30 May 2013
Many expat families have several places they call home, but quite often there’s one which tugs more on the heart strings than others and for us that’s Scotland. So we’re really looking forward to our two week summer holiday, starting in Glasgow - with a weekend in the Trossachs thrown in for good measure - and finishing in Edinburgh, our mothership :)
25 January 2013
Today is Robert Burns Day, also known as Burns Night, the day when the life and works of Scotland’s national bard get celebrated. Of course, we’ll be celebrating tonight too. Sadly, it’s the second year running that we’ve been unable to convince any of our German friends to join us for a haggis supper - and this in a nation obsessed with sausages, which really isn’t that much different from haggis when you consider what goes in them - but the boy loves haggis and one of our best friends is over from Scotland too, so we’re good.
Of course, no dinner party is complete without a good dessert, so let me recommend my Cranachan recipe to you that I posted last year: a heavenly combination of whipped cream, oats, whisky, honey and (Scottish) raspberries. Omnomnom…
And it’s been a while since I posted a play list, mostly because my external hard drive, which housed my iTunes music collection, died and I just haven’t found the time to re-rip all my CDs. But no Scottish celebration without some music, so here’s a little collection of both Burns’ songs and other Scottish tunes to get you going:
* These four tracks are not Burns songs, although Thaney is also sung in Scots and Three Craws is a traditional Scots children’s song. The Wrigley Sisters are from the Orkney and Fiddler’s Bid from the Shetland Islands, neither of which were traditionally Scots speaking.
26 November 2012
So, I finally found some time over the weekend to sort out my photos from our trip to Edinburgh, and I’ve selected a few to share with you.
On our way over, the boy made a new friend at Schiphol airport^^ And for all those who have been saying how cruel of me to make him sit on Ronald Macdonald’s lap, you’ve obviously never met my son before - he climbed up there on his own accord and I had to pry him away by force so we wouldn’t miss our connection flight!
The view that awakens expat-longings in me every time. My beloved Meadows, with Arthur’s Seat and the Crags in the background. My walk to uni and then to work every day for 13 years. Sigh…
Speaking of favourites, we spent a LOT of our holiday at the National Museum of Scotland. Six visits over four days, to be exact. The boy’s new favourite exhibit was the F1 Car - at point I looked away for no more than 10 seconds and he’d slipped through the plexiglass barrier and was half way inside it!
And just to dispel the myth that the weather in Scotland is cold, wet and generally rubbish all the time, all but on the first day the weather was like this! Half the time out walking I ended up peeling off layers because I was too hot.
The relatively bright weather also meant that we managed a few trips to the playground. Now that the boy is a little bigger, we could frequent the big adventure playground in the Meadows, instead of the little one for babies.
On the Sunday we headed off to our old church to take part in the Sunday School, eat more birthday cake with everyone (we also had a party the day before but I forgot to take any photos…) and show off the boy in his Sunday best. A real Scottish kilt with Spiderman tights - now if that isn’t stylish!
For weeks now, the boy has been obsessed with ducks. We have to stop at the river we cross ever day on the way to and from nursery to see if we can spot any. So it was a no brainer that I would take him to the Blackford Hill duck pond. It was a big hit! And feeding the ducks with bits of bread just added to the excitement.
Just to prove that there are other museums besides the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, we also took a trip to the Museum of Childhood. The boy particularly liked the teddy bear’s picnic display.
I got quite excited by the fact that all the British magazine had just published their Christmas editions (one good thing about them always being a month ahead), and I may have gone a little overboard…
On our way back we stopped over at Schiphol airport again, and discovered this free softplay area. What a saviour! I had been dreading keeping the boy entertained for three hours while we waited for our connection, but he racing around this obstacle course like a mad monkey kept him happy and occupied - and tired him out so much he promptly fell asleep on the second flight. Double win!
8 June 2012
The Euro 2012 kicks off today! Yes, I’m talking about football. While I’m not much interested in football at a club level, I’m totally obsessed when it comes to the European and World cups. Countries battling it out against each other makes more sense to me than the whole clubs buying in players from anywhere depending on whom they can afford. Anyway, I digress. The Euro 2012 tournament starts today, and we’re ready for it:
While I’m usually in favour of supporting the underdog, Scotland is so much of an underdog that they didn’t actually make it in to the tournament, so we’re supporting Germany all the way! Well, the husband probably doesn’t care that much and would rather go to the opera, but at least I don’t need to feel guilty about sticking the boy in a German football shirt - sorry Scotland (ok, so perhaps a little bit guilty).
I tried to get a shot of the boy in his shirt from behind, but you try photographing a speeding toddler on his Bobby Car - it ain’t easy! Though I guess he’s more of a Schumacher than a Schweinsteiger on his Ferrari red wheels anyway. In the end I had to resort to photographing the shirt without the boy in it:
So, I’m really looking forward to the summer of football, though I’ll miss the sweepstakes we used to have back at National Museums Scotland (sniff). Germany play their first game against Poland tomorrow. I guess I’d better enjoy it while I can, before the boy gets old enough to start asking existential questions about which team to support^^
10 April 2012
This morning we awoke to lashings of sleet battering our window. Definitely not ‘nice enough’ for the swing park today. But we’d also been planning to test out the newly refurbished and re-opened Commonwealth Pool, which seemed perfect for a day like this. First though, a quick trip to the doctor to get the boy’s cough checked out, which he’s had on and off all through winter but had been getting progressively worse over the past week. The trip resulted in antibiotics for the boy to ward off the onset of a lung infection, and swimming is off the agenda. Strict doctor’s orders. We were quickly running out of options for entertaining a toddler who, despite his rattling cough, is full of beans. Leave it to the National Museum of Scotland to save the day. The boy greeted the Imagine gallery like a long lost friend, running from one activity to the next waving his hands about in sheer excitement. And since our last visit he’s become a lot more mobile and more inquisitive, so there were lots of new things to investigate too. We also checked out Adventure Planet, another hands-on gallery where you can do such fun things as crawl through a hollow tree or dig up a dinosaur skeleton, where we bumped into our old neighbours with their kids - seems like the museum really was the place to be today.