Sardinian orchid and sooty occupants.

Taken some years ago on a walking holiday in Sardinia. Sunshine almost all the way and loads of wild flowers like this deserved something more than an enthusiastic amateur to take its picture and try and identify it, but there you go. Now is a good time to think of sunshine and flowers methinks.

I’m a fan of walking holidays, we’ve been on a few and shared some great moments with complete strangers who happened to have booked the same week as us. One couple actually won their holiday and did not look like walkers might look, being of the ‘built for comfort not for speed’ build, but it did not put either of them off and they were never at the back of the group. That was usually me as I faffed about with my camera looking for abandoned vehicles, sheds or even the odd orchid. I was probably looking for the ‘close up of rare flower with sun behind you’ setting on my camera.

On that particular holiday, which was in Crete as I recall, the guide was an ex policeman from Yorkshire who briefed us each morning of the task in hand, as if he was the Sergeant from Hill Street Blues…”be careful out there”. He was as clueless as the rest of us at times about exactly where we should be walking, but blagged it expertly, so that no-one really noticed. Though he did discover that the male ‘comfort walker’ was a sufferer from a touch of vertigo on a slightly steeper route when it was really too late to do much about it. Nothing untoward came of it, but it must have been a bit distressing for both. At the end of the holiday he and his wife had become converts to the walking cause and planned future walking holidays, but on slightly flatter routes.

We also met a delightful couple from Glasgow, he talked a great deal in a thick Glasgow accent. I’m not sure about the rest of the group but I only really understood about a third of what he was saying at any one time. Despite that, very good to listen to.

I recall also meeting an ex fireman from Liverpool on a holiday to Orkney who told us how he rescued a parrot from a burning house in the City. After rescuing the elderly female occupier. He was told: “Peter’s still in there!” She wanted him to go in and rescue him. Thinking it was a person he set off back through the smoke and flames to rescue “Peter”. “Where will I find him Missis?” he asked her as he donned his breathing gear. ” He’s in is cage in the front room”. Thinking this might be a strange Liverpool way of hanging on to ones husband, he set off to find him, coming out a few minutes later with the cage and the sooty bird.

It would be good to think the parrot came out shouting ” Yer Fired!” but sadly the birds goose was cooked.

Such are the things one talks about on a walking holiday.I’d recommend it.

Anyone who knows what sort of orchid this is?
Shed on Orkney
One of the drawings I did after the trip to Orkney
Taken from this, on a dampish day! Who hangs washing out on a day like this if they are not an optimist? Or perhaps that’s what we are looking at: opti mist

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