Away for a wee bit

Sorry for the silence but I’ve been in Scotland the past week and there was the pre-trip insanity before then! I really, really wanted to have the whole draft off to my editor before my departure, but that wasn’t possible once I realized how long it would take to sort through 1200 photos and decide what went into the “must” and “optional” lists. It also takes a surprisingly long time to write captions…
In any event I managed to get four chapters off before I left, and then spent a jet-lagged morning editing chapters five and six once I arrived. After I finish procrastinating with this blog entry, I’ll get down to fixing up at least one more chapter this morning 🙂
It’s been fun being back in Scotland. The last time I was here was during my university exchange year in 2003-4 when I was living in Leeds, England. Of course Doug was on exchange that year as well – in Glasgow, Scotland – and so we spent quite a bit of time exploring the UK together. Not much has changed in the last few years, although it does seem much cheaper! It’s amazing what a recession, having US dollars (versus Canadian ones), and not being a student can do for a budget.
Doug’s living in Livingston, a suburb of Edinburgh, while he does his three months of training. Yesterday I did a day-trip in to Scotland’s capital and hiked to the top of Arthur’s Seat with my little trainers while clutching my purse. Then I walked up the Royal Mile, stopping in for one of the best bowls of soup I’ve ever had at this little cafe. In typical Eden-style, what started as a brilliant sunny day turned into drizzle and icy winds by afternoon, so I escaped into shops on Princes Street. The newest fad here is Western-style clothing, leather bags with fringe, and Little-House-on-the-Prairie prints. This, of course, made me laugh now that I live in Wyoming where those types of clothing would be seen not as fashionable but old-fashioned… Ah, but I have been enjoying rummaging through the sale racks at Oasis, H&M;, Monsoon, and Topshop.

A shot of the trek up Arthur’s Seat

I’ve also been enjoying drinking my weight in British teas and beers. Not to mention tasting all the goodies I came to love while I lived here: Revels, shortbread, sticky toffee pudding, Cadbury’s chocolates, curry, fish and chips. Yum!

Good thing I’ve been doing lots of walking and hiking the past week! Aside from Arthur’s Seat and hoofing it around Edinburgh and Livingston, Doug and I also went on a nice hike while we were staying in Inverary. Our initial trek up to this little tower went too smoothly so we decided to head over to yonder hilltop – which led us through mucky terrain and clambering over slippery logs. It doesn’t count unless you’re wet, cold, and exhausted, right?

The view of Inveraray from our second hilltop

This hike occurred during our stay at the quaint Loch Fyne Hotel and Spa overlooking the picturesque loch. We weren’t there during oyster season (too bad for Doug) but we thoroughly appreciated the view, the swimming area, and some quiet time together. Doug also took the opportunity to catch up on some much-needed sleep and relaxation. He was gone on his training job for about 40 of the previous 48 hours!

Tomorrow morning I’m heading south to England – more news of my adventures to follow!

Classic Doug

For those of you who don’t know my wonderful husband, Doug, he is brilliant. He is also known as the “absent-minded professor” of the family. Today, he had one of his classic Doug moments (btw, he gave me permission to share this story!).

Since the beginning of December, Doug has been in Scotland for three months’ job training. So far there have definitely been annoyances: for example, no one told him where he was supposed to meet the company rep at the airport when he arrived in Edinburgh so he ended up flagging down a cab and somehow finding the apartment complex. Things have been a gong show (Vancouver scuba diving term for when things go completely awry), but no real classic Doug moments have arisen.

Today that all changed. He decided to head out to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things and get some fresh air (this was after he abandoned his original plan of going for a 15km hike). He grabbed his jacket, pulled the door shut behind him, and then – wait! He’d forgotten his keys!

Think, Doug, think! How are you going to get out of this (and back in the apartment)?

Doug’s roommate was already at the training centre for a 12-hour shift and is the only other person with a set of keys available on Boxing Day. Deciding against hanging out in the foyer until his return, Doug decided to try and find him at the trianing centre. So, off he went on the 40-minute walk to the centre (I told him at least he wasn’t in Wyoming with our -10 celsius temperature and gusting winds!). Once there, he discovered his roommate was already in a secure area that you can’t enter without safety equipment. Of course Doug’s pass card and locker key were back at the apartment. So he tracked someone down, borrowed his card and went in search of miscellaneous safety gear. A few minutes later he emerged from the locker room wearing boots that were three sizes too big, a too-tight hard hat, and some stranger’s coveralls.

He did manage to track down his roommate, get his keys, and get out of the secure area without getting into trouble. After returning his hodge-podge of gear, he went in search of his pass-card buddy so he could leave the building (very tight security!) and walked 40 minutes back toward the flat, stopping en route at the grocery store.

Which, of course, turned out to be closed for Boxing Day.

Classic Doug.

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