A Tale For Our Times…. News From Kilmartin Museum ….To Eat Or Not to Eat?

by Bernie Bell - 08:37 on 01 September 2022

A Tale For Our Times

Our neighbour was spending the day on one of the smaller isles and was walking along when he saw what could be most charitably described as an ‘Isles Car’ approaching him.  It drove along slowly for a bit……sputtered a bit…drove along a bit again……sputtered a bit….and so on…and so on.  Then ground to a halt. A woman got out and being a good bloke our neighbour went to see if he could help.

They were chatting, he turned to see what his dog was getting up to and when he turned back she’d disappeared!  Being a philosophical sort he thought – ‘Well, there you go’ - and was admiring the view when the woman rolled out from under her car, carried on rolling for a bit, then stood up.  She explained that the exhaust was broken, in fact had dropped off. 

This is a small island - no garage, no AA man/person to come and rescue the marooned motorist.

Next thing, she exclaimed ‘I know what I’ll do’ and started ferreting about in the inside of her car – emerging with a Covid face mask – as all folk with any sense have spare masks in their cars. 

She then rolled under the car again and re-emerged triumphally saying that she’d strapped the exhaust back on with the Covid mask.  And away she drove.

Me and neighbour-man suspect that the exhaust will have to hold until the Covid mask gives way, then she’ll strap it on again with something else – like when folk use a pair of tights to mend a fan-belt. And the car will just keep going until – it doesn’t any more. 

I’ve never really understood the basic principle of ‘Isles Cars’  - if a vehicle isn’t safe on the Orkney Mainland, why is it safe on one of the outer Isles?  It’s how it is - but I’ve never understood it.

This tale reminded me of when we gave a farming friend of ours a booklet we found called ’101 Things To Do With Bailing Twine’.  Any suggestions for ’101 Things To Do With A Covid Mask’?


News From Kilmartin Museum ….

“We'll be celebrating the ancient arts and crafts of prehistoric Argyll between 9th-11th September with the following exciting FREE events:

Flint Knapping Workshop

Join renowned flintknapper and experimental archaeologist Dr James Dilley for a morning or afternoon workshop on Friday 9th September to discover the oldest craft in the world! Book your place here.

Prehistoric Banquet & Ceilidh
Relive every Asterix fan’s wildest dream - and take part in a rambunctious feast at a prehistoric banquet! On the evening of Friday 9th September, at Craignish Village Hall, living history and experiential archaeology specialist Caroline Nicolay of Pario Gallico will serve up several prehistory-themed dishes for over 60 guests - after a special ancient music performance with Simon and Maria of Ancient Music IrelandBook your place here.
Achnabreac Encampment

If you go down to the woods today… you’re in for a trip to the past!  On Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, Achnabreac Forest will lay host to an ancient encampment from 11.30am – 4pm, where visitors will be able to watch and converse with several prehistoric re-enactors – Bronze Age technologies with James and Emma of Ancient Craft; prehistoric cooking and recipes with Caroline Nicolay of Pario Gallico; blacksmithing with Thomas Timbrell of Big Benyon’s Blacksmithing; ancient Irish music demonstrations with Simon and Maria O’Dwyer of Ancient Music Ireland; ancient pottery techniques with Graham Taylor of Potted History; Neolithic weaving and fabrics with Sally Pointer, and leatherworking with Hamish Lamley of Pictavia Leather.  Book your place here.
Prehistoric Cookery Workshop

Join Caroline Nicolay of Pario Gallico on Monday 12th September, from 1pm - 2.30pm for a cooking workshop steeped in history! This activity is an introduction for participants of all ages to understand what people in the Iron Age ate, how they cooked, how modern food is different (or not!), and how archaeologists can answer these questions 2,500 years later. Book your place here.

These events are all free of charge, but have limited spaces so booking is essential.  Follow the links to book each event individually or visit our website for more information.
Generously funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with thanks to National Lottery players.

Evening talks

Our schedule of popular and informative online monthly evening talks continues to reach people all over the world.  Coming up in September we have:

Thursday 15th September 7pm
The Medieval burial monuments and sculpture of Kilmartin with Dr. David Caldwell (Former Curator with National Museums Scotland). 
To book a FREE place and for the latest news on upcoming talks, visit our website.  You can also watch recordings on our Youtube channel.”

Here’s something of our Kilmartin Experience…… https://theorkneynews.scot/?s=Bernie+%26+Mike%27s+road+Trip


To eat – or not to eat?

Yesterday evening I turned on the television to be presented with an ad. for some kind of gourmet cat food – in fact that might be what it’s called.

The description of the cat food went something along the lines of ….’Choice cuts of meat enriched by an exquisitely rich gravy’ etc etc.  A very smug looking Persian cat was filling its face with this delicacy.  And I thought….. ‘How dare they?  People are finding it hard to afford to buy food and to pay for the energy to cook it with, and the advertisers are shoving this in their faces.’

I remember stories of people buying tinned dog food to eat, as it was cheaper than a tin of mince – that might still be happening, but they won’t be buying the stuff that this fat cat was eating.



And here’s one I made earlier….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/04/03/orkney-walk-birsay-bay-tother-way/




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