A GOOD THING.….The JRS At The Peedie Cubby!.......Henry VIII Powers?.....Brochin’ On…..

by Bernie Bell - 07:38 on 28 September 2022


I was called, and went for my anti-Covid booster jab yesterday morning, remembering how trepidatious I was about the first one…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/02/14/smallbear-gets-her-covid-jab/ , and the side-effects I’ve previously had after each one which meant that I wasn’t much use for a while.

This time the Clinic was in the Old Balfour Hospital building and, again, it was very well organized.

We went through the automatic doors into the vestibule where there was a table with face masks, hand sanitizer and a cheery welcome from a Highland Coo!

We were directed to the Reception desk to check in, and then to the seating area in which seating - and people - were carefully distanced and an arrangement had been set up which flowed smoothly so that those going for their vaccinations were directed to the treatment room in the right order – no possibility for confusion.

In the treatment room - a quick check that I was who I was supposed to be!  - and some questions about my general state of health.  All very friendly and re-assuring.

I’d previously had the Pfizer vaccine – this time I was to have the Moderna/Spikevax which should help to protect me against two Covid variants.  I’d not been happy about going for my jab again – going indoors among unknown people - and hospitals still bring back too many bad memories - but all the way through everyone made it as friendly and straight-forward as possible and the whole process was wonderfully well organized and ‘marshalled’.

On the way home we saw three rainbows….and…… so far I appear to be having hardly any side-effects from the different vaccine.  A slightly sore arm – a bit headachy - that’s about it – I don’t feel any more wonky than I usually do.  All very good!

Please folks, keep on getting vaccinated and getting your Boosters – it really is worth it for all our sakes, and it looks like the vaccines are being more finely tuned to have less side-effects.

A BIG  ‘Thank you’ to all involved in the Clinics - not just in Orkney - but nationwide and worldwide. They are the ones who should be getting bonuses, not the Bankers!



We received an email from the John Rae Society…. https://www.johnraesociety.com/  telling us of their approaching ‘stint’ at the Peedie Cubby charity shop in Kirkwall.

We’ve got a bag of bits & pieces to donate and also, as chance would have it, we’ve been having a clear-out of our bookshelves and have lots of books bagged and boxed up to send to a charity shop – cue the JRS at the Peedie Cubby!

The selection of books is varied and I thought that a couple of them might be of special interest and tempt folk to come along in November to see what’s there.

The first is a timely find of a paperback edition of Tennyson’s poems published in 1941 with an ad. on the back cover for Pears soap ‘By Appointment to HM the King’…..

Well, there’s a thing – that was referring to the last King of England.

The other tempting volume is also of Tennyson’s poetry, but dated 1905 and with a lovely cover and end-papers….


Why don’t we keep it?  No point as neither of us likes to read Tennyson’s poems, but I should imagine that someone will be pleased to own this attractive little volume of them.

Here are the details of JRS at the Peedie Cubby – you might like to donate something too?

“Fundraising in the Peedie Cubby: October 31st to November 12th

We have been given the opportunity to use this resource for fundraising. The Peedie Cubby, like the Blue Door, also in Kirkwall, is a charity shop which raises funds for local organisations.

We will be appealing locally for donations of clothes, books, china etc and possibly help in staffing it, as we have to supply someone to help during opening hours. If you have anything to donate, please contact chair@johnraesociety.com or phone 07776 157790”


Henry VIII Powers?....

I received this as part of a Newsletter from ‘Wild Justice’….. https://wildjustice.org.uk/

You have probably seen much comment in the mainstream and social media about the new Westminster government's position on environmental protection and new farming schemes in England. Yesterday's statement on the DEFRA website (click here) may already represent a bit of a U-turn in the face of such outcry from the likes of RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts and National Trust, or maybe it's a clarification of DEFRA's previous clumsy words or maybe it's just a bit of flannel to buy some time. Wild Justice will be watching carefully.

What's it all about? There are two parts, farming and environmental protection, and this takes us back to Brexit - remember Brexit? Now that the UK is no longer a member of the European Union we can do things differently.  In the run up to Brexit we were always told that there would be no reduction in environmental protection and that we might even do things more efficiently and protect wildlife better under our own steam. The area where this was easiest to envisage was in how taxpayers' money persuades farmers to give wildlife a better chance in the countryside, and in England DEFRA has been working, slowly, on new schemes. These, it seems, went out the window last week and farmers in England may well be left with a poorer set of environmental schemes than ever before. Remember, 70% of our land area is farmland and farmland wildlife has been clobbered over recent decades. This is a big deal for wildlife but it is a policy change, and different governments can have different policies (as you'll have seen with the massive changes in economic policy of the last couple of weeks).

