Thursday, 11 October 2012

On living in the moment.

Well the sun is streaming through the salt laden windows here at Windy Island HQ. But, at least its not raining in a sideways direction, lets be positive. I hope the weathers fine where you are? Not that you can see the salty windows from my 'cunning' lets not have net curtains on the main street window, but I love jars of pretty and so soothing to see that you won't actually starve.

Anyway back to the point, I've been thinking lots lately (don't hold your breathe, thinking takes me ALOT of time). Anyhow, I've been very focussed on the future, as many of us are, and sometimes I think I'm not making the most of the moment and potentially wishing my time away. That's not good. I entirely blame Kininvie, (but its not his fault) - for the 'walnut' question. As I ended up thinking about how long it will take for my tree to A: grow and B: ever fruit C: do they grow in Scotland, and I found this interesting article. And that got me thinking more and more about the future which brought me swiftly back to the present.
Why so, all this thinking? Well, truth be told, we're OFF back to the Scottish mainland in approximately 18 months. Its always been the plan, here for school and general wind punishment and when the childerbeast fly, we head 'sooth'. [Current flight status, one flown, one 18 months left of school].

Suddenly, it would appear, the abundant years in Orkney are gradually coming to a close. Whilst I love it here, life on the mainland of Scotland will beckon soon enough, I have an inhernet need to be near to the children and that will also be such an adventure too. A life with trees and all that jazz! But, enough of that, its time to appreciate here and now. Soon these wellies won't be here in the windswept north.
Now I do generally try to 'live in the moment' myself, as a parent/person/gardener/general buffoon, its often much easier to plan what's needed done and look ahead, rather than to think - 'but what about today?', isn't it?

Or to think, 'when I'm thin/taller/more organised/etc' I'll do that, or I'll be happy if and when I've achieved XYor Z. But, dearest heart, that tiny voice in my mind tells me, 'What about now?' Indeed small voice - what about now? We're often too busy, too much to do, too lonely, too poor, too much cleaning, too, too, too. I'm fed up being 'too', to be honest, its boring.

Too much of anything is a bad thing. So I've stopped the world and decided to play it forward slowly and live 'now'. And now brought me here.
The cellist and I grasped the evil Uritca (stinging nettle for you non botanist types) by the fist and when we'd both made excuses for 'why' we couldn't head out for a walk on Saturday between work (too tired) and her social life (too busy), too far. Enough with the 'too's - so we headed off to the beach for a 'we've got an hour if we yomp it' kind of a walk.

Now I confess, I haven't been to Evie beach in ages and it was calling, so aside the dread 'too's we thought, why not. The hoonds are always happy with a good stomp, so really we had no excuse. We had a free 1hr and 10 minutes, beach 10 minutes away, therefore - to the beach we went.
If we've only got 18 months of stomping about in Orkney to do, then we best make sure we make the best of every minute here. Of the 80 odd or so islands in this archipelago, of the 15 are inhabited and I've visited 11, so at least 4 to go. And of the uninhabited, but easy to get to I've visited 5. Bit of work required there eh?  Its not like its hard work, I mean how bonnie is it here?
And, more importantly, with 500 miles of utterly amazing coastline, awesome scenery and more archaeology than a normal person can chuck a stick at, I'd better get a those wellie boots on, hadn't I? These feet need to try and get on each part of the accessible beaches/cliff tops/scenery she can.

500 miles of coastline/18 months = 27.77 miles a month, which roughly equates to 1 mile a day on a beach of my choice. Or the equivalent for time off island etc. Time to get the map out and the gold stars and start making sure we get EVERYWHERE we can.

Better get a wriggle on hadn't I? Boots out, map out. I'm going to endeavour to live in the moment whilst I'm here in Orkney and enjoy it. Not just wish it away, I know I'm lucky to be here, so we also ended up on Scapa beach, meeting a chum for a stroll.

Two beaches in three days, that's a good start!

As a final attempt to live a little more in the moment, I've finally tweeted, feel free to hunt me down and tell me I'm more twit that 'tweet'. I'll pop a link on the blog - for those keen to hear more about local leaves and wind damage, I'm your girl.

PS It must be working, in the 'ethos' of living in the moment this week I've accidentally managed to see the northern lights. I know me, who's normally fast asleep on the sofa. As I've been trying to actively manage my time, so imagine my delight when an alert came out for the Aurora borealis here - so I went off, a hunting.

Now I've not taken any of these photos - but - here's a link so some stunning ones.

A local friend took some cracking pictures too - I'll see if I can get his permission to send a link out to them........

Until then, living life in the moment. I fear there will be blisters. Wish me luck. I hope you enjoy the present and get out into your life this week!


