I got back from a trip to Orkney for work today.
Although it was fairly muggy while I was up there, the flight up on Tuesday was perhaps one of the most stunning flights I have ever taken, at least within Scotland. It was late afternoon, with the sun just beginning to set, and there was not a single cloud in the sky all the way from Inverness to Kirkwall.
At take off, we could see east along the golden sands of Nairn and beyond, and to the south-west an incredible spectacle of the sun reflecting on the whole length – yes, all thirty-two cloudless miles – of Loch Ness.
I took in the gorgeous mountain panoramas out west as the red sky of the sunset began to emerge over the peaks; and of the contrast of the neat order of Cromarty and the industrial sprawl of Nigg, rich and silky blue water between them. The journey up along Sutherland showed off the stunning coastline and bleak, empty interior, and with a quick glance back over my shoulder, I could see the snow-capped Cairngorms against the clear blue sky.
As we crossed Caithness and the Pentland Firth, we took a detour I’ve never experienced before – a loop round the west of Orkney to take in the awesome cliffs of Hoy, and the famous Old Man of Hoy. The cliffs were almost as high as we were, the water round Orkney as blue as a Caribbean holiday brochure, giant red tankers and vessels standing out against the blue water and emerging dusk. We finished up with great views of Kirkwall as we came into land.
And no camera to capture it all.
Yes, my wee Sony DSC W50 is no more. It was not the greatest camera in the world in terms of its capabilities, but its pocket size more than compensated.
It developed a bit of a problem with the lens at the weekend, and after checking a few things on the web I tried to fix it but failed; and it’s now irredeemably broken.
I feel sad in a way – that camera and me have been through a lot together, and it’s served me well, giving me some brilliant photos. Infinitely more mediocre and crap ones, admittedly, but I’ve been very proud of some of the shots I have squeezed out of something whose diameter is barely more than that of a credit card.
Naturally, I’ll get another camera very soon, and will have to look into various options – including just getting the same one again.
But for now, I just feel a little bit at a loose end…