Saturday, 30 March 2013

Easter Daffodils

The sun is shining on Stromness this Easter Saturday morning, and on our way into the library we noticed, among the bright oranges and purples of the crocuses, the first golden daffodils unfolding to greet the spring.

For, despite the cold, spring is here (don't forget to put your clocks forward tonight as we enter British Summer Time) though for many places in the south tomorrow's Easter egg rolling will be complicated by lying snow.

In view of the mixture of weather and season it seemed appropriate to share the first stanza of George Mackay Brown's poem 'Daffodil Time'

1 Daffodils

Ho, Mistress Daffodil, said Ikey (tinker)
Where have you been all winter?
There was snow in the ditches last night
And here you are.
Did you light your lamp in that blizzard?

When Ikey came back
Next day, with his pack, from windy Njalsay
The yellow hosts
Were cheering and dancing all the way to the inn.

Both Stromness and Kirkwall  libraries will be closed on Monday 1st April for the Easter Monday public holiday. We wish all our readers a day full of warm spring sunshine and golden daffodils.



Friday, 22 March 2013

Orkney Book Festival 2013

We've just received copies of the programme for the Orkney Book Festival 2013 and what an exciting line-up of events and authors to look forward to!

Organised by The George Mackay Brown Fellowship, the four day festival runs from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th April and includes a Book Fair in the Orkney Library and Archive; the GMB Memorial Lecture by Dr Sarah Neely on Margaret Tait; and a whole host of events featuring local and visiting writers including Bryce Wilson, Struan Sinclair, Brian Murray, John Flett Brown, Ian Macpherson, Magi Gibson, Alison Miller, and Gerda Stevenson.

Full details of events are listed in the Orkney Book Festival programme, copies of which are available in both Stromness and Kirkwall libraries, as well as on the George Mackay Brown Fellowship website.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Knitty Knit - for now!

Monday saw the last Yap and Yarn session of the season in Stromness Library -  the final session in Kirkwall library will take place next Monday (25th March). We marked the event with home baked biscuits, and we finally remembered to to take some photos of some of the projects members of the group have been working on over the weeks.

Yap and Yarn will start again in October, but in the meantime there is no need for woolly withdrawal symptoms, as you can still join our Facebook Group and pop in for a virtual yap and yarn (biscuits unfortunately will be virtual too - think of them as diet versions).

We would love to see your photos and hear how your projects are progressing, there will always be someone who can offer advice, tips or encouragement; who will understand your dilemmas over yarn or pattern choices;  and who will share your sense of triumph when you finally master that tricky new technique or complete that seemingly-never-ending project.

And for all the non-yarn-obsessed, you can enjoy a break from wool related posts - at least until the autumn ;-)

Thursday, 7 March 2013

World Book Day

Happy World Book Day to all our readers!

This year is the 16th World Book Day, a worldwide celebration of books, authors, readers and reading. The World Book Day website says
The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.
To achieve this, schools who have registered will get special World Book Day book tokens for each child. Children can then exchange their token at their local bookseller for one of eight specially produced World Book Day books or use it to get £1 off a book of their choice.

If you are too old to qualify for a token never fear, you can get free books every day (except Sundays) from your lovely local library (we only ask that you bring them back again).

Lots of children will be dressing up as their favourite book character, and again you need not feel left out. We will be delighted to welcome our customers today in a literary outfit of their choosing -  and we promise to share photographic evidence should anyone oblige!


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Stromness Treasure

Gunnie Moberg. (© Alistair Peebles, 1996)

We are delighted to share the news that the Orkney Library and Archive has secured the funding necessary to purchase the archive of Gunnie Moberg (1941-2007) - photographer, painter, designer and much loved Stromnessian.

The Heritage Lottery Fund award will allow the purchase, cataloguing, conservation and digitization of the archive, which includes Gunnie's works, notebooks, photographic negatives and transparencies, reference prints, exhibition prints and manuscripts. 

Alison Miller has written a lovely piece on her Reader in Residence blog, giving more details about the  archive project, and sharing some wonderful images from one of Gunnie's collaborations with George Mackay Brown - a book of photos and poems entitled Stone.

What a wonderful treasure for future generations to have access to Gunnie's archive, and how fitting that this precious resource will be staying in the islands, which were both inspiration and home to this unique talent.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Yarning with Friends

Gosh this year is flying by! March already and Monday night is Yap and Yarn in Stromness again. 

We're looking forward to seeing how folk's projects have progressed since our last meeting, and, as a special treat, as well as our resident yarn guru, Kaja from Pin it, Knit it, Hook it! , we will be welcoming along local knitwear designer and wool shop owner Elaine Bentley from The Quernstone

Elaine will be popping along  between 5.15 and 5.45pm to share some of her vast knitting experience and talk about all things yarn related - she will also be bringing along a range of patterns, yarns and pins for the group to have a look at. So come along to be informed, inspired and possibly tempted to try something new for your next project!

The group meets between 5pm and 7pm and everyone is very welcome to come along whatever their age or ability.