Orkney: Skaill House and Our House

Remember, remember — fireworks tonight. Up in the northern isles they may just go with the Aurora Borealis

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Skaill House where the folks who discovered Skara Brae lived.

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A harsh but beautiful location on the bay.

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Even in the off season, there’s a beauty in the formal(ish) garden.

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The high-backed chair to guard from those pernicious drafts.

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Most of the stuff in this house was the fancy frou-frou I’m not particularly fond of, but they did have Capt Cook’s china in the cabinet of the formal dining room.

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A library! Now that’s more like it.

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A Norse calendar stick with runes.

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What’s a library without a hidden compartment?

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…and a fancy window?

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Ah, the explorer’s room.

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The bishop’s bed when he lived here in the 16th century; there’s a small reproduction of St Magnus’ Cathedral in the room which I forgot to take a picture of.

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Not *that* John Peel. I think.

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The laird of the house received the order of St Magnus from King Olaf himself.

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Here’s his formal wear.

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The cattle seem to thrive in the blustery conditions.

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Our lodgings with the Harray Potter, where Amy was apprenticing, were a bit simpler but more comfortable. Nice pottery, too!

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Like Austen heroines, we were diligent in our correspondence.

I am eager to go back to Orkney. It’s quite a striking place. The people who choose to live there are extraordinary. In the meantime, I’m NaNo-ing and getting ready to head south for the Weird Conference on Wednesday, where I’ll talk about Weird Noir. The days are just packed.

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