Monday 22 December 2014

Solstice saunter

If you've been wondering where old Tense has got to, don't worry, we're just experiencing a temporary bout of internet outage. Well, I say, temporary, but the sad fact is that following nearly two weeks of thunder and lightning in Orkney, there's rather a long queue to gain access to a BT engineer. To be honest, the reported number of lightning strikes per hour was some huge figure, so if the only damage is a bit of wire, it could be said that we're lucky.

The earliest consultation will be on 15th January, but that's just to investigate and, hopefully, diagnose the problem. A full repair may take longer :o(

This past weekend saw a return to more normal, changeable weather. Our Lass and I took the opportunity to have a walk around the local loop as a low key celebration of the Winter Solstice.

Impulsive and spontaneous are two words that aren't often uttered in the same sentence as His Tenseness, so to general shock and awe, we walked the loop in the opposite direction. The slightly different views that this presented were interesting. As we descended the gentle hill from Greenwall, looking across to Rose Ness, I was reminded of a chance meeting the previous weekend with an archaeologist from the college in Kirkwall. On hearing that we lived near Rose Ness, he explained that he had been surveying that area this year and discovered some new features.

The only obvious earthwork, to our eyes, is a small, incomplete mound, so I asked if this was likely to be from the Neolithic, the First/Second World War or somewhere in between. His reply was that it was the former, but more exciting still was the information that the old beacon further along the promontory was stood on a previously unrecorded Neolithic earthwork.

This thought was in my mind as I scanned the view from Rose Ness, to our left, across the ruined broch by the edge of the bay and around to our right, where the present day church of St Nicholas' Kirk stands. On a mound.

Yes, walking in the opposite direction did give a different perspective of the topography. So I'm a bit keen to be reunited with the internet to continue informal investigations.

Meantime, many thanks to Orkney Library and Archive for coming to the rescue, in the shape of their excellent computer room.

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