About Me

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Cork, Ireland
Wondering what the hell to do with my life! In the meantime living on a gorgeous little island. That's me!

Monday 29 January 2007

Right then, this is me with hair for those of you who cant remember the days!! Sorry to all my avid readers for the loooooong delay in posting, but I have been rather busy I'll have you know, so no slagging! Its beginning to look like this may actually be a monthly update, which is still a step forward from no updates at all, so shut it!

Life on d'island continues apace, and with 2 jobs taking up all my time theres not much left for other stuff. Im still working in the pub most nights, and am even cooking the bar meals these days (incredibly good steaks I must say). The picture of the pub lacks a certain major ingredient - me! But as I have not yet mastered the art of being in two places at once it's just gonna have to do! the murphys tap is one nearest you all - a fine pint of course.....
A new job at the fish farm is taking up the daytimes - its supposed to be casual, but 8-6 Mon/Fri is less casual than I had expected I must say. The project is great, an abalone farm, and its busy busy busy up there at the moment. Most people do a bit of everything, but each of them has a speciality, whereas I seem to have come in at a time when evrything needs to be done, so am getting a lightning introduction to it all, although this week I have settled into training with Aurkene, a wonderful girl from the Basque country, who is in charge of the hatchery side. This week has been fantastic, me and Aurkene were fertilising all the time, and we are now the proud parents of 3 million babies. We are taking the next year off work as we are a bit tired, and naming the little buggers will be tough.

It really has been fantastic though, chemically inducing the adults to spawn, then collecting the eggs and sperm, fertilising the eggs etc. We did that on Friday, and after only half an hour you could see the fertilised eggs dividing in two, then four, then eight etc. On saturday they were free swimming larvae, and today they had shells and you could see them searching for something to stick on to. All pretty amazing really.
Apart from work theres not been too much else happenning really, the weather has been exceptionally calm (but cold), and the light down here is out of this world.
Theres often some kind of unearthly sensation that the whole world is glowing! Of course the one day that i had a few hours to walk around with the camera was the only gloomy, cloudy day - so no shots i'm afraid, apart from the one here.
Birding has been a lot better than expected, with highlights since christmas being barn owl, yellow legged gull, whimbrel, glaucous gull, woodcock, and 4 black throated divers together today.
Apart from last week however, it has been pretty horrendous for the last month or two, with virtually contant storms, some of which have been magnificent in their violence. It remains a huge pleasure however, to wake up in the morning, look out onto a gut wrenching blower, and think "I am so happy I'm looking at it, and not on it!" Managed a couple of walks during these storms, and it was seriously hard work, air filled with spray, and bent double, struggling for every inch of headway. Worth it? Naturally!
So on that I'll leave you all, as I'm absolutely wrecked. Leah, I promise theres a mail on the way shortly, hope everything is going fantastically well. Marky - same!
Goodnight all, sweet dreams!

Thursday 30 November 2006

Seems like everyone is gone, including me! Marky in Japan, Leah in Thailand, Rua in the US of A, me on remote island. So, perhaps a blog is a good way of staying in touch? This post is just a little experiment really, and somehow I dont think I'll be very good at maintaining regular updates, but lets suck it and see!!
The reality of life on an island has come home to me a little more in the last few days. Following a summer of chaos, everything is calming down here now - fewer and fewer people coming to the pub that I work in, same old faces every day, same conversations. Last night was the first night that I went to work, and there wasnt a single customer, so at 9pm (after 3 hours trying to keep myself busy!) I gave up and went home, leaving the pub in charge of one of the girls who is quite happy to sit there and read her english teaching textbooks - customers or not!
And now we've got a serious storm, so the ferry didnt run today, and was restricted in its sailings the last few days. It's easy to get all romantic about this - 'feel so isolated'etc, and there are many who do, but its not really my style. The mainland is only 7 miles away, we can see it, and we have virtually everything we need here anyway - at least anything we dont have is not really so essential that it cant wait a few days. And the chances of there being no ferry at all for a few days in a row is pretty slim. Its one of the commonest questions that tourists ask - "what do you do in the winter?". I think it's not really that different from what anybody else does in the winter - sit about, watch tele or a movie, read a book, chat with friends, maybe go to the pub. The possibilities are of course a little more restricted, but only in so much as you cant do things on the spur of the moment (go to cinema etc). If you feel the need to do something a bit different, like go to the cinema, it's not really such a big deal - get on the ferry, go to cork (1.5 hrs drive). It may involve an overnight stay, but what the hell...!
On the birdy front, but there aint none o dem darn tings neither, apart from a gorgeous little firecrest weathering the storms since October - will he stay for the winter? I hope so, will be nice to have that little jewel to brighten up the days.
So thats all for now, just wanna see if this works really!!!!
Ta ta darlings