Gertrude disappeared in an icy puff of wind. All blown out. Sunday morning brought a different beauty. Here is St. Margaret's Bay at first light.
Front Road, where the Creel stands, looking at this view, looked good in the dusting of snow...
...but today found out it was the name of a a quite different beast: a beautiful beast of a storm.
I actually started this post mid-afternoon but lost it because of a power cut brought on by the storm. Something failed on our island but the engineers couldn't come to fix it because the Churchill barriers were closed.
It's easy to see why!
And the Coastguard were there to discourage the foolhardy. I didn't see anyone wanting to try though, just a friendly neighbour out with his young daughter to enjoy the spectacle of nature gone wild
The sign says:
The wind was so strong it was difficult to walk and problematic holding the camera still enough for pictures. Opening a car door was a real effort
So no going to Kirkwall today. But of course we have everything we need (or nearly) in our wonderful local shops: B. Doull & Son - General Store and The Trading Post, which is also our Post Office and is, into the bargain, open for long hours, seven days a week.
But more about them another day, today was Gertrude's day and this is what she got up to
From Orkney's brave and tough fishermen of course! But just as importantly from a wonderful supplier - Kirkwall Bay Shellfish, which means I know I'll be getting the best. Here for example (and with the permission of Kirkwall Bay Shellfish, who took the photos), is the boat bringing in the catch last Sunday
so that Monday shopping goodies included such delights as these langoustine
and these monkfish, ugly beasts with wonderful tails that I like to cook
Yesterday, I had to go to the dump and as always was struck by what a wonderful dump we have in St Margaret's Hope: it has to be the dump with the best view in the UK 😃. People would pay more than good money to have a view like this, but I suppose here in Orkney it's nothing special compared to the myriad better views to be had.
So here's my entry for the UK's dump with the best view:
It's a nice tidy dump, too. Should I organise tourists walks to it? But I'm always happy to be proved wrong, so if anyone has a better dump...
Of course, if one measure that against the view from the Creel (plug, plug), then there's no comparison. This was yesterday, mid-morning. The first windless day for a little while:
It wasn't that sort of picture postcard pretty just a couple of days ago. Scapa Flow was letting it rip a bit then as wind drove both spray and raindrops against the windows.
I didn't even want to go outside to take the picture, although it was very enjoyable seen from the warmth of my sitting room.
Or this morning, when the cold spell has made it look like this
PS. The last two pictures were taken from my house next door to the Creel
which is just out of frame to the right
This is easy to do and not that risky really. Given certain winds and high tides, waves can break over the Churchill Barriers. If things get too bad, Orkney Island Council closes the road. But up until then, put your windscreen wipers on full and maybe get yourself a salty car-wash...
This is what it's like when you can't cross. That's several tons of water looking to squash one's car flat. There can even be rocks in it. This picture was taken last Thursday afternoon and it was a wait of a few hours for the tide to go down before anyone could cross. This sort of fun doesn't happen very often, however.
The storms of the last few days have died down completely today and the weather is beautiful again. I took these pics a hour or so ago (Monday 11 Jan, ~2pm)
I like to take photos and am fond of clichés - so I'll say I find them to be worth a thousand words.