We have a heatwave in Orkney. It's bloody lovely. Clear blue skies, hours and hours of warm, even hot, sunshine.
The real farmers are rushing around at all hours getting the hay/haylage/silage in. The pig "farmer" is keeping an eye on his "herd" of five, worrying about his cabbages, beans and carrots, weeding in between the tatties and wondering if it's too dry to be planting out leeks.
There has still been time for a little R and R, yesterday it was a trip over to the north beach with the lads and a swim - the first of the year. Sadly the water was flat so there was no chance of a surf.
This evening myself, the dogs and The Boy - who leaves tomorrow to take up a new job in Cornwall (I suspect he's trying to tell me something) - had a leisurely walk along the shore by Rapness cemetery, shoes off, toes in the warm sand, paddling in the water. . . all that stuff.
It has been idyllic, absolute confirmation that we did the right thing moving here. I really love this place.
Of course there's a down side, as I found this morning when I ran the bath. Our water comes from a well in the bottom field, brought up to the house by a pump which is controlled by a switch in the kitchen.
I lurched into the kitchen this morning, slurped a little coffee and flipped the switch. That should have been followed by about five minutes of gurgling and hoowooshing as the tank filled. I listened and there was nothing bar the sound of a gently snoring Spike. Not a gurgle nor a hoowoosh anywhere. The tank had run dry.
I dressed quickly and went to the bottom field where the pump was whirring happily. I called Pete the plumber who diagnosed a missing valve that meant the self-priming pump was no longer priming itself.
So it's fixable, but what isn't fixable is the alarming level in the well. We're down to the last couple of feet - at least a yard and a half lower than normal. I'm told the well has never run dry before, but also that this is the driest spring/summer Westray has known for many years.
As a result there's a bath ban in force, I'm growing a beard, the once-a-week smalls wash is now fortnightly and we're buying barrels industrial strength Lynx.
Glass of Evian anyone?