Monday, May 20, 2024

The floating gin palace


The heather now past its best but the lupins in the courtyard rockery coming into full bloom. They have self seeded so what was a scattering of lupins in 2023 is a veritable jungle of them in 2024. This is the sort of easy gardening I approve of. 

Last night we sat out late with a bottle of Pouilly Fuisse and watched a large 'gin palace' of a cruise liner sail north across the bay. This is the fourth of these enormous things we've seen this year. The boats next stop is Kirkwall where the more adventurous will get off to see the Ring of Brodgar and Maes Howe. I'm guessing a large proportion will stay on board.

The stream of twitchers coming to see the Shrikes has slowed down . After Saturdays flood of visitors Sunday saw at most twenty or so bird watchers wander past. By village standards this is still an avalanche of incomers.

Monday morning in town is quiet. If you wanted to film a Georgian era docudrama this would be the time and place to do it.

A few tourists breakfasting al fresco on the shopping street. The umbrellas are already up. During Covid many of the restaurants were allowed to expand their outside seating areas onto the adjacent parking bays. They are still there. Angus rather likes this continental dining atmosphere but many of the shop keepers decry the loss of parking and the decline in sales.

In the supermarket car park a minibus with French Vauculuse number plates. By the time we've done our shopping  the minibus has been joined by three more together with a fourth that seems to be full of mountain bikes. Seems this is a company that arranges upmarket cycling and walking tours. The guests spent last night in the luxury of the  Old Course Hotel. The tour guides are up at first light buying Marks and Spencers sandwiches and punnets of fresh strawberries for todays ride north to Carnoustie.

Formal graduation wear makes a seasonal showing in the kilt makers by the coffee shop. This is a very busy time of year for them.


WFT Nobby said...

Any cruise passenger who stays on the ship in Kirkwall, rejecting the opportunity to visit to Orkney's magnificent archaeological sites, is making a big mistake.
Cheers, Gail.
PS Carrying a punnet of strawberries on a bicycle ride is not advised unless you want a mushy mess for lunch...

Travel said...

Not all who cruise, drink heavily, at $15 a pop I was very restrained.

Coppa's girl said...

I wonder if many graduates buying traditional outfits wear them again?
The street scene does look extremely continental, but the chairs look somewhat rickety. Perhaps designed for a limited sitting time - half an hour for a chat and coffee!

Lizzie said...

It must be pleasant to have things quiet down in town and especially pleasant to be able to sit in the courtyard amongst lupins with a bottle of wine.

Lisa in France said...

I have been enjoyed your window photos - kind of the St. Andrews version of the bakery window in France? I also found the famous people map interesting. Looking at my home state, I never realized that Jack Nicholson and John Travolta were both born in New Jersey - New Jersey doesn't lay claim to them like we do Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen. We're going to see Springsteen in Marseille on Friday. I last saw him a long time ago in Passaic, New Jersey - if you'd told me the next time would be here (and now) I would have laughed.

Jake of Florida said...

I can't believe the best they can do for Florida is Ariana Grande. Oh well, a glass of Pouilly Fuisse, my favorite favorite, will set all to rights. Salud!

Anonymous said...

I’m sitting outside at the airport in Maui. This cheeky little sparrow type fellow tried to steal the sandwich out of my mouth! I guess it’s just not seagulls!