Even though I loved to read and write stories, I chose to study science at university. I'm very glad I did because I was able to go on two expeditions to the Shetland Islands to study the effect of the oil terminal on wildlife in the sea and on the shore. On each expedition we spent one month on the island of Yell. Our headquarters was a wooden hut where we cooked, ate our meals and worked on our science projects. We slept outside in tents and because it was summer and we were so far north, the sky never seemed to go dark at night. Below, I'm identifying some insects that live on seabirds using a binocular microscope.
We did all sorts of things I never expected to do. We put up some fine nets (called mist nets) on a cliff edge and caught some beautiful little sea birds called Storm Petrels (Stormies). What made it even more exciting was that we did this at night. Little identification rings were placed carefully around the birds' legs then we gently let the Stormies fly away. We also spent three days on an uninhabited island (see below) where our only company was a herd of sheep. I loved the wildness and the silence of that place.