My Week In Pictures – It’s Official. Orkney Is The Best Place To Live

Blue Monday was far from blue going by the beautiful sunrise which greeted me on my way to work.  I had decided to take my own advice and have an early night, with clean sheets on the bed and extend the slumber so I missed my early morning exercise class and swim.  My laziness was rewarded with a drive to work past the usual stunning views and sunrises.  Leaving that bit later means I get to see the sunrise and glorious skies which I wax lyrical about constantly. Orkney was voted the best place to live in the UK this week, and these pictures might give you a glimpse as to why.

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Sunrise from my home on blue Monday
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The morning skies aglow
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Ring of Brodgar against the sunrise
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The Standing Stones of Stenness 
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Directly opposite The Standing Stones is this loch.  Like glass today.

Orkney is full of contrast and weather can be quite different in places just a few miles from each other. The temperatures dropped in the week and snow arrived.  Here are two pictures taken by friends on the same day showing just how diverse this beautiful island can be.

I’m having the best mid-life crisis ever! Two weeks ago a tried a cold water swim in the Orkney sea as a one-off.  Or that was the intention.  I loved it so much I’ve gone again and again.  Different venues, different times and a completely different experience every time.  I’m loving every second of it and am now keeping a journal of each swim because no two are the same.  A friend a long-standing polar bear spoke about dedicating swims and this is a really special part of journaling the incredible journey I am on.  Lunchtime on Thursday was a dip at Scapa Beach in cold and clear waters that produced hardly a ripple.  This morning we laughed and laughed as we bounced up and down on huge waves at Tingwall jetty.  It was by far the scariest, coldest, funniest, waviest non-swim swim of the lot and I loved every minute of it.  I must admit, as I stood on the side ready to venture in this morning, timing my entrance into the water between giant waves I thought to myself  ‘I must be mad‘ The Mothership things I am, as do most of my friends, and I’m not disagreeing with them.  But when you get that wonderful adrenaline rush and the glorious afterburn, you feel so alive! I can live with being called crazy for that.

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In the Scapa seas.
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warming up with a hot flask and honey sandwich after a very cool dip!

Two weeks ago my very dear friend died.  Someone who had been a special part of my journey to Orkney and who I shared many, many memories with.  I went to visit her husband today to see how he was and he produced a quilt that Fiona had made and left instructions to be given to me.  I was so touched and choked back the tears.  When I unwrapped it at home I buried my face in it and cried.  A most beautiful and personal gift that I can never thank her for.  It was bittersweet and will bring me tremendous comfort as I see the love and attention that went into each stitch.  Fiona demonstrated so much love, kindness, friendship and fun in her life.  I learned a lot from her and thank her continually for all that she gave me in terms of what money can’t buy.

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And finally, I didn’t get up early to see the Super Blood Wolf Moon on Monday but others did.  This photo was taken by Mark Cassell who lives in Canada.  HIs wife Laurie reads the blog and was telling me -22C with a wind chill of -36C  :-O  That would ensure I would NOT be swimming!  Thanks for the fabulous photo.

img_0420Have a great week everyone.

 


2 thoughts on “My Week In Pictures – It’s Official. Orkney Is The Best Place To Live

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