Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Sunday tastes like:

Easy like Sunday from Laura A on Vimeo.

For a' that...

This past Saturday was our first at home. We just hung out. I got up early to study for my finals (Computer Literacy and also English). I skimmed over my Comp. Lit. notes because I thought I'd be able to just skip through that without too much bother. From 9am-5pm I studied English, hard! I made more notes, I worked through 6 weeks worth of lectures and looked up rules in my textbook. I made lots of notes!

I went to take the English exam only to discover that the essay (American men being stereotyped through television) I submitted on the Thursday before was my final... oh-oh. I really don't know how I made that mistake. Why wouldn't a subject like English have an exam?! Luckily I did work extremely hard on that essay and had Stuart read it and make suggestions and had my mum read it to make sure it made sense. I got full marks on my rough draft, so that should mean I get close to full on the final... right? Oh dear.

I went to take the Computer Literacy exam and basically had a melt down. I don't know who writes the questions for those tests but I've lost points from about week 3 onwards because I translate the words to mean something else. The multiple choice answers are too long I think. Anyway, block two is done and dusted and I hope I did ok.

Block three involves Interpersonal Communication, which I think I'm going to love and Basic Principles of Math, which I'm already not loving.

I had blood taken at the doctor's last week and the results came back looking normal. Next week I have an ultrasound to take a look at my innards. I had a bit of an episode on Thursday that involved me being in so much pain all of a sudden that I had white flecky dots floating about and was feeling very dizzy. It also involved one very sweet and scared husband on webcam and two loving parents out of their wits not knowing what to do. It happened late at night, my dad drew me a bath and my mum went to reassure Stuart.

My mum finishes work this Friday for two weeks. Hopefully we'll get to do some things together then. It feels like I've hardly seen my mum or dad these past 3 weeks. Busy busy!

Here's a picture from when we were in Ayr a couple of weekends ago:
This was taken outside the Robert Burns museum. It makes up the words to A Man's A Man for A' That.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

For British tastebuds only!

This is mostly for Stuart who will pretend that he isn't tortured by this. I just want to share, ok? I'm not trying to torture you! I appreciate you pretending though...

Foodness from Laura A on Vimeo.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Big Andrewski

I'm not really sure why he's like this but I'm very glad that he is! (And you can hear accents, Chiemi ;)

This is Andrew from Laura A on Vimeo.

Dunure Castle video...

Here's the video from Dunure Castle.

Dunure Castle from Laura A on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tam O' Shanter translation

Because Tam O' Shanter is such a great story (and posted it here with pics) I wanted to post a literal translation - mostly for Lindsay so she can draw pictures of it someday. You don't need to read it, I know it's long but I love it :)

Tam o' Shanter

When the peddler people leave the streets,
And thirsty neighbours, neighbours meet;
As market days are wearing late,
And folk begin to take the road home,
While we sit boozing strong ale,
And getting drunk and very happy,
We don’t think of the long Scots miles,
The marshes, waters, steps and stiles,
That lie between us and our home,
Where sits our sulky, sullen dame (wife),
Gathering her brows like a gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath, to keep it warm.

This truth finds honest Tam o' Shanter,
As he from Ayr one night did canter;
Old Ayr, which never a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonny lasses.

Oh Tam, had you but been so wise,
As to have taken your own wife Kate’s advice!
She told you well you were a waster,
A rambling, blustering, drunken boaster,
That from November until October,
Each market day you were not sober;
During each milling period with the miller,
You sat as long as you had money,
For every horse he put a shoe on,
The blacksmith and you got roaring drunk on;
That at the Lords House, even on Sunday,
You drank with Kirkton Jean till Monday.
She prophesied, that, late or soon,
You would be found deep drowned in Doon,
Or caught by warlocks in the murk,
By Alloway’s old haunted church.

Ah, gentle ladies, it makes me cry,
To think how many counsels sweet,
How much long and wise advice
The husband from the wife despises!

