Keeping upright has been this weeks challenge. A major storm mid-week posed a major challenge for Orkney folk as we all strapped down our trampolines, shed roofs, dogs etc. Schools had to close, roads were flooded and a high sided lorry blew over in the relentless wind. Driving in it is no fun at all and I took the afternoon off to get home in daylight where I then had to phone Orkney Beef from the car to come and walk me into the house as I couldn’t stand up in it. The Churchill Barriers connect the mainland of Orkney to the south isles. It’s often not safe to cross them in severe weather and they have to be closed leaving people stranded either side and unable to get home or work. As always I’m full of admiration for the emergency and frontline services for keeping going in such weather. There are many more people affected too which I perhaps never had an appreciation for until I married Orkney Beef. I was reminded of this when we had the most severe storm I’d seen in Orkney since I moved there. This was in 2011 and Orkney Beef owned a small fishing boat which he desperately tried to save in severe winds. I remember the night well, him going down to the pier in the early hours to keep an eye on his boat and linking arms with other fishermen and piermasters so no one blew away. It was grim times and perhaps my most frightening weather experience. Well done all of us for surviving another one.
The other keeping upright challenge was the snow and ice which quickly followed the wind. We had Peedie Meatball staying with us this weekend and we decided to go for a walk in the snow for some fresh air and exercise. We spent about 20 minutes putting on hundreds of layers, waterproofs, wellies, hats, scarves and gloves but by the time we’d walked to the end of our track road Miss Meatball was crying as her face was so cold and the dog was doing an impersonation of Bambi on ice. So we had a quick turn around to go back home and look at it through the window from the warm.
When I moved to Orkney 9 years ago I was privileged to meet and become friends with a very special lady who this week celebrated her 90th birthday. She really is a remarkable and lovely lady. I’ve enjoyed every moment I’ve spent with her over the years and was delighted to be able to spend some of her special day with her. She is filled with kindness and grace and if I get to be half the woman she is then I’ve done well. Very happy birthday May and many happy returns.
It’s certainly the season for work Christmas ‘do’s’ and festive eating. It’s also my birthday this coming week so it feels like a perpetual round of eating out. I need to keep up with my swimming as damage control. I’m not anywhere near ready for Christmas. Some years I seem to vaguely have my act together and this year is not one of them. I’m pretty lousy at sending Christmas cards anyway and I usually start apologising about now for the fact you quite
probably possibly won’t get one. But as always I wish you all well no matter what time of the year. Have a great week and keep warm folks!