Only in Orkney

A few years ago my parents moved into their new home in Orkney having relocated a few months after I did. They had been living in rented accommodation for a while and finally made it to their  new house. A friend from South had wanted to send them a card to welcome them to their new home. Only thing is this friend didn’t have their address so decided to chance it and put this on the envelope. (surname removed)

Mrs …….. SRN on her birthday & Mr ……… & her daughter and her children at a newly built bungalow on the islands c/o postmen of the islands (if they would be so kind) The Orkneys Scotland

Readers, it arrived! Hat’s off to the postie for getting it there, as Orkney is small but not THAT small. There’s still several thousand people on the mainland so for the postal team to get it through the letter box of the correct house was a job well done.

The funny thing is, when I saw the envelope, after marvelling at its arrival to the correct destination; the first thing I homed in on was ‘The Orkneys’ and it instantly set my teeth on edge. I’m pretty sure that many people from ‘Orkney not The Orkneys’ will have picked up on it too. I can hear the collective inner cry across the land of IT’S ORKNEY NOT THE ORKNEYS OK! You can even say The Orkney Isles, just don’t say The Orkneys.

I can’t remember when I was first told this but it was long before I moved here and it didn’t take long to grate on me once I arrived. Orkney Beef  (not The Orkneys Beef) says it’s like him saying I’m from ‘The Englands’.

I politely correct people or not depending on the situation I’m in at the time but it’s not easy to let it pass by. It’s like the urge to straighten a wonky painting or wipe a table properly if someone has missed a bit. I just can’t let it go, and I’m not even from here! It’s not the end of the world in the grand scheme of things and maybe it doesn’t bother you and I’m just too stressy about it, but I get the feeling I’m not alone.

One more thing.  You don’t need to put Scotland  on the envelope when writing to Orkney not The Orkneys, but that discussion is for another day 🙂


Picture of Orkney  not the Orkneys from


2 thoughts on “Only in Orkney

  1. Well done Sarah! I totally agree, as I think would people from Shetland. Now Lewis, that’s different, they want to be Isle of Lewis. I don’t know how they feel about being part of The Western Isles though.

    Liked by 1 person

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