Drifting Gipsy

Drifting Gipsy

Thursday 1 May 2014

The Secret Life of Plants

May day today and what a lovely looking day it is! It's bright and sunny out and a little warmer than the last couple of days have been. While everyone 'doon Sooth' has been out having BBQ's, getting sunburnt and having fun in the Sun our weather has been it's usual cold miserable self - well except for Monday, Monday was nice.

Speaking of Monday's glorious weather, mum and I had been invited up to come and see the lambs in the lambing shed at our Landlord's farm and decided that was the day. Lambing is always a super busy time for farms but the Landlord still found time to chat for a bit while marking the lambs. We spent a little time with the orphaned lambs who where being pretty noisy. Now they weren't technically orphaned but it's difficult for the ewes to look after more than two lambs so any extras and put together and either given to ewe's who've lost their own lambs or looked after by the farm workers.

(Smiley little lamb just before it tried to eat my finger)

It's been a really busy week again this week with extra shifts at the garage (to stop me from wanting to move on to the cafe) but there's been plenty of other things to be getting on with.

Last weekend I stayed in town and since the other half was out at work for most of the weekend I spent my non-work time knitting and getting to work in his garden. My mum is in charge of the garden at our house but in town I have free reign. Although the place was completely abandoned for some time I intend to keep busy getting it back to it's wonderful old self. On Sunday evening I cleaned all the rubbish out of the garden. Surprisingly there was an entire length of guttering under all the grass - as opposed to the short length I thought was under there - and the supposed ground sheet lying off to the site was actually an entire tent! Once all that was cleared up I got to work filling in an attempted pond right in the middle of the grass although the local cat and sometimes house guest Jake insisted on trying to help by getting under my feet so it did take a little longer than expected. As you can see the plants have taken over while we weren't looking but hopefully we can work together - the plants included - to make this a really pretty little space!

(This is what I'm working with. Just taken out the rubbish and filled the 'pond')

My knitting has been going well with more and more orders for my hats are coming in - really exciting stuff. It's even drawing some interest back to some of my other items too!

(another new hat!)

In other news I'M GOING TO PERU. I know most of you knew that already but I've actually got the flights booked now so it's really happening. I'm going to be working even harder to save up for other aspects of the trip but it's great to have that little task done and out of the way, plus I have some definite dates to work with. Next on the Peru to do list is paying for my time at the research station where I'm planning on staying for the majority of my time over there. If you would like to see where I'm going to be and what sort of work I'll be doing click here!

Well I think that's all I have to report for now - I'd better get back to knitting!!
Chat to you all soon!

(Title brought to you by Stevie Wonder - now that's a cool song to check out)

Thursday 24 April 2014

Ball O' Yarn

Hi guys!
This last few days have definitely been a bit of a whirlwind but there isn't actually all that much to tell.

I've mostly been working at the petrol station lately and en route to one of my afternoon shifts I stopped by the local cafe for a cuppa. While I was there I saw a sign in the window advertising for new waiting-on staff. Since the garage job is really only an emergency/temporary kind of post I asked one of the lasses working there what sort of hours the job would be for. Next thing I know I had the cafe owner herself sitting opposite me and my cake giving me a full interview - surprise! Before I knew it she was offering me the post! Now I told her I'd obviously have to think about it and speak to those at the garage so I'd get back to her but when I explained the encounter to the garage owner I got another surprise - they started offering me enough hours to match what the cafe offered. So, basically, I'm waiting to see what both say and we shall see where I end up.

Other than that I've spent most of my free time recently knitting. I finished my dread beanie pretty quickly and it's gone down really well - I'm already making my first one to sell and have a couple more on order! So excited about this and I'm now knitting away like mad, not that I'm complaining! I've also been having some wonderful conversations with some fellow 'dreadheads' about different wool and the processes it goes through before it can be knit - all very interesting.

(My lovely new beanie)

Oh, in case you're wondering about the post title being a bit odd it, like all my other posts is the name of a song. I quite enjoy this way of choosing my post titles, not least because it gives me the chance to listen to some different musicians that I've sometimes never heard of. This particular song - an old folk song - is a bit of a funny one in terms of lyrics but the title fits nicely at least!

As many of you will know we celebrated Earth Day this week. Now I didn't have too much time to go gallivanting out into the countryside but I did spend a little time out in the garden photographing some of the lovely flowers we have in bloom at the moment.

(nice to see a bit of colour coming through)

For those interested in my Uni work the picture below pretty much sums it up - I'm growing beans!

