Thursday, 25 June 2009

OK, so you can go further North than Thurso...

I wrote some great posts whilst I was away. Unfortunately, as ever, they were all in my head whilst I drove several hundred miles at a time. Wish you could have heard them. They were witty, anecdotal, enraging and amusing, and that was just the titles.

I even wrote a couple of posts on my mini laptop but now I can't find my USB stick thing to move them to this computer so that was a waste of time.

To amuse myself on my journey I took photos through the windows of the car as I drove along, about one every hour. They are thrilling stuff and illustrate very clearly how this country is NOT overpopulated. As does the fact that I drove for an hour at about 60mph and didn't pass a single house.... I did pass deer, sheep and one cyclist who I think was lost.

I worked my way up the country and on my day off I decided I hadn't gone far enough North and caught the ferry to Orkney. It's an odd place. Much more cultivated than the mainland and covered in the ugliest houses you have ever seen. More surprising is that there was NOBODY there. Not tourists, and not locals either. The place was abandoned. Maybe they had all gone for Sunday lunch on another island? Or they were in a Midsummer Day Druid ritual somewhere? Who knows?

Things that are worth seeing there? Well, they aren't beautiful but the Churchill Barriers are an amazing feat. Much more fascinating is the Neolithic Village. This is three thousand years old and is a village that was underground. Everything was made of stone; the beds, the furniture, the rugs, the works. There was a reason they called it the Stone Age. They really loved that stuff. Having said that they feasted on lobster and scallops and built underground villages. If you happen to be dropping by Orkney in your travels it is definitely worth seeing.

So is the Italian Chapel. Built by prisoners of war out of Nissan Huts it is tiny and look innocuous enough from the outside, but inside it is beautifully painted to look as though it is made of stone. All the metalwork was done with salvaged metal off shipwrecks and it is strangely moving.

Monday saw me back at work on the North East coast of Scotland and at half three the hound and I piled back into the car and drove the nine hours home. The next day the book club was convening at the new hovel so I went foraging for food. Unfortunately, as I stepped into Somerfield, there was a powercut. A harassed manager shouted - you have five minutes to do your shopping before the batteries run out in the tills. Supermarket sweep in the dark. Where is Dale Winton when you need him. I'm sure he glows in the dark.

Shopping in the dark on a time limit though. Not so easy. Why oh why didn't I take a torch shopping with me? I normally do of course. I must have been jet lagged from my drive. So I ended up with pork (which I thought was chicken), parmesan (which I already had at home), a bag of salad with cabbage in (eerugh), a punnet of raspberries that I thought were blueberries, a pack of lard instead of butter and a bag of pre buttered new potatoes. We feasted like kings, as would anyone if lard were involved....

I am now repacking to leave again tomorrow, this time on holiday. I have had the normal vile time before going away where work escalates to improbable levels of franticness not experienced the rest of the year, and you wonder why you are going away. I have thrown anything clean into my suitcase and the loyal hound is sleeping on it in a rage that I am packing again.

I'd love to come back and have some time at home but NO. Instead I have to go to France for work the week I get back, and then fly to Edinburgh for a day as soon as I return. All the good work my holiday has not yet done is already undone.

Also, why is it that when you go on holiday, the weather at home is always idyllic? Cerulean skies, hot sun with a cool breeze and starry nights.

I will stop wibbling now (wibbling is what happens when I start typing a blog entry at midnight) and leave you with some photos of my road trip.

There was a lot of motorways - like this:

I saw this on a client's bird table:

Then there was several HOURS of this:

Followed by nearly three hours of this (an extra hour was thanks to a FORTY MILE DIVERSION due to a lorry slewing itself across the A9.

Welcome to my life. Glamorous isn't it.


The Singlutionary said...

Its GLORIOUS. And grueling. Traveling is grueling no matter how glorious it may also be.

screamish said...

beautiful....lucky you!

Welsh Girl said...

Singlutionary - so true! It does make it easier when it is that lovely. The fact that it is only dark for about two hours at the moment in the North of Scotland helps as well.

Screamish - it is beautiful, but even I wouldn't live there though. Three hours drive from anywhere is too far for me..

Anonymous said...

Wibble, wibble.

Love the pic of the bird table marauder (sp?) and the thought of empty miles of nothingness. Compared to the jubilee line this morning that is rather tempting.

Have a wonderful hol and I look forward to hearing more adventures!

Home Office Mum said...

I have spent many hours pondering what it is you do for a living. I can't quite fathom it out. Clients with squirrels at bird feeders? Hmmm. Now I almost don't want you to tell me because you'll probably say it's something like IT when in my head you're actually part of MI5 and trek around to weird parts of the country as an undercover spy. Please tell me it's that.

PS - enjoy your hols while they last

elizabethm said...

Enjoy your holiday and even more the coming home. I love Orkney and Scotland but Orkney has the edge because of the absence of midges.

Rob-bear said...

Barren as the Canadian prairies, but a lot greener (at least this year).

Glad you and Hound had a great time.

Sorry that you were "left in the dark" at the shop.

Cal said...

Like Home Office Mum, I too am now wondering what on earth you do to travel to such varied places and enjoy squirrels in clients' gardens.

Is it top secret?

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