Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Alison: Panto Week
Well, it’s my turn to give you some news this week. My name is Alison Duncan and I’ve been at the Obs here since 1987, almost since it started. This last week began with the island pantomime a week last Saturday – a locally written amalgamation of the Sleeping Beauty Meets the Student Prince. Kevin and I have taken part in this annual event for several years, but as Kevin has been working in the hospital lately and been unable to attend rehearsals, Mark quickly volunteered to do Kevin’s two roles. Mark was first on as the Bad Fairy (see photo) though he complained the other (supposedly good) fairies kept stabbing him with their wands. In fact Heather (who was playing the doctor) had to repair the wands before the dress rehearsal even started and again while the actual performance was about to begin. Mark wasn’t the only one wearing tights. We almost needed sunglasses to look at Igor the Evil Henchman’s dazzling outfit. Despite various hitches at the rehearsal the day before, it all went alright on the night and the audience even managed to laugh at the right places. A dance followed to music by Orkney band “Three in a Bar” (though only 2 of them could be there) and a few other musicians including Heather who played her own piece “The Auld Hut” and the Hardanger fiddle.
Back at the Obs, Rael had the front park almost harrowed, despite difficulties with the tractor (fuel blockages and air in the fuel pump, or was it fuel in the air pump? Or I think it might have been both). Kevin managed to sort these (temporarily anyway) and once we got the varispreader on, Kevin sowed the kale seed. Then we started on ploughing the next field, to be split between oats and bere – plenty of time to sow these yet. Fortunately I was free to help Kevin as Fleur is managing brilliantly in the kitchen. Meanwhile Mark, Rael and Ric put in some more tatties. We just needed to wait for some rain now to germinate the kale and tatties – it eventually came late on Thursday.
After ten dry days, rain and south-easterly winds, Friday morning was misty, and as there was no flight, unfortunately Gavin could not get to school, but he did get a new bird (Green-winged Teal – he missed the last one as it was during school time), had a chance to go birding, and his darts game is improving.
After a wait for materials to arrive, work is continuing on the small heligoland trap on the track – it’s great to have such an enthusiastic crew. Here Rael (The Perfectionist) is making sure Mark (The Builder) is doing it correctly.