Thursday, April 29, 2010

There's no place like home... homes...

Well, I made it home to Stuart. On Tuesday morning we left Montrose at 2.45am and got to the airport around 3.30am. My dad prefers to pick me up/kick me out at the curb rather than parking the car. So I got out and said goodbye to him and my mum walked me in to silent, empty airport. There were no employees there yet and no customers so I told her it was ok for her to go - seeing as they still had work that day and we had gone to bed around 10pm that night after a family dinner and Where The Wild Things Are.

I asked her what advice she had for me - this is tradition. As I leave she gives me some of her wisdom. This time it involved the wonder of time. Time never stops and yet there's not enough of it. Use it wisely. Perfect  words, as always.

We hugged a bit and she left and I sat in the airport too tired to even really know what was going on.

I checked in just about 15 minutes after my mum left and went down to the lounge and zoned out until boarding. My flight left at 6am. I landed in Amsterdam where they've started a new security assault-course. Due to that there were 70 passengers who for some reason couldn't get through because of ticket trouble. The plane was about an hour late taking off. This was the longest leg of the journey. The flight was 10 hours long. I was lucky to have a friendly German guy sitting next to me and I kept bumping into him after we got off the plane.

I landed late in Seattle and had to go through customs. Part of flying from a non-English speaking country in Europe means there's less English-as-a-first-language passengers. I got stuck behind an old man who didn't know English and had to go through the metal detectors 6 times because he had jewlery on, he had things in his pockets, he was going through too fast...  I then had to reclaim my baggage and then bolt through the airport.

This was my final flight of the day and I missed it. I actually got to the gate, sweating like nothing else and in my bare feet because I couldn't run fast enough with my shoes on and with a backpack that I swear was getting heavier with each step - 4 minutes before departure time but they had left. I didn't even have the pleasure of hearing my name over the speaker. This was at 3.30pm. The next flight out was at 5.05pm and it left from the side of the airport I just dashed from.

Needless to say I plonked myself down in the D gate and took a nap then made my way back to N. I looked awful and smelled like death.

Missing my flight worked out quite well though, I got a rest. I was only worried about my luggage because it meant to be on the flight I missed but it was there on the carousel when I got there.

My Stuee was also there :) not on the carousel, but you know. I got off the plane. Started heading to baggage when I spied Stuart. He had just turned his back on me, without seeing me and headed into a shop! I could hardly believe it. I stood outside the shop watching him for a minute looking at the juice or whatever it was that had distracted him (?) He turned around and saw me. :)

I'm so happy to be back home with him. I'm also happy to have my emotions under control and my thoughts organised. I cried a little as my mum left me at the airport but since then I've been ok. I'm where I'm meant to be.

Yesterday I had a bit of a confrontation via twitter that left me really bothered and pretty embarrassed. I still stand by what I said but maybe with the lack of sleep and having to fit it into 140 characters I shouldn't have given her my advice on dealing with homesickness. I'd have worded it better if I'd had my wits about me.

People always ask me if I miss Scotland. Of course I do. I don't think anyone would expect an answer other than that. I miss Scotland a lot, it sort of breaks my heart. I miss my mum and dad loads. My way of dealing with it is to remember that I made this choice. When I feel out of control and sick and that it's not fair that I don't get to spend holiday's with my family or get to speak to them daily/weekly/sometimes monthly I just remember, I chose this. I'm here because I love Stuart. I want to be with him. Home is where my heart is and that's why I have two homes - not two hearts, just two homes ;) And that's ok!

If you're in a situation and you don't like it. If it's making you sick and miserable take control! Kick loneliness/homesickness/misery/upset in the face! You don't need it. Turn it around and send it packing. Have a good cry and then Be Happy!

If you're in a situation like I am and feel like you'r being forced to choose between two loves, if you feel torn, don't worry. You can have two favourites. Stuart is my favourite and my mum and dad are my favourite. They can share and I can share. I was touched that my mum didn't want me to leave. She was torn too but it's ok because she's happy to share me with Stuart because he loves me as much as she does - although they'd both argue that they love me more than the other.

