I didn't mean to be quiet for so long, but it's been an eventful 10 days. I've been to Aberdeen and had a nostalgic wander around the university and some of the places I knew as a student. It felt like everything had changed except the pubs - every single one we used to drink in was still there with the same name, and in several cases what looked like minimal sprucing from the outside. It's good to know there are some constants in the world.
I made it up to Shetland for my father's birthday for the first time in almost 30 years which was lovely after the last 18 months - as we all get older living so far apart is harder. Whilst there we saw the last of the puffins, what felt like hot and cold running otters, seals, gannets, a grouse (exciting for Shetland) white-sided dolphins, porpoises, and a fin whale which was tremendously exciting. I had to look fin whales up, we saw this one from the ferry terminal in Unst, turns out it's the second biggest species going after Blue whales. We missed out on Orca's who kept a low profile all week and then started visiting every beach or headland we'd been near after we'd left them. A Fin whale is obviously a lot cooler though, so the Orca's can stick it.
Most exciting of all (for us anyway) is that my long term partner completely surprised me with a proposal, in what was (for us) the most romantic way I could imagine. I didn't know this was on the cards so I'm still a bit dazed by it all, also very happy, and feeling really lucky - hence the silence!