the charm you soon respect the fact that these beautiful streets and houses were built long before cars. I know which I prefer.
Until the next time and thank you for reading.