In contrast to much of the UK, today in Orkney is cold and blustery. The weather is now coming from the north, so with windchill, our heady 7 degrees Celsius feels nearer to freezing. To be honest, I don't even fancy venturing out into the garden, much less potter around the local area.
But not to worry, I thought this might happen, so I recently took a photograph of part of the view from Tense Towers. I should probably qualify that remark... I was stood by the front door, with the camera on x30 zoom, and then I cropped the resulting image to finally end up with this:
OK, there's quite a bit going on in this photo, but it's a shot which I take periodically so have already had to carry out some research and I should be able to talk you through it.
Starting at the bottom of the photo, the first stretch of water is Kirk Sound, the bit of North Sea where the German U-boat made its entrance and escape that fateful night in 1939.
The island above that is Lamb Holm, which is the location of the Italian Chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war during World War 2.
The next water body is Skerry Sound in Scapa Flow, and the next bit of land is another island, the uninhabited Glimps Holm. After that is Hunda, another uninhabited island, but there is a ruined dwelling on it.
Then comes Sound of Hoxa, towards the southern entrance to Scapa Flow, with the car ferry mv Albert sailing though it, which is operated by Pentland Ferries between St Margaret's Hope in South Ronaldsay and Gill's Bay in Caithness on the Scottish mainland.
The next piece of land is, surprise, surprise, another island, Switha, with the lighthouse of Cantick Head in South Walls just behind it.
That pretty much sums up the Orkney part of the photo, leaving just the topmost feature, the snowy Ben Klibreck in Sutherland.