Embarrassing myself and the summer solstice

I’m finding the face mask I bought almost impossible to use. I wore it to Marks & Spencer this morning and I find it so hard to breathe that I have to take huge gasps of air with my mouth open. Today I inadvertantly inhaled some of my own spit which triggered a fit of coughing in the middle of the supermarket. This is not a good look during a pandemic. I must have been feeling a bit self-conscious after this because at one point I turned around and nearly walked into someone. A split second after saying sorry I realised I had apologised to a lifesize cardboard cutout. #notahuman

It’s the summer solstice today which is great news. This means the days will start to get shorter. This is usually the only day of the year people are allowed to visit Stonehenge but not this year thanks to coronavirus. We are lucky to have lots of stone circles in Scotland. We visited a particularly good one in July 2015 on Orkney called the Ring of Brodgar. The stones are 5000 years old and positioned in a circle on an elevated spot.



The kids were so little back then.


I’d like to go back to Orkney one day. It’s home to Skara Brae, a famous Neolithic village built about 4,500 years ago. The homes are in remarkable condition and still contain furniture. Here’s a photo I took from our trip in 2015. You can see the fire pit in the middle where early humans likely did their cooking. There’s some kind of shelving unit against the wall and I imagine the compartments on the sides were their beds.


The stonework is so good. I can’t imagine many homes built today still standing in 4,500  years. Happy summer solstice to you!





10 responses to “Embarrassing myself and the summer solstice”

  1. Denise Avatar

    Daniel looks quite similar now but Elizabeth looks very different! It’ll be different soon, I find some of our students unrecognisable from Year 7 to Year 11.
    Do you think you will ever wear your mask cycling? I am pleased that is not compulsory. The difficulty breathing makes me feel weird and I have to tell myself to get used to feeling of the heat of my breath every time I put a mask on. It would seriously restrict breathing during exercise.

    1. Rachel M Avatar

      I don’t think I’ll be able to wear my mask cycling which is unfortunate because I partly wanted it to filter out harmful pollution. I guess there’s a possibilty I’ll get used to it. I’m not going to give up on it yet. I won’t use it when I’m running though.

  2. Forest Thoughts Avatar

    That looks gorgeous! Enjoy the new season, many blessings!

    1. Rachel M Avatar

      It is an amazing place.

  3. Over Soil Avatar

    I lived not far from them stones, passed by to get from A to B and took them for granted and now they are hundreds of miles away.

    1. Rachel M Avatar

      We often take things for granted until we no longer have them. I hope you can go back again one day for a visit. It’s definitely worth it.

      1. Over Soil Avatar

        1999 we visited all the tourist sites of Orkney, the places I had taken for granted. In Wales I’ve many times stood in the circle of Gors Fawr, but these days I am back to taking these places for granted and not so much my own space, my little forest garden especially and the nature within it.

  4. Jamie Adams Avatar

    Lovely pictures of the stones. I’ve just finished reading ‘Outlander’ by Diana Gabaldon, which features Scottish stone circles in the plot.

    1. Rachel M Avatar

      We watched some of the TV series. It was good but it got a bit violent so we abandoned it. Great premise for a story though.

  5. Aberdeen beach – Rachel Avatar

    […] I went to Marks & Spencer and I took a photograph of the cardboard cutout I had a conversation with last week so you can see how realistic it is. Fortunately I didn’t make a fool of myself this time and […]

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