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Archive for the ‘MICE!’ Category

Year Two

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of our arrival in Edinburgh.  Unlike our first day here, our 366th was sunny, and we hope that’s a portent of the year to come.  Below are a few pictures from our recent visit to Washington. Though it was good to be there, we’re glad to be back in Edinburgh.  A few things in Edinburgh feel strangely more natural and satisfying than their counterparts in the States, most notably, our transport.

Here we walk; there we drive.  Probably the biggest reason for the commonness of walking is the small radius of our life here.  We rarely have reason to go more than two miles from our flat.  Church is .3 miles as is the major supermarket.  Other grocery stores are within one minute’s walk.  A fab park is also less than half a mile away.  We have friends within walking distance, and those a bit further a field are generally willing to pick us up, especially if the weather’s unpleasant.  The university is 1.5 miles as are all the tourist shops. (No we don’t go to tourist shops, except to buy presents, but if you’re wanting to visit, you’ll want to know how to plan your trip.)  While in Washington we drove nearly 1000 miles in just over six weeks…and we didn’t even go out of town!  Wouldn’t Al Gore would be proud of our small carbon-footprint?

One thing we didn’t miss while in Washington was the Edinburgh mouse population.  In fact, the idea of mice scampering across our living room floor was a fuzzy memory for seven hygienic weeks.  But, we have been jarred back to furry reality, as the picture below testifies.  Jackie was cooking, her back turned to the wall only for a couple seconds, but seconds were all that the wee mouse needed to 1) emerge from his hole, 2) lie down on the kitchen floor, and 3) die.  As the picture shows, Julian wasn’t phased in his exuberant bouncing. We would like to know, though, ‘how did the mouse die?’.  Regardless, here’s to a mouse free second year!

In Puget Sound for Julian's first canoe ride

On Puget Sound for Julian's first canoe ride

Two-weeks-apart-cousins, J and Naomi

Two-weeks-apart-cousins, J and Naomi

See the wee mousey?

See the wee mousey?

First night back in Edinburgh, J was readjusting to his crib.

First night back in Edinburgh, J was readjusting to his crib.
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What would you do?

About three weeks ago an email went around the Edinburgh University Divinity School warning that several mice had been seen in the study rooms.  I hardly thought a thing of it, especially since we’ve had our own mice in our flat.   Yesterday, as I was tidying up my desk at New College, I got to thinking about that email, and I wondered who had been the culprit(s) that attracted the mice.  What uncivilized people, I thought, would leave crumbs and food scraps?  It was then, really, almost at that very moment, I noticed a disappointing deposit behind my bag of sunflower seeds.  One little mouse had left two small items; you might say that he dropped something.  And, on closer inspection, it appears that he left these two droppings after nibbling a hole in my sunflower seeds bag.  I’m actually quite puzzled about how the mouse got onto my desk, as I didn’t realize mice could climb slick, steel desk-legs.  In any case, it’s a real bummer that my sunflower seeds are now contaminated with mouse.   When I’m languishing over a particular problem late in the afternoon, it’s the seeds that get me through.  So, what would you do?  Eat the seeds or chuck ’em?  I think I’m going to salvage as much as I can.  There’s no way I’m chucking all that salty, crunchy goodness.

My desk, minus the seeds and minus the mouse

My desk, minus the seeds and minus the mouse

The offended bag o' seeds

The offended bag o' seeds

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A Bit Anticlimactic

Well, thanks to the 15 folks who participated in the first installment of ‘Trivia: Random Questions of Fun’.  I’ve been waiting to post the answers until a time that I could also post pictures. The time has come, and yet it has not come. (Hmm…how’s that for a riddle?!)  Now, this very moment, is an excellent time for me to post the pictures of the Black Treacle and of the Grey Objects.  But, since our computer is on the fritz (not even booting up!), I can’t access the pictures, and there’s no guarantee of a quick fix.  So, lest I disenfranchise those 15 obliging souls who eagerly await the answers, I’ve decided to give the answers. It’s a bit anticlimactic, but, alas, who said life would always be thrilling? So, for those uninformed about British food names, Black Treacle is molasses.  Many close guesses; many others that totally failed.  The prize for best answer goes to Jake for his poetry quotation.  And, for those uninformed about what hides in our freezer, the Grey Objects were mice. Yep…two mice.  They didn’t actually enter the freezer willingly…or consciously, for that matter. No, I killed both mice myself, bludgeoning them with an otherwise uninteresting book called ‘Reading the Latter Prophets’. I put the poor beasts in the freezer to demonstrate my hunting prowess to Jackie, who, as you would expect, swooned. Unfortunately, the swooning was due NOT to admiration of my bravery but to the rather shocking sight of seeing two, furry critters frozen and nestled together in the plastic martini glass that became their grave. If you want to see the pictures, pray that the computer is soon restored to good health. Well, even if you don’t want to see the pics, please pray for the computer (and our patience in the process.)

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The One That Got Away

For several days now I’ve been meaning to take the camera on my walk to the Uni.  We’ve enjoyed generally sunny weather, and, when the weather is clear, Edinburgh offers some really terrific views.  From the top of Calton Hill (which I cross when I take route-B; more on my routes to the Uni some other time) I can see out across New Town to the Firth of Forth, across the Forth to Kirkcaldy on the north, and, when it’s exceptionally clear, maybe even to Norway on the east…ok, not quite that far, but you get the point.  Calton Hill affords an expansive view of the city, and I need to get some shots soon before the weather turns into fog and dreariness.  For whatever reason, in all my intentions to take the camera, I never considered that I would want to capture Edinburgh by night, but tonight, as I left New College, I wished I had that camera. Oh, the view was marvelous.  To the west were the remnants of yet another dying day. Where the sun had disappeared over the horizon, only soft oranges and warm purples remained.  To the north were the dazzling lights of the bustling city. And, most impressively, to the east was the (nearly) full moon rising just over the spires of an old building.  From my vantage, it looked as though the moon risked being speared by the spires. The sight stopped me still.  For a moment I drank in the unexpected beauty; the next moment I started kicking myself for forgetting the camera.  Maybe tomorrow.

Other news #1: Jackie worked five days last week, and she’s scheduled for five this week.  We’re grateful for the work. God is meeting our needs.  But, we’re praying for a different job–something more suited to Jackie’s experience, interests, and gifts. Do pray with us if you think of it.

Other news #2: I’m on the road to a new thesis proposal. More on this when I can more neatly summarize the ideas that currently are making for a very messy room in my brain.

Other news #3: I have two trivia questions. 1) Do you know the American equivalent of ‘black treacle’? 2) What’s grey, about 2 inches long, and recently left our freezer for the dumpster?  I’m asking these questions primarily as a teaser for a future post, but also to gauge our readership. If you know the answers, leave a comment. Can we get 10, 15, 20 comments?

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