It’s the end of October and I realise that neither of us has published a blog since May. Which is dreadful. It’s been a great year and we haven’t told anyone anything !!
Then, to cap it all, the server with the blog went down and we disappeared from view completely.
But now WE ARE BACK and are both resolved to blog away and tell you about our lives here. Which are great. The only question is, with so much catching up, how do we start ?
I “left you” in May after Magnus was born. So, since then we have had several visitors, with Mark’s long time friend Anthony coming to see what madness had overtaken us. And decided that sanity reigned.
Not long after Anthony left, Karen, a long-standing friend who also happens to be our bookkeeper arrive to see how we were getting on. She had been up in the middle of our renovations but had stayed at a local b&b as we didn’t have a spare bed at the time, but of course now we have and she loved what we have done to Mill Cottage. Hopefully she loved it enough to return before too long (especially as we scarcely talked business at all so she was able to relax !)
We went to France for the World Championships – to Lyon where it was rather hot ! However, it was a good Championship and all went well. We were underwhelmed by the food there. It’s supposed to be the gastronomic capital of France but … perhaps it was something to do with the fact that it was August, and most of France is on holiday and maybe it was to do with the fact that neither of us are particularly gone on French cuisine. But being with our friends and colleagues from all over the world was great fun and we really enjoyed it. The modern art museum has sculptures all over the place and they are really amazing …
… and the view from the office window was rather fetching as well !
Flying back we stopped off at Heathrow, hired a car and headed into Suffolk to meet with most of the family, albeit fleetingly. Catherine and Sam had come up from Bristol to stay with Vickie and Mark and we had lovely cuddles with Magnus, and spent time with Oliver and Nicola as well as Tim, Vikki and Jordan. Then back to Heathrow and home … to two happy cats very pleased to see us back.
And one determined to stop us going again.
No sooner had we got back than my sister Julia arrived for a visit – she had been to Orkney on holiday before but I think was quite surprised at how cosy our cottage is. She had a lovely time and had a day out “birding” with Stan Groundwater of PureOrkney which she really enjoyed.
She and I caught planes out on the same afternoon – Julia back to Aberdeen and home to Finstock and me to Papa Westray for 3 days playing Mah-Jong with a group of friends. And that was brilliant. Lots of fun, lots of alcohol, lots of Mah-Jong. Brilliant.
Back from that and at oh-my-God o’clock the nest day we headed off for the ferry and Inverness to take Badger for his annual habitation check.
And back the next day just in time for the arrival of my granddaughter Jasmine. Now, Jasmine has been studying at Cambridge, reading maths and getting her degree, then going on to take her Masters in Astrophysics … and getting a first ! So she hasn’t (as you can imagine) had much time for visiting before.
Now however, she is taking well deserved “time out” and training to be a mountain guide just by way of a change. We loved having her and getting to know her again … it was really special. Her energy is boundless, so she was doing things like taking herself off to Hoy and taking the long way to the view of the Old Man, straight over Ward Hill!
So there’s an outline of what we have been up to. Now we will try and a) keep up to date but b) tell you more about our actual lives here … but not forgetting the occasional pint.