Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Anyway, once the guests have gathered around the table and the host has greeted them all and said the Selkirk Grace, dinner commences with a traditional soup, such as scotch broth. Then the haggis enters. That's right. It's a grand procession introduced by a bagpiper followed by the cook proffering the famed dish on a platter. The chef presents the haggis to the host, who addresses it with Burns' own Address to a Haggis, followed by a whiskey toast. After dinner is thoroughly enjoyed, there is a series of toasts -- to the monarch, the host, and the lassies present who prepared the meal. The toast to the lassies is traditionally a humorous speech expounding the speaker's views on women. But not to be outdone, the women reply with a toast to the laddies. Often the two speeches are coordinated to complement one another in comic tone. Then there are final speeches, singing of songs by Burns, and it all ends with a grand ceilidh (traditional Scottish dance).
We were hoping to celebrate our first Burns Night this year. However, circumstantially it did not happen. Stay tuned for next year. After all, I am a great lover of haggis!
Monday, January 29, 2007
Here is the original picture.
And here is the image with all the "parts" labeled. If you click on the picture itself, it will expand even larger for your deciphering ease. Keep in mind that this is a view of the baby looking straight down on the face, not in profile.
If, after all this, you still can't make anything out, I don't think I can help you. You're probably just not cut out for sonography.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Quick baby update: I think I'll start posting periodic Baby Holloway updates as we near the due date (2 weeks, 5 days away). I feel like my news from Wednesday gave me a new lease on the pregnancy. Although physically I feel much the same, mentally I feel renewed and prepared to face the upcoming weeks. Last night we went out to dinner and I had very regular, strong contractions throughout the meal but after a couple of hours they passed. No baby. So we're just waiting at this point. I'll keep you posted!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
But now it's snowing properly and sticking. It's obviously far too dark to take any pictures right now, but I promise, if the white stuff is still around tomorrow morning, I will take some pictures and post them.
Now all we need to do is get him a pair of dark sunglasses to complete the look for when he performs on his piano.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
The nighttime routine goes something like this...after a diaper change and fuzzy jammies, Daddy makes all Addison's stuffed animals ask if they can sleep with him, using different voices for each one. This would include a duck, a lion, a rally monkey, 2 teddy bears, a kitten, and Baby, of course. Then Mommy covers Addison with his blanket after which he promptly requests Jingle Way, Duwell, and Jesa Me, usually in that order. Then he folds his hands and we pray. Then it's bedtime kisses followed by a chorus of "night night", "see ya", "bu-bye".
It's amazing how children depend so much on routine. If we dare forget one element, you can rest assured that Addison will remind us in his own way.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Yes, I pirated this image from the University's website. I dream of snow, and here is a lovely picture of the campus as it would appear should we get any of the white stuff I long for.
I have to say it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We were prepared for the worst. People who had visited here had warned us about the bleak, dark days of winter and how depressing it can be, but I must say that I found it rather cozy. We have been blessed with incredibly beautiful weather. Almost everyday is sunny and the temperatures hover in the 40s during the day. This is not the frozen Artic I was prepared for. However, we have been warned that Aberdeen tends to get its worst weather in February and March, so we are bracing ourselves for the snow. We have yet to see one flake, and I, for one, am looking forward to a little of the white stuff!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Two things in particular stood out to Trey and me when we first moved to Aberdeen -- it seemed like more people smoke here than in the US and the cigarette packs bear enormous and terribly blunt warnings. The one I saw everywhere was SMOKING KILLS. I almost laughed when I first saw it because I thought it had to be a joke, but it is not. People, indeed, stand around puffing away holding cigarette packs prophesying their own impending demise.
Through a little internet research I discovered that by law 30% of the cigarette package must be covered with one of the following warnings: SMOKING KILLS/SMOKING CAN KILL, SMOKING SERIOUSLY HARMS YOU AND OTHERS AROUND YOU. An additional 40% of the package must be covered by another warning, such as "Smoking can damage the sperm and decreases fertility" or "Smoking can cause a slow and painful death". In March of this past year, smoking was banned in Scotland in all public enclosed facilities, such as bars, restaurants, and workplaces. Despite all this, approximately 1 in 4 Scots smoke. The statistics are staggering and disheartening.
As of the fall 2007, all cigarette packs sold in the UK will be required to bear graphic warning images that cover 40% of the back of the package similar to those found on packs sold in Australia and Canada. I won't post any of them, but they are truly disturbing, showing diseased gums and teeth, cancerous lungs, and unborn babies in the womb. I don't know how someone could continue smoking when their pack has such horrible pictures on them, and as a non-smoker, I sure hope the street cleaners step up their efforts in the fall because I don't want to have to look at the discarded packs.
Monday, January 15, 2007
If you will indulge me, I would like to wax slightly effervescent. The last few weeks have been tough, to say the least. Instead of burdening of you with my laundry list of physical complaints related to late pregnancy, I thought I would take a moment to tell you all about the amazing man I'm married to.
Trey wears many hats. On top of his regular work -- researching, teaching 5 online tutorials, leading an undergraduate tutorial at the University starting in February, attending seminars, and preparing for upcoming conferences, he has assumed a heavy portion of the household responsibilities. As I write this he is out at the grocery store doing our food shopping, patiently learning where and what everything is in a foreign grocery store and then hauling it home by hand in our shopping "trolley". He cleans the kitchen floor, vacuums the carpets, washes the dishes. The list goes on and on. He also changes MANY diapers a day, as walking up the stairs to the changing table has become a monumental task for me. (I now pretty much live downstairs, including sleeping on our super-comfy couch.)