And it feels so good to get that off my chest. It really eats me up inside knowing I've offended someone. The truth is, I would never EVER say something to intentionally hurt anyone. If I have upset anyone I am really sorry. I've been dealing with a lot of stuff lately and things have been coming out of the woodwork, things that aren't very nice but it comes down to what I just said. That's not an excuse for any offensive behaviour at all.  I'd never hurt anyone on purpose. I'd also never say anything behind anyone's back that I wouldn't say to their face and I don't say mean things. That's not me. I hadn't expected twitter to be the first cause of my crying since arriving back in America. Hurting people's feelings must be higher on my list of upsetting things than homesickness is. Who knew?

Time is never ending but there is never enough of it. Use it wisely.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Vid-joe from yest-turday

Lame-o here meant to take more video of yesterday but didn't. Here's what I do have...

Laura & Liam's day of fun from Laura A on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oh, this is my friend I haven't seen in 15 years...

How old AM I!? I remember hearing my parents talk about 10, 20, 25 years ago and I would think, "wow! They're ooooold!" And now here I am and I'm oooooold! As I got off the train I half expected Liam to still be 9 years old, even though I continued on to become 25. I just figure time stops for everyone when I'm not around but, it actually doesn't all revolve around me. Or so I'm told.

I got off the train and commented to Liam that he's taller than the last time I saw him. He said I am too. I don't remember getting taller so I'll take his word for it.

We talked about this and that and old names from Primary School and walked about.

The barometer was lying!

We found ourselves in the Art Museum right on time for a lunchtime concert. It was some fancy singing in German. I like listening to things in other languages and looking at things I don't understand because I like imagining what might be happening. I was beyond myself at the lunchtime concert today and tried to contain myself. So much to imagine!

Then we wandered a bit more and chatted whilst dodging raindrops and had a pub lunch. Liam tried to look at the city like he was me - which almost involved him toppling over.

(One of two of the weirdest pictures I've ever seen of myself coming right up...)

Then we went and watched some Arrested Development... why does it sound like the day only lasted 10 minutes when it's typed out like this?

It was a grand day. Hopefully I'm not the only one who enjoyed it. I don't really have any connections from that part of my life and so it was really nice and I suppose more important to me than I realised, in a way. That's probably another topic for another post though.

 Thanks for being a good friend and for remembering me from years ago. Thanks too for not being a jerk in primary school. I think you're the bees knees and enjoyed our day of fun very much. Come to California so you can meet Stuart and we'll all watch Arrested Development and go to the beach for an ice cream - and it won't rain, probably.


 Don't be jealous I spent the day with another boy. You're still my fave.

 Your Fave xx

PS. You can be a little jealous but I'll be home soon :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Academy Square

Today I had another doctors appointment and on the way back I stopped to take some pictures in the flower gardens and my old high school, Montrose Academy.

Many a lunch times were spent in the flower gardens by the school and it's not until today that I really noticed any of it. Isn't that sad but also happy, because I got the chance to notice it.

The lamp post and the lions are all very Narnia to me. I wish I'd noticed that sooner.

Learn from that.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Volcanoes: My nemesis

If you haven't heard about the Icelandic rascal, Eyjafjallajokull (I had to copy and paste that) then you must not have a tv or internet.

Flights across northern Europe have been grounded since Thursday. Flights can leave or come in. Thousands of folk are stranded all over the planet since last week was the last week of Easter holidays.

Here's the thing, I'm meant to be flying home to Stuart a week tomorrow. The volcano sent up a new plume of ash yesterday and they don't know when it'll stop. It could be months. The Eyjafjallajokull expert is actually stranded in Paris. Good one, eh?

Understandably people are very upset, they're stuck in foreign places with no money and only the airport to sleep in. A lot of people are angry that all airports are closed because surely they don't all have to be.

I'm a bit worried that the government will open airports because of pressure from the people and because it's hurting our economy more.

