Thursday, 24 September 2009

Ironing my pants

With just nine days before I go to Shetland I’m in a frenzy of anticipation and preparation. There are pants to be ironed, medications to stock up on (how fucking hard should it be to get a new inhaler out of the fucking NHS? No, we can’t just give you another repeat prescription, you have to come in and waste both your time and the nurse’s going through the motions of having a ‘review’ even though she knows full well that your asthma is very mild and you don’t need an inhaler very often. Cutting costs? I could make some suggestions...) and of course weather websites to be checked every few seconds.

I wanted to put one of those countdown gadgets on the blog, so I could sit staring at the screen 24 hours a day and watch the seconds ticking down, but I couldn’t get it to work properly. A not uncommon problem, apparently. Sort it out, Blogger!

Meanwhile in Shetland Rob appears to be heading for a breakdown, with no end in sight to weeks of continuous westerlies. But there are birds there, even if he can’t find them. Nothing massively rare it’s true, but bits and pieces – Arctic Warblers, Citrine Wagtail, Woodchat Shrike, R-b Fly, Bluethroat, Barred Warbler, Rosefinch etc all in the last week. And all arrived on the aforementioned weeks of westerlies.

Marcus arrives on Saturday – he’ll find something whatever the weather’s doing. And that’s the one and only ‘prediction’ I'm going to make after last year’s monumental failures (see here, here and here). However, the infallible and omnipotent Law of Averages clearly states (subsection 43887, paragraph 4301, clause 7c) that since Marcus had a good trip last year and ours was crap, the tables will be turned this year. That’s not my prediction of course, it’s the Law of Averages. And that’s never wrong. Or is it? Surely the Law of Averages says that the Law of Averages will be wrong about 50% of the time? Bugger.

7 comments:

beast said...

Aren't you overlooking the powers of 'sods law' Andy...?!

Have been reading 'Robs' shetland guide to depression with interest....i think he is in need of a 'second wind'...preferably from the east....! Hopefully by the time you get there things will be different.

ps...is this Marcus..[Lawson]?...a good omen then..?

pps....am looking forward to the 'cranes' arrival in Norfolk...if 'its' still 'up there' can you drop a bomb nearby to flush the narrow necked fucker this way please....?

The Leicester Llama said...

The interactions between Sod's Law and the Law of Averages are beyond human understanding, and best summed up as 'shit happens'.

Marcus (Lawson) found a Paddyfield Warbler in the ditch behind Rob's house within minutes of arriving last year, and then followed it up with a Thrush Nightingale in the same place two days later. His visit also coincided with Sykes' Warbler, Blyth's Reed etc. http://www.nature-shetland.co.uk/naturelatest/archives/birdarchive08sep.htm

beast said...

I like your summing up of 'interactions' Andy.....!

ps...Marcus sounds like a good 'chap' to have around....

pps...be lucky...n all that crap...!

Mark said...

Rob didn't answer his mobile when I rang earlier. Hopefully he hasn't hung himself from the sycamores outside the Sumburgh Hotel. Though even that midget twitcher from Leicestershire would struggle from those trees.

Earl Gray or Dave for short! said...

My god andy, looks like Shetland is going to be hit by a big atlantic low when you arrive so hopefully you will find lots of yanks instead?!?

The Leicester Llama said...

I'm really, really hoping that forecast is completely wrong. Shetland doesn't get 'lots of yanks' no matter what the weather conditions. Strong westerly winds merely hamper the eastern stuff (which is after all why we go to Shetland) from getting there.

beast said...

I know that we have probably discussed this before Andy...but why not go to the places where these little 'eastern gems' come from?
Am pretty sure you'd enjoy the 'delights' of Thailand or somewhere else 'out east'....
I know that itz not the same and all that...but certainly 'cost-wise'...prices are still fairly low?

ps...ever been tempted to go and see the 'spooners' not far from Bang-cock..? They ain't gonna be around for much longer...