That was the sound, I think, of a very small coin dropping softly. Son No 1 disappeared off to his room for approaching 2 hours this evening to revise and I hadn’t said a word. And then, after swimming, he picked up his cornet & did some practice and I still hadn’t said a word. Did something happen at school today that I didn’t hear about? And will these events be repeated? Watch this space.
Meanwhile Son No 2 decided he was ill. I tend to take these things moderately seriously as they’re very rarely ill – I can’t remember the last time one of them was off school sick -and they certainly don’t generally choose to go to bed at 6.00. But an hour or so’s sleep and he perked up and we sat & watched Bill Oddie looking at wildlife in the USofA. I want to go and see humpback whales. We intended to take the boys whale watching on the west coast last summer but it didn’t materialise; this year we’ll definitely do it. We won’t see humpbacks but there’s a good chance of killer whales, minkes and basking sharks. The programme did make me think over some of the wildlife encounters I have had – snorkelling with manatees at 7.30am on New Years Day a few years ago was one of the highlights. I’ve also dived with porbeagles on Rockall, been chased by seals on North Rona and heard a whale blowing at dawn in an Icelandic fjord. We counted 140 alligators in about 1/2 an hour in an Everglades creek. I think I might write some posts about some of those. And I’ve driven Bill Oddie in a landrover across Cyprus and cleared tree mallow on Craigleith with Bill Bailey – do they count as wildlife?
I’m writing this as a midnight break from trying to get my sections of the current report finished; I’ve just emailed off a chunk and now need to check some horrendous data tables and produce some more maps before the morning. Oh, it is the morning. The list of things I need to do or organise before heading to Somerset on Wednesday is growing. I was looking forward to a nice quiet February and perhaps dealing with Loch Goil, a report that has been waiting …err..two years. If I say that quickly enough perhaps noone will notice.
But my attention is being directed towards Wales and it looks as though I might be diving on the maerl beds in Milford Haven from 10th – 14th February. If those dates sound familiar, it’s not because I’ve mentioned this before but because, of course, it’s half term. It’s also halfterm down there, and my Welsh colleague has two boys the same age, so we’re contemplating sending the four of them to the childminders at the local sailing school while we go diving. It all sounds very cold. I do think you guys could check the tides before you sort out holiday dates; it’s very inconsiderate. And I also have to get myself to a meeting in Bangor on the way back from Somerset and fit in a couple of weeks on a Welsh shores literature review. Finish the Sunart loose ends. Make sure the museum doesn’t bin my samples and maybe even work them up. Visit my sister for a weekend. Go for my annual girls’ (middle aged women these days but we started out as girls) weekend on the lakeland hills with college friends; we always hope for snow. And find cover for the swimming club for all those sessions I’m going to be away. Tidy my desk.