Monday, September 29, 2014

St Ives and Cambridge

Last Thursday, we both left work a bit early and made our way via bus to the Edinburgh airport. Again, we were reminded of how we live in a fairly remote area. Our travel time to the airport was longer than our flight to London! Julie and Mark met us at the airport and we enjoyed catching up for the few hours we had before bed.

In the morning, we ate breakfast at Mark's mother's home in St Ives before going for a walk. Then we were joined by some special women (Mark's mother, Joan, Mark's Gran, and Audrey, a close family friend) for a delicious lunch at the Windmill in Somersham.

Our evening was spent at the cinema watching "What We Did on Our Holiday" set in Scotland. Julie and Mark were kind to drive us around and arrange for us to stay with Mark's Gran for our time down south. She was a wonderful hostess!

Cambridge is such a lovely place to visit. This was our third time in this large University town, and we saw the sights, ate good English pub food, and ended our day punting on the River Cam. For dinner, we went with Mark's brother, Steve, and his wife, Helen, to a Chinese restaurant they recommended, and we were not disappointed!

On our last day, we met Mark's Dad and his wife Di, and they hosted us in their beautiful home and garden in Huntington. I particularly enjoyed seeing the thatched roofs and old English homes in this village. Then we caught up with Mark's brother Martin, his partner Lisa, and the talented Sam before driving to the airport. 

Sunday night came quick and we were back on the plane for our 50-minute flight to Edinburgh. Thanks again to Julie, Mark, and Mark's family for a wonderful weekend away!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Another September

As of September 4th, we're beginning year f o u r. We've lived in Scotland for the majority of our married life. This place is very special to us and we're appreciating these cold, misty days more than ever. September brings new students and families to St Mary's and we've had the privilege of meeting them over the past few weeks. This Saturday we'll attend the annual Roundel BBQ to kick-off our last academic year.

Garrick is teaching Hebrew this semester and has submitted an entire draft of his thesis to his supervisor. He'll have lots of editing ahead, but I'm both proud and impressed of how he has maneuvered his way through the PhD process. He begins most mornings working out with friends and also follows the Mariners so closely that I wonder how he copes living so far away from Seattle.

I'm enjoying my job and getting ready to welcome loads of students on the four Visiting Days this autumn. Harry defeated Voldemort, and although I'm very happy about that, I'm sad to be done with the Harry Potter series. I've ordered The Fellowship of the Ring and am excited to start reading about another magical world. Most evenings I knit and sip Pukka Three Cinnamon Tea. Go buy some. Last night, I snapped photos for the Nose Toe Tail event at Balgove planned by the talented Liana.

Earlier this month we enjoyed a visit with my cousin Kyara and her husband, Zach. We appreciated that they included us in their European adventure. St Andrews is fairly out of the way. Most of our time together was spent eating and catching up.

We leave for Cambridge next week to visit Garrick's mom and Mark and Mark's family. As we don't see them often, we'll really make the most of our time together. In early October I'm leaving for a girls' weekend to the Lake District. I'm eagerly anticipating this time away with my lovely friends.

Transition is coming quickly we prepare for life after St Andrews. We're equally excited and nervous. The cosy bubble of St Andrews is difficult to leave, but our visas tell us we can't stay forever. We're grateful to God for his provision and guidance. Most of our friends will also begin leaving soon, and my Skype contact list will include friends from the US and UK. I'll update more on our plans very soon.

Did you know that Scotland is voting on independence today? Almost daily I'm asked by prospective studets and parents how this will affect the University, and I'll be relieved when we can give firm answers. It's a privelage to be here during this exciting time.

Happy autumn (in four days)! If you'd like to mail me tins of pumpkin, please don't hesitate. :)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fife Coastal Path: Elie to Leven

We've now completed three sections of the Fife Coastal Path! Today, we hiked 10 miles from Elie to Leven. The scenery was beautiful, although we all agreed that it was a bit less interesting than other parts we've completed. Also, it was so windy. Upper and Lower Largo were our favourite towns, with many seaside cottages and quaint shops. I'm still amazed at diversity and beauty of the Scottish coastline. The views and beaches are truly stunning. After arriving in Leven, we stopped to take some group photos and then caught the next bus. We all napped the entire hour and a half back to St Andrews! As usual, we loved spending time with the Hargers and are excited to plan our next adventure.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Festival Fringe Fireworks

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August. There is a fireworks show to conclude the festival at the Edinburgh Castle. We attended this year with the Nickels, Kellys, and new friends, Benj and Amy.

After church, the Nickels picked us up and we planned to stop at Ikea on our way to Edinburgh. Halfway through shopping, Liana and I had to abandon our cart due to a fire in the warehouse. Garrick was second in line for meatballs. Ikea fail. Off to the city centre for dinner!

Liana suggested The Potting Shed, a restaurant serving rustic bar food. The girls ordered pretty cocktails and the boys, beer. After our meal, the Kellys arrived and we had fun catching up.

We waited on a crowded Princes Street for the show to start at 9pm. The fireworks were perfectly synced with an orchestra playing familiar pieces and ended with Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Truly, this was one of my favourite nights in Scotland, and we spent it with wonderful people!

And please watch this. Absolutely amazing!