Listening to: Club Foot (Kasabian)
Weather: sunshine, mild, spring on the way?
Trying to remember if: I've had a tetanus jab lately
I'm doing a bit of recycling. As well as putting out cans, bottles, old newspapers and so on, I'm sort of giving new life to an old threshing machine.
Not that it will be even slightly recognisable as a threshing machine once I've finished with it. It's got two good, hefty frames and as such is perfect for the shelter I'm planning for the pigs in their new paddock.
I had considered splashing out on a couple of pig arks - that's ark as in small nissan hut, rather than big boat built in case of biblical events* - but they start at £250 for a simple one and that's before you've got the thing to Orkney. So, with loads of scrap timber hanging around the place, we're going for the Blue Peter** option.
I've trimmed off the bottom beams so they'll stick straight in the ground and then I plan a sort of freestyle performance, hammering in wood where necessary and adding some waterproofing.
Trust me, I nearly know what I'm doing.
It has been beautiful today and a real pleasure to be outside, even though I spent much of the day cutting my hands to ribbons on barbed wire in a no-doubt futile attempt to pig-proof the paddock. There's blood dripping onto the keyboard as I type.
Mrs TPF popped out to help when I needed an extra pair of hands, but she's spent probably too much time ironing and sorting stuff out for when she starts work in Kirkwall on Monday, her criminal record check having come through clear - no jokes, please - quicker than expected.
That news at the end of last week caused a bit of a stir, not least because she hadn't got anywhere to stay or any flights/ferries booked. Transport was quickly sorted, but Sal still had to find a bed. We placed an ad in The Orcadian, but short-term she was going to have to find B&B/self-catering in Kirkwall.
She trawled the internet, made some calls and an hour or two later proudly announced that she'd got a deal with a guest house for the first couple of weeks until she arranged something more permanent.
"You know the place, it's near the harbour in Kirkwall," she said. I didn't. Couldn't place it at all.
"I've saved it on the favourites," she added. "Here, look."
"Oh yes," I said. "That'd be the ***** Hotel in Stromness. Very near Stromness harbour - about half-an-hour on the bus from Kirkwall. Look, it says 'Stromness' in very big letters."
Bless her. I think the animals and I had better go too, just to keep an eye on her.
* Sally and I visited Maes Howe prehistoric burial chamber on Orkney mainland during the summer and opted for the guided tour (very good it was too). The 'any questions' bit at the end was more interesting than usual.
Elderly American Tourist in lemon golf slacks (on Orkney!): "How long after the Great Flood was this built?"
Tour guide: "I'm sorry?"
Lemon Slacks: "The Great Flood. Noah's Ark."
Tour guide (remaining remarkably steady): "I'm afraid I don't know. Maybe if you ask at the museum in Kirkwall. . . or the cathedral."
Championship class buck-passing if ever I heard it.
** I loathed Blue Peter as a child. Still do, now I come to think of it. When school was over, I wanted cartoons and football, not more school.