Archive for February, 2009

Home from hospital

Yesterday the maternity ward at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh desperately needed beds, since, apparently, a lot of babies were born Thursday night.  So, happily, Jackie and Julian were discharged early and quickly.  We left the hospital in a pink taxi and pulled into our little Edinburgh neighborhood around 11.15am.  Three minutes and 59 steps later, we arrived on the fourth floor to flat #15 and welcomed Julian to our small, cheery home.  The first night at home gave Jackie a chance to catch up on sleep, asMom P. and I took the shifts of the night watch with the nocturnal baby.  Today we’ve had a visit from the community midwife and enjoyed a big breakfast.  I’m baking bread this afternoon, and tonight we’re expecting friends–our second set of visitors after the pastor of our church unexpectedly popped in last night.

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Yesterday, at 1.59pm local time, we welcomed a healthy baby boy, Julian Oliver.  He weighed 7 lbs. 8.5 ozs. and measured 22 in.  Jackie and Julian are both well.  They stayed in hospital last night and again tonight, but, according to one midwife, the discharge will begin tomorrow after breakfast.  So, maybe we’ll have a late lunch in our flat together!  We’re immensely happy and grateful for the Lord’s very evident kindness to us.

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Arthur’s Seat

In case there’s any doubt, Arthur’s Seat is a hill, not a chair.  At about 800 feet, it’s the highest point in Edinburgh and offers terrif views of the city, the Firth of Forth, and beyond.  Handy for us, AS is ten minutes walk from our flat, nestled in the center of the city.  Several folks at church have recommended climbing Arthur’s Seat as a labor inducement.  So, hardly believing that it would actually help, we did take the challenge.  It didn’t help, as best we can tell.  Still, the fresh air and the exercise couldn’t have hurt!

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Blairgowrie Trip Pics #3

One more set of pictures from our weekend getaway, this time from the east coast of the country and the town of Arbroath.

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With Blairgowrie as our homebase, we took a day trip up the A93 to the town of Braemar.  The pictures here are of Braemar Castle and Balmoral Castle.

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So, apparently we’ve been a bit tied up lately.  Christopher is studying hard trying to make as much progress as possible in the next two weeks before D-day.  I spend my days defining dictionary words until I go cross-eyed or until I fall asleep at my desk.  It’s really a pretty good deal, considering I can complete all my work while putting in only 5-6 hours, four days a week.  Much better than 40 hour weeks with a commute each way!

Last night we had our first snow that actually stuck.  While most of Great Britain suffered it’s worst winter storm in 17 years last weekend, Edinburgh got only a light dusting of snow that that wouldn’t even stick to the ground.  Last night, however, it began to snow unexpectedly and started accumulating immediately.  It was a lovely treat to wake up to this morning to a good coating of snow on everything.  Granted, it’s not that much–just enough to give everything that enchanted, snowy look.

Two weekends ago we were given the opportunity to have a wee vacation in a little town called Blairgowrie an hour and a half north of Edinburgh.  Some very kind people from our church thought we might enjoy a weekend away together before we welcome another person into our family, so they offered us use of their vacation flat as well as their car to get up there.  Christopher enjoyed the opportunity to drive on the “wrong” side of the road for the first time and, I might add, did a fine job.   The hardest part for him was, I think, either trying to judge the distance to the left curb or figure out how to maneuvre the roundabouts.  With the help of a repetitive mantra that we recited each time he had to turn, he was able to turn into the correct lane each time (i.e., NOT turn into oncoming traffic which was his instinct). All in all, it went just fine.  We even started to enjoy it after a while.

We enjoyed four restful days in the very comfortable, warm flat.  There was a lovely view from the front of a river surrounded by trees and a tall green hill just in the distance.  While we had talked about doing lots of sightseeing since we had the use of a car, once we got there, we hardly wanted to leave.  So, we lounged around a lot reading, talking, cooking delicious food and watching Planet Earth. And, I got to paint with the oil colors C gave me for Christmas.

We did get out some, though.  One day we drove up into the surrounding highlands to the town of Braemar.  It was a beautiful drive, usually green, but we hit a good snow on the way up, so most of the scenery was dusted with white.  We enjoyed hopping the fence and exploring the deserted Braemar castle, which, while officially closed for the winter, nevertheless provided lots of interest.  Christopher nearly scaled the wall, and would no doubt have succeceded, had I not nearly iced over from the chill.  He very chivalrously let us return to the warm car.

We took a little detour just about 5 miles up the road from there to have a peek at Balmoral castle (the holiday residence of the royal family).  Our rarely-indulged touristy inclinations, were not too well satisfied, though, since the castle isn’t actually visible from the driveway.  However, we can enthusiastically vouch for the attractiveness of the sturdy, wrought-iron gate that we enjoyed looking at for several minutes.  Actually, on our drive back toward Braemar, we got a good view through the trees of the top half of the castle, so there–it wasn’t a completely wasted mission!

Another day we drove through the bustling city of Dundee and on up the coast to Arbroath, a town where they have discovered Pictish settlements from about 3500 BC.  We didn’t have a chance to go see the archaeologcial exhibits, but we did enjoy wandering around the ruins of a 12th century abbey and taking a walk along an incrediblely wild and rugged coastal trail.  It was so refreshing to see the ocean (or rather, the North Sea) stretching out further than the eye can see.  There’s something about seeing water like that–so massive and powerful–that makes me feel really small in kind of a comforting way.  In moments like those I feel like any delusions I ever had about having control over my life seem suddenly humourous.  I guess it’s good to be reminded of that from time to time, and even to find that sometimes there is freedom in being powerless. 

Hopefully we’ll have a chance to post some pictures soon!

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