Community Spirit at Something Different Something Deerness

By Bernie Bell

We got up on Sunday morning, intending to go for a walk.  I read Helen’s  piece about the ‘Something different  Something Deerness’ craft fair which was being held in the Deerness Hall, and….the plan was laid.  The plan, was to go to Sandside Bay for a walk. Always a good place to  go, with interesting stones with patterns on, the view over to Copinsay and the Horse of Copinsay, and you can walk along to the jetty, and through to have a look at St. Ninian’s Church.

Then we thought we’d have look in the craft fair and have lunch at the hall.

We arrived at Sandside Bay and set off, only to be caught in the first hail shower of this…..autumn/winter?  That was a bit….different, in Deerness – hail stones pelting us in the face! Maybe it’s good for the complexion, or maybe it will just add to the weathered old lady look which I am cultivating these days.

Having got thoroughly wet, there was no point worrying about being wet, so we walked back up the track and along the road a bit to have a look at the buffaloes.  Magnificent beasts, with their horns outlined against the sky. One of the mothers, with a very small calf, wasn’t too keen on us being there, so we headed back, and she tracked us all the way along, until she was sure that we were well and truly away from her territory.  The buffalo were the second of our ‘Different in Deerness’ experiences of the day.

We arrived at the Hall, and could hang our wet coats up in the cloakrooms – A GOOD THING.

We thought that, as we were a bit late in the day, all the cakes might have been sold.  I don’t bake, myself, and rely on this kind of event, for getting good home-made- home-baked-cakes, and also Fiona-Next-Door, who bakes things for me – well trained as she is!

But no, the lady in the corner had lots of very yummy-looking  cakes, buns, jams etc., so we stocked up.

Then we came to the next different Deerness experience. There was a young lass at a table, selling her art-works.  She’s only 17 – I asked how old she is,  as what she has produced is so well done.  She draws an image, then fills it in with intricate, delicate designs.  She has then been enterprising enough to have these made into cards, prints, aprons, etc.  She’s young, able and enterprising – that’s not very  different in Orkney, but her work is – it has something quirky and a bit magicy about it.

Anna drawings puffin

Anna McEwen

She has a Facebook page, so you can check out what she does.  Anna McEwan – Drawings.

Mike and I are both from large families, and cards are always needed, so we got some from Anna – I particularly like the pig picture!

We were then meaning to have lunch in the café which had been set up for the day, but…they only had one bowl of soup and some cheese left!  Ann ( Mitchell) apologised to us, but we were just pleased that the event had was going so well, that they were selling out of food!  The raffle tickets had also sold out, but we had got some earlier. Fingers crossed for winning Anna’s piggy apron!

And the proceeds from  these two days will go towards the community hall, and St. Ninian’s church.  Once again, we were reminded of how much the community spirit is still alive in Orkney. We’d gone to the Rendall  Harvest Home on Friday night, which would not have happened without a lot of hard work by a lot of local folk. Then, on Sunday we go to the ‘Something Different Something Deerness’ fair, in Deerness, which, again, would not have happened without a lot of hard work from a lot of people and, of course, a lot of talented local people presenting their work for sale!

Something Different Something Deerness

Photo B Bell

Our day was one which included quite a few ‘Different  in Deerness’ things, but one thing which is consistent, and not different is……Orcadian ability, Orcadian talent, Orcadian hard work, and Orcadian community spirit.  And if that’s a bit gushy, in a very un-Orcadian way – well, I’m not Orcadian, so I’m allowed!

What a place to live.  Every weekend is like being on your holidays. And if you are on your holidays – even without the Craft Fair, there’s a lot of interest in Deerness, including Sandside Bay, with or without the Hailstone Facial Therapy.

What next?  The Lucy Service in St. Magnus’ – different, and always oh so wonderful.


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