Thirty Days Wild, thirty posts that started in June and are still limping along! I’ll get there in the end… something that is grounded in our wild world. This year posts are from our travels around the north coast of Scotland on the North Coast 500 route and a visit to Orkney. Stand by, for lots of sky, sea, wildlife, history, Spud the dog and random musings.
A visit to St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, sadly if was only a brief visit, we managed to slip in for a quick look around, just as a children’s concert was closing (there was much fiddle playing, but more of that in a moment) and preparations for a wedding were beginning , mind you I’d rather see a building that is very much part of the community than one preserved for tourist like me.
There are some wonderful tomb stones, its true to say I find them fascinating, on many levels, and Orkney has many that are note worthy (there’s probably another post to be had, Mr Uphilldowndale will tell you I spent a lot of time mooching around grave yards on our trip). These stones I loved because they, leave the viewer in no doubt, we are all just passing through, momento mori, ‘remember you must die’ an hour glass, a spade, a coffin, a skeleton, cross bones and skull have you got the message? No use spelling it out, if the viewer can’t read, and not many would have been able to circa 1600, so lets be visually bold.
Here, there is something about the hand, with the pointing finger, that made me smile, there is a touch of the Monty Python about it, what looks like a sleeve, is actually a clasp holding the stone vertical.
The external fabric of the cathedral itself has taken a hammering from the elements,
Momento mori, even if you are a lump of stone
After we returned home, I read of a battered fiddle, bought at a car boot fair, for £20,
It turned out that the fiddle had been made in 1919 by Thomas Sutherland from Flotta, and that the wood had come from HMS Vanguard.
More than 800 people died when the battleship sank in Scapa Flow in July 1917 after a series of internal explosions.
Do have a listen to the restored fiddle, being played in St Magnus cathedral, it will give you goose bumps.