*points to title of this post* Though I'm not certain it's really
a Bank Holiday as the sun is shining...
Been back just over a week from my trip to the Outer Hebrides but still haven't quite got my bearings yet or indeed unpacked completely. It was an odd trip, mostly because I'm not that used to staying in B&B - hotels have been much more my thing and it's quite a different approach, particularly for the anti-social amongst us (me, in other words). The only downside about travelling on your own - which is otherwise great, because you get to do exactly
what you like, no need for negotiation or compromise - is that you get to listen to the inanity of other people without any kind of buffer.
The Hebrides themselves are extremely beautiful. I have hundreds of pics I need to sort through and that was despite the fact there were a couple of days where the weather limited what I could do. The way of life is like stepping back in time - the resident population of the entire archipelago is only about 28,000 and even when you add tourists (considering I was there at the start of their tourist season) it's never going to be that busy. Most of the time, wherever I was, I had the place to myself. The top half of the islands, everything is closed on Sundays and even outside there, most shops close at 6 and restaurants don't serve food after 9.
There were lots of people cycling the islands (which seemed like quite a masochistic pursuit to me - they're not that hilly, but the weather is very changeable and the wind can be evil) - not to mention the hordes of folks with campervans. This is a place where the majority of the roads are single track with passing places, which takes a little getting used to, as does the cavalier attitude of the livestock to the concept of vehicles. I'm used to sheep, though the Hebrides sheep are much more cocky than any I've encountered before - I'd been told that sometimes you have to 'nudge' them with the car to get them to move, but fortunately I didn't meet any that were quite
that recalcitrant - and then there's the Vatersay cows. Yes, the cows on that particular island are notorious for their liking to lie down in the road, not to mention apparently making a special detour to it when it comes time to defecate, since there seemed to be more cowpats on
the road than in the surrounding fields.
I'd hoped to get the chance to do some kayaking while I was up there, but sadly it was a little too early in the season, so if there's anything that gets me back there then it'll probably be that as much as anything else. That and just how relaxed the place is, if you get into the swing of things there, not to mention the fact that while it's supposed to be one of the best places in the UK to see otters I didn't manage to spot a single one. :(
In other news, before I went away I've been doing some work on the house and garden, discovering yet more joys of BIY (bodge it yourself) from the previous owner. This is a guy who thought it was a really good idea to just plaster in water pipes running along an outside wall without insulating them first, so that when the inevitable burst pipe happened one winter I ended up with a massive mess before I could get the burst fixed. Those pipes have now been boxed in instead, in case of future calamity.
He'd also built a raised bed in the garden which was falling apart, so this year I decided to pull it to bits and replace it. Digging down, I discovered that he had pulled up a bunch of paving slabs underneath it (fair enough) but had then just thrown the resulting rubble into
the raised bed with the earth. I now have a nice pile of broken slabs to dispose of, but I do have a proper raised bed in which I am attempting to grow vegetables. At present, pumpkins (which are finally
coming up even though I planted them before I left for Scotland, delayed by the poor weather), garlic and beans.
I had all sorts of plans for catching up with various shows and writing too while I was away, none of which really amounted to anything, though I did read a lot of fic. When it came to updating the recs pages
on my website, I discovered all sorts of issues with them which led to a complete overhaul and this led to a general sort-out over there. All sorts of things were on AO3 that weren't on my site and vice versa, though the latter is mostly stuff I can't quite bring myself to re-read (SG-1 fic, I know your ears are burning...) and I'm not sure if it should
be more widely shared. Or if there are even still people reading that fandom, fcol. ;)
Also I have written a thing, (a Magnificent 7
fic) which makes me hope that I can continue to make some progress on the other stuff I need to finish.
Okay, I think that's sufficient rambling for now...