"The fairies only left Orkney when folk stopped seekin' them" - Anonymous Orcadian
"Never be afraid to seek" - Ally

Monday, March 01, 2010


...it sure has been a long time since I've updated the blog, hasn't it?

Well, I guess this first new post should be to update you on what's happened in the last 4 months... So, here goes...

A Month Of... Taking A Few Months Off

Well, the daily videos were the first casualty - They might come back at some stage... I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Turtley New Arrivals

On 31st October, Viki & I welcomed a new member to the family - a yellow-bellied slider terrapin, who we named "Aristotle" (named after Telly Savalas, and so I could make the "Aris-turtle" pun). Here he is on the first day we had him...

And then, on the night before Christmas my brother gave to us (to be sung to the tune of "On The First Day Of Christmas")... not 2 turtle doves, but a map turtle who we christened "Atlas" (Atlas? Maps? See what we did there?)... Again, here's the new addition on day 1...

Now, Aristotle is much bigger than he was... Atlas is getting a wee bit bigger... and this is how the brothers like to sit in the tank...

(in fact, looking behind me, that's how they are sitting right at this moment).

I will admit I was a little unsure when we got Aristotle, mainly because I'd never had reptiles as pets before, or even handled them, but Viki kept them back home in Hungary. But now I love our little guys (er... we've decided in our own way that they are boys... We can't really tell for sure yet, cause they're too peedie, but we always refer to them as "he", and "brothers", so I guess we might be in for a bit of a red face if we discover in a year or two that one or both of them is/are female).

Oh, they've also got company in the tank... When we got Aristotle, Viki said that live food is good for terrapins, so we bought a peedie fish for him to catch and eat... except he decided that the fish is "friend" not "food" - so Findus (as he's been christened) lives happily (if a little warily at first) with them in the tank!

So, what else has been happening?

End Of An Era

After almost 15 years of working in the same building (10 years for one company, and then nearly 5 years for another), I am now in the position of being unemployed. My boss declared the firm insolvent, and we were closed down on 11th November. I'd known it was going to happen for a few months, and couldn't say anything to anybody, and I made the decision to hang on til the end and collect my wages as long as I could, and then my redundancy (15 years' worth, since when I started the last job, I was employed under TUPE legislation). However, there have been some problems getting the money I was entitled to, which are still ongoing to a certain extent - so the last few months have been hard financially, and very stressful. Now I'm back to claiming Job-Seekers Allowance and searching for a job, along with everyone else who has become a victim of the recession. I'm finding it very hard to keep motivated and upbeat, which is pretty much why the blog has been on ice for months.

Snow Longer Funny

Speaking of "on ice" - god, I am sick of this winter! Up here in Orkney, we seem to have had ice and snow and sleet and frost solidly since around Christmas time. Our last lot of snow was just starting to go yesterday, and this morning I looked out the window and saw big, white, wet flakes drifting down. Then, later this afternoon, and now again this evening, there have been showers of more sleety stuff, meaning that it's once again white outside! I am just so fed up of going slowly and carefully all the time, worrying that I'm going to fall and break an arm or a leg (bearing in mind that I still have a bandage on one leg to try and heal a peedie ulcer I have and, as a result, am having to wear shoes that are too big, and one had to be cut and has to be held on with micropore tape - and they've not got the best grips in the world for dealing with ice and snow). I swear I'm going to hibernate for the rest of winter if this is going to go on much longer!

Christmas & New Year

Even with no job and not much money, Christmas and New Year were pretty damn good this year. The house was decorated for the first time in years (I never bothered latterly... I just didn't see the point, and just wanted the "Festive" season to be over with as soon as possible). However, with Viki here, it was so different. We followed the Hungarian tradition, and put the tree and decorations up on Christmas Eve, and it was such fun. Then Christmas dinner was had at my brother's. We didn't go and see the Ba's on Christmas Day (both went up anyway, so least said about that, the better). Then, the day after Boxing Day, we (my brother, Viki & me) were all invited out to my sister's for tea.

New Year was good too. Viki & me went up to Broad Street for Midnight, and I don't really remember too much else, so I guess it was a good night (mind you, it was 2 months ago, and I'm getting on a bit now, so maybe it's just general old age that's made me forget). Had a spot of good news on New Year's Day, as the Mens Ba came doon for the first time in god knows how long, and Viki got to see it! I think her scream of "Yes!" as the ba went in the harbour was louder than everyone elses! Boys Ba still went up though, but it was a start! New Year's Day dinner was Hungarian Bean Soup... doesn't sound like much, but it was thick and warming and full of smokey ham. Delicious!

Other News

Not really too much other news, I don't think. Just celebrated Viki's *ahem* 29th birthday on Saturday. Friday night her & me went out for a meal, before David joined us for some drinks. Then Saturday night one of her workmates came through from Stromness and we went out drinking. Fun at the time, but I think I'm getting too old for serious drinking now!

So, I think that's enough to be going on with. I'm feeling a little light-headed after all this typing, so I think I might have to go lie down in a darkened room for a while. Promise it won't be so long til the next update, although I won't make any rash promises about when it'll appear.

Oh, and please feel free to comment, although I'm having to turn the comment moderation on again, because I'm getting a few spam comments being posted. I promise all genuine comments will be approved, whether positive or negative (although obviously I'd prefer positive). Or why not sign the guest book?

Okay... that really is all for now... Bye bye... x


Viki said...

Yeeeehaaa! I'm so glad you started blogging again!

I've just given a bit of your ham to the terrapins, I know you dont mind. :-)))))) Lalala. They say thanks anyway.

Btw, you forgot to mention the scrabble war that's been on. Ah, now I know why you "forgot" about it... hihihihihi!

AllyBally said...

mivan! u gave my ham 2 the kids? ha... then just wait til u r at work 2moro... wot can I give them of urs?

and I was hoping 2 gloss over the scrabble... after all, it doesn't feel good to lose to someone who doesn't speak english as their first language... juj!

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