Tuesday 28th September 2021,
Frontiers Magazine

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Orkney Spring 445

Scented summer days

TThis week the hay is already being baled. There has been no rain for almost five weeks, and the earth is full of cracks where the sun has dried it out. The grass is thin and poor instead of its [...]

December 3, 2020 Stories from the Islands
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Kill or cure

A late spring can bring feelings of malaise and tiredness. One of the tonics common to Orkney last century involved catching snails late at night, when they have a quiet feed, suspending them on a string in front of the [...]

June 30, 2019 Stories from the Islands, Summer Issue 2019
North Ronaldsay seals

Seal song

Every morning when I get up early and look out at the sea from the upstairs window, I see more than two hundred seals in the bay. They turn somersaults, lie on their backs in the water, flapping a lazy [...]

June 13, 2018 Stories from the Islands

Ball lightning

The Hessdalen phenomenon of hovering and flashing balls of light is fascinating, especially as there now seems to be far more serious worldwide research into what used to be widely regarded with scepticism, and connected to the realms of UFOs [...]

June 7, 2016 Stories from the Islands
west coast scotland

A Man of Many Gifts

The writings of T. Ratcliffe Barnett appear from time to time on our pages, through his atmospheric descriptions of travels through Scotland, visiting places like Cromarty, the birthplace of the geologist Hugh Miller. His own story is that of a [...]

March 9, 2015 People Past & Present

The luxury of simplicity

There were no additives in the food eaten in the island at the turn of the century. Many families had a pig or two, and there was fresh pork to roast, fry or boil, and bones to make into porky [...]

May 21, 2014 Stories from the Islands

A time to spin

We have had someone staying with us for a fortnight, who wanted to learn to spin, so the spinning wheels came into the kitchen again, along with the lazy kate, and the reel, and a sack of fleece, as well [...]

February 17, 2014 Stories from the Islands
Aurora Borealis in Orkney photograph taken by John Vetterlein

Merry dancers in the North Ronaldsay sky

The merry dancers were swaying across the sky last night, to their own esoteric music, pale diffuse streamers shot with shimmering shafts of brilliant green. Sometimes in frosty weather it is easy to imagine that we can hear their thin [...]

March 7, 2013 Stories from the Islands