‘Promise me you won’t take it for granted?’
This was a promise I had to make to my dad when I moved up here and called him to describe the beautiful place I was now living. 8 years on I’m still keeping that promise, even on days of hideous weather like today, when the front door is leaking and I have to put towels down to mop up the water pouring in, or when I paid out to have a fancy new haircut and then stepped outside the door to have it turned into a bird’s nest by the time I reached the car, parked 3 feet away from the door. Even when you feel utterly jet lagged from lack of sleep due to the wind howling round the house, rattling the roof tiles and hailstones battering on the window. Even then, I still remember I live in an amazing place.
The photo below was taken today through my sitting room window. I didn’t go outside to take it because earlier today on my return from the hairdressers I nearly blew over in a gust of wind. Me! Let’s just stay I’m built to stick to the ground, that explains how windy it was!
Those of us in the UK are lucky enough to enjoy a fantastic series about Orkney on BBC2 at the moment. It’s called Britain’s Ancient Capital: Secrets of Orkney and looks at the many amazing historical sights in Orkney and what our ancestors can teach us about how they lived. Orkney was, and still is, an amazing place to be. If you haven’t seen it I would urge you to watch on iplayer as it really is great viewing and worth paying your tv licence for.
It was filmed in the summer and I remember the tv crew being here. The weather was beautiful and Orkney is being shown at its best. It’s funny seeing places on the screen which are so familiar to me. For example the Ring of Brodgar, an ancient stone circle I drive past on my way to work. My house looks down onto the Bay of Skaill where the 5000 year old ‘housing estate’ Skara Brae is situated. (Orkney Beef used to run in and out of the houses as a child before it was bought by Visit Scotland)
I am treated to regular skylines like the one pictured below of the Standing Stones of Stenness and everywhere I go the place is steeped in history and archaeology. It’s beautiful and fascinating where I live, and while the human nature in me gets a bit fed up of winter storms and misery, it doesn’t last long, and I can’t help but stick to my promise to not take it for granted.