(Beans, beans a wonderful fruit, the more you eat, the....well you know the rest!)

So that's what I've been up to lately, see you all again soon!

Thursday 17 April 2014

Born to Be Wild

Hi guys,
I'm sorry I have been a terrible blogger over this week - I've been doing some many things worth blogging about but all these things have left me no time to blog! Actually I had planned to get this written up and posted yesterday. I had the computer set up and ready, tea in hand when we had a bit of a 'who turned out the lights' moment. It turns out our house was one of over 200,000 homes left without power last night in a power-cut covering pretty much all of northern Scotland.

(A map showing the extent of last nights power cut courtesy of BBC News Scotland) 

So on to what I'd planned to say last night:

This last week and a half has been so busy I'm not sure I remember everything I got up to over the period but I shall try my best!
Not long after giving you all my last post I finally got round to having my first proper motorbike lesson (in that really short, casual, non-classroom based kinda way). Now, I have actually already done my Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) which you have to do before you can even have a learners permit. I also spend some time riding around in India a couple of years ago but I've never ridden a manual. So although it was short I think my mini lesson on my other-half's bike in the yard went quite smoothly.

The morning after the bike lesson was lovely and sunny, almost warm even! As both of us had the day off work we decided to have a look around town. The weather inspired me to pick up some gardening things while he got some new fishing gear, although what he bought I have no idea,  fishing is one subject I know nothing about.
On this little day-out I also bought some new fabric for a skirt I'm planning on making out of a pair of old jeans. If it works out  it'll let you see some pictures!
This was all followed by the other-half treating me lunch - definitely the way to anyone's heart!

Typically the weather turned awful as soon as we headed back to the house so I never did get any gardening done before work that night.

The following day was another busy one - although for a change I wasn't working. My mum picked me up from town and we headed to the other end of the island to a place called St Margret's Hope. The community center was having a bit of a table-top sale along with full breakfasts so we made sure to get a long to that. We picked up a couple of plants and despite attempts to declutter the house, we got some more books too.

Next it was off to Sandwick beach for an event called 'Bag the Bruck' where groups get together once a year to clean up the beaches. I do think this should be done more often otherwise it's a bit like fighting a losing battle but once a year is still better than nothing! Unfortunately the weather was horrendous so only one of my mum's Wildlife Explorer's members should up with his dad but between us we did get 10 full bin bags so I guess that counts as a success.

(Mum doing her bit to help despite the awful weather)

Following getting soaked on the beach we went to visit a good friend of ours Pam for coffee and a catch up - as a bonus we got to see her new puppy Axel and her not-so-little kitty too.

Finally we had one last stop before the supermarket and home. When I was travelling last year I stayed with an English couple in Portugal and it turns out her mum stays in Orkney too. At the time it was mentioned that I could maybe help Mandy's mum get set-up with Skype and finally I've been able to do it so they can Skype whenever they like - something I was very happy to help with.

(John, me and Mandy pressing grapes. Mandy's mum - the new Skype pro!)

 This week I also got to be helpful in a very different way. A friend of mine is a Celebrant (someone who can perform weddings) and see was looking for a witness for a wedding she was doing. No one else was coming forward so I offered to help out. The couple were a wonderful pair from Ireland. Although in their later years they had decided to hop on the motorbike and elope to Orkney to get married. The day was wonderful, the ceremony had all of us tearing up and the couple were just lovely.

I think that's all the exciting stuff really although I'd say that's given you plenty! If you really like I could tell you all about my Uni experiment growing beans or about my three jobs but I think Ill just leave you here, in the hope that you'll be back for more soon, and aren't too confused by my posting inconsistency!

Ciao :)

Monday 7 April 2014

If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a Cake

It really is terrible, I've finally got chance to get some writing done and instead I've been sitting staring at the blank page for the last half an hour! Well I'd best get on with it!

It's been a very busy few days. I finally managed to get my 'office' set up so now I actually have a real work space - no more books strewn across and stuffed into the armchair!
(Thinking about it this 'office' is going to need some serious jazzing up!)

Unfortunately I spent a good deal of last week with knitter's block - completely forgetting even the most basic of knitting techniques - it was awful! However I did manage to perk myself up a little in the mean time by buying a few new balls of yarn to my stash - you can never have too much yarn, don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

It seems like the shopping trip has done the trick anyway - my knitting's back on track and I'm making a good deal of progress working on a pair of leg warmers. After that hopefully I'll have the next scarf organised and ready to start.