  1. enjoy it while you are there... even the sideways wind xx

    1. What's not to enjoy about sideways wind. It keeps the views nice and open and the windaes nice and clean, then salty, then clean, then salty.

      And it allows for most excellent choices in hats :)to stop my hair blowing away.


  2. Hiya Fay,
    You'll be pleased to hear your Twitter link brought me straight here. I'm aware you set up the account just to follow a certain murder-mystery (which failed to find an ending) - worry not: Linnie and I have decided on a new winter's project, capitalising on current literary fashion (watch this space). Anyway, I'm sorry my innocent question about the walnut provoked such a crise de conscience. Or maybe I'm not too sorry, because the result seems to have been those lovely pictures, which reminds me that it's high time I returned to Orkney. So, when you move sooth, will it be east or west? I know which I'd choose.

    1. Ah ha! No question is innocent is it - if it sparky debate and thought then all the better! My minds off in far off lands with gardens and trees (potentially Eask Neuk).

      I did indeed only set up a twitter account to follow your adventures with Linnew of the random crop circles.......

      Oh no are you writing 50 shades of GREEN??????

      I certainly hope so. Thank goodness its a trilogy though - can you imagine chosing just 50 shades.....

    2. And which would you recommend east or west.

      East - less midges more people...........

      West - less people more rain bigger trees.

      Its a hard one.

    3. Astute, aren't you, my Fay? But we're gender swapping, so it may just be a ...little... unusual.

      I think, if you have a problem with wind, maybe East Neuk is not where I'd go :-( Of course, I'm a Westerner at heart. Rhododendrons, soft air, grow anything, drink whisky, sink, metaphorically & literally, into the undergrowth)

    4. Ah ha - I'm not astute, just tuned into the two of your humour! As to gender swapping, I have to confess I thought you a tad more 'feminine' for ages until it became apparant that you were a fine gentleman, I think it was your rapport and quick wit which had me taken a wee bit aback.

      Rhododendrons. OK shoot me now, I'm just not a fan. I think I OD'd on them when we lived in Ardkinglas and I travelled each day to Lochgilphead to do my horticulture SVQ's.

      Aye to soft air, hiding in the undergrowth and sinking in the ground. I prefer Island malts (anything BUT Bowmore - bleurgh) to anything the West Coast has to offer. Or of course a few of the Speyside's.

      I have to confess, I can't be far from a beach, so East Neuk in the garden of Fife is a calling. But, to be honest, being a poor gardener type, I'm relying on Mr Flowers and his salary prospects to qualify the location. Not much oil in the west.........

    5. ...not much in the East Neuk either. Looks like Grangemouth then. Welcome to the yellow clay of the central belt! I'll send you a starter pack of suitable bog plants... On other fronts, Linnie & I are negotiating parameters. I have decided to be a nun. That should sort her rampant plumber-type out - and for good!

    6. I choked on my tea. A Nun Sir? Oh this will be delightful, and Linnew a plumber, well well. When does the season open?

      I can catapult him (very green) from the EN towards oil companies in the firth.......I think Grangemouth would be fine if you were IN it but looking over to it - well, its certainly a view.

      I'll perhaps leave you to battle with the yellow clay but never say never. It may be that we'll end up where the property markets flings us. My bog plants died due to submerging, so I will not bring any, perhaps a parcel when the garden arrives would be a good start.

  3. I have been having similar tussles with myself for some time now. I still haven't discovered lots of places where I live but I am determined. As I have a week home alone with my hound then I think I might just take your lead and head off somewhere fun this weekend. I have joined the RSPB and we have a few reserves nearby that I can take dogs to. Thanks for the inspiration. Between you and the Bridget Jones movie that I am watching right now I am suitably kicked up the A***

  4. Cheri does that make me Bridget McJones? Glad you're finding a place to when you're like me a bit betwixt and between. I'm trying to live in the moment, as its really all we've got for now. Who knows what the future will bring? Good luck with your weekend!

  5. 18 months! Thats a lifetime :) Island life is fantastic, even better when you get back to the mainland when you can drive different roads, they dont end, and then being able to go shopping without wondering if the ferry has brought the goods :)
    I lived on the Isle of Lewis, a metropolis compared to Orkney. Its was good. But Rock HQ is better :)I miss the water, but not the midges!!

    1. 18 months is indeed a lifetime, I'm not so sure I'd like different roads, I quite like driving around in circles. Lewis is not an island I've been to, nor Harris - the closest I ever came was on Berneray looking over to Harris. I must get the boat out and do more islands. My son lives near to Arran now - so that truly needs an explore!

      I don't miss midges. Thankfully in Orkney they arrive late summer and leave a month or so later if youre lucky. I don't miss the west's midges from late Arpil to October, the blasted creatures are enough to insight voilence in the calmest of creatures.