Friday, January 04, 2008

Recent Events

Well a happy 2008 to all of you out there! :) We rang in the New Year with great festivities hosted by Pete and Jo. We met up around 8 p.m. and had all sorts of sweet and savory snacks, along with some eggnog and mulled wine, for the evening. We had a great time playing games, such as Stop the Bus. This is a game I’d never heard of before, but Jo plays it a lot with her family, so the group decided we’d give it a try. It’s a card game, but Pete and Jo couldn’t find their normal cards, so we had fun playing with a mini set

It was very amusing as we tried to figure out the numbers and suits on such itty-bitty cards.

We also played the game Taboo which was absolutely hysterical as we watched our pastor play by his own rules :) So funny!

Generally at a New Year’s party, it’s good to have a clock so that you can ring in the New Year at the correct time. Unfortunately, our clock failed us! Unbelievable! I mean, there is no better time of year to be a clock! Everyone is depending on you, staring at you, awaiting that last second. I don’t know, maybe it was just too much pressure, but it definitely stopped right about here…

We ended up just picking a watch to go by – fortunately the watches could handle the pressure.

In Scotland, the New Year is sometimes referred to as Hogmanay (although it seems the traditions associated with Hogmanay are perhaps slowly being lost). We learned from our pastor and his wife that traditionally no one goes out until after the New Year has officially arrived. Then, you go around to the houses in your town and wish people well for the New Year (things like ‘Lang may your lung reek!’… essentially, ‘we hope your chimney smokes all year because that means you’re warm!’). Being the one welcoming people into your house, you should be hoping for a tall, dark, and handsome man to be the first to cross the threshold. This will bring good luck, and it’s important to offer him a drink. People will actually stay out until 4 or 5 a.m. greeting and enjoying the first hours of the New Year.

We decided to have our own miniature Hogmanay tradition and found the tallest, darkest man we had to step outside while we counted down the last 10 seconds before midnight, after which he knocked and we welcomed him in to a warm house and warm drink :).

So hopefully Pete and Jo’s lung will reek for a long time!

With the close of the holidays, we have found ourselves with not a whole lot to do. Ian is studying, I’m doing odd jobs around the house, but overall, there’s not a lot going on. And it’s really dark. This is generally not a good combo if you want to stay happy and content with your life, so we have been finding fun, random things to do outside to enjoy what sunlight we may be blessed enough to have in a day. We went for a long walk on the beach on Wednesday afternoon (West Sands – oh-so-beautiful!!). Then Thursday we decided to go feed the birds on East Sands (you gotta keep things even). It was so cool! We made little bread balls and were throwing them up to the seagulls. They would fly in and hover and just wait for your gift of stale bread.. A few pictures..

I also think this

needs to be mentioned! This was Ian’s big Christmas present and it finally came! I made him a crest and then had it made into a stamp for his books… Needless to say he loved it and has stamped every book he has here with him :)

Yesterday we woke up to an icy rain kind of sound against our window.. I thought to myself, ‘I bet it’s finally snowing!’ But decided I didn’t care enough to get out of my warm bed to go look. Fortunately there were still little remnants of snow when we actually did get out of bed and it proceeded to snow and hail the rest of the day. It was amazing! However, it didn’t stick :( Maybe next time.

See the little bits of snow? :)

Today we wandered out to the British Golf Museum because it was free for the holidays! We learned about the history of golf (which Ian told me he thinks is more interesting for someone who actually plays golf…) and got to putt with really old style putters. Unfortunately I was scared to take pictures because I have gotten into trouble in museums previously (though not for taking pictures, for touching things… I know, it’s shameful. I was just trying to see what this one glaze felt like, ok?!), and didn’t want to have that happen again, especially when I knew it would be a scary old Scottish man who would probably be mad at me. So I refrained and we have nothing to show for our visit :)

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