“Awesome” is a word which is much over used. I use it sparingly and do not apply it to an Arsenal goal, a warm summer day or a book I have just read. But I have no reservation in stating the 3,000 BC dwellings at Skara Brae fall into that description. Breathtaking too!
The guides at Skara Brae, Brough of Birsay, and Maeshow give glowing references to life on the island some three thousand years before the birth of Christ. Now that is awesome. But inevitably there has to be some degree of supposition in answering many questions. They do this with one clear statement. “Or so we believe.”
We had visited Scara Brae as a group and marvelled at the dwellings beside the sea, near fertile lands amid inland lochs. The residents of Scara Brae most definitely had a good life for the times. I turned to a visitor from the far south.
“They even invented the game of golf here!” The guide raised her eyebrows.
“You see they had fish from the sea and the lochs, they grew cereal and would have had sheep, and it was a good life as you say. But I can not imagine one Scara Braveheart did not find a round pebble and a stick and moved it along the grassy bank. And if it disappeared down a rabbit hole, then he must have surely invented Golf?”
“It’s possible”, said the guide “but I am not sure what the people of St Andrews would make of that."
“Well, that’s my case anyway, or so I believe!”
The English lady turned towards me. “Well I think they would eventually move south, to London, like Scots have been doing ever since."
“I doubt that”, I said. “They could not rely on the trains at Thurso.”
She sniggered. “Don’t be silly, there were no trains then!”
“Ah but you see the Romans had not arrived in Britain and there was no London either!”