Orcades Hostel Tuesday 10th October
So I need to start writing again, I just need to write. My silence has resulted from mourning the loss of two days work, my journey from Inverness to Kirkwall, Scotland to Orkney. For two long days I wrote, but my ineptitude with WordPress on my iPad meant I just left it as text, did not save as draft, drafts are almost impossible for me to find and develop. So I trusted. A moment before I pressed publish, I considered copying and pasting to send to a friend who would not otherwise see my words, but I failed to do so. I pressed publish, closed the window and left for the first day of my new job.
It did not publish. I have no record of my work. My frustrations at my own apparent incapacity to use technology do not cease to amaze me. I KNOW I need to save drafts, I KNOW its possible to write into pages instead of directly into WordPress but I failed to do either.
Will I be able to relive my journey in words? No. Memories change the moment they are gone. As days pass, the details of each moment are lost, the importance of my momentary feelings have disappeared. I need to start to carry a small notebook again. I used to do that but would have to start carrying a bag and it is many years since I have done that.
I have found the tasks of establishing myself, challenging, such that the idea of returning to my journey and beginning to write has been beyond me. Maybe I am back. It is now nearly a week since I arrived, maybe I can return to my lost days. Maybe I might think, jot down ideas.
Wednesday 4th October journey to Culbokie, June not being there, pub, furniture in house. Views. Missing poppy, turning over in bed and her not being there. Wondering what I’m doing.
Thursday 5th October journey to John O Groats, hairpin bends, I’ve lost the weather, disappointment on arrival at JOG, the notion of being at both LE and JOG this year. Despair, what am I doing here, thinking of not crossing over.
Pentalina catamaran, exhilaration on deck, windswept, cant breathe, deep swell, sun.
2 The Noust, Ruffed Orkney sc caravans, the Churchill Barriers, Stromness viewing postponed, cant find Stromness hostels in maze of streets, phones not connecting to google maps, reminders of Cornish narrow streets, fear of the unknown and feelings of being trapped. Ness point. Finally, Kirkwall hostel.
Friday 6th October work. Stromness viewing, make Hamnavoe apt for tomorrow, cannot wait for George to get in off ferry, viewing in Deerness but nearly go to Tankerness instead.
Today, Thursday 12th
I am cold, my core is cold. I have not warmed from my swim this morning on the glorious Inaganess beach. I do not want to recall the past now, it is gone, I want to live in the moment.
I am hungry, it is only 11am but maybe I cannot delay lunch. Cold from swimming this morning in eleven degree water. Raining, with a brisk westerly wind but so so cold that the water felt almost warm, double rainbows. Naomi, a channel relay swimmer headed straight in the water and swam off, swim in to the wind first she said and was gone. Naomi swims her own swim, I admire her, no warm up just straight in, head down crawl. I must learn to swim my own swim too. I gasp as waves buffet me, try to follow, know I must put my face down and crawl, protect myself from mouthfuls of salt heads up breaststroke, but first, need to try to gain breathing composure. I cannot swim head on into the two a second, face slap waves so head instead out to Juanita, anxious, will I be dragged on to the rusting metal hull? I see Harriet and Alana out at Juanita, think the rusting hull will give me some protection from the wind but when I get there it seems as if the wind just blows through her. I reach Harriet and Alana, begin to feel safe and begin to acclimatise to the ocean.
I digress from my lists……
Saturday viewings at Stromness, two long stay hostels, Browns, Hamnavoe, my cottage to be. Joy and anticipation, it’ll be ok. Stromness art cafes writers exhibition. Thoughts to return for evening film but meet Steven to develop website. News of death of diver.
Sunday swim Ness slip, craft fair St Margarets Hope, hostel, viewing Dundas St. Back up option. The Bothy music. Craig and Graziella. My website up in skeletal form.
Monday work, viewing The Noust, swim Barrier 4, work research, confirmation of cottage.
Tuesday pick up Naomi, swim Inganess, begin writing this, work, news the aurora might be tomorrow. 40 days free from alcohol
Wednesday aurora. Duncan
Still Today, Thursday 12th October
Im fed up sleeping in a bunk bed, fed up with having bits of my life scattered around, fed up with not having my own kitchen and my own company unless I revert to this bunk room or is it a bunker room? Its a fine room but I’m fed up. I’m out of the, oh I’m travelling stage, out of the ‘everything is such a challenge theres little time to think’ stage, fed up with work impacting on my life, there’s a Polar Bears swim this morning and I cant go.
That thought shakes me up! I’m wondering why I’ve allowed this to happen so soon but as soon as I ask, I know why, because despite having been at work for a full day and a half I have not had access to systems in use and when I next meet my candidates, either I will have to look inept, unprofessional, or go in today and skill up. I might just show up at eleven tho. I don’t HAVE to go in. Seven hours a week, zero hours contract, just because I’ve said I’ll be in doesn’t mean I have to be in at nine. I can go in at eleven, just go swim and take clothes to put on after. I will go swim first, stuff it.
Phew that decision was hard work, how is it that I get so embroiled? The only reason I’m going to work is that last week they weren’t ready to register me on IT systems but said I’d be up and running for Monday and its important that I get on systems. I give an hour of my time on Monday, but nope, I’m not there yet. Tuesday then. Two and a half hours later I understand a whole lot more about my job, how it might work, what its all about but am little further with the computer systems.
I seem to have picked up some teaching… huh? I struggle with this for a while but rationalise that I only have three candidates when told to expect five so could do some input but need to be very careful about my boundaries. By the time I left, I had photo ID, an email address, was registered on ‘proofpositive’ and ‘blackboard’ but nothing would let me in. Frustrations abound.
Good. I’ve mailed saying ill be in at 11 and that I’m swimming. Prioritise. Let others know my priorities so they know where I’m coming from. Think, think. Warm clothes but smart clothes, clothes easy to put on a cold clammy body, this isn’t going to happen, post swim snack but also lunch, no, try out canteen. tadaa thats it, I’m ready….