When it comes to the legal protection that species and habitats are given then it's not so easy to change things quickly. However, some aspects of the regulations that the UK helped to craft within the EU are easier to change than others and, since Brexit, the Westminster government has taken so-called Henry VIII powers (see here for an explanation) to enable rapid change without parliament being consulted. This could apply worryingly to the Habitats Directive protections, although less so to those derived from the Birds Directive. And these are changes that will occur in England but not, unless their governments act, in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Wild Justice will remain vigilant on the subject of legal protection for the environment and will be watching closely as events unfold. We'll be prepared, with your support, to take further legal challenges on behalf of wildlife.”

And we all know what happened when Henry VIII used those particular powers! 

With this Government – constant vigilance is needed!


Here’s something else that they shouldn’t be doing…..

Right now, Liz Truss and the UK Government are planning to approve an enormous new oil field: Rosebank. 

The impacts of Rosebank would be catastrophic. If it goes ahead, Rosebank’s yearly CO2 emissions would be more than those of the 28 lowest-income countries in the world combined. 

The Government should be helping us tackle the cost-of-living crisis and our climate impact by kickstarting a fair transition to renewables, and mass-insulating UK homes. Not greenlighting oil fields that will just help fossil fuel CEOs make billions in profit.

The only way the Government will reject Rosebank is if they see that there’s mass public opposition to new North Sea oil and gas. This is why your support is crucial, Bernadette. SIGN NOW and show Liz Truss that we won’t let the Rosebank oil field go ahead! 

Yes, I'll sign

We’re already seeing the impacts of the climate crisis happening all across the world. In the UK this summer, we experienced record heat waves, the Met Office’s first ever red warning for extreme heat and wildfires across London. We know that this is due to burning fossil fuels, and we know that in order to avoid even worse impacts, we need to stop extracting all oil and gas as soon as possible. 

The UK Government could be investing money into renewables for everyone, support for fossil fuel workers to transition to other jobs, and insulation and energy-saving measures to help us through the cost-of-living crisis. Instead they’re opting for tax cuts for the rich, and approving oil fields that will just further line the pockets of fossil fuel corporations. This has to stop.

Add your name now: Demand that Liz Truss rejects Rosebank and ALL new North Sea oil and gas!


Matilda and the 350 UK team” 



Brochin’ On…..

I received the following as part of  a Newsletter from the Caithness Broch Project….. https://www.thebrochproject.co.uk/ and I thought….fair enough, it’s nearly Broctober, time to order a calendar……….

“This month we've released some fun 'broch 'n' roll'-themed t-shirts for all you Iron Age Metalheads - including broch-themed versions of classic Albums and designs, from Pink Floyd to Nirvana.

You can check out all the designs on our BrochShop.

Remember, it's not just brochs - we've got loads of Caithness STUFF too - like our Caithness Skies calendar. 13 beautiful Caithness skies to enjoy! 

Just visit our BrochShop and get yourself some Caithness goodies.


”We made a wee BBC Reels video recently, with Chris Griffiths, discussing the enigmatic brochs of Scotland, and our Big Broch Build!

You can see the results here - we think it's a pretty amazing video!”


'Tis The Season To Be Brochy


‘Tis the season to be Brochy

Falalalala -  lalalala

Tho’ those places can be rocky

Falalalala -  lalalala

Broch of Gurness and Dun Carloway

Falalalala -  lalalala

Some are near and some are faraway

Falalalala -  lalalala

Some are balanced on a cliff

Falalalala -  lalalala

Can’t help wondering –  Oh! - what if?

Falalalala -  lalalala

Broch of Burrougston, and of Borwick

Falalalala -  lalalala

With their walls so very thick

Falalalala -  lalalala

Some of them, you could almost live in

Falalalala -  lalalala

Mousa Broch and Clikkimin

Falalalala -  lalalala

Carn Liath, near Dunrobbin’

Falalalala -  lalalala

What that Laird did, sets me sobbin’

Falalalala -  lalalala

Ending on an Orkney note

Falalalala -  lalalala

I know which broch gets my vote

Falalalala -  lalalala -laaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

The Cairns – South Ronaldsay - Orkney


Here’s one I made earlier….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/08/23/talking-wood/



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