But to our tale :- One market night,
Tam was seated just right,
Next to a fireplace, blazing finely,
With creamy ales, that drank divinely;
And at his elbow, Cobbler Johnny,
His ancient, trusted, thirsty crony;
Tom loved him like a very brother,
They had been drunk for weeks together.
The night drove on with songs and clatter,
And every ale was tasting better;
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
With secret favours, sweet and precious;
The cobbler told his queerest stories;
The landlord’s laugh was ready chorus:
Outside, the storm might roar and rustle,
Tam did not mind the storm a whistle.

Care, mad to see a man so happy,
Even drowned himself in ale.
As bees fly home with loads of treasure,
The minutes winged their way with pleasure:
Kings may be blessed, but Tam was glorious,
Over all the ills of life victorious.

But pleasures are like poppies spread:
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow fall on the river,
A moment white - then melts forever,
Or like the Aurora Borealis rays,
That move before you can point to where they're placed;
Or like the rainbow’s lovely form,
Vanishing amid the storm.
No man can tether time or tide,
The hour approaches Tom must ride:
That hour, of night’s black arch - the key-stone,
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in
And such a night he takes to the road in
As never a poor sinner had been out in.

The wind blew as if it had blown its last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallowed,
Loud, deep and long the thunder bellowed:
That night, a child might understand,
The Devil had business on his hand.

Well mounted on his grey mare, Meg.
A better never lifted leg,
Tom, raced on through mud and mire,
Despising wind and rain and fire;
Whilst holding fast his good blue bonnet,
While crooning over some old Scots sonnet,
Whilst glowering round with prudent care,
Lest ghosts catch him unaware:
Alloway’s Church was drawing near,
Where ghosts and owls nightly cry.

By this time he was across the ford,
Where in the snow the pedlar got smothered;
And past the birch trees and the huge stone,
Where drunken Charlie broke his neck bone;
And through the thorns, and past the monument,
Where hunters found the murdered child;
And near the thorn, above the well,
Where Mungo’s mother hung herself.
Before him the river Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars throught the woods;
The lightnings flashes from pole to pole;
Nearer and more near the thunder rolls;
When, glimmering through the groaning trees,
Alloway’s Church seemed in a blaze,
Through every gap , light beams were glancing,
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.

Inspiring, bold John Barleycorn! (whisky)
What dangers you can make us scorn!
With ale, we fear no evil;
With whisky, we’ll face the Devil!
The ales so swam in Tam’s head,
Fair play, he didn’t care a farthing for devils.
But Maggie stood, right sore astonished,
Till, by the heel and hand admonished,
She ventured forward on the light;
And, vow! Tom saw an incredible sight!

Warlocks and witches in a dance:
No cotillion, brand new from France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
In a window alcove in the east,
There sat Old Nick, in shape of beast;
A shaggy dog, black, grim, and large,
To give them music was his charge:
He screwed the pipes and made them squeal,
Till roof and rafters all did ring.
Coffins stood round, like open presses,
That showed the dead in their last dresses;
And, by some devilish magic sleight,
Each in its cold hand held a light:
By which heroic Tom was able
To note upon the holy table,
A murderer’s bones, in gibbet-irons;
Two span-long, small, unchristened babies;
A thief just cut from his hanging rope -
With his last gasp his mouth did gape;
Five tomahawks with blood red-rusted;
Five scimitars with murder crusted;
A garter with which a baby had strangled;
A knife a father’s throat had mangled -
Whom his own son of life bereft -
The grey-hairs yet stack to the shaft;
With more o' horrible and awful,
Which even to name would be unlawful.
Three Lawyers’ tongues, turned inside out,
Sown with lies like a beggar’s cloth -
Three Priests’ hearts, rotten, black as muck
Lay stinking, vile, in every nook.

As Thomas glowered, amazed, and curious,
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious;
The piper loud and louder blew,
The dancers quick and quicker flew,
They reeled, they set, they crossed, they linked,
Till every witch sweated and smelled,
And cast her ragged clothes to the floor,
And danced deftly at it in her underskirts!

Now Tam, O Tam! had these been queens,
All plump and strapping in their teens!
Their underskirts, instead of greasy flannel,
Been snow-white seventeen hundred linen! -
The trousers of mine, my only pair,
That once were plush, of good blue hair,
I would have given them off my buttocks
For one blink of those pretty girls !

