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An extra pair of hands

Time has flown by in the first week that Elizabeth, our volunteer and lodger, has been here. We have been busy in the sunshine rebuilding a wall which creates a funnel into a pund near Bridesness.

But it hasn’t been all work a no play! Making the most of the glorious weather we have been swimming in the sea, climbing in the geos and toasting sausages on sticks over a bonfire on the beach. In addition to learning to build the dyke Elizabeth has been helping make fresh pasta, build a coop for the chickens and untangling sheep (2 rams whose horns had become locked together).

A nice introduction for Elizabeth to our island community was Sid’s (socially distant) Birthday gathering. I leapt at the opportunity to make one of my Grandmother’s strawberry shortcakes, which were devoured at every family gathering in the summer and whose left-overs were squabbled over as to who would take the biggest bit home with them. Thankfully it was a warm day, probably the warmest I have experienced here, with the help of Anne and Sid’s lovely sheltered garden. The garden has lots of passages to hidden areas, surrounded by high fuschia bushes, featuring a bridge over a pond and honeysuckle growing up trellis. It felt like I’d wandered down the rabbit hole to another less windy island, full of lush vegetation and colours.

It’s been so nice being able to show off the delights of North Ronaldsay to someone new and to have an extra pair of hands on the dyke has been wonderful! I’ve been lucky that Elizabeth seems to be a natural when it comes to dyke building and we put up that stretch of 14m at the pund in a week. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 2 weeks with Elizabeth bring. I’ve being telling her that the weather is always like this in the hope she stays longer ;)

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