Orkney is in the grip of one of the coldest winters we have experienced in recent years. Although it probably doesn’t seem much by Canadian or Scandinavian standards, it still presents problems. Even without guests, we have to heat the building to guard against frost damage and burst pipes. It also adds an extra challenge to all those routine outdoor maintenance tasks. The plus side is that the scenery is even more striking than usual. There are a number of paths that lead from the house into the surrounding countryside and as they run up the hill, they afford stunning views across the town. All of these photographs were taken during a short stroll from the house .