In preparation for a busy weekend I spent some time on Friday morning making some little treats in the kitchen. I'm not exactly renowned for spending time in the kitchen,  I've generally been a bit "can't cook, won't cook" but everyone once in a while I do try. corn flake crispy cakes or 'Doodlebugs!' as the other-half exclaimed when presented with the results. I had forgotten how quick and easy these are to make but now I've done it once there might be a whole lot more in production soon. Besides as the creator I get to lick the bowl clean - yummy!
(Not exactly Nigella but everyone has to start somewhere!)

As is common for people who work in pubs I did spend a pretty large proportion of the weekend keeping people topped up with alcohol. With three bar shifts I didn't have too much free time but I did get a bit of housework done before work on Saturday so that's something at least.

Today I had a shift at the petrol station - my main workplace last year. Now I'm not sure if it was the weather, or too much caffeine or something strange in the air but I decided to walk to work. Yes - this is something plenty of people do i know, but the 7 mile walk was one I hadn't really considered doing before, let alone just before a 6 hour stint in the petrol station. I headed out the door before I came to my senses and it actually didn't take all that long. According to a certain web-map provider (rhymes with Noogle) this walk takes two hours and three minutes...an hour and thirty-two minutes later I arrived and the station, three quarters of an hour early for work!
(Cute! Cute! Cute!)

I was shattered by time I got there having kept a pretty fast pace but it was definitely worth it! I didn't have to wear a big thick coat, the lambs were running about the fields, rabbits darted along the fence line, there were all sorts of birds gliding through the sky or foraging for food - and the majority of drivers waved and smiled as they moved aside to give me room to walk.

Well I can't think what else I've been doing this week so I think I'll leave it there for tonight - but I'll try to be a little more frequent with posts, at least then I might be able to remember what to write about!

Until next time then - Adios!

Monday 31 March 2014

Another Manic Monday!

Well although I didn't have a super early start to the morning it was all hands on deck as soon as I did roll out of bed - I had a phone call from my old boss asking if I could cover a few shifts this week, starting tomorrow. This wasn't exactly a complete surprise as we had already been talking about it but starting tomorrow did mean that I've spent most of the day so far getting my latest university assignment out of the way.

Now luckily it seems to have been a relatively easy assignment, part of a maths module I'm currently studying, and now it's just waiting to be posted tomorrow. Typically I actually started this assignment almost two weeks ago but everybody loves a bit of procrastination right?

By the look of it the rest of the day is now going to be spend looking for the perfect knitting patterns. At the end of last week I was commissioned to make a nice thick pair of leg warmers but they're to be in a colour not easily found up here on the island so it was onto the Black Sheep Wools site for a bit of a root through their stock. Well the wool has arrived today and looks great, and with it was the wool I bought to make a little something for myself.

Lately I've been having to forgo the wearing of proper hats because with the amount of hair tucked under them they tend to just POP right off my head - very frustrating when you already have to battle the winds to keep your head-wear from swooping off into the sea. I have so far made myself a couple of very nice headbands but I'm going to make a nice big baggy dread hat - a bit like Bob's Marley's super famous 'rasta hat' but with some more 'me' colours, after all I've never even been to Jamaica...yet. However first on the list is the pair of leg warmers...and another scarf.

Now, I would like to say how "I wish it were Sunday" but to be honest Sunday, and the rest of the weekend was pretty busy too! I was working in the Legion on Friday night for a heavy metal gig we had in. Although some of the other staff weren't so keen on it I really enjoyed it. We had a Shetland band called Ten Tonne Dozer down to play and a band called Hybrid Constellation were launching their album over the weekend.

Saturday consisted of a trip down town and a peek around the charity shops before a long overdue trip to the swimming pool then more work. This time we had piper called Fred Morrison performing. He was pretty good too but I only found out this morning that he once played with Capercallie - now that was a surprise!

Come Sunday afternoon it was back for another shift in the bar before heading over to the climbing wall. I've been going a fair bit this year so far but I was pretty chuffed with myself this week as I managed to convince my mum to come along and join in too! Don't worry - she has actually done a lot of climbing in the past so it was like some cruel joke. It's been a few years since she was last on the wall but she did well so hopefully that's my climbing partner problem fixed! And I think it worked very nicely as a Mother's Day present with a difference.

(Bit different to the climbing at the wall this weekend but here's me testing myself in Spain last summer!)

Well I'd best get on with these leg warmers so I'll see you next time!