So what all have I been up to, and where all have I been since my last blog entry?
Well, last time I wrote, I was on the ship en-route to Norway. We arrived in Norway, and I got off the ship, had an overnight stay before journeying onward.
First leg was to Aberdeen where, after picking up a hire car, I headed out to Buckie for a very flying visit to my parents. The hire car itself was a bit of an experience. Luckily one of my colleagues was going part way along the same route, so he drove as far as Keith, which got me well clear of city traffic before I took the wheel, bearing in mind that this was the first time I had driven on the “right” (well, left actually!) side of the road for over three years!
I did make it to my parents without incident, and only then realised that, although the route I had taken was a very familiar one, it was in fact the first time that I had ever driven it myself.
It was a great visit with my folks, even though very short, and in the course of the few hours I was there, my sister, niece and nephew all popped in at one time or another. The visit also gave me an opportunity to be reunited with my wayward luggage that I mentioned in my last posting!
The following morning it was back on the road again (clutching my bag!), into Aberdeen, dropping off the hire car and then flying back to Colorado via Amsterdam and Minneapolis. I arrived in Colorado late on Friday night and was back at the ranch in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
Saturday was a bit of a rest day, and then it was down to the serious business at hand. A lot of work to do, and not a lot of time to get it done. From the Sunday to the following Sunday we achieved a great deal, mostly cleaning out some of the animal pens, the chicken coops and re-doing the smaller of the two coops for more head-room. We got a new batch of day-old chicks to replace our current layers as they grow older (once the new ones are old enough to start laying, the older ones may end up in the freezer, but don’t tell them that!)
The other big job was getting the freezer room in the barn walled in, insulated, and making a door for it. Lots of other little jobs too, but still some time to get caught up on the TV shows that Dazzle had recorded for me. Some friends took out a couple of different calibre rifles, a .30-06 and a 6mm, to the ranch and we had some target practice to let me try them out.
On the last Monday we had a road trip over to the other side of the state. The weather for the most part of the leave had been very good, but (of course) on the Monday morning it was freezing cold and started to snow just as soon as we went outside at 4:30am to start the chores! Road conditions on the outward part of the road trip were pretty treacherous, particularly around Alma and the Hosier/Frisco Pass, just south of Breckenridge. Once we were on I-70 things were a bit better. We made it to our destination a little behind schedule, but we did pick up the animals that we had gone for and headed back home. The day had improved remarkably and the roads were not only clear, but mostly dry for the homeward leg so we made better time.
While on our road trip, I received my travel details for the following day, so we knew that when we got home it would have to be a relatively early night. Tuesday had to be an early start to get the chores done before heading off to the Airport. Back to Norway again, via Minneapolis and Amsterdam. Then, once in Norway after 24 hours traveling, about 4 hours kicking my heels at the Airport before my helicopter flight out to the ship. So, back on the ship again after less than two weeks off, and only ten days at home. 🙁
This trip is only scheduled to be three weeks though, which isn’t too bad. But, (isn’t there always a ‘but’) although I’ll have three off in theory, I will have to leave Colorado early again, as I have an appointment at he US Consulate in London to renew my visa on the way back to the ship next time.

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