Reality hits – I need to collect some data!

As our time in the UK fades into the background, and the year ends, I have come to the realization that I need to collect data for my PhD research and get writing about it. Hopefully the many draft blog posts for my Diary of a Slow Traveller blog posts will make sure it doesn’t become a distant memory.

My favourite person made the observation while we were away that perhaps 2018 might need to be a year to stay close to home. With children getting married and the prospect of grandchildren not to mention a PhD, her observation struck a chord, albeit a jarring one!

In the weeks since we’ve returned to Adelaide I have been ruminating on my literature review. I have some feedback from my supervisors on it. The good news, at least 3 of my 25000 words are useful!

I’m now in the phase of re-editing it. There are some sections that I’m so over, it makes me nauseous to read them. That’s a challenge but it needs to be done. Why is it that’s each time you read something you feel the need to make sweeping changes?  My goal is that by very early January the latest draft will be completed and sent to my supervisors for a further and final review because I really need to move on.

My favourite person’s observation that 2018 needs to be about my PhD makes sense. I’m a long way behind where I’d hoped to be.

There are good reasons, Continue reading

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The Italian Chapel,Orkney Islands

    The Italian Chapel

Who said Nissan huts were boring?

Nissan huts are almost ubiquitous on the Orkney Islands as a result of the Orkney’s place in war history.  One of the more unusual uses of Nissan Huts on the Orkney islands is The Italian Chapel.

Cement Blocks – Churchill Barriers

Located on Lamb Holm in the Orkney Islands, The Italian Chapel was built by Italian prisoners of war during WW2. The prisoners were moved from the heat of North Africa to the chilly Orkney Islands, primary to build the Churchill Barriers and are responsible for The Italian Chapel.

The Churchill Barriers were built to protect the Scapa Flow anchorage, following the sinking of HMS Royal Oak by a German U-Boat in late 1939. The Churchill Barriers link Orkney Mainland to South Ronaldsay via Burray , Lamb Holm and Glimps Holm. The Churchill Barriers link Orkney Mainland to South Ronaldsay via Burray, Lamb Holm and Glimps Holm. While the Churchill Barriers are interesting and might make the subject of a post in the future this post is about The Italian Chapel.

View of the Churchill Barriers from the air

View of the Churchill Barriers from the air Source:

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The story of Betty Corrigall, Hoy, Orkeny Islands

The story of Betty Corrigall is sad and so fitting of Hoy.

Hoy a small wind swept island in the Orkney Islands and is home to a very sad story of love and despair. In the late 1700s a girl, just 27, fell in love with a sailor and became pregnant too him. It was a time when such a thing was shunned, particularly in such a religious place.

Betty was alone for her lover on learning she was pregnant returned to the sea, never to be seen by her again. What was she to do? She would be shunned by all and sundry. She would have no means to support her soon to be born child. For her it was a hopeless situation.

Tragically she felt she had no alternative but to take her own life. Continue reading

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A Short Stop in the Eternal City, Rome, Italy

As generally happens over an extended holiday, some days are better than others and I would have to say the latter few days in the UK and Ireland were not the best of our trip. Pouring rain to greet and farewell us in The Lake District, high winds in Wales, a cancelled ferry and then no cabs at the ferry terminal in Dublin when we eventually arrived had made for a less than ideal few days, but that was all about to change!

As we flew along the Italian Coast, I felt an uplift in spirit and a regret that we had not scheduled more time in Rome before going home, but getting bathroom renovations completed before Christmas and my PhD meant we needed to be home.

With only a couple of days in Rome, all we could do was enjoy a coffee or two, some gelato, pasta an Aperol Spritz (perhaps more than one) and the chaos that is Rome. Just wonderful.

The weather was bright for our arrival. Flying into Rome the country side was so different to what we’d seen in the previous  6 weeks. The patchwork quilt of green replaced by the grey browns of a countryside that has experienced a Mediterranean Summer and a bright blue big sky.

Once on the ground we were through immigration in no time Continue reading

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Tower Records, Dublin

The Diary of a Slow Traveller

I have fond memories of spending a delightful afternoon thumbing through CDs at one of the Tower Record stores in San Fransisco back in the 90s while my jet lagged family were asleep. I’d also spent time in the HMV store in Singapore and London, thumbing through the racks of CDs.

I particularly remember the Singapore store as I’d spent a whole afternoon there in preference to seeing Singapore’s sights. When I caught up with my colleagues they were somewhat bemused by how I’d spent my afternoon. But in 2017 these were all distant memories.

So what has this got to do with our trip to the UK. Well, it has been one of my laments that the joy of thumbing through racks of CDs is a thing of the past,  so it was with absolute joy that I spent a delightful hour at Tower Records in Dublin.

We’d booked a tour in The Little Museum of Dublin  for early afternoon, as the morning tours were booked out and so we thought we’d visit Trinity College to see the Book of Kells in the interim. When we arrived to purchase our tickets for The Book of Kells we found that it was on timed entry and that our slot was just before our scheduled Little Museum of Dublin tour. As a result we had an hour or so to kill.

As we’d walked to Trinity College to purchase our tickets, I’d seen the Tower Records store which was conveniently located directly opposite a large bookstore where my favourite person would be happy to browse. I left her there and headed straight across the road to Tower Records.

I suspect as I walked in, my eyes were the size of saucers. It’s enormous and not only did it have racks of CDs to thumb through but racks and racks of Vinyl. My morning was made as I browsed new releases and then walked upstairs where there was even more Vinyl. It was like stepping back in time and I was loving it. Continue reading

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