Listening to: There Is A Light (The Smiths)
Looking forward to: Pint of Dragonhead stout on draught
But I've got to: get a haircut first
And: get some pig wormer thingy from the vets
Birdwatch: Shags, eider ducks, goldeneye (?), little auk, greylag geese, whooper swans, black-backed gulls.
Sometimes I forget to look at the view.
Days when the sheer weight of tasks that need doing close in and the solitude gets a little bit too much. I walk out of the front door - which overlooks the sea and the island of Rousay and Orkney mainland beyond - and some days completely fail to notice it.
That has a lot to do with being here on my own. It's hard to say "oooh, look at the way the sun is shining off the sea" or words to that effect if there is nobody to listen. Pigs, I have found, have no interest in scenery.
So, after seven days that have not been the best in my life, I dragged myself out of bed at 6.30, walked the dogs, fed hens and pigs, evicted the cat and got down to the ferry terminal for the 9am boat to Kirkwall. The weather forecast was for cold sunshine and I figured a sea voyage and day in town would perk me up no end.
Got to the pier to be greeted by the harbourmaster who said that, because of a long-running work-to-rule by the ferry crews, the boat would be calling at Sanday on its way to Kirkwall, so would take two hours or more instead of the usual hour-and-a-quarter.
I looked on the bright side. I've never been to Sanday and even if I wasn't going to get off, it would be good to have a look.
And it proved to be a smashing trip. The sunshine was bright and I spent the whole time out on deck with my binoculars. The ferry rounded the north coast of Eday, then squeezed between that island and it's 'mini-me' The Calf of Eday, going to within 100 metres of the shore where the crofts run down to the sea.
At one stage I could, if I turned 360 degrees, see seven islands. The eider ducks are gathering in large numbers, the males in their distinctive black and white plumage, while huge numbers of ducks, geese and swans were flocking on the north shores of Shapinsay.
I had a terrific time. It was a reminder just when I needed it that this is a quite astonishing place and I'd be a fool to take it for granted.