The only metaphorical cloud of our holiday at Bamff was the fact that we missed the Orkney Science Festival. In particular, we missed the Museum of the Moon and loads of moon-based activities throughout Stromness.
How and ever, help was at hand in the form of Classic Album Sundays. This is a concept which had not crossed my orbit through life until earlier this year, but I was amazed to discover that events happen all around the world, with folk coming together to sit down and properly listen to a vinyl record played through some top end amps and speakers. You suspect that there's glowing valves involved, rather than just a bucketful of digital sampling.
Any road, we were back home for the day after the Science Festival, and Classic Album Sunday Orkney had niftily chosen Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' as its featured album for September. Not only that, forsaking its spiritual home in Grooves record shop, the venue for the event was Stromness Academy and the not-yet-dismantled Museum of the Moon.
For weeks, we'd been hearing about the huge 7 metre Moon which was to be suspended in the Academy, but that hadn't prepared us in any way for witnessing it up close and personal.
Once the heart beat sounds of the beginning of 'Dark Side...' kicked in, I closed my eyes and forgot about all extraneous distractions. When you consider how records were made back in 1973, with none of the fancy gizmos we have these days, the layers of detail contained within the album are pure joy. But the thing about Pink Floyd is, and I can't recall who originally made the assertion, there's just so much space and time in their music. The band don't try to fill up every bar of music, but allow it room to breathe. Just before the end of Side One, I remember thinking, "Heck, Adrian's got to turn the record over in a second!" Funnily enough, whilst he did this, someone's spurious ring tone sounded which, bearing in mind all the ambient noises in a Floyd album, it wasn't really out of place.
By the end of Side Two, I was very relaxed. As a mindfulness experience, it is to be recommended.