Steering well away from numerical calculations of any sort, I accompanied Our Lass into town yesterday morning, ostensibly to buy ingredients for a picnic. The fact that we spent more time trying to choose curtains, is neither here nor there.
Then we had a quick peek at the latest exhibition, upstairs at the Custom House, a collection of photographs taken using different techniques, all inspired by the book Flora Orcadensis by Magnus Spence (1914).
And this was just on the stairs on the way up to the exhibition!
After all that excitement, we needed to calm down, so repaired to Trenabies cafe for a coffee and a bacon roll, where we met up with our good friend Sian.
The main plan for the day was to rendezvous with Sian, my brother and his wife, and their two friends. So the first step of the mission had already been accomplished. Next, we drove over to Stromness to find the rest of the gang, and then we boarded the ferry for a trip to Graemsay.
The weather wasn't being too kind, so on reaching the island, Sian and Our Lass drove on ahead to put the kettle on, whilst I walked with the holiday-makers to Chez Sian. Although the blustery wind made holding binoculars a challenge, we did manage to watch a Hen harrier similarly struggling with the meteorology.
The consensus of opinion was that an indoor picnic was probably going to be the best option. Our purchases of earlier, and some of Sian's excellent homebakes, were duly spread out on a table in the conservatory. We all sat down to chat and munch, with even Button being tolerant of her shattered peace and quiet. Although we're not sure why she's holding a fork in her paws!
During a break in the squalls, we did manage a beach walk, marvelling at the small fragments of cold water coral (maerl) that cover the shore like a coarse white sand.
The return ferry trip, westabouts via Hoy, was interesting, with many Great Skuas on or above the water and a few harassed Gannets.