Sorry for the silence. All is well, I've just been really busy with work, life and a flying visit to London. Back now.... well to be honest I got back on Wednesday evening, though it SHOULD have been Tuesday. The trip home was a bit of a nightmare, though not due to the weather, strangely enough. We HAVE had high winds and torrential rain, cancelled ferries etc. But the planes were going. But no - the plane from Edinburgh to Kirkwall went "technical" - a light wouldn't go out or come on or something. But we were kept waiting for over 2 hours before they decided to cancel the flight. By this time it was 10pm and we were put up in a hotel (next to Edinburgh zoo - no views of pandas though!). The airline (Flybe) said they would rebook us the next day but of course the morning flight was busy so we couldn't all get booked on that one. At first I was booked on the next evening flight - despite my explaining that I couldn't get HOME from that flight as it was too late for a ferry. But fortunately, after a relief pilot who was travelling on our flight put in a word with the airline, some communications got untangled and we were put on a special flight mid-day on Weds so I was able to make a dash for the 4pm ferry - just.
Boy was I glad to be home!! As it was I had had to leave the island a day early as forecast bad winds meant ferries would be cancelled. So it was a bit of a marathon trip to London for one day of work meetings! (For those of you wondering how I got there - ferry from Graemsay to Stromness, drive to Kirkwall Airport, plane to Edinburgh, change to another plane to London and then reverse).
However it did mean I could also make a very brief visit to my niece R, who is making a brilliant recovery from a catastrophic event last October. And I met her wee baby too. I really admire R, her husband A. and all the family supporting her. She still has a long road to recovery but she's battling along and doing so well it was a joy to see.
I stayed a couple of nights in a hotel on Tavistock Square. It was a nice hotel and even had free wifi in the lobby - so all seats would be taken by silent folk eagerly checking their emails via ipods/ipads/smart phones! Unfortunately the tea wasn't very good, either in the room or at breakfast. But my room overlooked the square and it was fascinating watching folk going to work (my meeting was mid-morning so I had time to browse). Lots more cyclists than I remember from when I used to commute years ago. Proper cycle lanes too - though I still think it's a hazardous way to travel!
There was a curious notice by the lift that made me feel quite at home though.
Please keep your
room windows locked
shut during windy weather."
Needless to say I turned off the heating and threw open the windows in my room as it was so HOT! And no it was NOT windy....
I did eventually find a wonderful deli/patisserie (Fork) in Bloomsbury that did brilliant tea- proper "builders" tea in a proper tea pot. It was like tasting nectar. I nearly cried! I had to go back after the work meetings too, for proper "refreshment"! And no I didn't eat Cake.... just copious quantities of tea.....
And I had time to have dinner with a friend in a family run Italian restaurant in Russell Square. And yes, this time there WAS cake...well dessert - I had lemon meringue pie. Yum.!!
I wanted to take a photo of the cake trolley and the owner wanted the cake maker (his daughter) to be in the photo too.
And then it was time to head home via London City Airport. LOVE that airport.
Though what looks like a second runway in the background is, in fact, the River Thames!
So after the weary journey home, it was good to be greeted by Button who had been wonderfully looked after by Irene & Bobby. They came out in all weathers (and there WERE all weathers!) to feed her and Charlie in the barn, plus the hens. I'm very grateful to them - as are all the "livestock" I'm sure :-)
Normal service will hopefully now be resumed. I have NO plans to travel "south" for a while - not till Spring if I can help it anyway.