I have stayed on Orkney for this months colourboration on the theme of stones, given that we saw so many, and if you click on this picture I think you may get a slightly larger one to see more clearly...
Working clockwise from top left...
The Neolithic equivalent of a Bank Holiday weekend trip to Ikea, and the dresser built with probably the odd nut and bolt missing, doubtless buried in the sand....and Mr Neolithic saying to Mrs Neolithic 'Do you really have to buy this stuff...what was wrong with the old one.' This part of the furnishing of a Skara Brae household.
Plenty of Celtic carving, and inspiration for quilts and lino cuts galore in my photo album.
A tiny shot of The Old Man of Hoy (better picture here) but truly symbolic as we both approached and departed the islands.
When you get close up to those stones on the Ring of Brodgar you can see aeons-worth of Kilroy Was Here markings engraved on them, everyone it seems needed to leave their mark here down the ages. We very respectfully touched and stroked, but no gouging of 'dovegreyreader was here' took place.
Many of the memorial stones in St Magnus Cathedral which bore this ancient, runic-like script.
The swirls and whorls on the beachside cliffs were a little thing of beauty to stop and stare at on our beachcombing expeditions.
We went to the Kirkwall churchyard where it all ended for these Norwegian wartime casualties, but where it all began for a fourteen-year old Tinker in 1940 who was summoned to play Last Post at the big military funeral held for these men...and then burst into tears when he got a few notes in. You can read the full story in his little memoir Bugle Boy and of his return journey to Orkney sixty years later to finally finish what he had started, though this time not on a bugle but whistled.
Runes are it in Orkney, very much the logo of the island's giftware, and those carved on the side of this stone some of the earliest discovered and now in Kirkwall Museum.
And talking of runes and slightly to do with stones, the Tinker bought me a really special necklace while we were there. A piece of Ola Gorie jewellery. Everything by Ola Gorie is beautiful and I have a few pieces bought here in Tavistock years ago. Given free range I was hard pushed to choose but in the end settled for the Ingibiorg necklet, the design a derivation of the runic script engraved on the walls of Maeshowe, the burial tomb through which the sun shines on the shortest day. 'Ingibiorg is the most beautiful of all women' wrote the lonely Viking as he took shelter from a terrible snowstorm in 1153, so exactly 800 years before I was born.
I love it.
Oh yes and one more final stone. A little sketch that Bookhound did on one of our beachcombing expeditions, picking up a piece of slate and using a piece of tide-smoothed glass as a pencil...
Now I wonder what Ellie has been looking at on Wherevertheroadgoes... and I happen to know it is Ellie's birthday today... 'the big roundieth scary half a century one' so here's wishing her a very happy day, been there Ellie, it's not so bad :-)