Throughout September there will be a Gardemeles Climate Change Report based on the Diary of Patrick Fea of Stove and his weather observations from 250 years ago. 1768 was also the year that James Cook departed to circumnavigate the world. Around this time, visiting cards were introduced, potatoes became the most popular foodstuff in Europe,Mozart's first opera was performed and the Industrial revolution was dawning.
Patrick Fea, farmer at Stove, was married to Babie, who he describes as one of the best of women. They had 5 daughters; Elizabeth, Helena, Ann, Jacobina & Marion. They were a grand and hospitable family, fond of feasting and revelry.
Professor Sandy Fenton, the head of European Ethnological Research Centre in Edinburgh, who oversaw the publication of Patrick Fea's diaries says...
Of all the diaries I have seen, and I've looked at dozens from all parts of Europe,
Patrick Fea's is absolutely outstanding. It's special because it's one of the earliest
diaries we have from Europe and because it gives such a detailed picture of life
in a remote island long before agricultural improvements came to Orkney. You can
look at estate counts and factor's ledgers, but you don't get the feeling of what life
was really like from cold documents-
yet Fea's diary gives you that sense of reality very clearly.
( Scotsman 1987 )