‘How many more shops do we have to go into?’
Ah, this isn’t going to end well is it? I thought to myself. Orkney Beef and I had come on a little trip ‘South’ this weekend and Orkney Bef wasn’t enjoying the gift shop experience. I say South because it’s was 8 miles south of Orkney for us but to the rest of the UK we were actually at the most northerly point in Scotland. John O’Groats to be exact. The idea was just to get away and spend a rare weekend off together in each other’s company instead of the proverbial ships that pass in the night. It only lasted 24 hours, and included in that time was a man clearly opposed to being traipsed round novelty gift shops. I looked over at him, hands in pockets, shoulders slumped, and knew our marriage had reached the end of the road.
To be honest, it was a bit of a busman’s holiday for Orkney Beef. Whenever we go ANYWHERE, we always seem to end up driving down piers and looking at boats. Our road trip started with an overnight stay on the Northlink ferry. This saves us having to get up at the crack of dawn to go and catch it so it’s easiest just to go and sleep on the boat and have a civilized start to the day. The Northlink Ferry is birthed at Stromness harbour where Orkney Beef is piermaster. He spends 12 hours a day there for a week, and yet when we arrived, he still he drove straight past the turning for the cars to go on to the boat and headed straight down the pier. There is no cure.
Just over 20 miles south of Scrabster, the very unglamorous sounding ferry port for those escaping Orkney by car, is a beautiful little secret spot called Latheron. We’ve been here a couple of times when driving up to catch the boat when being away and made it our first port of call on our mini road trip. A very tranquil scenic spot in the middle of nowhere. My phone camera just doesn’t do it justice.
And wherever we drove Orkney Beef did not miss an opportunity to stop and look at boats. I suppose I should be grateful that boats are the only thing that turns his head.
John O’ Groats, for those that have never been there was surprisingly busy and pretty touristy. We posed for the obligatory photo under the signpost just have many others have gone before. You’ll notice Orkney Beef still hadn’t taken his hands out of his pockets following the gift shop trail, he was just smiling because we’d stopped.
After sightseeing and shopping, we returned home on the evening ferry, sailing past the Old Man Of Hoy, a famous sea stack which I believe was climbed by an 8 year old this weekend. ‘I can see the old man’s head’ said Orkney Beef leaning in front of me and blocking my view. ‘So can I’ I replied wearily.
I’ve mentioned before that this blog has regular readers from all over the world. Many of them contact me to say they enjoy reading and I’m always very grateful to hear from so many lovely people both near and far. One regular reader started contacting me from South Africa. Nicola and her family even went so far as to send me a whole pile of goodies from her country and comments regularly. Last year she and her family moved to the UK and she is now living just across the water from Orkney. I contacted her saying I was passing through and we arranged a super quick meet up. It was lovely to put a face to the person who has written and commented so often. Thank you to you both for taking the time to come and say hello, even for just a flying visit. It was great to meet you both. David is the tallest, he got to hold the camera 😉
I spoke in the week of My New Thing stopping off to read on the beach on my way home from work. I’ve absolutely loved it and some days I get the whole beach to myself whilst one day I heard ‘Is that Norq from Ork!’ shouted across. Sometimes and a few more people were dotted around. All in all a very worthwhile stop off.
I realise I’m very lucky to be able to do it. And one friend asked if I would be so willing in lesser weather. I think he may have photoshopped my picture 😉 But I guess I’m just going to have to sit in the car on such days.
In other news we bought a gas BBQ this weekend. Orkney Beef and Tech Support were supremely happy today scoffing away on burgers and sausages with very little hassle and no waiting for the blessed coals to heat up. Hopefully, we should never again have to have a repeat of this The Man’s Guide to BBQs
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