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Archive for November, 2009

St Andrew’s Day

Yep, today is Scotland’s national holiday; it’s also the birthday of my first cousin once removed  who, interestingly,  bears the name of the saint.  Unfortunately for Andrew (my relative), he is neither a fisherman nor a spinster.  However, if you are, then today’s your lucky day because St Andrew is the patron saint of both.  I suppose that the people who should most celebrate St Andrew’s Day are unmarried women who earn their living by catching fish.  But, then again, who really celebrates a saint’s day because of any religious (or superstitious) beliefs?  St Andrew’s Day, like St Patrick’s Day, is just another excuse for a good party.  If you’re so inclined, check out this link for the scoop on Edinburgh parties in ‘honour’ of the saintly fellow.

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In a foreign land

To our faithful, small readership who celebrate Thanksgiving today:  Happy T-Day.  To the rest who come across this post when the T-Day stuffing has been swallowed by the Christmas mayhem:  Happy surviving the holiday zoos.

In thinking about Thanksgiving 2009, I am once again tempted to paraphrase Psalm 137:4 as follows:  “How can we celebrate Thanksgiving in a foreign land?” Of course, the answer is, “With turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, cranberry sauce (smuggled from the USA), pie, ice cream, coffee, etc.”  Ah, but somehow a Scottish turkey lacks a fowl quality. Oh, man, sorry for that bad pun!  In any case, here are three indications that we are in a foreign land.

Seen on the side of a truck:  ‘Underground Moling Services.”

Sign on sidewalk:  “Abseilers Working Overhead.”

Newspaper headline:  “Binmen Plan Christmas Strike.”

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What Would You Do? (Take 2)

What would you do if you opened up your bag of fresh broccoli for dinner and found a little slug happily feeding (sliming?) away inside?  Sorry, folks.  No picture this time.  I couldn’t get that thing out of my sight fast enough.

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Retrospective

This last week many corners of the world celebrated the one year anniversary of Mr. Obama’s election to the White House. No doubt many also cheered as their favorite initiatives and candidates pulled out victories, both expected and surprise.  On opposite corners of the country, WA and ME voters leveled opposite verdicts regarding the hottest topic in the States, and I don’t mean whether black is still the new black.

In Edinburgh last week, Jackie, Julian and I walked to church in the rain for the first time in over eight months.  Far more than merely noting Scottish weather patterns, I mention this because it marks the first time Julian has had such a lovely experience.  There really is nothing like trudging into church with wet cuffs (or wet nylons, right ladies?).  Of course, Julian didn’t do the trudging himself, but he finally got to witness it first hand. We trust that as the winter months creep by he’ll have plenty more opportunities.  The other reason last Sunday’s rain deserves mention is that it disproves the assumption that Edinburgh is as soggy as our motherland, WA.  Maybe you’ve not erred with this assumption, but we have. And now we know from experience that, between Feb and Nov, western WA takes on more water than Edinburgh.

The irony of last Sunday’s rain doubled as the rain followed us both to and from church but also into our flat.  As you can see below, our living room welcomed the rain so readily that the wall paper gave way. (Yes, the ceilings are wall papered!) The dime-sized hole let in nearly a gallon of water.  All things considered, a gallon isn’t all that much water, but when an eight-month old, newly crawling explorer finds nearly a gallon of water puddling in an attractive green bowl, that gallon covers a lot of floor space!  Too bad there’s no picture of Julian’s face in the second after we turned our backs. I imagine it would have shown conniving glee as he realized that his chance to wreak havoc had arrived.

With no certainty for what the coming week will bring, we can only hope it doesn’t bring another torrential rain storm. At least we know there won’t be any more American elections.

See the damaged ceiling?

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Guarding the buckets from the would-be capsizer

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