From The Old Byre
This is going to be a regular feature centred around our move to another world - quite a distance from our present abode. There will be lots of pictures of the new place and the work we are doing on it, together with places around this wonderful area we now live in.
The story really starts some years ago, when Christine and I had been talking about retirement. Although it was still some years away, we felt that we would like the challenge of moving north to Scotland. We had visited most of that beautiful country on our many trips by motorcycle and liked the idea of settling in a place with a bit less hassle than North West England. We had seriously considered the Borders around Selkirk, Moffat and Melrose, but on a more recent trip there had failed to find anything which 'jumped out at us'. We also spent a while exploring Aberdeenshire, not far from where my Sister and Brother-in-law live, but again nothing really enticed us.
The idea had lain dormant for some time, but surfaced again when I did my fund-raising Land's End to John O'Groats trip by recumbent trike. Christine had accompanied me on the journey south to take the trike, but had not seen the route I had taken from Southport to the North. One day over lunch, we decided to retrace my route by car for a short holiday, Christine especially wanting to visit the isle of Arran, as I had done on the ride. When we finally reached John O'Groats, Chris noticed a sign indicating a day trip to Orkney - a place she had always wanted to visit. We left the car in the car park and went as foot passengers on our life-changing trip across the Pentland Firth. A coach picked us up from the ferry terminal in Burwick, to the south of the Orkney mainland. We were both absolutely bowled over by what we saw that day on the Island - the scenery was wonderful, with fantastic views around every corner and the people so very friendly. Needless to say, when we were dropped off in Kirkwall, by the very impressive St Magnus Cathedral, and after a snack in the Café opposite, we made a bee-line for the estate agents to see what property prices were like. We agreed almost instantly that this was to be the place we would settle, and decided then and there that future holidays would be taken on these islands. Our next trip was the following May and we had a few properties to view, but nothing serious came from it other than an even stronger determination to find something.
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