Natural Magic on the Orkney Islands: Part Four – final reflections

There is nothing like a holiday on the Scottish islands for that feeling of getting away from it all. Total rest and relaxation – highly recommended.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have really enjoyed the slower pace of the islands, the chance to be deep in nature, and the delights of exploring new-to-us places. It has also struck me, however, how many connections there are, often in unexpected places, with fellow humans past and present.

Orkney is famous for its ancient history. People from the Neolithic age speak to us through their legacy right across the island. This is the Ring of Brodgar:

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Natural Magic on the Orkney Islands: Part Two

When I was typing my first Orkney post a few days ago, the weather was unexpectedly Mediterranean-like: calm, warm and beautifully sunny.  Since then, the weather has remained beautiful (if you like rugged and spectacular weather, which we do!), and in some cases sunny. But the word ‘calm’ definitely has to be dropped.  We find ourselves in the tail end of a hurricane and so with typical British understatement, it’s been a bit blowy.

Not that you would know it from my photos.  These shots were taken at Yesnaby on the west coast of the Orkney Mainland, where the wind was so strong I could hardly stand up.  It looks almost tranquil, apart from those menacing black clouds! But aren’t the sea and wave colours gorgeous in the first image:

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Natural Magic on the Orkney Islands: Part One

The essence of Orkney’s magic is silence, loneliness and the deep marvellous rhythms of sea and land, darkness and light.” – George Mackay Brown

A few short weeks ago we were immersed in the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh’s summer festivals.  As I type now, we are 300 miles north, on the Mainland of the Orkney Isles – it could not be more different!

We arrived by ferry just over 24 hours ago and already it feels like we have been transported to the magical, distant place described by Orcadian poet George Mackay Brown.  This was the view from our holiday property early this morning (click on any image to enlarge):

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A whole world of watercolour at our fingertips

I have written before on this blog about the artistic marvels we can access these days via the internet. Since January this year, another site can be added to the rich abundance of treasures available to us.

The Watercolour World is a new site with an amazing aim: to make globally available in digital form as many watercolour paintings as possible. In many cases, watercolours are often too fragile to be exhibited. So TWW will be providing access to works that might otherwise never be seen. This short introductory film talks more about the capturing of these ‘windows on the world’.

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