Autumn Leaves, Island Visits, IOT and Tomato Sauce

img_9316img_9317img_9293October 2016

This month saw me back on the islands. First stop was a workshop in Kirkwall, Orkney. This was my first visit to Orkney but sadly it was dark when I arrived, dark when I woke in the morning and dark when I finished the workshop and departed on a flight to Lerwick in the evening. But Orkney was beautiful at night! And I did manage to squeeze in a quick visit through the main street. St Magnus Cathedral was stunning (from the outside) and I visited the epic Judith Glue shop before it closed for the evening. An Aladdin’s cave of crafts, textiles, food and gifts, it was here that I purchase my first Christmas present of the year, a bottle of Orkney Gin Company’s Johnsmas. A festive treat for….myself!

Flybe also excelled themselves on this trip. The flight I was taking between Orkney and Shetland was prepped, in the air and arrived in Sumburgh even before our expected departure time! The first time (ever) this has happened and it meant we had time to have a dinner.  This was the most bizarre Thai meal ever in Lerwick (think one long communal table, a large screen TV at the end featuring a woman ranting, in Thai, all night. Like listening in to the worst skype call ever. Mitigated, I might add, by an amazing selection of food. But bizarre all the same.

Otherwise, October was spent enjoying the mild days, playing in the autumn leaves and having intellectual conversations with the kids (as you do). Musings this month were dominated by my +3 moaning about the lack of tomato sauce at the table. I had added it onto my never-ending shopping list but must have (shock-horror) skipped that aisle during my last negotiation of the supermarket. No tomato sauce is considered akin to famine in my house. Frequent attempts to reframe this in a context of worldwide hunger and the over-indulgence of developed countries have failed miserably. A meal is simply not complete without a lashing of artificially sweetened gunk masquerading as a healthy vegetable (cue kids logic: ‘it says it’s one of my five-a-day mum, so if I have five dollops, then I’m healthy’).

In response to tomato-sauce-gate, the conversation naturally turned to the Internet of Things. If we had a mum that remembered important things fridge that automatically ordered the tomato sauce then the world would be a better place. Apparently. Cue a long discussion about IOT and it’s potential role in our world, summed up perfectly by my six-year-old: “if all our things talk to each other, then we wont ever need to speak”. Scarily perceptive. In a world where any conversation with children requires you to forcefully divert their attention from technology, I’ll happily forego any IOT in favour of a whole-family argument about forgetting the tomato sauce any day.

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