I’d begun to doubt the virtues of online shopping – the excitement of the purchase had faded and the eager anticipation was slipping into despondent ennui. I was still within vendor “expected delivery times”, but outside my optimistic estimates. I’d even sunk to making a spreadsheet to track order date, earliest delivery estimate, latest delivery estimate and actual arrival to curb my desire to chase up the suppliers.
Today I had some relief. Not one, not two, but three packages arrived (four if you count the fact that Angus & Robertson felt they needed to sent my books separately!). I’m not being sexist in the title either, they were all delivered by men – my normal postman, the Aust post parcel delivery guy AND a courier man.
I was trying incredibly hard to do some work today so wasn’t going to tell you about this until tomorrow. Seriously though, three deliveries in one day . . . . .too much! I kept working through the first two, but couldn’t resist when the third arrived.
So, here are my goodies:
The pile in the top left corner is a pile of cycling gear, especially wet weather and windstopper gear for winter. It’s very hard to take photos of with the flash because a lot of it is reflective – even sections that look black were flaring in the camera flash! As inconvenient as that is to take photos, I’m glad it’ll be that bright when I’m out on the roads.
Below that are my solar panels. I’ve got two of the Bushnells Solar Wrap Minis. They may not be much use for solar charging in Scotland but also have inbuilt battery (2200mAhrs) that can be charged by USB and are incredibly light so I’ll be using them mainly for power storage with any solar charging I can get from them as a bonus. Besides, solar panels are cool right? It’s the perfect day today for testing them for my trip (completely overcast and drizzling!) so I have one outside attempting to charge already. I’ll do some proper testing (see how much I can charge from fully charged, and how much power it can get from an hour outside) and get back to you with an actual “review”.
Next (bottom right) is two books I ordered last week. One is “Scottish Highlands: A Hillwalking Guide” which has a bunch of useful information about safety, what to take, what to expect plus some suggested walks and places to eat/stay/go. I know that all of the information is probably online but I’m a little old fashioned in that I still feel like something written down in an actual book is more reliable. It implies that the author is actually serious and knowledgeable enough about his/her subject to write a book, and that someone else has actually checked the information! I also find that sometimes there is simply too much information online. It can be hard to identify which information is most important to me, and I can get lost in the never-ending web of links. Plus, I get sick of being on the computer, so a book is a nice alternative.
The second book is one that I’m very excited about. It is part of a Rock Trails series (Rock Trails: Scottish Highlands) which explains the geology of the area and then suggests some walks to see and explore the key geological features. I’ve started reading it and, while I’d like some more technical geological speak (it’s written for geology novices), it seems to have the information I want. After reading this book I’ll start some serious route planning and probably be able to finalise a few things. For how excited I am about this book, I feel like this paragraph doesn’t have enough exclamation marks in it. For those who don’t know, I love rocks!
Continuing around in an anticlockwise direction we have Merlin, who didn’t arrive by mail today but was determined to be a part of whatever I was doing on the floor. Sometimes it’s easier to work around him than to make him move. I was reading some blogs last night from people who walk the highlands with their dogs. It would be wonderful to take him with me but logistics unfortunately prevent it. Besides the international travel and quarantine, I don’t think I could carry enough food for him and he would most likely destroy all of my lightweight (ie fragile) camping equipment!