I do want to go home to Stuart but I don't want to risk getting on a plane that might not make it! At least the way things are right now I'll get home eventually. I hope they make the right decision. 

Staying put is what I'd rather do even if it takes weeks. What a mess.

Eh. That's what's on my mind right now.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Interview with a parent...

When I was home over Christmas 2008 I felt a bit of urgency in terms of preserving my family history. I didn't know when I'd get home again and recognised the fact that it was such a blessing I'd been able to be there twice in 4 years. My parents have memories and experiences that I want to pass down to my children. Even if those things are written in journals there's something special about seeing and hearing the person share them.

I interviewed my dad and recorded it. When I got home and got the tapes on the computer it hadn't quite worked out. There was a codec problem which was probably quite an easy fix but it freaked me out none the less. Hours of memories that wouldn't play on my computer made me worried and sick. What if that was the last time I got home?

This time I have a nifty little gadget which is made for recording and plugging straight into the computer. It has it's own super simple software and editing is done in a flash. (Thanks Stuart, it means more than you know!)

My dad is a chatterbox and quite likes the attention so I started with him. We made a list of topics and he worked down it telling me about anything it triggered. Lots of new things I hadn't heard before were shared. Then I got the idea that he knows things and has precious memories of his brother who passed away. Uncle Jim's kids have most likely not heard much of what my dad remembers about their dad. So I've tried to put together some segments of his memories of his brother especially for them.

See how sweet you think he is after this. ;)

Dad: Skiing with his brother from Laura A on Vimeo.

Windows from Laura A on Vimeo.

Fighting from Laura A on Vimeo.
What would you ask your parents if it was the last time you got to see them?

Friday, April 16, 2010


A few times in my life I've been in a place where there's a feeling of complete reverence and even though I don't know the history of the place I can just feel that something important happened there. Dunnichen is one of those places. 

My dad explained that a battle had happened around 700AD in Dunnichen. It wasn't recorded very many places but from what records they do have it tells us that this battle was one of great importance - Scotland would have been lost if they hadn't succeeded. 

"[T]he very next year [685AD], that same king [Egfrid], rashly leading his army to ravage the province of the Picts, much against the advice of his friends, and particularly of Cuthbert, of blessed memory, who had been lately ordained his op, the enemy made show as if they fled, and the king was drawn into the straits of inaccessible mountains, and slain with the greatest part of his forces, on the 20th of May, in the fortieth year of his age, and the fifteenth of his reign."
— Bede's account of battle from his Ecclesiastical History of England.

We went inside the church and my dad made himself at home at the pulpit. They have these amazing quilted, patchwork wall hangings. The colours and textures were brilliant.

Here's the Pictish standing stone and war memorial. The little video below is of my dad explaining things to you. He's neutralised his accent so you can understand him.

The memorial: 

Pictish stones from Laura A on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Estenneth Priory, Forfar

Yesterday's adventure took us to Forfar and thereabouts. This is the first part of the trip.

Estenneth Priory, Forfar from Laura A on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When holding one litre proves nothing!

Today I had the privilege of having a surprise smear at the doctors. (How's that for an opener? Barf!) For my younger audience, it's not as bad as you'd think and it's really something not to worry about. It feels like a violation of your womanly self but the procedure can save your life.

Afterwards I felt a bit traumatised (younger audience, I'm exaggerating like I sometimes do. It's not that bad.) and a little unsettled. I like to be surprised but not with that... So, we came out and got in the car, came home and decided what to do with the day since I'm avoiding doing my maths homework. We decided to go to the supermarket to get some picnic things and then head to Forfar.

My mum and I went to Tesco (supermarket) and picked up rolls and pork. Whilst in the supermarket I remarked that I felt like I might wet myself - because of the earlier procedure. It just felt like that. Rest assured I held one litre of water in my bladder last week and not a drop escaped! I was not going to wet myself. Really.

