I’ve decided I’m going to talk about Scotland backwards… not entirely sure why this appeals to me, except maybe that I seem to be talking about the end of the trip a lot because our last stop was Manchester and that has understandably been in people’s minds. So, I’m going to start where we finished and work backwards to the glorious beginning.
I should say one of the only really stressful things to happen on the trip did happened right at the end, so this first post gets to be the ‘dramatic’ post! When we were in the lovely Changi Airport in Singapore and I’d just gotten my usual degree of childish glee from riding the Skytrain between terminals (it’s a train lovers’ thing) when I realised my wallet wasn’t where it ought to be! It only had a few pounds and my cards in it, so I fatalistically wrote-it-off the moment I discovered it missing, but it seemed like a sad way to finish the trip.
Then the lovely Singapore Airlines people found it! And rushed it over to the gate so I had it back in my pocket before we boarded our next flight. Which made me feel particularly lucky and grateful to the travel gods.
One of the things I liked about Changi was it has a butterfly house and a koi pond…and random pieces of art:
After spending a wonderful month in Scotland (a whole month!!) I’m back in Oz and back to normal life (sigh). The one nice thing about that is being back to writing and editing. I just can’t get anything much done when I travel – my brain is way too overstimulated by new and interesting environments.
Having said that I did manage to review some drafts of things while on the interminable 13 hr leg of the journey over and, on a rainy day in Glasgow, I did also find a new opening for one of the novellas which I’m very pleased about. The total word count for the month of May was a mere 1,000 words, but that was bonus productivity!
Since my feet touched home soil I think I’ve written something like 3,000 words on some random story that popped into my head the week I got back. I don’t think that story is going anywhere, but it felt good. And now I’ve got a bunch of editing lined up on the novella, I’ve had more feedback on Blurty which needs integrating and I’m feeling about ready to read the PAR draft I finished in April!
Daemon looks pleased.
I was in Manchester last weekend and it was a curious thing to be out in the city where everyone was going about their lives on warm spring days as though nothing of note had recently happened there, and yet the bombing the previous weekend did cast a shadow… of defiance and love.
The very fact the athletic carnival and fun run went ahead on the days we were there, with big crowds cheering them on, was defiance, but there were many other instances too. The buskers were wearing “I love MCR” tshirts, as were all the charity collectors, and there were messages of love and support at the memorials around town. And this outside the Waterstones book store:
In a strange way, what had happened that night in Manchester was almost less present in Manchester than it had been for us before we got there, because in a pub in Kirkwall a few days earlier, where everyone had been hoping Man Utd would win the Europa League Final (which they did), when the stadium in Sweden fell silent before the start of play out of respect for Manchester, so did the pub.
After a busy day in the Orkneys visiting as many things on Mainland as possible, my travel buddy and I got on a midnight ferry to Aberdeen. It was a weird thing to go to sleep in one place and wake up in another! Made stranger by it having been cool and very wet on Mainland while we woke to amazing warm, sunshine in Aberdeen. For a moment we thought we’d been blown off course in the night!
Don’t you love their logo?
Coincidentally, we visited the Cairn that is the inspiration for the place thee heroine in Outlander timeslips… I can totally see why an author would find the place inspiring!
Between the castles, the standing stones and even a broch I have been geeking out on history…