We are in the Orkney’s today and there is planned excursion to a long, involved archeological site. I somehow managed to miss sitting pack in the theater – AKA lecture room – with everyone else last afternoon. Instead I voted with my feet in favor of an audio book and personal time up close with the only working treadmill in the fitness area. It was remarkably free of people.
Back to today. There I was sitting in the lounge, enjoying a latte and contemplating what I was doing today. Two gentlemen wander over near where I am sitting. I more than wish I hadn’t had to listen to that particular conversation. It is not that I minded hearing about the German Sub that had come into the harbor, sunk ships and then slid back out without being detected (other than the obvious) but it was the tone. The other then asks “what do you do?” I think assuming he was going to hear about a history background. Instead we are all treated to a 15 minute dissertation on being “the worlds expert on” and doing research as well as being invited to multiple international meetings a year.
Ok, and? Not that I would have heard of him, but what about now?
And then it hit me. There are some extremely talented women in the various alumni groups which is significant considering that the age range on one of these trips ranges from 60s on up – with most being in their 70s. None of them seem to have a need for bragging rights. Many of the men? Hello? Goes right along with a discussion yesterday about how important College Athletics are. Again, the women I polled said – huh? It’s important to the guys, the frat/sorority types and those actually in the sports programs. The money to support them? See above. And I am thinking – public universities, commuter schools and those of us who had to work to get through our various degree programs. Attending sports, parties, goofing off were not in my vocabulary.
These same men are more than happy to be on organized tours. Most of their lives they have had support staff resulting in a comfort with someone else making the arrangements. Me? I am much happier with figuring out what I want to do, avoiding buses with lots of people and guides standing around lecturing. The end result is that I bagged the whole “group experience” this day in favor of the 20 minute hike into town. It was a nice, brisk walk with a significant headwind and a temperature around 12*C. I was feeling self-satisfied and with the walk back can probably skip the treadmill session.
Orkney is a lovely town, very Scottish, very stone, very ship economy based. Tourism, fishing are important as some of the more traditional forms of income (sheep). We turned out to be one of three ships docking today. It is Sunday. Those places which are normally open on Sunday are, the rest aren’t. With the exception of the Orkney Museum which opened especially for the ship’s passengers. The Wireless Museum doesn’t open till 1430.
The Orkney Museum is a lovely, small town museum housed in a former mansion constructed as a outer circling block of connected buildings with a center courtyard. There are narrow halls and steep stairs. The exhibits are organized by historical period and invader. There are multiple spinning wheels.
[I’ll provide photos when I manage to get them downloaded from the camera].
Shetland wool can be bought by the once off commercial ones in one of the shops/ The lovely young man who works there says the store was started by his parents and many of the small sweater, hats and waistcoats were knit by his mum. He is much more interested in wordworking. The regular yarn, needlework and fabric stores don’t open on Sunday. Probably fine as I don’t need anything at all.
I found good strong tea with milk at a local hotel and am just engaged in catch up. I don’t expect to be seriously back on line for any significant time prior to Copenhagen (unless I ditch the planned experiences in the next two ports).
Oh, the lead line? The typical military comment – Stick a fork in me – I’m done.