Coastal Erosion….. Fire Bucket Installation?.... Naming….Fibonacci....Independence For Scotland….

by Bernie Bell - 08:20 on 23 November 2022

Coastal Erosion….

The bane of the Orkney coastline.

When part of the cliff falls…moving the path ever nearer to the fence…..

This ‘bite’ from the cliff is by the path to Marwick Head from Marwick Bay….  https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/04/20/orkney-walks-marwick-bay-left-or-right/


Fire Bucket Installation?....

Through the summer the fire bucket has sat there next to the stove, filled with wood, ready for when we need to light the first fire of the Winter.

I started to add wine bottle corks, and wooden lolly sticks from ice-cream lollies. There’s a bit of Sage that I snipped, then didn’t use, and it went shrivelled. Waste not want not – it’s all combustible. 

Here it is - our Fire Bucket Installation - which will go the way of many Installations...

Or maybe I should submit it for the Pier Arts Centre Christmas Exhibition this year?  https://www.pierartscentre.com/current-upcoming-exhibition/20/11/2021/annualopenexhibition-rgbff  - tongue firmly in cheek!

Years ago, I saw ‘The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’, featuring Arthur himself singing ‘Fire’, with a crown of flames on his head.  Mad person.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en1uwIzI3SE

There is joy in diversity.



Dr. Ragnhild Ljosland of the UHI Archaeology Institute has been working on a project around tales of how places and people acquired their names – tales which take us travelling through time. I read her post in the UHI Archaeology Institute blog…. https://archaeologyorkney.com/2022/11/22/vpsp/and thought of the place which Amy Liptrot wrote about  in ‘Frontiers’ (the on-line magazine of the Orkney International Science Festival) -  https://frontiersmagazine.org/riches-from-the-sea/ and that  I mention here… https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/04/20/orkney-walks-marwick-bay-left-or-right/ .  Though it’s already called Sand Geo, we now refer to it as Stinky Whale Geo – more interesting - and unique to that place.

That’s often how place names start.  Our friends live by Taylor’s Mistake Bay in New Zealand, thought to have been named because a Captain Taylor mistook it for somewhere else, though the  whole tale gives different interpretations…. https://my.christchurchcitylibraries.com/taylors-mistake/

The stories, and names, evolve.

There’s a house down the road from us which was called North Aittit – it’s now called ‘The Cottage’ because the folk who bought it wanted to call it that.  A new house was built just round the corner from The Cottage and that’s now known as North Aittit. 

The site of the original North Aittit/The Cottage is on a broch….. https://canmore.org.uk/site/2425/north-aittit.  I wonder what it was called back then? 

Note that the spelling is slightly different in the Canmore entry – that’s often the case, as spelling didn’t settle down until relatively recently – and is still evolving.  We have an Ordnance Survey map of Orkney dated 1959/60  which has some different spellings to those used today.

Down by the Bay, the house now called The Ayre was called South Aittit and is referred to by both names in ‘Rendall in the 1930’s‘ by Jim Nicolson.   Chris Nicholson informs me that…. “South Aittit’s name hasn’t been changed; it’s still known as South Aittit. However, it has the distinction of having two names, as it’s been called The Ayre locally for generations, probably because of its location on the edge of Hinderayre Bay”.

An absolute labyrinth of naming – Good Luck Raggie!


It’s Fibonacci Day!...


I have a liking for spirals… https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/04/30/beltane-spiralslife-death-re-birth-on-going/ and so….I have a liking for Fibonacci.


Independence For Scotland….

There are a lot of words being bandied about re. today’s decision by the British Supreme Court as to whether Scotland can hold an Independence Referendum or not.  Much of this is confusing.   To me – it’s simple enough – how is it that four nations are supposed to be part of a Union, but only one of those nations tells the others what they can and can’t do?  Scotland isn’t telling England that it can or can’t have a referendum about becoming Independent.  The ‘conquered nations’ argument doesn’t work because that’s not how Scotland came to be under English rule – that came about by merger, not conquest.  If you don’t believe me, look it up in the history books.

That my tuppence worth.  I await the result of the Court ruling with …the word ‘interest’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. 

England is sinking – Scotland can rise.


Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/06/15/heading-to-hoxa-head/

As chance would have it – I’d set this up when a new piece by Jo Thomson turned up on the Gallery’s Twitter page – suits the weather we’re having too!…..




Comment from Dawn Pisturino at 20:27 on 23 November 2022.
I never thought of burning them! Good way to re-use them! Thanks!
Comment from Bernie Bell at 07:41 on 24 November 2022.
The Fire Bucket Installation was burnt on Tuesday when I lit the stove for the first time this winter.
Damien Hurst eat your heart out…

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