I’ve been on holiday this week. Now let me tell you what being ‘on holiday’ from work looks like. It means I get to take a week off work to do all the things I don’t have time to do usually because I’m at work. Like, take the dog to the vets, take the car to the garage, take myself to the hairdressers, take the parcels to the post office, take a look at my explosion of a house and try to make some kind of order out of chaos ready to return to work and start all over again.
I did, however, manage it take some time out for myself and pay a visit to my friend Sian who lives on the small island of Graemsay just a short boat ride away. Sian has a beautiful welcoming home in the most enviable of locations and at the end of her garden is a shell beach, pier, and sea! No prizes for guessing what I did while I was visiting?
Sian was unable to join me in the sea and has no desire to but was happy to wear my Dryrobe while she watched and patiently waited for me.
Dryrobe really are the best and cosiest things ever and Sian was threatening to be sewn into it for winter and emerge the following spring. Someone recently said to me that they didn’t know if was the end of last winter or the beginning of next one, but Orkney has so far let us down on the sunshine stakes as ‘summer’ has so far been pretty crummy. We’ve lit the fire several times this week and it’s been overcast and windy for many days. It’s had quite an effect on my mood and I’ve struggled to motivate myself to do things. But thankfully we had a decent day yesterday when a group of us walked to the famous Old Man of Hoy. A sea stack that a few hard as nails people climb and the rest of us go to look at and of course do the obligatory pose.
The purpose of the visit was a leaving do with a twist for one of the team I work with. So a few of us took a boat ride to Hoy, squashed into a Yaris and drove to a peedie cottage owned by one of the crew with is. It was an experience to say the least as she navigated up a tiny path I thought a four-wheel drive would struggle with never mind a Yaris filled with four people.
The walk to the Old man was just under an hour from the cottage along a cliff path with fantastic views but the mist came in quickly and we feared we might not be able to see the old man at all but the time we got there. But thankfully we were rewarded with amazing views of the curious landmark and it’s the first time I’ve seen it despite having lived in Orkney for nearly 11 years.
After our walk we still had time for a dip in the sea (for some) and while it looks flat clam from above it really was more of a wave hopping experience before heading home on the return boat.
The rest of them went on to have a meal out with others while I went home to bed! Yes this is what it looks like when you’re an introvert trapped inside the body of an extrovert. I was in bed by 8.30pm with clean sheets on the bed, a cup of tea and a book and it was wonderful. I love socialising and I give a lot of energy to being with people but always have to recharge my soul with solitude and thankfully I had friends who understood my need to bow out gracefully while the leaving do celebrations continued. If your friends don’t understand what you need to do for self-care you don’t need to change yourself, you need to change your friends.
45 years ago when I was a little girl I loved ballet The Mothership took me to a live performance for a birthday treat. I can still remember the magic of seeing my first ballet, the pitter patter of the points as they danced, and being utterly mesmerized through the entire performance. On Tuesday I took my mum to the ballet. A live performance of Romeo and Juliette performed at the Royal Opera House streamed to our local cinema in Orkney. It was exquisite, a truly wonderful performance and evening. Live streaming these performances means more people can access this beautiful dance. The Mothership has dementia now, but can still remember taking me all those years ago, and I will forever remember the time I got to pay her back and how I cried before the performance even started. Because amongst all the stresses and strains of life, its these moments we live for. <3.
and finally here’s a picture of the two best fathers on the planet enjoying a rather large whiskey together this afternoon and why not? They’ve earned it. In other news, the messages my kids sent to their stepfather absolutely broke me. Their appreciation of his efforts to love them like his own for the last 8 years was truly heartfelt. Thank you, Orkney Beef for being an excellent stepfather and thank you Father Bear for being the best dad a girl could ask for.
If you’re struggling this father’s day I can understand why. I can’t bear to think about a life without mine.
Have a great week everyone. Next weekend I’m off on a swimming tour with a group of swimmers down the west coast of Scotland. When I told The Mothership this she rolled her eyes because she thinks I’m mental. Personally, I can’t wait!