‘Navigating The Mysteries’…..Twenty Years At The Ness of Brodgar….’Take A Hike’…….Catching the wave......Faray Windfarm – on-going…

by Bernie Bell - 10:35 on 04 January 2023

Navigating the Mysteries

by Martin Shaw

As we walk our questions into a troubled future, storyteller and mythologist Martin Shaw invites us to subvert today’s voices of certainty and do the hard work of opening to mystery.”



Twenty Years At The Ness of Brodgar….

Hard to believe, but it’s been twenty years since work began in earnest on the archaeology dig at the Ness of Brodgar and to mark this, the invaluable Sigurd Towrie has posted the following on the Ness of Brodgar website……….


And, as usual, my tuppence-worth of time passing at the Ness excavation – or should it be a tanners-worth?




The dig was closed for the 2020 season due to Covid restrictions, then open on a more limited scale in 2021…


And this year…… http://www.spanglefish.com/berniesblog/blog.asp?blogid=15841

What might they discover next?  To help to keep the dig going – if you can, please donate….  https://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk/donate/


’Take A Hike’

Yesterday evening while Mike made tea ( see yesterday’s blog ), I looked for something to watch on the telly.  On BBC2 I saw a listing for ‘Take a Hike’, described as being someone called Paul taking a group of people for a hike which included Malham Cove , Yorkshire.  I have good memories of Malham – a day out with friends, lunch and a drink at the pub in the village, then a walk to the Cove – playing tandem roly-poly down a grassy slope with Pauline.  Tandem roly-poly?  Me & Pauline wrapped round each other, then rolled down the slope together, squealing.  Good Times.

So, I pressed the button and started to watch.  Oh dear – it turned a walk in the country into some kind of game show. Paul was to be ‘rated’ on ‘views’ and ‘hosting ability’ – as though he was responsible for the views!  OK, he planned the route, but Nature had spent a few million years producing the geology, then the greenery, the rivers, and the myriad critters living there.

To me, this is part of today’s attitude to the natural world  - that it’s there of our delectation and ‘use’ – not just because it’s there, being what it is.

I could imagine someone coming up with this idea for a programme – something along the lines of ‘Bake Off’, ‘Sewing Bee’ and ‘Throw Down’ or whatever the pottery one is called.  But….people bake cakes, sew a dress together, throw a pot.  LIFE, The Universe, Nature or whatever you want to call It, has formed the world around us and it’s not there to be ‘rated’ on a facile television programme.

Why not just go for a walk and….be.

Compare this with ‘Iain Robertson’s Rambles’ where he wanders along, sometimes with a friend, sometimes a bit grumpily, but being real – appreciating the world around him.  Paul Rose is another good companion to have on a telly ‘walk’.

There are 15 of these ‘hikes’ lined up  - and I won’t be watching any of them – they present/promote an un-natural approach to the natural world.

We’d recorded ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’, so I watched that instead.  A good choice.  Like Madonna said “You can dance, if you want to.”


Catching the wave...

Mike has been creative with his camera...

Today, I was trying to catch a wave as it turned, over the rocks at Howan Lickan, near Mull Head.  I just love the glassy colour and transparency of the water:


Faray – on-going…

In reply to my letter to various organizations about the possibility of a wind farm on Faray….  http://www.spanglefish.com/berniesblog/blog.asp?blogid=16075

I received the following, very helpful,  response from the RSPB….


“Dear Bernie

Many thanks for your email and sorry to hear of your concerns. I am passing your email to our conservation officer who covers Orkney and they will reply to you separately.

In the meantime we do have a range of useful documents on the RSPB website to help guide concerned individuals through the Scottish planning system. The guidance can help hold decision makers to account and ensure impacts on nature from developments and businesses are avoided or minimised. Our planning pack here: Protect Wildlife in Scotland | Local Planning Pack - The RSPB

I hope this information helps and in the meantime thank you for contacting us and for your interest in the RSPB.


Colin Tate


Homeworking | contact me via email | Tues & Thursday only: usual hours between 8 am and 5.15 pm


Here’s one I made earlier…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/10/25/let-life-live/


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