/ Scotland2016

A busy Saturday

Busy, not us but Kirkwall. Take a small town with narrow streets serving a population of 9000 and then add 4500 tourist incomers from two cruise ships and suddenly the sleepy streets are a bit chocker.So no museums for us today then. But we do get to the Farmers' Market and buy some lamb for our next stew. The local craft fare is a little busy but we spot a fantastic hat knitting kit: undyed rare breed Ronaldsay wool, pattern, needles etc but not at that price!! A few doors further down a wool shop has the same wool, and the same or similar pattern at less than half the price, that's more like it! Liz is now knitting me a new hat, and has some different dyed Ronaldsay wool for gloves.Next, shopping for warmth. We've noted a flaw with the van. If it is parked with the side that has the fridge vent facing the incoming wind it is quite drafty which reduces the internal temperature significantly. Not normally a problem except for the last week ite so where the internal temperature is already low and the winds both strong and icy. There is a vent cover for cold temperatures but never having recourse to use it, it's at home in the loft. So a DIY solution is needed.Bet you didn't know Orkney has a Poundland but it's called Dealz and everything is £1.20. Obviously profit margins are so small that a price increase is needed for the extra cost of shipping out to the islands. Anyway they furnished the plastic we needed (in the form of a document wallet) and a local hardware store had sticky Velcro so we have all the ingredients we need.Now Liz needs no excuse to introduce herself to local Girlguiding but a Trefoil Guild afternoon tea fund raiser provided one anyway. For the princely sum of £2 we had cream tea with the tea in proper china cups and saucers and petit fours. If course there was a raffle, cake stall and tombola all designed to relieve us of our money but all in a good cause and we did come away with a bottle of wine.Back to the van to build a vent cover. Just a temporary one held in with insulation tape to prove the concept but it worked well.Dinner in a new town is always a challenge. The trick is to find somewhere that has something a little above pub fare but not tiny cordon bleu size portions at Gordon Bennet size prices. So we stumbled into the Ayers Hotel and asked to see the menu before deciding to stay. Good choice! Despite me fancying the pie we both had chicken stuffed with haggis in a whisky cream sauce. A good meal and such a good price we decided to splurge out on dessert. We'll probably eat here again!The reason for eating out was there was supposed to be a traditional music session on at The Reel. Getting there at 8:30 was a little early but very chatty bar staff kept us entertained for a good half hour. And the music was good, very good. There are lots of jokes about banjo players but when you encounter a very good one playing alongside a good fiddler, guitarist, flautist and piano player it can be a real joy to the ears. Sadly we have an early start tomorrow so had to drag ourselves away at 10:30. Free music doesn't get better, believe me