But withered hags, old and droll,
Ugly enough to suckle a foal,
Leaping and flinging on a stick,
Its a wonder it didn’t turn your stomach!

But Tam knew what was what well enough:
There was one winsome, jolly wench,
That night enlisted in the core,
Long after known on Carrick shore
(For many a beast to dead she shot,
And perished many a bonnie boat,
And shook both much corn and barley,
And kept the country-side in fear.)
Her short underskirt, o’ Paisley cloth,
That while a young lass she had worn,
In longitude though very limited,
It was her best, and she was proud. . .
Ah! little knew your reverend grandmother,
That skirt she bought for her little grandaughter,
With two Scots pounds (it was all her riches),
Would ever graced a dance of witches!

But here my tale must stoop and bow,
Such words are far beyond her power;
To sing how Nannie leaped and kicked
(A supple youth she was, and strong);
And how Tom stood like one bewitched,
And thought his very eyes enriched;
Even Satan glowered, and fidgeted full of lust,
And jerked and blew with might and main;
Till first one caper, then another,
Tom lost his reason all together,
And roars out: ‘ Well done, short skirt! ’
And in an instant all was dark;
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.

As bees buzz out with angry wrath,
When plundering herds assail their hive;
As a wild hare’s mortal foes,
When, pop! she starts running before their nose;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When ‘ Catch the thief! ’ resounds aloud:
So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
With many an unearthly scream and holler.

Ah, Tom! Ah, Tom! You will get what's coming!
In hell they will roast you like a herring!
In vain your Kate awaits your coming !
Kate soon will be a woeful woman!
Now, do your speedy utmost, Meg,
And beat them to the key-stone of the bridge;
There, you may toss your tale at them,
A running stream they dare not cross!
But before the key-stone she could make,
She had to shake a tail at the fiend;
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie pressed,
And flew at Tam with furious aim;
But little was she Maggie’s mettle!
One spring brought off her master whole,
But left behind her own grey tail:
The witch caught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

Now, who this tale of truth shall read,
Each man, and mother’s son, take heed:
Whenever to drink you are inclined,
Or short skirts run in your mind,
Think! you may buy joys over dear:
Remember Tam o’ Shanter’s mare.

No post Friday

Woops! I tried to post a video yesterday but youtube wouldn't upload it. It would pretend to be uploading it but then sneakily tricked me. Little rascal. I'm using Vimeo now.

Today I have 2 final exams to take. Farewell, 2nd block of classes! Tomorrow I start Principles of Maths and Interpersonal Communication. I have a feeling it's going to be more cruel than block 2.

Here's the video of when we went to Burns Cottage. The cottage is really long because the animals used to stay inside and helped keep the place warm. Interesting, hm?

Burns Cottage, Alloway, Scotland from Laura A on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dunure Castle

Ruins like this dot the countryside here. I think I've spotted more on the west coast than on the east coast though.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When I'ma walking, I strut my stuff...

I went to the doctor's today. This was my walk from the surgery to the High Street. The building with the gold dome is my old high school (Montrose Academy)...

My next post/video will have a castle in it! Hold on to your hats!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just two minutes ago...

The lovers, the dreamers and me...

It's not unusual for me to share a memory with family members and for them to turn around and say, "Mmmm, no. That did not happen." And it's not that they are correcting my memory because I've embellished or whatnot. It's that it never actually happened. The "memories" usually have something quite exciting happen in them that should be a clue to me that they might not be real. My explanation for this is that I've dreamt it when I was young and just got confused. Which is fine.

Just like the time I (didn't) went to work with my dad. We were walking along the corridor to his workspace and on the right hand side there (wasn't) big windows looking into other's workspaces. The people working there (weren't) grown men with fairy wings.

I have one memory of collecting mermaid's purses at a place with my dad and Andrew (I think). It was a place I only remember being at once. It was a small harbour and the tide was out. A row of old white buildings lined the little road down the harbour.We collected mermaid's purses and the sky was dark. It was windy. The memory is hazy but it's an old one. I never shared it because it probably wasn't real.

