Ultima Thule

I had cause this week to look up the term Ultima Thule. I knew that it had been applied by the Romans to the distant land just visible from Orkney, and wanted to find out more.

Thule was a far-northern location in classical European literature and cartography. Though often considered to be an island in antiquity, modern interpretations of what was meant by Thule often identify it as Norway, an identification supported by modern calculations. Other interpretations include Orkney, Shetland, and Scandinavia. In the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance, Thule was often identified as Iceland or Greenland. Another suggested location is Saaremaa in the Baltic Sea. The term ultima Thule in medieval geographies denotes any distant place located beyond the “borders of the known world”. Sometimes it is used as a proper noun (Ultima Thule) as the Latin name for Greenland when Thule is used for Iceland.Wikipedia

It was in fact the first day of our Broadband difficulties, so when I found this on the Wikipedia page:

Thule as Tile on the Carta Marina of 1539 by Olaus Magnus, where it is shown located to the north west of the Orkney islands, with a "monster, seen in 1537", a whale ("balena"), and an orca nearby.
Thule as Tile on the Carta Marina of 1539 by Olaus Magnus, where it is shown located to the north west of the Orkney islands, with a “monster, seen in 1537″, a whale (“balena”), and an orca nearby.

and  simply had to see more,  the image would not load. I waited an hour but still did not have 100% of the map.

I left it overnight

The Carta Marina
The Carta Marina

Is this not the most wonderful artefact? I could gaze upon it for hours and hours and keep on seeing new detail.

I want a copy on my wall.

Orkney may not be the farthermost point of the known world these days but it seems that not only There Be Monsteres Here Stille (don’t ask – difficult week all round) but also to be pretty far flung when one is waiting for a delivery. No, the Aga plinth is not yet here. More importantly, it appears that we still lack the essential Broadband part at the island’s exchange. Things got very much worse yesterday and we were without the Internet for most of the day; hoping that was an indicator of Men at Work, we tried not to fret. Late in the day we got our connection back but only at the crippled speed that we have been experiencing for most of this week. Today is no better.

It has been a funny old week. So much is hampered by the lack of download bandwidth and poor Mr L has had a frustrating time of it at work. As for me, I simply abandoned the Internet and concentrated on local materials. I have been ploughing my way through old photo magazines and working on the cover disc tutorials. I am developing editing skills and learning the more esoteric details of how to use my camera.

Extreme Editing (a minority pursuit)
Extreme Editing (a minority pursuit)

I have been unable to watch the Masterchef Finals (NO SPOILERS, PLEASE!) , Poldark or Banished this week. Come bed time, Netflix has been out of the question so our old DVDs have been dusted off. I thoroughly enjoyed The Green Mile.

The virus remains with me. It does seem to be improving and my energy levels are creeping up. My appetite has returned today and the first thing that I did  on rising was to go and seek some breakfast.  I have not eaten breakfast for two weeks or more. So, a good sign.

Lack of interest remains a problem – this evidenced by the fact that I have yet to clean my camera sensor!

What else? Oh, yes, Spring sprung this week. The grass has suddenly burgeoned, wild flowers are popping up all over and lambs are popping out left, right and centre. The coos are out on the fields. The whole landscape has changed in just a few short days. You can also tell that it is Spring by the weather (ooh, irony) – it’s throwing hail down at us today.

I had sufficient Internet yesterday evening to determine that Eskimimi has revealed the topics for Knit Crochet Blog Week. I may crack on with preparing some posts. I need to speak to Gill about it but I expect my KCBW posts to be made over at Sanday Spinners.

A small voice inside me is suggesting that our connectivity problems are going to become worse. Not the island’s but ours. Mr L’s employer provides our telephone and Broadband connection. They were in touch this week to say that they have noticed that we are with BT and not their preferred supplier – this goes back to a time when only BT had a presence at the island’s exchange. In short, they had arranged to cancel BT and move us to the preferred supplier.

