Jonathan: Last day at work today. I bought some eatable goodies to share with close colleagues, and we went out for lunch at The Cork. Feelings all mixed up. Of course I never wanted to have to come here in the first place, last summer; but aside from the frustrating lack of work, it’s worked out well. I shall miss Welwyn GC, St Albans and Hertford. I shall miss the familiarity of Tesco at Hatfield. I shall miss the leaves on the trees – I shall miss the trees! I shall even miss the familar landmarks along the A414, the A1(M) and the M1. But above all I shall miss the company of some good people I’ve got to know. I do feel I’m leaving owing a debt, which I may have the chance to repay. It’s not of money, but one of mutual support and encouragement, comradeship I suppose.
Jonathan: I’ve now got the final day booked at the campsite, so no need now to camp out on the streets of Welwyn Garden City. And someone must have cancelled even without the unpleasant weather I prayed for! (Only joking – who would be so mean as to pray for bad weather?). On the other hand I’ve really got to use up all those tins of beans and soup and stuff I’ve bought at times over the past year, but have never actually got round to eating.
Denise: Today, the postie came with bags of Jonathan’s bits!! Three big bags (feed bags I posted to him last week) that he posted on Saturday afternoon (how’s that for service!) with everything from a feather pillow to a carving knife, bicycle spares to a Mary Webb novel, and kitchen paper towels to tinned mackerel! There’s another bag somewhere on route, and he now tells me there’ll be another three or four sent later this week. And then am bodach himself on Sunday.
One more week of work -well, the charade that currently goes under the name of ‘work’.
I’ve now got a train ticket for next Saturday, Welwyn Garden City to Oban (changing at Stevenage, Edinburgh and Glasgow) for £52 (including card fee and insurance!). My bike has got tickets too – at least for Stevenage to Edinburgh and Glasgow to Oban: for the two shorter legs there’s no reservations you just have to take pot luck! I shall stay overnight at the Oban Backpacker’s hostel, then on the afternoon ferry to Barra and South Uist. I’m really so excited about it, it’s hard to believe that I’m simply going home. It really does feel like an adventure – setting out into a new life. Which I suppose I am, because I – Denise and I – will no longer be dependent on civil engineering for our living.
During the week, Denise posted some poultry feed bags to me. I’ve now packed up four feedbags of all sorts – clothes, toiletries, kitchenware, books, food, bedding -varying between 10kg and 16kg and costing a total of £53. There’s probably two or maybe three more to send yet during the week. In the opposite direction I’ve got to send to Donna and Paul the bed cusions for the luton: that’s going to cost almost £100 because of the length.
Beautiful day today – very sunny but also very cold. I had intended to make a second trip to St Alban’s, but as you can see I’m doing this instead, and to be honest I really don’t want to risk it being a disappointment compared to that lovely day I spent there back in September.
I just now need to fix up my campsite for the last few days here, as it’s half term and they were fully booked: I’m hoping for a cancellation, most likely if the weather is bad. So I’m hoping most for bad weather!
Well it’s almost a full year since I sent it off for spinning, but at long last the wool skeins have now arrived! All the wool is worsted spun from selected first clips, and very dark and lustrous. Most is DK weight, some we ordered as Aran weight. About half of the DK will go to pay for Hebridean lambs we bought last year. We really could do with either more sheep or access to more wool to buy!
‘Trouble up’ mill’ meant they didn’t start our wool until a month or more ago, by which time we were actually able to add fleeces from this year’s clip!! Unfortunately that means the wool we now have left to sell (after paying for the lambs) has got to last us even longer.