The only problem with heading back into the academic world is the fact that the growing season hasn't quite finished yet. There are still potatoes to dig and they are not as bad as we feared, although some look like they are being eaten by something like a vole. There are still apples to pick, but they are not quite ripe yet and so will wait until I get back. The buckwheat the only grain crop that seems to have survived needs harvesting and the hemp needs chopping back and drying for the seed. I wasn't allowed anywhere near the hemp before travelling by plane in case it set off any sensors. Funnily enough I did set off the metal detector though in the airport and no idea why, shoes, belt, watch, phone etc. all went in the trays.
People watching in the airports is quite amusing for me. I loved watching the grandma with the little baby and I was maybe a tad jealous. I knew I was in Germany when I spotted an older guy with sleeveless cardi, shorts, socks and shoes. To cap it all though there was the couple in their Sound of Music outfits who hurried up to the gate to take the plane to, where else, but Salzburg. There was the the spot the academic moments! And there were quite a few of them. There was the deep intense discussion on the bus about confluences and determinations and not getting the algorithms to work - or something like that. They were obviously going to a conference and I was beginning to wonder if I had got the right one, but fortunately a guy on the plane behind me told his seat companion that he was going to a conference on landscapes, so at least I felt I was going to the right place. I was amused to hear the ladies reply and I am sure she was thinking landscape gardening type of landscapes and not in the wider sense of the word, like regional scale. Another thing that amuses me now is that more and more I am addressed in the language of the country I'm in. The Latvians were speaking to me in Latvian, the Germans in German and the Austrians also in German of course. I must have lost my British look! Maybe it's the weather beaten look about me.
This rest of this week's blog is a bit of a pictorial tale, partly because I have to finish off my presentation for tomorrow and that takes priority and because I sensibly uploaded the photographs before I flew out.
|Ian felled a rather large aspen to give room for a small oak tree|
that was growing behind it. He is getting very attached to the land
as he said sorry to the tree before felling it.
|He was making room for a new hay store that he is building.|
The last one he made of a similar size, holds around 30 bales
and does a very good job of keeping them in a good state for
|There have been lots of damselflies around. Great for eating|
small unwelcome insects
|There is even water in it! It has to fill up to the second ring and be|
pumped out three times before thinking of using it. It should also help
to flush the system out and make it run better.
|As it is on a hill they have dug a trench around the well, so that|
water does not run directly off the land into the well water. The well
water should have been filtered through a sand layer before it gets
to this point