I have set this week aside to be a tourist. Being a tourist is rather wonderful, it involves enjoying what is regardless of weather. I have now reached the conclusion that good weather means either no rain or no wind. Thus, no matter that rain might persist the day long, the weather has been good as long as it does not come with wind. Conversely no matter how much of a howling gale is blowing, if it comes without rain, the weather is undoubtably good. And days without wind or rain? Hmmmm……

There are other sorts of weather, days when the rain is so heavy it’s hard to stand, days when the rain blows horizontally and days where the wind blows the clouds almost out of the sky thus giving alternating rain and sun. Rainbows dont seem to mind what sort of day it is, they come anyway.

I think perhaps though, that I may have left the land of rainbows for I do not recall seeing one since I left Shapinsay, perhaps they are largely an island occurrence?

Several times I have been aware of a bodily response to the ancient history that surrounds me. Walking out from Skara Brae visitor centre having just read ‘these people looked very much like us’, I pass time marks of significance and feel a deepening sense of awe permeate through my body and shiver. I struggle to understand whether the teaching of my childhood was very bad, whether I was a lousy learner or whether knowledge has developed at a much faster rate than is possible to imagine.

The evening is still and without moon, the hull of Juniata in Inganess Bay lays some distance out, a black shadow in the dark, the tide is high. Fluorescent bands and illuminated balloons shine all around me. It is time. Chattering and laughing a dozen witches stumble our way down to swim the wreck for Halloween.

I hate it when my thoughts have not yet been processed. I have had extraordinary day yet all I can say is I’ve been a tourist and I went to the beach.

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