The Difference Time Makes

It is just a fraction over seven years since I last came here. With an Ordnance Survey map it is easy enough to find.  There is a small parking area, space enough for the trickle of people who arrive to explore. This is a ‘pre-history’ site, which,  you reach by an easy sloped climb; you can choose between two or three different approaches, although one approach would certainly depend on whether there’s  a bull in one of the fields and/or cows with young calves.  Dads can jealously guard their ladies and in any case, bovine mums and dads can be very protective of their broods. So,definitely, no waving red rags to a bull.


Prehistory site Information 2009

The pictures I took back in 2009 were with an early bridge camera that had an unsophisticated limited zoom lens.  Even so, it is so interesting to compare the yesterday, (2009) and today, (2016) photos and see the very marked  modern man-made changes in that period sat on top of, and next to, the signs of time immemorial.


Prehistory site Information 2016

There are five cairns at this site, none uncovered.  The outlines of three are straightforward enough to see. The roof of the highest cairn (height as in top of the hill) appears to have caved in, creating a rim on which, weather permitting, you can rest.  On a clear day you can also gaze upon the panorama of two counties and their mountains, plus an island twenty-one miles across the water, as you will see.

This a serene view from the top of the hill in 2009 and the picture below it, (allowing for differences of time, position, general weather conditions and the light) is a similar scene ….. and

p1010073-baillie-farm-house-wb p1000444-section-baillie-wind-farm-wb….this is how it has changed…and changed…


…..A panorama – the same house and woods totally surrounded by windmills.

This photo also shows the sweep down from the ‘high cairn’ to a lower sited cairn, (the rounded mound on which there’s another modern day intrepid explorer).

This was a ‘tentative’ coastline wind farm development, in 2009.  There are more wind turbines now. The two wind farms are not far from one another.



I did not want to focus on the wind farm, (the one above) in the picture below. I wanted to show the view of Orkney  across the water. It is  some distance away, you may need to peer in, but, it is there to be seen, to the right.


The yellow flowering bushes in these pictures are Gorse bushes.


Morven and Scaraben are the mountains in the county of Caithness. This looks like Morven peaking up and over the horizon in 2009.



This is The County of Sutherland, also in 2009, pre-turbine days, from the same vantage point.  If I am not much mistaken, you can see a couple of the Bens (mountains), amongst the clouds, Ben Loyal and Ben Hope.



At the cairn, I was at the same level as the top of these wind turbines, (excluding the upper windmill arms). It was quite a thought.  The miniature buildings, (left) give some sense of scale.

You can see the concave cairn I have been talking about and a typical horn sloping along from what would have been the dome. This is the one from where you get all the great views. You can see a difference in the relatively richer looking grass on and around the cairn, in comparison to the rough moorland tufts on the ascent to it. The new heather blossom is bonny just now.



Taken from  the cairn, and some distance away,  the land meets the sea. Stubble is being burnt off  the field . There are hay bales in one of the other fields. Across the Firth (sea) is the coastline of the county of  Sutherland and signs of village habitation.





There it was writ large on the very local weather chart……my window of opportunity to get bed washing, (sheets etc) out the line to dry – assuming there was a bit of drying wind – from 08:47 hrs (approx) till about 18:00 hrs. The remaining towels are currently en route, via the washing machine, to the rotary drying line in the garden. After that – maybe, I might just get enough time to put some general wash out to benefit from the drying wind. And after that, maybe, I will be treated to a visit to the caffé in town!



“Hello, good…er….” mumbling and rustling of papers heard in the background; “…”.

“Yes it’s still good morning, otherwise I’m running seriously late”, I say down the phone.
“Ha, ha, of course it is, good morning….how can I help?”…..
“Just checking if you are serving bar lunches in the run up to Christmas”.
….”Serving till 2pm”. I hoped his clock wasn’t on Antipodean time.

This bit of repartee reminded me of a notice I saw recently, giving opening hours for a fish and chips take away.

1pm to 7pm


“What were you trying to print?” asked the real-time texting I.T. technician. I realised that my original quest for help and details about how I had got to that desperation point had not been read. This was after I had waited ten minutes for a technician to ‘show up’, had been through switch on and off checks, printer management trials and had printed a test page. All these things I’d done, and more, before I had sought help. ”

There’s no communication problem to the machine, then”
“I think there is” and I explained again what my technical problem was.

Oh dear, is the written word so difficult to take on board, after all, real time chat suggests that both parties can write/type to be understood. Or do I hope for too much?

“I’ll send you an email with other options specific to your difficulty” – coded language for, ‘this is too difficult to deal with you’re on your own’.

Of course, I can call again if nothing works. There are instructions for re-spooling; then eliminating possible conflicts like you do for allergies.

What fun (Not!)


It’s not every day that you see sheep playing almost dead. This small flock did. Was it because their field abutted onto the town cemetery, I frivolously wondered. Hubby thought that was a bit ‘sheepish’.

