Orkney life

Last notes on Orkney:


In the restroom, the sign says that they endeavour to satisfy, but that if they have disappointed the user of the facilities in any fashion, please to notify the desk. The word “disappoint” has such a poignant touch, one simply knows that the cleaner would be personally crushed to find that her or his services have let a lady down.


The airport is one of two places (that I could find) on Orkney where wireless connections can be had. (This from the helpful lady at the archives section of the library.) So I got there early, so to use the connection, and was offered half an hour at one pounds fifty. I thought I might use an hour, so I paid my three pounds for an hour’s use, receiving in exchange a slip of paper on which she wrote the password. Only later did it occur to me that there was no reason to pay the full three pounds, that no one would know if I paid for the minimum and used it for hours.Â


And finally, the first door one sees on entering the airport has a sign declaring it to be Baggage Reconciliation. Several times during the wait, passengers were requested to go to Baggage Reconciliation, for what purpose, I am not certain. Do so many pieces of luggage go astray of their own will, only to return eventually, grudging but abashed, to their abandoned owners? Or is it some mysterious island function, serving to reconcile Orknians to a burdensome past?


Such questions will have to wait for my next visit to Orkney, I fear, because the plane has come to remove me south to Edinburgh.

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  1. Roxanne on June 20, 2008 at 9:24 am

    I want to say thank you for your dedication. Trips are wonderful, but also exhausting. Constant packing and unpacking. Eating out at new places. Sleeping in strange beds with unfamiliar pillows. Hammering out all of the details such a complicated trip entails. And you take the time to get to the airport early–and pay–so that you can post to your blog. I am in awe of your stamina and willpower and discipline.

    Thank you for taking the time and trouble to keep us informed of your travels.


  2. corgimom on June 20, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    I need some baggage reconciliation…do I have to go all the way to Orkney for it??

    And I have a new malady: locale envy.

    Safe journeys!

  3. Strawberry Curls on June 21, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    You trip has been such a joy to follow, as always your descriptions entrance and entice. Never would I have ever thought a trip to the Orkney’s would have appeal, but given your description, I’m almost tempted. Thank you for sharing your adventures with all of us, even if you tantalize with possible spoilers but leave us hanging. It really is all part of the fun.


  4. Pat Floyd on June 23, 2008 at 10:49 am

    I love all your blogs, but the ones about Orkney are especially delightful. Saturday a group that needed to laugh had great fun with baggage reconcilation. Not only does baggage need to be reconciled to owners, but owners to baggage. One person said, “You go to a meeting in Omaha and your baggage goes to San Francisco, doing who knows what: visiting Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower. It finally shows up and you’ve just been to meetings. You’ll be thoroughly pissed. My sister, who is going to Orkney in August, had a different take: She frequently needs reconcilation with what’s in her baggage. Did she bring the right things? She needs to be reconciled to the fact that what is there is what you get.

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