On Sunday we went to this place...
It was like a dream coming true... except it wasn't a dream. It had been real all along.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tam O' Shanter

When chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neibors, neibors, meet;
As market days are wearing late,
And folk begin to tak the gate,
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
An' getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps and stiles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm. 

This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter:
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonie lasses).

O Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise,
As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was na sober;
That ilka melder wi' the Miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That ev'ry naig was ca'd a shoe on
The Smith and thee gat roarin' fou on;
That at the Lord's house, ev'n on Sunday,
Thou drank wi' Kirkton Jean till Monday,
She prophesied that late or soon,
Thou wad be found, deep drown'd in Doon,
Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,
By Alloway's auld, haunted kirk.

Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,
To think how mony counsels sweet,
How mony lengthen'd, sage advices,
The husband frae the wife despises!

But to our tale: Ae market night,
Tam had got planted unco right,
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,
Wi reaming sAats, that drank divinely;
And at his elbow, Souter Johnie,
His ancient, trusty, drougthy crony:
Tam lo'ed him like a very brither;
They had been fou for weeks thegither.
The night drave on wi' sangs an' clatter;
And aye the ale was growing better:
The Landlady and Tam grew gracious,
Wi' favours secret, sweet, and precious:
The Souter tauld his queerest stories;
The Landlord's laugh was ready chorus:
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.

Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E'en drown'd himsel amang the nappy.
As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure,
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure:
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious,
O'er a' the ills o' life victorious!

But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white-then melts for ever;
Or like the Borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the Rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm. -
Nae man can tether Time nor Tide,
The hour approaches Tam maun ride;
That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane,
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in;
And sic a night he taks the road in,
As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.

The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd;
Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow'd:
That night, a child might understand,
The deil had business on his hand.

Weel-mounted on his grey mare, Meg,
A better never lifted leg,
Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire,
Despising wind, and rain, and fire;
Whiles holding fast his gude blue bonnet,
Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet,
Whiles glow'rin round wi' prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares;
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
Where ghaists and houlets nightly cry. 

By this time he was cross the ford,
Where in the snaw the chapman smoor'd;
And past the birks and meikle stane,
Where drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane;
And thro' the whins, and by the cairn,
Where hunters fand the murder'd bairn;
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Where Mungo's mither hang'd hersel'.
Before him Doon pours all his floods,
The doubling storm roars thro' the woods,
The lightnings flash from pole to pole,
Near and more near the thunders roll,
When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze,
Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing,
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi' tippenny, we fear nae evil;
Wi' usquabae, we'll face the devil!
The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle,
Fair play, he car'd na deils a boddle,
But Maggie stood, right sair astonish'd,
Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
She ventur'd forward on the light;
And, wow! Tam saw an unco sight!

Warlocks and witches in a dance:
Nae cotillon, brent new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
winnock-bunker in the east,
There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
To gie them music was his charge:
He screw'd the pipes and gart them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl. -
Coffins stood round, like open presses,
That shaw'd the Dead in their last dresses;
And (by some devilish cantraip sleight)
Each in its cauld hand held a light.
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,
A murderer's banes, in gibbet-airns;
Twa span-lang, wee, unchristened bairns;
A thief, new-cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gabudid gape;
Five tomahawks, wi' blude red-rusted:
Five scimitars, wi' murder crusted;
A garter which a babe had strangled:
A knife, a father's throat had mangled.
Whom his ain son of life bereft,
The grey-hairs yet stack to the heft;
Wi' mair of horrible and awfu',
Which even to name wad be unlawfu'.
Three lawyers tongues, turned inside oot,
Wi' lies, seamed like a beggars clout,
Three priests hearts, rotten, black as muck,
Lay stinkin, vile in every neuk.

As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and curious,
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious;
The Piper loud and louder blew,
The dancers quick and quicker flew,
The reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleekit,
Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linkit at it in her sark!

Now Tam, O Tam! had they been queans,
A' plump and strapping in their teens!
Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flainen,
Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen!-
Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair,
That ance were plush o' guid blue hair,
I wad hae gien them off my hurdies,
For ae blink o' the bonie burdies!
But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,
Louping an' flinging on a crummock.
I wonder did na turn thy stomach.

