Planning 24.10.17

Seven forty am again before I awake again this morning. Today is Tuesday 24th October. Many would enjoy a later rising but I always feel precious ‘me’ time has been lost.

I have always been a morning person and anything I can do before nine I see as a gift. I utilise early hours for writing, planning, researching but also, when in the habit of exercise, for vital, repetitive strengthening exercises, a swift march, ten mile bike ride or yoga flexibility. I am frequently torn. I want to do them all and I find I tend to have phases where one takes over. If in a creative stitching phase, I may clean and tidy and prepare meals such that my head and surroundings are clear before I settle down for some work.

In my current situation all choices could be available but all seem difficult. I give thought to doing some squats but my feet are cold, my resistance bands and lycra clothes sit, as yet unpacked, in the car and my room is too cold not to be dressed. Instead, I make coffee and head back to bed with my iPad. Three more days.

I have an interim moving on plan. Autumn in Orkney seems to be one festival after another, my time here has clashed with two festivals on mainland with ferry times making events often inaccessible. Last week, Wrigley and the Reel Music Festival, next week, Story Telling. There are story telling events that interest me and I have made a plan to go but a plan which means I must leave before I had planned to do so. I will go to ‘Songs and Stories from the North’ in Stromness hoping perhaps to meet a few new neighbours, will attend an ‘Island Jaunt – an Egilsay Adventure’ taking me to a small island I might otherwise have missed and ‘Tales From Near and Far’ in Bettys Reading Rooms, a cafe featured in The Guardian.

I may be too late for a tickets though. I cannot acquire them on line, only in person, from two outlets. I will head straight for Laing St when I step off the ferry in Kirkwall on Friday.

My planning for the nights between leaving Shapinsay and arriving in my new home initially took me to the island of Rousay, which shares the ferry service for Egilsay, leaving from Tingwall. I thought I might spend two nights on Rousay but several things got in the way, a Halloween party until 1am at the hotel on Saturday night, being the solitary resident at the hostel on an organic farm and discovering no ferry on a Sunday. Two hours planning time just to decide not to stay on Rousay.

I turned my search towards a new to me place on Mainland, somewhere to explore yet convenient enough to allow me to attend events. I struggled. Hotels, hostels even Airbnb rooms are sparse and costly even in October. Staying in Stromness would be cheap but I want new places, not the town I will be moving into. A fellow Polar Bear recommends I negotiate with a couple of places she suggests but £60/night only came down to £50 and I didn’t even try with the £115/night possibility.

It turns out I will be staying just outside Stromness after all, fellow Polar Bear swimmer, Lisa, has offered me a room, kindness abounds.

I missed Molly yesterday. Carla posted some photos and for the first time I really felt a tug and awareness of the relationship I am ignoring. Poppy and Edward were easy to miss in the early stages of my journey, but Molly, only just beginning to crawl was not yet enough of a little person for me to really miss her. Now though it is she I am missing. Missing her crawling, the beginnings of baby signing and her first words. Missing the cuddles and her sleeping on me.

I wonder how I might navigate my return to Scotland after Christmas. My current thoughts are to wander Scotland, stay at Neet’s place in Oban, visit Lif on Skye, go to Balmedie, the Sand Bothy, Findhorn, Diggers and Dreamers, Milltown, explore Shetland.

Who knows, I’m not expecting to be here. But I do want to continue my journey.

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