Showing posts with label war. Show all posts
Showing posts with label war. Show all posts

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Too Pooped to Pop! (photo heavy!)

I've had a really busy time since I last posted here. I think I told you about the Sanday Soulka Weekends, which have been happening each month. We have just had the Wrecks and Signals Weekend, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. The Sanday Spinners were having an Open studio, at one of the members' conservatories, so I decided to make some things for sale. I dyed a whole lot of fleece with Kool Aid, carded it and made up some bags with fleece and co-ordinating beads. I also machine embroidered some bags. 

(Sorry about the quality and I forgot to photograph the other designs!) 
Three of the embroidered bags sold, but nobody was interested in the beady fleece bags. 
Here you can see my husband having a go at carding. You can see some of the carded fleece in the background, some drying on my ruler shelf and some soaking in the sink. It is great fun to do, and I want to go on to natural dyeing from here.
Back to the Soulka Weekend. We had a talk on shipwrecks then a concert  with Frank Keenan and Logan's Well on the Friday. On the Saturday I went spinning and met some visitors to Sanday, who had come over for the Soulka. 
We went on a tour of the buildings which were left over from the war. Seemingly the army requisitioned some land and the islanders did not know what was going happening in the camp. It was extremely top secret. The first building we saw was the morgue -

Only two people were killed on the island during the war, and the bodies were brought into this building.

 There are still no details about what happened here during the war, but it was supposedly extremely important. This building was enormous, and it was surrounded by mines. The army was supposed to get rid of them after the war, but the farmer had to drag a wheel behind the back of a tractor and set it going, so that he wasn't blown up tilling the ground.

The shaped concrete at the front was where the diesel was housed.
This was a communication shelter, and would have had a huge antenna on top. 
After this, we had a lecture on the Rev. M Armour, who sought land reform for the crofters in Sanday.
(The following pictures are not mine. I forgot to take my camera with me!)

The Kirkwall City Pipe Band played (and marched!) in the school playground later, and then we had another concert inside. 

It was fantastic!! The pipe band leader was really funny and so enthusiastic!! He said music and learning music should be fun and the concert definitely was!! We then had a dance and at 11.30pm a huge supper was brought out, sandwiches, pizza, sausage rolls, pies and cakes. The next day they played again, but less formally (grin!!)
What a difference!! There was a 7km run in the afternoon, a balloon race and more music from the band. I have only told you about the things we attended, but there were loads of other things on offer, including Open Studios, talks and workshops. What a weekend!!

Last night and this morning the Sanday Spinners did some indigo dyeing. I will tell you about it in the next post. We have had glorious weather recently. We went for a walk on the beach and had a paddle. Then I came home and had a snooze!!

Till next time.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


I am sorry I have not been blogging recently. I was all ready to post, when our power went out. Now this is not unusual. We are a small island, and when there is a fault, it can affect a small area, or it can affect the whole island. We have two men on the island, who do the repairs, if they can, and if they can't the power company sends out mechanics from Mainland Orkney, either chartering a plane or a launch, to effect the repairs.

So the power went out. It was nearly 2pm. still daylight. We are all electric. except for a wood burning stove. The fire went on to keep us warm, and then I started having problems. I wanted to use my computer - NO ELECTRICITY! I wanted to use my sewing machine - NO ELECTRICITY! Also my machine was out in my studio -NO HEAT. There was no chance of watching the television, listening to the radio or cd and the light was not good enough to do hand embroidery. I could not do any baking, which I love or do any cooking, but I solved the question of a cup of tea by putting a pan on top of the wood burner, much easier than getting out the small, gas camping stove. I ended up reading a book, and using a torch , when the natural light began to fade.

This failure of power made me think how dependent on power we really are. I need light to see, a cooker to eat, television, radio and cd/dvd to listen to, heaters for comfort. It made me wonder how we managed before I became so dependent on 'gadgets'!! Our island did not get electricity till the 1970s (I think 1972), so it was tilley lamps, aga cookers or individual generators. Suddenly we cannot do without ipads, ipods and mobile phones. Now I may drool at the adverts for ipads,  but I hate mobile phones! They are intrusive. Who wants to be phoned when you are walking down the street, or, in my case, walking along a deserted beach, listening to the surf and the seagulls? Yuck!!

From there it was a small step to thinking about the disaster in Japan. Can you imagine what the Japanese are going through just now? It was bad enough that they had a massive earthquake, but then the tsunami arrived, and now they have the radiation from the damaged power plant with which to contend. Just watch this-

It beggars belief. I think one of the most poignant pictures for me was people queuing up in a very orderly fashion, waiting for food. Adults were handed a very small package of rice (maybe about 3oz) for two adults. This is in a country that only the day before had the third largest economy! The Japanese people must be asking themselves, 'Are the government telling us the truth about the radiation?" Imagine what these people are going through? People who are used to the highest types of technology, reduced to nothing.

And to add to all this distressing news, our government has involved us in another war. Where and when will all this madness end? It doesn't bear thinking about!!

To go back to the power failure. The transformer had failed in the field behind our house and about thirty people were still affected, fours hours later. A launch had been chartered from Kirkwall, and the engineers came out to repair it. We went down to the hotel and had a lovely meal and then decided to go to the bingo! We had a great evening, won some money and came home to find the power had just been turned on - seven hours after the initial fault! I have appreciated electricity ever since.
Till next time.