Tuesday, October 28, 2008


The little ladies all wear smart wool suits with proper skirts, sensible shoes, and walk their little dogs. We pass by two or three regulars every morning in the town center while Bug is at school. There is one not so stooped over and she often coos at Baby G. G shows this woman her boots with flowers and pigs on them or all of her teeth or her mittens without her thumbs in the right place. A Scot cooing sounds like water over stones.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Bug had a great day. He moved up a class and his bestest play-yard buddie is there! He lives just a two blocks from our house and shares a passion for accurate dinosaur names, reasons for their extinction and exhibits.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pipe Corps

My limited experience with native Scots men leads me to describe them as gruff for sure. Friendly, but guarded, and certainly not prone to dance. Much like a proper Midwesterner. In fact, few men in my lifetime have sought out how to dance and will take their ladies for a twirl. I think this might be one of the reasons why M and I stay married. He will toss me high in the air and spin me til I'm silly when his back isn't spasming.

So, imagine my surprise this afternoon in downtown Glasgow when large, gruff and blue-eyed men are moving their bodies in time with the Strathclyde Pipe Corps. Dancing a bit to each his own in a doorway here, a shoe shop there, behind a lamp post even. Lamp posts provide ample hiding for a wide man body keeping time don't you know. Their respective wives chase children and bargains as the music cries its way through the alleys and over the traffic draft. This music is the native music of the Scot warriors. They are the Native Americans of this island. Their music is daunting and and calling and large and if you're not moved to tears for reasons unknown then you've just not been listening. And no, the Pipe bands you've heard in the States are not the same. And yes, Pipe should always be capitalized out of respect.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ode to My Posse

I have a Posse and you know who you are. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Posse. I feel as though I tapped my foot on the ground and everyone had their great big fluffy bunny ears ready to listen. Thanks to all who have written the most perfect emails, sent the most caring and careful care packages, and called to talk me down off the moors at unbecoming hours. My Posse rocks. My Posse just rocks and is the super bestest superestestestest most wonderfulestestestest ever. Please forgive my American profuseness. I've not assimilated just yet.


By pedestrian, I don't mean slow or lowly.  I just mean those who walk and those who walk are not revered for their green-going ways in Scotland.

I've got a bit of the doomsday gene from my mom and I do imagine the worst. Always. And it was drilled into me at a very young age to cross at all street corners only and quickly to:
1) ensure that as many cars as possible could see you -thus avoiding my death.
2) ensure that my rights as a pedestrian would hold up in court if I incurred death or injury.

Not so here. Here, cars obviously have the right of way...because if you hopped into a car you must want to get somewhere faster...? I'm not sure. Anyway, coupled with my confusion on which side of the street to look for oncoming traffic, my jetlag, my doomsday gene, and the storm we were stuck in on the walk to school because of course I'm not trying to get somewhere fast with two babies in a storm at 8:30 in the morning...Well, the Scot streets and I are a terrible mix.

We waited and waited at a corner while getting splashed on with no room to stand aside because of the huge overgrowth of an unknown Scot bush, I thought a woman was waving me across. How sweet. How kind. How grateful I was! But no! She was waving a car on that I didn't see because I wasn't used to looking across that shoulder.  Horns! Yelling! Splashes! 

I want to go home where I there is some security even in the wet face of doom.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I think everyone who would be reading this blogs knows this fact about me already. But, it came to me as an epiphany today lying on the floor of the cutest yoga studio I've been in ever. I go to the Tuesday night class with Shona who is this tall, heart-faced Scot who says, "okay doke," eveyrtime she's done explaining a pose in a lilt beyond comprehension. It's an athletic class that's not too into the mumbo jumbo himbo huppa stuff. I can make enough of that up on my own. I love it. http://www.balance.co.uk/

I'm mad. As in bonkers. As in absolutely crazy in love with my husband. And, I have to be to actually have put myself through the paces of living in one room (location rotating on a bi-monthly basis) with one to two children for over two years while remodeling a house that we are now selling to move to Scotland in a recession. Adventure my tuckus. I am not into adventure one bit. I just love my husband who loves adventure.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Day Of School!

