Papay buildings, nature & lore

Here are some of the buildings of Papay.

An abandoned croft. There are lots of these on the Island – hard to live from the land any more. Families hold onto them some converted into holiday homes, but many abandoned still with plenty of furniture, and ghosts.

A kelp house now used for repairing boats, and used during the Gyro Nights festival as a movie theatre.

A grain store that has been converted into a community hall.

A farmhouse with a driftwood roof.

Most of these will be used in the Gyro Nights art festival in February. With the Islanders defying the elements as they parade from one venue to the other in search of the elusive island troll woman that is the Gyro.

We have been continuing our beach trips collecting mussels and other chewy things.

We found out what the peedie (small) red jellies were – beadlet anemones which when dry adopt a round form, but once under water they unfurl tentacles for catching passing food.

The locals here call them Selkie Spats, which means the spit of seals. There are many selkie around the island, we’ve seen a few bobbing in the sea. Folklore has it that the selkie come to shore transformed into beautiful men and women to seduce the locals.

The wildlife most at home on windswept Papay seems to be Lichen and there are several impressive varieties encrusting anything that doesn’t move – particularly the gravestones of St. Boniface kirk.


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