By Laura Muncie
An elderly woman with white hair and a sweet plump face presses down heavily on her bike pedals. Puffing hard she cycles up the gently inclined road. Occasional flashes of white ankle socks appear under her grey wool skirt.
Another woman lifts out pots of purple and yellow pansies from her car before crossing the road to the cemetery.
Down by the river some young boys are looking for tadpoles and adventures. Two mothers watch younger children paddling and shout to them to come and get dried.
In a field a horse and cart canter and dog owners leash their dogs just incase.
A group of young men play boules beside the football pitch, laughing and drinking beer. They smile broadly and let me photograph their game. The result is close so they get out a measuring tape to confirm the winner.
I cycle into the forest and a Mum with a wagon attached to the front of her bike, as is typical for Germany, smiles at me. She lets me photograph her and repeats “Orkney News” when I explain where the photo is going. She’s happy to let people in Scotland see a slice of German life.
Magnolia petals push up and out of their cases and birds are noisy in the hedgerows.
Back home the neighbours are adjusting their bicycle seats in readiness. The weather is nice and everyone wants to enjoy it.
It’s life growing all around us. Spring has arrived on the Continent.