Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Words

I'm enjoying a few new words lately.

Knackered - tired

Skip - large rubbish bin or dumpster

Brilliant - lovely or great

Veg - vegetable(s)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cultural Exchange at the Bake Sale

Desi: "What's that," whilst pointing at something resembling peanut butter fudge.

Baker: "It's 'tablet'."

Desi: "Is it like fudge?"

Baker: "It's similar to fudge but more like tablet."

Desi: "I don't know what tablet is."

Baker: "Are you American?"

Desi: "Yes."

Baker: "Have a Snickerdoodle."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Almost Back To Normal

Okay, I'm almost back to normal.  I'm quickly realizing that I have nothing to complain about.  Yes, my job sucks but I'm leaving in just over a month for 25 days in Paris and a new job (hopefully) when I return.  Additionally, let's not forget that I also have a proper office job where I enjoy working, although I'm only there about five hours per week.

But, more importantly, my depression and homesickness is not really about my job.  It's really more about my old one, which was more than just a job but something I truly enjoyed and was good at and something I miss, plus just general mourning, which goes along with any life change, and maybe a bit of bipolar disorder (self-diagnosed), the days are getting darker, colder, and shorter.

To help combat these challenges I've started attending Pilates classes on Monday evenings and I'll look into fencing classes when we return from Paris.  Speaking of Paris, we've also added Dublin, Italy, and London to our calendar, all trips that would take us years to accomplish if we still lived in the States.

Living in Scotland, although not as exciting as I had envisioned, is still amazing and enlightening.  It's too soon to say if I've learned anything or changed as a person but I have great expectations for my personal growth throughout this journey.  Hopefully this initial downturn is just growing pains and I'll come through it stronger and wiser, ready for the next challenge this adventure throws at me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On The Road Again

This past weekend we rented a car for some good old fashioned road-tripping.  We were a bit worried about driving on the right side of the car and on the left side of the road but we were excited about experiencing this aspect of UK culture.

We had planned to spend Saturday touring Speyside distilleries but during our planning we found most of them would be closed for the winter (or at least no longer offering weekend hours).  Undeterred, we headed north to Dufftown to tour Glenfiddich, one of the few distilleries still offering weekend hours and the only distillery we really wanted to see anyway.
Dufftown

The scenery up north was beautiful and we were able to experience a lot of the picturesque side roads coach travelling does not allow.
View from the road
On Sunday we had planned to visit the modern engineering marvel that is The Falkirk Wheel.  Sadly, but unsurprisingly, whilst planning this day trip we learnt the wheel would be closed for maintenance during the month of November.  We rationalized, however, that although this closure meant we wouldn't get to take a boat cruise through the wheel we would still be able to tour the grounds surrounding the wheel, which includes Antonine Wall and what's left of a Roman fort (nothing but hilly landscape), visit the museum, and see sights we have not yet seen.  Thus, Sunday morning we headed south to Falkirk.
The Falkirk Wheel
Although the museum and cafe proved wholly unimpressive, the wheel was pretty cool.  We're looking forward to visiting again when its working so we can see it in motion.  The grounds were also very lovely.  We spent a long while wandering Antonine Wall and taking pictures in the lovely landscape.  It was a very nice walk.


Antonine Wall (on the left) and the Roman fort ruins (everything else)
On our way back home we stopped in Airth to see Airth Castle (now a hotel) and The Pineapple, a semi-eerie former Duke's home.  We took the scenic coastal tour back to Dundee, driving through Aberdour, Elie, and St. Andrews before crossing the Tay Road Bridge into Dundee.
Airth Castle Hotel
The Pineapple
It was a lovely weekend of scenery and although everything we attempted to do seemed to be closed we still enjoyed ourselves immensely and would do it again.

By the way, Mike did all of the driving and handled himself like a champ through all the roundabouts and other obstacles the UK road system threw at him.  Even hitting a pheasant on the Fife scenic coastal route didn't break his concentration.  Well done, Mike!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Struggles

I've been having a few struggles since moving to Scotland that are mine to suffer alone since Mike entered a community of like-minded people as soon as he started school.  Usually my days are good, bantering with strangers and enjoying my new city, but sometimes I'll have a bad day, where all the difficult things about moving away from everything I knew hits me all at once and beats me down.  Today was a bad day.

People think I'm stupid.  For the first time in a long time, I'm having to deal with people assuming I'm an idiot and constantly talking down to me.

My job is ridiculous.  I know my identity is not tied to my job.  I've always said I work to live not live to work.  But, I've always said that whilst immersed in a fun, high-paying office gig where little to no physical effort was ever exerted.  Now that I have a bullshit retail job - on my feet all day, lifting boxes, slamming my fingers between metal cages - I'm having a hard time believing everything I used to espouse.  Am I really not better than this?  My job is only temporary, and super bullshit, and it doesn't matter that I work there...and yet I'm depressed about it.  I have good days when it's fun but on the bad days, when everyone thinks I'm stupid or I screw something simple up, I'm back to feeling sorry for myself.

I miss routine.  Moving to Scotland was and is an adventure.  The next 5-7 years of my life will be an adventure.  But, I miss the daily routine of my past life; knowing what tomorrow will bring.  There's a certain comfort that routine affords and a certain discomfort associated with adventure.  Right now I'm wading in the sea of adventure and I'm up to my elbows in discomfort.

I know these are all temporary issues and as time passes I will become more comfortable with my new and exciting life.  But, today was hard and has me longing for the comforts of home.  Tomorrow I will be happy to wake up in Scotland.  But, today I miss Seattle and my former life there.
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