Jim and Mrs Jim standing on the wall of our pier alongside Stout Cortez our concrete teddy bear.
One of the reasons that we started to holiday in Orkney in the first place was because of our love of bird watching and walking. We are not "twitchers", that is to say we do not career around the country looking for some rare bird that has been blown off course by an ill wind, nor do we keep a "tick-list" (like the train-spotters) of the birds we have seen. We just both enjoy walking and watching all kinds of birds in their natural environment going about their daily business of survival. The Orkney Islands are very rich in bird life and there are many diverse species to watch.
Since we arrived in Orkney, Jenny has been busy with her cameras. She has amassed a large collection of photographs, some of which are on display in the Photo Gallery on the site. I hope that the selection of photographs will give those who view the site some flavour of the character of the Orkney Islands. Hopefully it might even inspire some onlookers to come and visit the islands sometime.
We are additionally kept busy looking out for the 450 Teddy Bears who currently share our house. We did not really intend for this to happen but it seems that they invite their relatives to stay and they don't seem to leave! We started with off with three in 1982 and things have snowballed since then. The "hug" has already taken over most of the house. Wherever we have travelled in the world, a bear has inevitably come home with us. Needless to say, some bears found themselves coming home to Orkney when we moved, including a whole group made on the island of Graemsay, led by Harald Bear-Legs. When we go out we are usually accompanied by one or more bears, the local hotels and restaurants have got used to our eccentricities!
We share our house with a Norwegian Forest Cat called Zisa whom we were very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to re-home by Mel and Neil Gardner of Kjaerligkatt Norwegian Forest Cats. Ziza is a female brown tortoiseshell. She came to us with her half sister Memla who was a black brown. Sadly Memla passed away in her sleep in January 2013. Zisa has two large cat trees to play in and exhibits a lot of catitude. She was quite shy when she first came to us, but now she is more bold and flies around the house at high velocity. I do wish however that Ziza would stop pinching my socks and then chewing the heels out of them. Both of our Forest Cats can be seen in their own own Gallery Page. We have left up the images of Memla in her memory. May she rest in peace.