But Tam kent what was what fu' brawlie:
There was ae winsome wench and waulie
That night enlisted in the core,
Lang after ken'd on Carrick shore;
(For mony a beast to dead she shot,
And perish'd mony a bonie boat,
And shook baith meikle corn and bear,
And kept the country-side in fear);
Her cutty sark, o' Paisley harn,
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude tho' sorely scanty,
It was her best, and she was vauntie.
Ah! little ken'd thy reverend grannie,
That sark she coft for her wee Nannie,
Wi twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches),
Wad ever grac'd a dance of witches!

But here my Muse her wing maun cour,
Sic flights are far beyond her power;
To sing how Nannie lap and flang,
(A souple jade she was and strang),
And how Tam stood, like ane bewithc'd,
And thought his very een enrich'd:
Even Satan glowr'd, and fidg'd fu' fain,
And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main:
Till first ae caper, syne anither,
Tam tint his reason a thegither,
And roars out, "Weel done, Cutty-sark!"
And in an instant all was dark:
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied.
When out the hellish legion sallied.

As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke,
When plundering herds assail their byke;
As open pussie's mortal foes,
When, pop! she starts before their nose;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When "Catch the thief!" resounds aloud;
So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
Wi' mony an eldritch skreich and hollow.

Ah, Tam! Ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin!
In hell, they'll roast thee like a herrin!
In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin!
Kate soon will be a woefu' woman!
Now, do thy speedy-utmost, Meg,
And win the key-stone o' the brig;^1
There, at them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they dare na cross.
But ere the keystane she could make,
The fient a tail she had to shake!
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle;
But little wist she Maggie's mettle!
Ae spring brought off her master hale,
But left behind her ain grey tail:
The carlin claught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read,
Ilk man and mother's son, take heed:
Whene'er to Drink you are inclin'd,
Or Cutty-sarks rin in your mind,
Think ye may buy the joys o'er dear;
Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.

Tam o' Shanter - Robert Burns

Alloway Kirk

Burns Cottage

We went to Robert Burns' Cottage in Alloway. It's been on my list of places to visit for a long time. Kids on the west coast usually go there for a school trip. We must have moved before it was my turn.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend part 1

We just got home from spending the weekend on the west coast, where I'm originally from. We headed over on Friday morning for the funeral of my mum's best friends mother. We went to Irvine, which is where I was born and where my mum grew up.

It was really nice to see so many familiar faces - faces I haven't seen in 15 years. The faces were familiar to me but my face doesn't look 9 years old any more, though I am reassured it doesn't look 25 either.

After the funeral we headed to my little sister, Caitlin's grave. I think this was just the second time I'd been there - the first being at the burial.

My dad captured this picture which I think is funny.
Oh my, how dramatic. Funny eh? The thing about having a camera stuck to my face all the time is that I end up in positions like this. This picture is telling a completely different story than the simple one that was happening. I did have a few tears coming out my eyes but I wasn't wailing, nor did I strew myself across the grave like the picture makes me think I was about to... Thanks dad.

(Look at the coat I'm wearing, cute eh? Ask my mum how much it cost.)

After this we went to the street I spent the first 9 years of my life on and visited neighbours. When it comes to neighbourliness, the west coast is the place to be.

We left Irvine and headed up the coast to Largs to stay with my mum's little sister, Auntie Wilma - do people my age still call their aunts and uncles "aunt" and "uncle"? I feel like it's only right to do so but have noticed certain siblings and a husband who call their aunts and uncles just by their first names now...

Beki and I spent many (or maybe just a few) Easter's in Largs. I think this time was the first time I'd been without Beki which meant it was the first time I've been experienced there without the entertaining shadow of Beki looming over me. It made me aware of how quiet I am even... I love it there though. I'm always comfortable and happy there. We spent the night there then headed up to Aunt Wilma and Uncle Ronnie's "second home" at Craig Tara.

We walked about and I think mum and dad are planning on selling the house and moving there, they loved it so much. It's right by the beach...

Has a little amusement park - complete with crazy golf...

What more could you want? How about a roller rink, swimming pool, shops and bowling? It's all there too and more.

That's just the start of the weekend. We got home tonight and I'm completely knackered. I just wanted to get something up to show Stuart I'm still alive. I've got lots of pictures and lots of video to edit tomorrow.