We studied the prone white bodies and as a red van drew up at the far end of the field, one prominently snouted ewe unexpectedly stood up. The occupants of the vehicle got out, one, hauling a very large bag. The standing ewe sniffed the air, turned and moved towards the people, who were now moving away from the van. This was the signal for all, but two animals, to scamper very quickly to the far end, where the big sack-bag was being opened and the contents spread across the ground and also, into a trough. Sheep nuts……. such a treat, if you’re a member of the faternity of sheep! :yes:

The two cautious animals, a ewe and her very large lamb, were going nowhere very fast. The lamb was taking its cues from mum. Slow, slow, quick,quick, slow; a rythm foxtrot worthy of a ballroom dance. 😳

The nuts were disappearing fast. The woman with the feed bag, moved towards the ewe and lamb, but all the while, staying on the edge of the feeding throng. This prompted the stragglers to go to her, where, they then inched themselves in to the line of munching sheep.


Now was it worth staying up later last night, to tune into Question Time on TV BBC1?

My answer to my own question is a resounding NO!

Salim Yakoub was the only panel member with a sense of proportion, intelligence and substance. kelvin Mackenzie – The Sun columnist – did his usual right of centre humorous act. There was the odd flash of something from him, I am still trying to assess what. The panel further comprised two shallow panel members representing other political wings in the political spectrum. Really and truly, certain political parties should not let out people to represent them in major public fora before they are able to demonstrate some level of adequacy.

I switched off the T.V. about half way through (that was too long) and went to bed.


As expected, I have come back to a big pile of mail to add to the bits that went into the ‘can wait’ tray before I went away. I refuse to open anything tonight that looks vaguely businesslike. Sad to say, the majority of the envelopes were not the kind for ‘file 13’. 😦 Anything that could be sent to the trash, was. The start of the week is soon enough to sort out the mail pile and begin doing what has to be done.

I also refuse to check the phone messages, the light on the message machine can continue to flash till tomorrow.

Washing is being done as priority and my least favourite job,ironing,will be one of the chores on the ‘to-do’ list. Ironing though enables me to empty my mind – it is after all a mindless activity – and it will make a refreshing change from some of the time-consuming home office requirements that seems relentless at present.

Last but not least, I am being exhorted to switch to beta testing the new editor on blog. As switching/testing the editor is a point of no return, it can wait as well.


Much as I look forward to having a rest tonight, arriving at another new dawn tomorrow, with time set aside for a yap with a friend over coffee, (who I haven’t had a substantial natter with since before Christmas), I am not looking forward to my mail piling higher with additions from the new post to come. It’s like scaling a never ending mountain. Even scoring out things on my ‘to do’ list doesn’t seem to deliver the usual satisfaction. More things get added.

Maybe, I’ll be in luck and there won’t be any mail tomorrow, (then pigs might fly!) Maybe, I’ll be lucky enough to be out when phone calls for other people attempt to interrupt my progress with my own domestic catch up programme.

I’ll be off now, as I have a hospital phone call to make. Earlier this evening, admission was definite, but there were no beds in two of the possible departments the patient could be directed to. This is in one of the largest London Hospitals I have seen, it’s a small city in its own right. There is even a reception desk in one of the wings with a specialist clerk who can direct you, the visitor, to any of the nooks and crannies you need to find.

Tomorrow’s another day – cheers!


It’s been a trying afternoon. I do not feel kindly disposed to anyone precisely at this moment, it takes too much bl**dy effort. Just thought I would say that before I put on the easiest nosh to cook that I can think of, that takes the least effort and can be called a meal (of sorts). Huh.



‘Clocks Spring Forward’ in spring. My brain did not. The clock by my bedside is a radio controlled one so I had not noticed there had been a change and had not heard there was an imminent alteration to the time. I thought I had got a really good rest and lie-in on Sunday morning, only to find out about midday, when we were visiting mum-in-law with a mum’s day pressie, that the clocks had changed for springtime.

I have been in flu mode so ears and grey matter have not been concentrating on anything other than combatting the pest and getting through to the other side. I am miffed though, that I lost an hour.

Up here in the far north of Scotland where I live, spring does not visit us till about six weeks after it has reached the balmy south (that latter point, refers to both sides of the border). Our daffodils are still in glorious bloom – if they don’t get blown to pieces with the variable winds we get – when yours down south have already bowed out but, by then you have other super blooms bursting out to take their place.

Our climate and daylight/night-time patterns are very different to those many miles south of here. There are times in the year when we have no real daylight to speak of and time changes do not favour us at all, it makes for safety concerns, especially for kids walking to and from school. But in the mid year months (note I do not use the seasonal descriptor)we are almost the land of the white nights and I have read a credit card outside at 11pm quite easily. That was a long time ago, I do not know if I could still do that with the need to permanently use specs. Again, time changes do not mean an awful lot for us far northern mortals other than, it is a disruptor of routines and sleep.

My personal view is that I would be happy with a regional time zone; other countries have them and accept the difference. We can’t all be congregated in the same zones and it is time this fact was accepted with good grace and appropriate arrangements for suitable variations put in place.