No pictures. His teachers, Mrs. Realston and Mrs. Mahindru, are thorough and kind. He played, ate snack, and played some more. Their comments today were the same, "Well, he's a sociable fellow, isn't he?" The Snack and I ate a snack at one of the bakeries that's not as good as our Bakery Nouveau in WS. We then went to the store and became disappointed for their lack of anything vegan-soy milk and yogurt included-and then went to the bookstore and stank up the place with a very messy diaper ahem nappie. We had a nice walk home all together, a nice rest, a nice visit from our friend, and a nice dinner when M came home. A reasonable and nice day. Finally.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Castle Stirling

So, when you visit, you can catch a train to our house which takes you down to Queens Street terminal. From there, just one quick train to Castle Stirling! So much fun! Do bring your rubber boots and a few layers. We went from a frigid drizzle to warm, warm sun in just an hour or so. We passed by the "Olde Time Jail" which now has a gift shop in it.  Bug site reads just a few words and when asked about the Castle, he said, "They give you nice things in the jail in Scotland." Ah, another mind warped by Western Capitalism! No pics yet. Just love.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Uhm. Ay! Bug used the word, Ay, with us tonight.  I quote,

Bug, "Ay. Papa, why is there a hot air balloon on that picture?"
M, "Uhm. Did you just say Ay to me?"
Bug, "Ay."

It's late. Off to bed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

pretty musing

In the 10 days we've been here, the trees on the hills outside my window have started to turn color. Our relocation dude's wife's name is Sheila, but she spells it Shelaugh in the very Scots way that Sheila is spelled. And, if I had known that I could spell Sheila like Shelaugh, I would've considered it as a baby's name. How beautiful! The Scots say it with the softest breath and catch in the back of their throats. Shelaugh!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Ay here is not Aye, Aye! Cap'n! But a much more useful and important word than a mere acknowledgement of servitude.

Ay can mean the following:
Ay (I'm listening)
Ay (Are you listening?) Exchange by mother and teenage son on train.
Ay (I'm listening and will say something that might offend you as in, Ay, I am pro-American but your foreign policies are for shit. One of my cabbie's said this to me.)
Ay (I'm listening and about to one-up you as in, Ay, there are hard ingredients to find in Scotland. Have you tried to find passionfruit syrup? You can't find that anywhere. Good thing you don't need passionfruit syrup for your son. Said by same cabbie. Needed passionfruit syrup to make a hurricane which is a drink mentioned in an Alan Jackson song, "It's five pm somewhere" so that he could serve hurricanes at his brother's funeral who died of liver cancer. But, I digress.)
Ay (You poor thing. Call me after you've caught up on your sleep and then I'll tell you where to find bedsheets.) Said to me by our one friend here.

Ay, this list will go on, but I must retrieve the wee-uns from their afternoon slumber. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Wrong. No way. Very, very, very wrong.  It is NOT easier to manage the diet a child with a severe dairy allergy in Scotland.  2 out of 2 coffee shops in the Bearsden town center do not carry soy milk and one actually laughed when I asked. There aren't any cookies or easy cereals or snacks to buy at the four closest grocery stores that do not have dairy in them. The "free from" and "pure" food lines will be "free from" eggs, but not milk or milk, but not eggs. We can get soy milk and soy yogurt at the megamarts and that is a bit different than Seattle but not so different and such a big thing that it makes me thankful to be here and there. The sun is out, but I'm having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

On our quiet way home from said coffee shops and visiting the 9th grocery in four days, Bug and I rounded the corner.  He said, "And there is a surprise just for you. It will make you feel better." I couldn't figure out what the surprise was. Houses, cars, trees, sidewalks. The stuff of our neighborhood. "See that, Mama?" All I could see was an excavator. Whatever. That's a surprise for Bug."It's a big excavator just for you! Let's watch!" 

We watched a bit. They were repairing the sewer system near our house "...so that the water drains and fairies can come out and visit with the wee-uns at night...." according to the repairman. After we left Bug said, "There, it's all better now mama. Did you like that surprise? Just for you?"

I like that, thus far, Bug gets that the best surprises are not stuff and things and stuff and stuff and stuff.  I liked the excavator and the repairman surely enough. But the best surprise was that Bug saved his most precious treasure, a real live excavator, with me. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Begin at the Beginning

The beginning is an impossible task. So, I'll begin right here, the fifth day in Scotland.  In Scotland, I feel surprisingly graceful. Yesterday, I took the train and the subway to the Great Western Road. This trip with two children involved an unwieldy and borrowed stroller, a toddler with no sense of commuters, a three year old with no sense of danger, five escalators and twelve flights of stairs. Needless to say, the mass transportation system is not child friendly, but the Scots are. I had help through all the turn stiles and on and off the subway and train unlike other cities I've traveled to, but shall remain nameless.  

There are signs and announcements on the train to "mind the gap when alighting." Imagine that! Even me, with two children, a backpack, a stroller, groceries and a stranger's help, bumping and thumping and dropping everything and every child every which way, I'm considered to be "alighting" from a train!  

There are also signs posted throughout my quiet little village on the outskirts with the picture of a Scottie dog depositing unmentionables and the words, "no fouling." I wonder if I could teach the Snack that, "No fouling! Mama forgot a diaper this trip!" How graceful we are here in Scotland.