The last few weeks have been a bit of a blur to be honest, but let's have a recap.
Our Lass headed northwards in early November to take up her new post on Mainland, the largest of the Orcadian archipelago. Yours Truly remained behind in Milton Keynes to look after the arrangements for the house sale and move.
After a few last minute hiccups and traumas, a little over a week and half ago, I said my final goodbye to Tense Towers, a fond farewell to a building that has provided some magical natural history moments over the eleven years we have lived there. Having locked the front door for the last time and driven to the end of the street, I found that I had to retrace my steps for one more photo.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you...
the classic incarnation of...
|See? No turrets|
|Earlier in the day|
With the weather set to deteriorate all across my planned route from MK to Orkney (about 600 miles as the crow flies), I set off with a little trepidation and plenty of last minute packing crammed into our car.
My first pit stop was an overnight in Manchester, courtesy of First Born and her beau. With some business to attend to in the city the next morning, I was able to sit out the worst of the storm force winds, before heading northwards once more, to spend the night with family near Dunfermline in Scotland.
The following morning, I set off early on the full day's drive to the ferry port at Gill's Bay, on the north coast of Caithness.
|Dawn over Fife|
|En route through the Cairngorms|
Arriving at St Margaret's Hope on South Ronaldsay, I experienced Orkney as I had never seen it before. In total darkness. All our holidays have been in late Spring and early Summer, when darkness is a very rare commodity. After crossing the Churchill Barriers, the causeways that link South Ron with Mainland, I eventually crested the rise that revealed a street lit vista of Kirkwall, city and Royal Burgh, capital of Orkney.
It was fantastic to be reunited with Our Lass, for these four weeks had been the longest we had been apart in more than 24 years.
And now a different life beckoned. A fresh start. A new day.
|View from the cottage garden|
A new chapter of our lives begins here...