By Bernie Bell
Pics. by B&M Bell
Easter Monday 2020, and Mike had taken a holiday. He’s working at home, but that still means that he is working – in the room which we call The Office. People need time off, need to delineate work time and play time, so, he took a holiday.
We set off from the house, for our permitted outdoor daily exercise, walking down the road, heading for the Bay of Puldrite.
The first thing I noticed, was a neat little ‘snap-shot’ of Orkney –
An old croft-house, a ruined Kirk, A broch ( The Knowe O’ Dishero), The Old Manse, a wind turbine, an island (Gairsay) with a Neolithic cairn on top – and the sea, all around and in between….
Walking down the road, noticing Marsh Marigolds…….
Then, just past the house called North Moa, we turned left through a gate (NB – the sign post for the path has fallen over), along the side of the field fence, then turned right, on to the cliff top path, where we saw beautiful stands of Gorse in flower. Well, we are in Gorseness… (Spellcheck always offers ‘grossness’!)
Along the cliff top, the path has pretty much disappeared, and it’s quite rough going, with tussocky grass, then down onto the stony shore at Puldrite, where we noticed a stone with marks on it, which look very like the ‘scritchy-scratchy’ carvings found at the Ness of Brodgar https://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk/ and other Neolithic sites on Orkney…
I wondered, once again, did the ancient people like to copy what they saw around them in nature, when decorating their structures and pottery? Or, are the scratchy marks, writing? An on-going discussion! https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/04/23/stromness-museums-new-exhibitions-makers-then-and-now/
We had a sit-down on the stones by the slip-way near the house at the end of the Bay, and Mike remarked that food production carries on – there was a boat out at the salmon cages in the bay.
Whether you believe salmon cages to be a good thing, or an un-natural source of excessive nutrients and disease, the fact is, even at a time when we are told to stay close to home for our own safety, and the safety of others – food sources matter even more than usual, and there are folk who are still prepared to go out in small boats, in all weathers, to either catch fish or tend to the salmon in their cages. Another set of front-line workers – our fishermen – and women!
We headed back up the lang road home, past a typical Orcadian spring-time verge, glowing with daffodils.
Just down the road, from our house, to the Bay and back – a walk is what you make it.