June 10, 2015: Scotland! Freedom!

By the way, I never promised I would go in chronological order or anything that would make sense like that. So I’m going to start with the highlight of my summer: Scotland! It was June 10th, I was sitting on a plane headed from Toronto/ Halifax Canada to Glasgow. Luckily I was seated in an aisle seat, with some not-so-bad single serving friends, who were admittedly quite chatty, but nice and interesting. The flight itself was pretty okay, nothing majorly inconvenient aside from not being served a proper meal at any point (because we had a weird stopover in Halifax the flight was technically 5 hours, which I guess is not enough to justify serving dinner in the airline industry). The plane was only a bit late coming in, but it worked out because my ride was also a bit late, heh. But, it was nice when Donald finally walked through the airport doors and I finally got to hug him again for the first time since Christmas. It’s hard to describe the feeling seeing a loved one again after a long time. It’s nice and you’re happy, but at the same time, it is an incredibly weird feeling, which takes several hours to shake. It’s just weird seeing him in person, and somewhat shocking some of the things you forget, even if you talk every day.

Anyway, most of the week I had to adjust to the time difference, aided by the fact that in the summer the sun doesn’t set in Scotland until 10:30 PM or so. The extra light was pretty helpful, although most days it was still a struggle to keep my eyes open. However, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, at least for the next couple of days that is. We took advantage of this by taking a cycle trip to Loch Winoch, which isn’t terribly far, but was nice all the same. And, for those of you that don’t know, loch=lake. We took a picnic lunch and ate it on a bench overlooking the late and the green hills surrounding us. That is one thing about Scotland, it is surprisingly green, but there aren’t nearly as many trees as there are in Alabama (also fairly green, but in a different way). It was like the hills had been carpeted green with tufts of heather here and there.

These few couple of days after my arrival were some of the best weather we had though. Most of the time it was cold, grey and rainy. And I don’t mean cool, I mean I had to wear a coat on several occassions. One which sticks out in my memory is when we took a day trip to Irvine to visit some of Donald’s family. Irvine is a nice little coastal town, and on a sunny summer day, I’m sure it’s absolutely lovely. On the day we went, it was so cold and windy. However, we were not deterred. After a nice lunch we decided to take a walk to the beach, and certain, less sane members of the group decided to actually get in the water. Needless to say, they were not in there for very long. Luckily enough for us though, the rain at least held off until we got back to the car. The tea and biscuits that followed were almost a necessity. This brings up another thing about the UK which I quite like, tea and “biscuits”. And no, I don’t mean what most Southerners call biscuits. I am essentially talking about cookies. The amount and variety of biscuits in the UK are impressive, these being my favorite :). And I could really get used to the fact that whoever you visit, will offer either tea or coffee. I’ve never been so caffeinated in my entire life, and I went to Grad School.

Another awesome destination which we went to several times was the sunny island of Milport. Sunny is mostly sarcastic, but there were quite a few nice days there. And because there is no internet at the flat there, activities mostly included reading, cycling around the island, walking and eating. There was some juggling and such as well. And I tried my hand at golfing for the first time, when Donald, his grandma and I went out for a round. I must say though, I never thought golfing was going to be so tiring, but it really was. And it was really difficult. I also rode on the back of a tandem for the first time, and had a go on the front before almost crashing. The picnics and the coffees/icecreams were also quite nice. It was always just a nice place to go and relax for a bit, not that I didn’t do that on my own already.

So not to give you the idea that this was all I did in Scotland, I will get around to writing more of what I did. I just don’t want to make a really long post. So brace yourself for more parts to come at a later date :)


October 28, 2015: Random Thoughts on Writing Lately

So I haven’t been updating or writing on this for a long time. Not to say that there weren’t attempts to start my blog up again. However, most have ended up with a half written, incoherent draft and I eventually quit halfway through and turn my attention elsewhere. Of course while finishing my degree, there really wasn’t much to say. My days were pretty standard: wake up, teach, go to class, drown in work, Skype Donald, sleep, repeat. But since finishing my Master’s I’ve not had much of an excuse. I’ve even done some interesting things, like go to Scotland for two months, go to a juggling convention in northern Italy and move back to Germany, although that has been a confusing and frustrating mess which I try not to dwell on too much at one time, mostly because I don’t like the constant taste of bile in the back of my throat. So I could celebrate the awesome things I’ve done, or I could complain about bureacracy and stress, but I probably won’t do too much of either, at least not at the moment.

Donald has been insisting for months that I start writing again, and I think I should finally start taking his advice. The only problem seems to be that I don’t really want to write. I’ve made some awesome memories, and part of me doesn’t want to record them, because somehow, that seems to detract from them. It’s much like my thoughts on taking photos of everything I do. I appreciate the memories, but somehow the experience is slightly spoiled by the act of taking myself out of the moment in order to document it. It takes time to sit down and write about what I’ve been up to, which isn’t always a big deal (and not to give the idea that I don’t appreciate looking back on it, I really enjoy that bit). I’ve just been feeling like my time has been somewhat precious lately. This is the hard part about living abroad, I can’t be everywhere at once. Living in Germany means that I am sacraficing the friends and family back in Alabama and in Scotland. So instead of documenting everything I’ve been doing, like I normally try to do when traveling, I have been living in the moment, or at least attempting to do so.

However, I have had a lot more time lately considering I am still waiting on my residence permit here and I’m not allowed to work until I get one, so I might actually start trying to write about my summer (no promises though, I tend to be quite flakey in my blog commitments). But at least I’m going to have a shot at it.