Whale Remains …….Moomins…..Sighthill Stone Circle....

by Bernie Bell - 09:26 on 21 November 2022

Whale Remains ……

A video of November’s monthly UHI Archaeology Institute research seminar - ‘From the Cairns to Cata Sand:  The history and archaeology of North Atlantic cetaceans’  featuring Dr. Vicki Szabo from Western Carolina University, and Dr. Jen Harland of UHI Archaeology Institute.


Dr Szabo discusses her biomolecular work on whale remains and Dr Harland looks in details at the Cata Sand whalebone assemblage recovered from two pits in Sandy.

The talk concludes with an exploration of the value of whales in post-medieval Orkney and Shetland.



We discovered a ‘new’ Moomin book –  ‘The  Moomins and the Great Flood’.   It’s a precursor to ‘Comet in Moominland’ and was only translated and published in English  in 2012 – we knew nothing about it!


We’ve ordered a copy and I’m impatient to read it.  I now have a bit of a dilemma as I’m presently in the middle of re-reading the Moomin books from beginning to end and I should finish them before going back to the beginning of the whole tale by reading about the Moomins and the Great Flood.  Not a bad dilemma to have – which Moomin book to read next.

We got a Moomin Advent Calendar from Oxfam…. https://onlineshop.oxfam.org.uk/moomins-advent-calendar/product/HN504867 which we’re pleased with but  – the picture shows the Moomins and their friends playing in the snow. 

At the beginning of Winter the Moomins eat lots of pine-needles, then curl up and go to sleep while the snow covers Moomin Valley. They then wake up in the Spring and re-fill their tummies before having their next adventures.  A very appealing idea.

Moomins do many things, but they don’t play in the snow. 


Sighthill Stone Circle….

I’ve previously written of Sighthill Stone Circle……



So has Kenny Brophy….


Not forgetting the man himself…Duncan Lunan……


Here is a new view of the circle – seen from the sky……


This reminded me of something I wrote to a friend about ‘Sirens of Titan’ by Kurt Vonnegut….

“One last thing, and I'm not saying this seriously, I'm just telling you about it because I think it's an appealing idea. In Kurt Vonnegut's book 'The Sirens of Titan' the story is partly about a little machine from the planet Tralfamadore who's ship breaks down. He sends a message home asking for the part needed to fix his ship. And I quote........

"It was through this viewer that he got his first reply from Tralfamadore.  The reply was written on Earth in huge stones on a plain in what is now England.  The ruins of the reply still stand, and are known as Stonehenge.  The meaning of Stonehenge in Trlfamadorian, when viewed from above is: "Replacement part being rushed with all possible speed."

Kurt Vonnegut isn't being serious!  I just like the idea - Stonehenge being a message in Tralfamadorian - and not even an important message.  Are you aware of Kurt Vonnegut?  His books are mostly science fiction, but I like his understanding of, and compassion for, humanity, and how he uses his genre to write about that.  Though having said that it's just for fun -  how much turns up in archaeology that makes sense from above?  I have wondered what the sky makes of the spiral in our lawn!  Maybe I'm saying "Hello" to..............whoever!  Only joking, kind-of!”

And there’s ‘The ‘Brodgar Eye’ which is, frankly, a mystery – I think it looks like Maes Howe from above - but that’s just me…..


‘Oh, and it makes me wonder….’


The posh perfume ads. have started on the telly.……   https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/12/13/posh-perfume-makes-you-walk-funny/



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