I’m celebrating

p1010034.JPGI’m not celebrating the fact that my hair is now coming out in handfuls and my debris is competing with the cat’s fluff for the attentions of the vacuum cleaner.  Mind you, the cat’s fur isn’t likely to block up the bath plug so I win on that score.

I am celebrating the completion of my Irish Sea contract.  I wrote, way back in the mists of May, that a large proportion of the Irish seabed had arrived in my back yard.  Well it’s now left.  Finally.  Only four and a half months overdue – it was supposed to be finished by the end of June.  You’d think they’d have induced it by this time.  The biggest inducement in the life of a self-employed anything is of course being paid and I had a quiet laugh as I wrote the invoice last week.  Continue reading

Good mother, bad mother

I’m back!  Well, OK, I haven’t in fact been any further than the utility room at the other end of the house, which doubles as a lab and houses my microscopes in a truly microscopic corner.  As Andy from Wales remarked, when he called in to collect some of the buckets of pickled seabed I’ve been working on, “You really don’t have much room, do you?”  Anyhow, I’ve been shackled to the microscope and, as it’s holiday time, have relinquished the computer to the children.  On top of that, a neighbour’s tree took out our phone line and I had to have daily arguments with BT for a week before they would come and fix it.  “Our checks show it is not a fault with the line. Please turn off your modem and check your handsets”.  “We’ve done that.  Several times”.  “Our checks show it is not a fault with the line…” Deep breath and much gnashing of teeth. “It is a fault with the line. Please come and fix it!”  So I haven’t blogged for a while. Or read anyone else’s blog.

In the last few days I have resumed my duties as Chief Chauffeur, my plaster having been removed a week or so ago.  I can drive, but can’t walk.  In fact that’s not strictly true; Continue reading

One week’s travels with my ankle

I have this feeling that I’ve run out of things to say, a very unlikely scenario.  Some of you, of course, may breathe a sigh of relief.  But, for myself, I have found that this blogging thing is a little like that old-fashioned and sadly declining habit of letter writing; the more you write, the more you have to say and the easier it becomes.  Unfortunately, the effort of hopping around on crutches, balanced by excessive time spent sitting on my backside, and more television than I’ve watched in my life, seems to have knocked my motivation for, well, anything, for six.  I started writing this post last week and never got round to finishing it. So get on with it, GPM.  It’s already out of date.  It’s too long.  It’s boring.  What follows is an etiolated diary entry.  You have been warned.

Saturday a week ago began at 0530 in the pouring rain.  It’s the sort of morning time that only exists in books or to catch a low tide.  Continue reading

All at sea


tubularia-indivisa.jpgIt seems that most of the Irish Sea – well, the seabed – has just arrived in my back yard, as a result of one of the quotes I did last week.  If I had my camera, which I kirchenpaueria-with-pycnogonids.jpgbucket.jpgmislaid at Dunbar last week, I would show you what it looks like and why I am scared, very scared!  It is one thing seeing a spreadsheet with a list of numbers of buckets and jars – quite another seeing it in the flesh.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to get my microscope serviced and clear my cubby hole in the utility room where it looks like I’ll be spending rather a lot of the next couple of months.  It’s the sort of thing I’d much rather do over the winter, but we can’t be choosy.

Standard Grades start for GP1 today.  Continue reading