We came out and got in the car. My dad asked if we were ok. My mum said, "Yes but Laura wet herself." We laughed and drove away. We stopped at the butchers for bacon, my dad went to post a letter and I just stayed in the car. My dad came back from posting his letter and my mum was still getting bacon so we had a little chat about the banana allergy we both have. Mum came back and dad started driving.

I never really know where we're going when we head out on trips like this. Dad was driving through the High street, out past the swimming pool, then at the round about at the top of Borrowfield (where we live) my mum said, "where are we going?"

My dad looked at her and pointed back to me, "Going home so Laura can get changed!"

I looked at myself, "WHY?!"

"Because you wet yourself!!"

We couldn't stop laughing. He really thought I'd wet myself, bless him. I laughed and laughed and then thought, for thinking I really wet myself he didn't say a word! He never made fun of me or was cheeky. How sweet but also, why on earth would I wet myself? Why would he think that?...

That's the funny that happened today. I have lots of pictures and video to share of our Forfar adventure.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Your haven, my haven, Johnshaven

Today being so beautifully sunny we decided to go on a trip. Dad had a place in mind so away we went.
When I was packing the thought crossed my mind that I should maybe pack a pair of shorts. I ignored the idea and today I would have loved to have been wearing shorts, I'll tell you what! It wasn't roasting but it was definitely a nice day to let the legs breath a bit.

We picked up our picnic stuff: cheese rolls, pork, dairylea cheese and I picked up the treats. Away we went up the coast to Johnshaven which is a little fishing village which I absolutely love. It's the most charming place. I think the last picture really captures the quaintness of it.

Photoz, Booze and Shooz...

On Thursday my mum, Jenna and me had a girls night. I had planned on having a lot more of these but time's totally flown by. This week and next I'm hoping for more since I just bought a bunch of DVDs from amazon for pretty cheap. Anyway, we watched North & South on Thursday. I do love Mr. Thornton... more than I Mr. Darcy I dare say...

On Friday I did a photo shoot with Jenna. (I can't get enough of her.)
We went down to Usan Mains for our shoot. I had never thought of going there for that but my dad suggested it and it was a stroke of genius. Thanks dad.

On Saturday we went to see the new Nanny McPhee film. It wasn't as good as the first one, sadly. I hadn't seen the first one until last week because I thought it was just a kids film but I actually really liked it. There's still something wonderful about going to the cinema even if the film isn't the best. It's such a treat.

After the film we went to Vicky's for dinner - oh, before we went to the cinema we went to Vicky's to drop off pudding and a HUGE bunch of flowers for her. My mum went in ahead of me with the dessert and took it through to the kitchen and I followed. Vicky set the dessert down and turned round and saw the bunch of flowers then went on to scare the life out of me. "OOooh OOOOOH!" she was shaking. I honestly thought she was going to collapse. "OOOOH!! They're OOOOoooh!" Whoa, Vicky, just whoa! She loved them. :)

When Vicky was serving dinner we all took the opportunity to take a whiff of her wine - being Mormon we've never experienced such an event. I think it's safe to say I wouldn't be a wineo. I didn't love it. My mum on the other hand... she may have actually got drunk from just smelling it. We practically had to pry the glass from her hands and then she went on to smell the majority of Vicky's booze collection in the kitchen.

We had spaghetti bolognese and it was scrumptious! I was so stuffed I couldn't fit in any dessert. After dinner Vicky showed us her new Steve Madden shoes she got from ebay for 10 quid. (I love this picture. I can practically hear her loud laugh when I look at it. Haha!)

Mum got in on the shoe action too... She poses when she wants to but when she's done, she's done. I won't show you the picture that proves it.
It was a good weekend :) This week both my mum and dad are off work for the Easter holiday and today is gloriously sunny - I should have packed shorts? I think we're heading out for an adventure soon.

Thanks everyone for your comments on my last post. I try to be open about things like that because I know there's more than me who has gone through it and if I can help someone along my way by making them feel like it's ok to not be ok (my new motto? haha!) then it makes it seem more worth it.

Just a couple more weeks and I'll be back in my lovers arms. I have to make the most of these weeks to though...