(I thought my Flip died yesterday and was really upset and grrrr about it. I gave it to my dad hoping he'd work some sort of magic. Sure enough, he did... he changed the batteries. Mmmhmm...)

Time for me to sleep. I start the final week of my second block tomorrow. Weeeeee!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Video: Park Lark

Please excuse my gruff voice and sniffing. Gross. Sorry.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A feast for your eyes...

Today I was doing my homework when the phone rang.

"Hi, do you want to go to the park?"

It was Beki. To be honest I wasn't really expecting to see her this trip. So I was surprised to hear her voice. We went to the park and then came home and I fell in love with the kids. Hopefully I'll see them again along with Cambi.

What a treat.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Montrose to Motherwell

At 49 seconds - 1.05 we drive straight through a town, Marywell, I think. I should know because I threw up there once. Just so you can see how little some towns are and know how often I get car sick ;)

Is your Mother Well?

Yesterday morning we shot down to Motherwell, where my dad's from. We went to have a family lunch with my dad's big sister, Aunt Jean, who got married a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't expecting to travel that far this soon after arriving with being jet lagged and sick. Away we went anyway.
This is the drive down - I'm trying to get little videos of the countryside so I can share it with you. Keep a look out for a couple of castles, not unlike this one in the video. (I'll upload the vid later.)

We left Montrose at 8.30am and got to Motherwell at about 11am. On our way in we stopped at my dad's Primary School where I took his photo:

Whilst getting his picture taken there was a numpty in the high rise flats behind us shouting, "Hey BALDY! Baldy! Is that you, Baldy?". I don't know what his point was but when my dad shouted, "Jump!" back at the guy about 10 stories up I laughed pretty hard. That's my dad!

We got to his childhood home, where my Aunt still lives and chatted a bit then went to lunch at the Chinese Buffet. I was kept entertained by this pair:

And this one too:
Here's my Aunt Jean and her family:

It was quite a long day but was really nice to get out and visit family and meet new family members.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I thought I'd dodged the traditional get-sick-from-being-stuck-in-a-tin-tube-with-700-other-people-and-their-germs disease but I was wrong. I woke up with a cold this morning. A cold so horrible that my face is throbbing and my teeth are sore.

No pictures today. Sorry. *death*

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Snowdrops and daffodils...

I went to bed at about 11pm last night and was pretty proud that I'd stayed awake long enough to do that. I crawled in to the big bed and thought I might need to wind down a bit to sleep. Then I realised whilst looking for a plug socket that in America there tends to be atleast one plug socket on every wall, in every room including the bathroom. In Britain plugs holes are few and far between. I couldn't find one to plug the lamp in to because the only one I could find had the laptop charging... I went to bed and fell asleep pretty fast. I'm not surprised about that, I was using "wind down" as excuse to read more of the book I'm reading (The Help)...

Today I woke up at 6am. Seagulls did it. Then I heard my dad getting up for work and I just lay there... Dad left and I lay... Mum got up and I lay... then I got up. I'm also noticing a lack of clocks in the house. I grew up without an alarm clock. The only clock upstairs is in my mum and dad's room and there's a little one in the bathroom... downstairs where I am there's one on the telly but it's too small from here and I haven't changed the time on the computer so I can keep track of Stuart and my school stuff... so I can't tell you what time it is but I do know it's before noon because the school bell across the road hasn't gone yet.

Homework this week is KILLING me. There's about 4 times as much for my computing class than there normally is and it's haaaard! So after my mum left for work I went back to bed and started doing homework. Then I got up after Scott left and travelled down stairs with my stuff. Ate a bowl of stale Sugar Puffs - there's no garbage disposal so I couldn't throw it away. I ate them. And then I went to take some pictures of the garden because I'd rather be doing anything than all that homework...

I love my  mum's garden even though I know she hates how it's full of random things my dad's collected. I like it. There's lots of new little flowers poking up for Spring. Stuart hasn't seen Scotland at this time of year so I'm documenting it with extra love for him...

What do you want to see?
Do you have any Scotland questions you want me to answer whilst I'm here?