Many of my recent blogposts have been initiated by what has been seen from the windows when I opened the curtains each morning. Despite the apparent dearth of trees on Orkney (as, elsewhere, these are perhaps most folks' perception of the changing seasons), there is a great deal of variety in my morning vistas.
At this point, dear reader, feel free to break into a rousing chorus of Elbow's One Day Like This (it's the bit at 3.20 in the video).
So having thrown those curtains wide this particular morning, I was pleasantly surprised to discover bright sunshine and not a breath of wind. The cliffs of Dunnet Head on the Scottish mainland were carefully highlighted, features on the distant hillsides of Hoy were intricately picked out and, in the meadow over the road, motionless Dandelions heads stood carefully to attention, mimicking the stationary wind turbines in neighbouring fields. Holm Sound and Scapa Flow were as calm and flat as the proverbial mill pond and the rattling songs of Starlings filtered through the still air from the nearby farm.
Driving to work, it was obvious that this glorious morning was affecting all and sundry. There were many more tractors on the road, as farmers were taking full advantage of the respite to till, harrow or sow. The verges are slowly changing from the yellows of Daffodils, Dandelions, Coltsfoots and Cowslips and, instead, are gradually taking on the muted pale lilac of Cuckooflowers and the zingy, electric pink of Red Campion.
As I crested the rise above Kirkwall, the view across the town revealed the cruise liner Discovery docked at Hatston Pier, whilst the tall spire of St Magnus Cathedral was outlined against the bluey silver, brushed steel mirror that was Wide Firth.
Even a delay through roadworks, en route to Stromness, could not dampen the joyous mood and optimism of a beautiful Orcadian morn. Sat in a convoy, trundling along the coast road at 10mph, allowed ample opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of Keelylang Hill, the Bay of Firth and everything in between.
Passed Finstown and on through the Neolithic scenery of Maes Howe, the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar, this really is a commute to savour. And even at journey's end, just before rural gave way to town, there was one last field offering up a Hare.
It proper sets you up for the day.