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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

A working day

Today’s picture is of some miniature daffodils in my newly cultivated garden border that have bravely dared to stick their heads above the earth so early in the year for Orkney flowers.

Apropos yesterday’s entry – if anyone wants to see photos of kye being shipped from Graemsay go to my neighbour’s website:, click on “island life” on the left hand menu, and if you click on “Shipping Kye” a short slideshow will run.

Today I’ve been catching up on work so not much to report. I’ve barely stuck my head outside the house all day - just a brief visit to feed hens, and get some fresh air by the beach and then back indoors. I work from home as an academic researcher, employed by universities in the UK to conduct research on health related topics. Occasionally I get to visit the universities and work with the teams face-to-face, but much of my work is done at a “distance” using telephone, email and linking via the web to global databases.

I really enjoy the flexibility of working from home. I am not a morning person (as anyone who knows me will verify!) so I like the fact that I can choose my work hours. I am fortunate that I live close to the sea shore so can frequently walk on the beach during a coffee break – really helps to clear the head! Working from home I can also choose the days I work so I can have my “day off” and go to town when the ferry schedules suit. We have daily ferries Mon-Fri but on the "winter" ferry schedule (October to end April) we only have ferries operating two weekends a month so I sometimes plan social activities during the week when I can leave the island.

Our ferry schedules only work for commuting to the Orkney Mainland if one has a part-time job as it's not possible to do a regular 9-5 routine. Most folk on Graemsay either have their own farms, work offshore or are retired. I did manage a daily commute for a couple of years till I got myself established working from home. Winter was the worst time – attempting to struggle up or down the pier in a gale force wind wearing “toon klaize” (town clothes) is an experience I am glad to forgo!

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