I’m torn as to what to write about. There are so many things that I have experienced since being here, but seeing that it took me so long to get this thing started I’m sure you’d all like to have a update on the last two weeks. So let’s do that.
If you weren’t already aware, it’s beautiful here. We’re situated somewhere near Edinburgh on a hill that gives a view of rolling green hills, sheep, and on a clear day, Edinburgh herself.
My hosts are Carol and Graham; the most delightful and welcoming couple. Graham is Irish with red hair, a red complection and long eyebrows that remind me of my granddad. Carol, on the other hand, is full on Scottish. She is shorter than Graham, with dark graying hair, green eyes and a cheery round face. While Graham speaks with a Irish, but understandable accent, Carol speaks with a strong Scottish accent. I’ve recently come to accept that I really don’t understand what she says… at all. In fact I’ve found myself wandering around with probably only 3/4 of the explanation of what is going on. The other day we went to the beach when I had no idea we were even going the beach. And then all of a sudden, there we were, at the beach. It’s coming down to either admitting that I’m struggling with her accent or allowing myself to be lead along without much of a clue.
Carol and Graham have been kind enough to let me sleep until 8 or 8:30 while they get up around 7 or 7:30. Carol works full time and has a few chores to do in the morning and Graham the stay-at-home smallholder cooks her breakfast and starts his work. I’ve been trained on the authentic breakfast of choice here in Scotland so I can make my own when I wake. It looks something like this.
Yes, you’re seeing that right. Straight out of Ever After I’m eating soft boiled eggs, toast, orange juice and french press coffee. The first time I had been left to make my own egg, instead of admitting I didn’t know what was going on (partially because they handed me an egg, a sauce pan, and pointed to the stove and assumed I knew) I teetered on my bench watching the egg boil and looking cluelessly at the cleaning lady who finally said she’d probably have taken it out by that time. I still was unsure so I left it in a minute more. When I took it out I finally had to admit, “Hey Graham, how… do you eat this?” When he showed me the little holder for the egg I squealed. I love my breakfast, every morning, because I feel so Scottish… or British… or whatever.
Carol and Graham certainly have enough to keep them, and me, busy. With about 50 (?) chickens, 30 sheep, 3 pigs, 4 dogs, 2 green houses, and several gardens there is always something to do be it shearing, hatching chickens, weeding, putting the pigs away, walking the dogs or building something for expansion.
They’ve also been fantastic tour guides. They’ve already helped me experience authentic Scottish foods and directed me to old abbeys and castles. They also told me about the history of Andrew Carnegie, you know, the guy who founded Carnegie Hall. Well, he’s from Scotland, and grew up in a nearby town. He was very poor as a child and there used to be a beautiful park he’d sneak into and would always be chased out of by the workers. So when he grew up and became wealthy from the iron and steel industry he bought the park and opened it to the public. And I’ve gotten to spend both of my Saturdays so far exploring it. Here’s some pictures of it’s glory.
Oh look, that’s me refusing to be that tourist who asks someone to take a picture of them. Well, you can use it as proof that I’m still alive.
And here’s some pictures of an old abbey I frequent.
As you can see it’s gorgeous here. And I have enough to keep me busy.
And here’s this just because I think it’s funny.
Well? Have you?