BT already know of the cancellation because it came up in our browser windows yesterday. Will the switch happen smoothly, especially at this time, as the exchange is broken. I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and it’s not caused by lack of food for once.

In Other News – I am feeling a great Need to Spin. It would be a perfect activity whilst the Internet is inaccessible. However, my wheel is also inaccessible. I need to unearth it. Mr L has lit a fire because our Central Heating boiler is broken – we are going to put in a new burner unit but are waiting for it to wend its way to Ultima Thule. He will take his guitar into the sitting room this afternoon to play and I shall join him with my wheel.

Firstly however, I need to bake. We are planning a Focaccia for supper. It’s for dunking in to my Three Cheese Bake in Tomato Sauce. If that doesn’t tempt Mr L’s appetite, nothing will.

Now, can I persuade this post to upload properly?

Chairwoman of the bored

I am bored.

If one of my kids said that to me, I would go through them like a dose of salts. When my DH says it, I give him a quasi-ticking off too. I am never bored, say I, up there on my lofty steed – there is always something to do, something new to learn, a book to be read. Never any need to be bored.

But I am.

I am bored.

I am not doing anything. I am boring myself with my own inertia.

I want so much to do something. Anything. Yet my body is weak and my mind is feeble and at a very basic level all that I really need right now is to be occupied without too much input from myself. Try that when the Broadband is acting up.

I really want to be gainfully employed and I did announce this morning that today was the day that I was taking back my life. I managed two loads of laundry and a rather odd attempt at a lunch (Chilli, but made with Chickpeas, don’t ask – it’s better that way.)

It was  a little surprising to me that I felt so weak and wobbly when I tried to exert myself. I don’t know why I should be surprised when I have eaten so little in recent days. I lack fuel. I am enjoying watching the scales though, that has been entertaining.

Reading or any other form of concentration seems to be ruled out for now.  I have no interest in my knitting. I cannot bake.

Oh, damn it, take me to bed and feed me chocolate. Wake me up when it is all over.

No. That’s no good is it. I need to give myself a good shake, a sound telling-off and just push at that inertia until I make headway.

Maybe I could tackle some mess…

Challenged 2015-112

Seen the state of my desk? This pic is what happens when you  kind of want to share the state of the mess but not actually allow folks to see the muck. I took it for the F-word challenge: Farrago. I call it Deskfarrago. I am assuming that the deployment of such a dreadful pun is an indicator that I am actually feeling a little better today.

Yes, tackling the mess is probably A Plan. I might feel more like engaging in useful tasks if I had a space in which to work. It’s amazing how much mess can accrue over two weeks of vegetating in front of the iPlayer. That’s a lot of Poldark. Actually, I am enjoying that other thing more, the one where they recently killed off Julian Rhind-Tutt. What do you call it, begins with a B… oh, how I wish that my brain would function again!

It is also a lot of Masterchef. I am a little annoyed that Broadband is in such a state that I cannot make a start on watching Finals week.

What? The mess? oh, well, you know, stalling tactics… I promise, I shall start to potter on at it. Any moment now.

Got any chocolate?

Oh, my goodness, I have just been bearded in my den by an electoral candidate. You’d think we would be safe on a small island, but no.

I was about to hide myself from view… but he let himself in.

It surprised me at just how strong the wave of antipathy that swept over me actually was. Nothing personal. I don’t know this man from Adam. I just have a deep-seated loathing of politicians and a learned mistrust of the same. I certainly do not wish to entertain one in my own home (though might rethink that policy should Charlie Kennedy call round with a bottle.)  I think it a good job that he did not arrive yesterday when I was in the middle of writing my ill-fated rant. Poor chap would have caught it right in the neck, I think. As it was I just forced myself to be polite from a petrified position, with all my instincts screaming “Get out of my space!”

It is the same reaction that I get to Jehovah’s Witnesses, except they don’t receive the  social nicety of hypocritical politeness.

OK. The Desk.


gathering it all together