Saturday, 22 June 2013

Old stones on Orkney

Today with Mum and Emma we hired a car and visited a good proportion of the many neolithic
Emma and Mike at Brodgar
remains on the Mainland (main island of the Orkneys) and various other sites of interest. There are a remarkable number of neolithic structures, some of surprising sophistication and there was clearly a flourishing culture here 5,000 years ago. We found it thought provoking that their society was sufficiently well developed to enable these complex and durable structures to be designed and built.

What to do when a much loved old boat is no longer seaworthy? Here is a constructive idea that means you don't have to part with your pride and joy. We don't know if she was a gaffer, but clearly there are advantages in having a deep draught long keel boat for keeping you dry. This house reminded us of Beckett Rankine's proposal for preserving the clipper ship City of Adelaide by turning her upside down and converting her into a building; that proposal can be seen at

This stone is part of the famous stone ring of Brodgar. It had been damaged and split by being struck by lightening. Here is Tim, our own (visiting) Professor of civil engineering, testing the stability of the damaged structure in traditional fashion. 

Three of the six Ts
'You can't get to heaven in an old Ford car'  but we ran into this group of 6 ancient Model Ts and their enthusiastic owners. The youngest car was built in 1928, the owners mostly not too far behind. The cars were over from Scotland touring Orkney and seemed to be well cared for and in excellent condition.

After a couple of days on these lovely island we are  now hoping for northerly winds to keep us clear of the dreaded Pentland Firth.

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