And all this is done with grace and cheerfulness, never a moment of complaint. I can't tell you how many times a day he says to me something like, "How are you doing? I want you to put your feet up." He is patient when I'm grouchy, strong when I feel weak, encouraging when I'm down. I truly mean this when I say that, given our new set of circumstances here in Scotland and the added challenges we face on a daily basis, I do not know how I could finish this particular race without him. I thank God for blessing me with a man as selfless and giving as Trey is.
And his response? "Hey, you do the hard part! You have to carry and deliver the baby!"
Friday, January 12, 2007
Trey was undaunted. More determined than ever, he set off this morning on a mission to capture some images of the Great Window so that I could blog about it. (We joke that Trey's category on the blog is the most neglected category, so this blog is, indeed, dedicated to him.)
As an interesting aside, you will notice in the first interior shot above that desks are set up in the hall. One of the main functions of Mitchell Hall is to hold exams. Eeach desk has a placecard with a number on it, and although you can't make it out in this photo, at the very front of the room on the platform are two timers. Yikes! Makes me glad my exam days are over.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
An hour later we returned through the cold January mist ready for some lunch, when what should we discover, but, ALAS, we are locked out! So now what? Our landlords live in Cairo. We have no cell phone or a phonebook even to use at a payphone to call a locksmith. We try the neighbors to our right. No one is home. We try the neighbors on the other side, and, praise God, the woman is home. She very graciously lets me use her phone and phonebook. I call several locksmiths until I find one that says they can come out within half an hour. The damage? £47 (approximately $95)!!! I am stunned, but what are we to do? In actuality, it took them about an hour to come out to our house. The neighbor had to leave for a hair appointment, so the three of us sat on our cold concrete steps in the blowing mist and discussed how we could avoid this predicament in the future. First on the agenda: get a duplicate key made. Second: find a safe place or person to keep said duplicate key.
Around 1:15pm the locksmith showed up. A minute later we were thawing in our cozy house, hungrier, poorer, but certainly wiser.
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
These are all pictures taken yesterday as we drove back to the highlands. Yes, we got the "Merc" again. They must love us or something to comp us again. The day started out clear and beautiful at our house and got progressively cloudier as we drove towards the mountains. This time we pushed further past Braemar than we did before Christmas, and we were rewarded with snow (the picture proves it)! I have added the rest to the Highlands photo album for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Friday, January 5, 2007
I've included a picture of the St. Machar Green Man, which Trey scoped out after hearing the lecture, and I've included an informative description from my favorite website Wikipedia to help explain the historical significance of these cathedral fixtures:
A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing or other representation of a face surrounded by (or made from) leaves. Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face, and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit. Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament, Green Men are frequently found on carvings in churches and other buildings (both secular and ecclesiastical).
Superficially the Green Man would appear to be pagan, perhaps a fertility figure or a nature spirit, similar to the woodwose (the wild man of the woods), and yet he frequently appears, carved in wood or stone, in churches, chapels, abbeys and cathedrals, where examples can be found dating from the 11th century through to the 20th century
To the modern observer the earlier (Romanesque and medieval) carvings often have an unnervingly eerie or numinous quality. This is sometimes said to indicate the vitality of the Green Man, who was able to survive as a symbol of pre-Christian traditions despite, and at the same time complementary to, the influence of Christianity. (Rather than alienate their new converts, early Christian missionaries would often adopt and adapt local gods, sometimes turning them into obscure saints.)
Whatever his original significance may have been, many modern churchgoers characterise the Green Man as "the archetype of our oneness with the earth". The symbol is also popular with modern Wiccans and other Neopagans because it depicts an earth-centered concept of male divinity.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
This tiny cell is called The Whig's Vault. Its history is most grim. In May 1685 167 dissenting Covenanters were imprisoned without food or sanitation for two months. A few tried to escape, many died of starvation, and the rest were transported to the West Indies in July of that year.
Ultimately, the snuggest in our little band was "bubble boy". He found great comfort in a protective raincover, many handfuls of cookies, and a doting aunt and uncle. Had I known what a steep and rocky climb awaited us, we probably would never have attempted the trip with Addison in tow. In the end however, it was a trip well worth taking and whet our appetite for what the seaside view must be like on a clear, balmy day. Anything will seem like a piece of cake after this.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
And I have to share this one because his expression is such a classic one. He has a face like mine, incapable of hiding any emotion.
As you know, during the week that Sarah and Nathaniel were here, I took a little break from blogging. However, I plan to get back into the swing of things this week. We enjoyed a lovely visit with my siblings and were very sad to see them go this morning. Addison, in particular, shed more than a few tears as they wheeled their luggage out our front gate. I'm not sure how he's going to cope over the next few days as he grew terribly attached to both "Sawah" and "Neat". I was pleasantly surprised by a Skype call from them this afternoon. They had made it down to Edinburgh all in one piece although with many tales to tell along the way. We have come to learn that rarely do things happen just as expected.
Let me draw your attention to the new photo album I've added in the right-hand column. They are pictures from our trip to Dunnottar Castle last week. I have much to tell about that trip, but I will save it for later this week. In the meantime, however, I wanted to include the photos so you could start enjoying them now.