On An Orkney Beach…..Help Pakistan – Please…….

by Bernie Bell - 07:59 on 02 September 2022

On An Orkney Beach...

On Mike’s after-work walk to the nearby Bay of Hinderayre – person or persons un-known have been building a tower/pillar on the shore…

How do the topmost stones stay put?

The next storm will probably take it but meanwhile - it’s there – a little bit of human endeavour and imagination.

Years ago I took Ben-The-Dog on his usual walk to the Bay and found stone ‘sculptures’ on the beach.  Mike and I later met the couple who were ‘raising the stones’.  They’re from Northumberland and were staying at a holiday cottage on the Bay.  The man has a deep love of stone and raises these pieces whenever he gets the chance.  They were very much ephemeral pieces.  Each day he made new ones - and each day the incoming tide knocked them over.  They aren’t fixed in any way - he just finds the perfect point of balance and, as he said himself “gravity is the glue”.  I like that as, yes indeed, gravity is the glue, without which we’d all fly off into space! 

The man said that he holds the stone, relaxes, and the stone just leaves his hands and finds it’s balance.  I told him that this reminded me of something the Harray Potter (aka Andrew Appleby)  https://orkneypottery.co.uk/ said to me some years ago.  It was about when he seeks inspiration to produce styles of pots from other times.  He said something like - that he will relax, focus, let the inspiration work through his arms and hands, and the clay almost forms itself.  The man’s approach to balancing the stones reminded me of that.  Going with the flow.

Very Andy Goldsworthy…..


We thought these pieces were great and also that it was good that he was happy to take so much trouble to produce something which was a delight to come upon on a walk, yet would then go with the next tide.  Ephemeral sculptures.

And there are the structures which regularly appear at Skaill Bay….  https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/08/10/someones-been-busy-at-skaill-bay/

Skaill Bay changes all the time. Most often it’s a bouldery upper beach with a sweep of sand along the bay. Sometimes the sand has been washed away leaving great stretches of rock with boulders balanced on them. Sometimes the sand has big pools which children love to play in.
Things arrive and things are taken - by the sea.
Always changing - always a great place to be.


I received this email…..

A third of Pakistan is under water and over 33 million people have been displaced. It's hard to imagine but that's roughly the same as half the UK population being homeless. 

I'm about to suggest ways we can help but first I think you should you hear from Anam Rathor, a youth climate activist with Climate Action Pakistan, one of our network partners:

"As I write this, my country is drowning. In the past two weeks, Pakistan experienced cataclysmic floods triggered by unprecedented monsoon and glacial melting, killing over a thousand people and many more injured, destroying hundreds of thousands of homes and millions of acres of crops, and causing billions of dollars in damage.

A third of my country is under water right now – bridges, roads, schools, and other critical infrastructure sinks, and people run to evacuate their homes. At least 33 million people are displaced – that’s 1 in every 7 Pakistani. These are 33 million dreams broken, 33 million hopes shattered, and 33 million futures destroyed as a result of the havoc wreaked upon their lands by no fault of their own.

Pakistan accounts for just 0.67% of global carbon emissions, yet it has long ranked among the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world for the past decade. The country faces warming rates considerably above the global average and more frequent and intense extreme climate events.

As Pakistan mourns the destruction and devastation caused by the recent extreme climatic events, the industrialized and post-industrialized countries of the global north responsible for these catastrophes need to be held accountable. For us to survive and for the Pakistani people to live a dignified life, the climate crisis needs more attention than it is getting right now, especially from rich countries responsible for 90% of the world’s GHG emissions. These high emitting countries need to take responsibility, but they also need to be held accountable for the death and destruction that directly result from their action. The blood of the dead is on their hands–the global north, the fossil fuel billionaires.

The same high emitter countries of the global north colonized our land for hundreds of years, killing our ancestors and stealing our resources. Now they have colonised our atmosphere in their pursuit of wealth and development at the expense of our people’s lives and environment." 

This tragedy will slip away from the headlines soon but we can all stand in solidarity with the people of Pakistan by holding the fossil fuel companies accountable for contributing to climate disasters like this. And we can echo the calls for rich countries to give more financial aid to help countries like Pakistan cope with the climate impacts they didn’t create. 

Here's three things you can do right now:

  1. Read and share the full version of Anam's blog on the 350 website 
  2. Support the ongoing relief effort in Pakistan by making a donation to the Pak Mission Society
  3. Watch and share this video featuring Anam on Instagram or on Twitter

In solidarity, 

Lisa, Matilda, Soraya, Kate and everyone at 350 Europe.”

Any words from me would be superfluous.


Here’s one Mike made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2022/02/14/enfolded/



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