At this time of the Orcadian year, the working day with sufficient available light is much shorter. The most important tool in my toolbox ceases to be a 13mm spanner and becomes a head torch. And dragging oneself out into the darkness of a Winter's pre-dawn is slightly less enjoyable than skipping out into a mid-Summer blaze of sunshine.
One day this week saw us headed to Westray for some dishy action (satellite tv and broadband installations). The ferry departed Kirkwall at 07.20, so here's a photo taken as I potter along the harbour at about 7am. The inner harbour is where the pilot boats berth, as well as the RNLI lifeboat (just out of shot to the left).
The weather was calm and dry, allowing good progress to be made. This is important, not just from a business and financial perspective, but also because if there's time during the day, I like to pop in to a general store on the island. The eclectic (and necessary) mix of goods and provender in quirky juxtapositions never fails to cheer me up. On this particular day, I was not disappointed.
As luck would have it, although it could've been due to skill and teamwork, we were finished before sunset and sat waiting expectantly at the Rapness pier for the return ferry to Kirkwall. There's always a small doubt in the back of one's mind that it might not appear...