Monday, 14 October 2013

Round and round I go

Looking handsome in anticipation of the ladies coming
next week. Wonder if he knows? 
Oh the weeks seem short at the moment, but I'm hanging on in there. My trip back to Latvia was a long one, with the train stopping at every little station along the way. Some of the little stations don't even seem to have habitation nearby and appear to be nestled in the middle of pine forests, but still there were people waiting for the train at these stops. I was much more organised this time and made sure that I got work done whilst travelling. At least that worked for the train journeys, but by the time I got the bus I was whacked and so took to gazing out of the mud splattered window. There were all these gorgeous looking coaches in the bus station with advertisements for Wifi on board, but that was not the case with the bus to where I live. I saw a tatty looking bus and thought that must be ours, I was wrong. It might have been tatty and run by the same company, but it was relatively clean. When my bus came around the corner I realised the mistake I had made, of course ours would be a two tone brown and green bus, just like our car at the moment is a two tone brown and red car.
One of Ian's fans, she even came up to have her chin tickled
James on patrol, looking after his ladies
The rest of the week seemed to be taken up with reading yet more papers and then having to make a hurried attempt at re-jigging my study plan. My first one required amendments and to carry on studying I had to make the changes. The study plan, basically outlines the next three years of my life and what I intend to do along the way and has to be accepted by the powers that be in the university. I should find out this week whether they have accepted the amendments. The worse thing is though when I looked through the study plan, I realise there are things outstanding that need to be done asap and to top all that there are things I need to prepare for next year now. Oh boy! Priorities, priorities. I managed not to freak out when my supervisor said I needed to prepare some sort of project title and outline to entice some Masters students to come and work with me next year on my project ..... all to be completed by the beginning of November. I understand totally why it is needed and why it is needed now and so that moves up the list. Maybe I will get a winter holiday if I work like mad.
A flush of green, it's growing
Ian with the help of friends has continued to clear the
forest of last years cut trees
I can't get out of the harvesting though, I managed to get all the potatoes dug up that have sat in the ground since we dug up the rest back in the beginning of September. The ground was still ridiculously dry for this time of the year and the day was gorgeous, it was nice to be doing something physical and not mental for a change. I did the job in two stints, as I took a trip up to our friends who are staying in our other apartment in the middle of my digging to show them the apple trees that still needed picking. My back needed a rest anyway. Our friend is hoping to make some apple pies and so I'm really looking forward to that and a visit wouldn't be a visit without a cup of tea and a chat would it? This Sunday saw Ian and I back out on the land, the first time I had managed to get out there in a week. It was nice to see what Ian has done, the barley growing well and to say hello to the animals again (we are more certain it is barley now, as oats are killed in frosts and we've had a few of them) . We also gathered in the last of the beans that are sat outside - oh yes! More beans! I have been reading about fermented food for chickens and beans will make a good addition to that.
And the waste branches have been
chipped for paths and road ways
I climbed all the way up to the top of that
I managed to cadge a lift again up to Tartu and was rewarded with a detour around Otepää in Estonia, as my supervisor had guests who had not seen the place before. Otepää is a lovely spa town and ski resort and it was a beautiful day to see more of this pretty place than I had previously seen from the bus. He took us to an observation tower and after wandering up many, many, many steps we were greeted with an immense expanse of gold and green forest (no wonder my legs ache today though). Apparently there were many lakes there too, but as they were in hollows they were not visible from the viewing tower due to all the trees. We stopped along the way to have a quick walk in the forest too as one of the guests wanted to see a lichen covered forest floor, as he hadn't really seen one before. It is quite an experience to tramp through a pine forest with an incredibly springy green floor, quite different to the pine needle covered forests of many other places. The place smelt of mushrooms but the only ones we saw were past their best - too late in the season obviously, such a shame as I would have loved some wild mushrooms to go with my baked potato and bean supper.
It was a long way down
But the view was worth it
All this travelling has often just been for one four hour lecture (we do have a break in the middle though). It would be nice but extremely demanding to have the lectures concentrated into less time, but that's the way it is and so I have to go along with that. This week I do have an additional lecture and had an appointment to see another of my supervisors, but that is not always the case. The higher education class is not a bad class at all and I'm getting to know a few of the other folks on my course. The last two weeks I have walked back into town with one of the other students, last week it was a young man who wanted to talk about some ideas he had and this week it was a lovely lass who was feeling a little unsure about the course. I hope I was encouraging along the way, but at least it was just nice to be walking and chatting and getting to know some fellow students better.
Ski jump in Otepää

A long way up, but we didn't go up there

Called the Holy Lake because it has been
blessed by the Dalai Lama


  1. I am loving your travels, the views, the tales of your little chats whilst w

  2. I presume that was whilst walking :) Not sure what happened with your blog link there and just in case anyone wants to see Karen's lovely work it is

    Glad you are enjoying the travel. I'm off again today


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