Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Monday, 28 November 2011
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Sunday, 20 November 2011
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Saturday, 12 November 2011
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Monday, 7 November 2011
I should be at home about now, 2045, but instead I am languishing in the Holiday Inn, Glasgow airport, deciding whether or not I should have some food before bed. I have had a coupe or three ciders and feel tired but not too hungry. To be honest, sitting here I have a descending shadowy feel of unreality, I am tired so I guess that is probably a very good reason why.
Decision made, having sausages. I am becoming increasingly aware that Emma's statement regarding my growing intolerance to practically everything is probably very true. I am becoming intolerant, but by the same token I will attempt to help anyone that I can so I will try to justify my intolerance with an increased drive to assist and be more (no, not careful) helpful.
Effort displacement syndrome. I'm not even sure that it exists but never the less I have it. I realise that I should be writing about my experiences in The Shetland's, but instead I am moaning and whinging about my current situation, which, when you think about it is very good; I am in a hotel which will be paid for by Flybe, drinking cider and eating sausages. I will be in late for work tomorrow and have had a chance to people watch and write bollocks. What is there to whinge about? I do, however, miss Ems and the kids. I should be at home drinking wine and eating sausages, not here.
I haven't appreciated in the past how difficult it is to maintain momentum as a writer. As I sit here awaiting my plane to Southampton via Edinburgh I am absolutely knakered.
For only two days I stuck to my self enforced schedule of arising at 6:30AM, showered, breakfasted and out the door by 8AM. On the road, phone, internet, whatever it took to line up people to talk to, research places to go and then carry it out. I was back on Saturday at 8PM, Sunday by 5PM but on both days it took me over three hours to arrange photos, write research notes, compile all to a sensible bank of information that would make sense when I came to write it all up and then blog. Following that I would catch up with emails and plan the next day. Don't get me wrong I realise that this is in no way physically demanding or taxing and I do realise that I am privileged in order to be in this position, but, and this is a big but, in order to get a travel book in a state anywhere near that required to submit in even a draft form is a very time consuming and mentally draining process.
KK, whinge over, proper blog, with photos, when I get home tonight. Oh, and Clive is back!
Sunday, 6 November 2011
Saturday, 5 November 2011
Friday, 4 November 2011
There's something highly disconcerting about the thought of an aircraft landing on water. During the safety briefing on any aircraft there is usually the statement, 'In the unlikely event that the plane lands on water...' there then follows a description of how to exit the aircraft and how to inflate a lifejacket, which, evidently can be found under every seat, I'm not convinced. I'm sure the unedited original sentence would have finished, ' In the unlikely event that the plane lands on water then death is certain.' Instead of claiming that there is a floatation device ensconced beneath each chair be honest and stash a bottle of gin there. I may have stated earlier today that the plane that I embarked for the Glasgow to Sumburgh trip was pretty small, as we approached the Southern tip of Shetland mainland and the brightly illuminated landing strip became clear I suddenly felt that the plane was enormous, far too big to land on the tiny patch of ground bordered with twinkling fairy lights which was very quickly getting closer and closer. I looked down at the choppy waters as the plane swiftly descended, just as I thought the wheels were about to set down on water and I wished that there would indeed be a bottle of gin beneath my seat, the tarmac flashed into view and we almost immediately touched down.
I was met at the airport by the car hire firm representative and was driven to my hire car. The rep was giving a lift to her elderly friend or relative and the talked quietly in the front of the MPV, I listened carefully, straining to understand their accents. It took me a few minutes to realise that the reason I could not make out what they were saying was because they were not speaking English. I hadn't expected this.
As I drove on the almost deserted road North towards Lerwick the mist thickened and darkness fell quite quickly. By the time I had visited Tesco and rejoined the road North it was fully dark. Driving on unfamiliar roads is difficult at the best of times but in treacherous weather conditions and in the dark made the 30 mile trip from Lerwick to Sandness drag on and on. Leaving the main North-South road the road climbed high above the coast and back into the mist. The suddenly, without warning, the two lane road became a single track. I slowed down until I became accustomed to the new layout, a narrow track with frequent wider sections sign-posted 'Passing Place'. This didn't present a problem as I met no oncoming traffic. Just as I began to doubt that I was still on the correct road a sign loomed out of the darkness bearing the legend, 'Sandness 6', pointing right. The new road was narrower with many sharp bends. I did meet three cars on my slow drive to my goal, and it was nearly half an hour before I completed the six miles and reached Sandness. I missed the turn for my B & B and ended up at the end of the road, literally. A car park, with public toilets right at the dark watery edge of the Western point of the mainland. Retracing my tracks I finally pulled up at 'Kalfordhame' my home for the next three nights.
The room was comfortable and the evening meal tasty and satisfying. Tired and worn down I retired to write some notes and rrelax.