/ Scotland2016

Tuesday–confined to barracks

OK – no complaints. It’s been cold but we’ve had little rain since Edinburgh so were due some. And it’s good if it all comes at once. It started raining heavily at 10am this morning and stopped at 5pm. Raining sufficiently heavily that it was just too wet even to drive off to somewhere like the local weavers. So a van day.

There’s plenty to do in the van, we have Kindle and books, crafts (knitting and crochet for Liz, weaving and ukulele for me), board games (solitaire and 2-player), audio books etc. At a different location we’d even have the internet!

Nwo when we were on Orkney Liz bought a book entitled 150 Crochet Blocks so her day has been spent making 3 of them. Me, I am exploring a type of weave know as Monk’s Belt on my tiny inkle loom. One of the several patterns this weave structure allows is celtic knotwork – a nice tie-in with yesterday’s Iona visit. I managed a small sample bookmark and a decent bookmark before stopping to write yesterday’s and this blog entry.

Considering we’ve not been out of the van for 21 hours (OK so 10 of that was sleeping) I’m amazed it hasn’t seemed claustrophobic in the least. The only downside is I tend to get a lot of tension in the back muscles due to the not great posture offered by the van seating. Of course, we needed our thermal socks and the van heater, although now the rain has stopped it seems much warmer.

The rain stopped suddenly at 5 and it was like a scene from Watership Down as all these creatures popped out from their burrows and scurried around the campsite. Most heading towards the toilet block, others to the freshwater taps to fill up containers. I did both of these and then went to the chemical toilet disposal point – the one with the Jolly Roger if you remember. Whilst working for IBM I had many opportunities for travel and my trip to India is the one I have fondest memory of. The business side went well and the customer was really pleased that not only did I install the system they wanted but solved a major problem with another system that had been plaguing them for a while and was not on my agenda. Returning from the hinterland to Calcutta I decided to explore the train and elected to use the 3rd class Indian toilet car rather than the 1st class one provided for esteemed passengers such as myself. This was a decision that still haunts me but put me in good stead for today’s encounter with Fidden Farm’s open cesspit. Basically you lift a manhole into a fermenting vat of human effluent, some of which may have been treated with chemicals to help it break down and disperse odours. It was obvious that not all such chemical treatments actually worked as well as their vendors may have hoped. Most disposal points are just sort of huge toilets with all the effluent whooshed around a u-bend, out of sight, mind and nostrils but this hole in the ground was a little more ‘in your face’.

Well that’s about it, when the highlight of the day is the trip to the disposal point, it probably really has been quite an uneventful time. Still the forecast is better for tomorrow and mixed but warmer over the next week so hopefully we we’ll get more chances to explore than we did today.

Not quite the end – I wrote at at about 7pm when the rain had abated. We then had dinner by which time it had started raining again. Ah, the joys of camping, having to don raincoats to do the washing up Sad smile. In fact the gap in the rain meant the shower block was heaving, now it was raining it was empty once again. So might as well take 3 showers, a cold one walking down, a hot one in the shower block and a final return cold one. The rain is set in for the night.