scotland week 1

This past week has been a bit crazy.  We've gone from sunny Madrid to green Scotland, from our own apartment with our busy life with jobs and friends and whatnot to living in someone else's house, and becoming a part of their family and social circle and relying on them for our daily bread.  Our pace has slowed down significantly - in fact, our life is nearly unrecognizable in almost every way to the one we were leading last week at this time.  

We live on a 10,000 acre potato farm with three kids four and under (and their parents, Hugh and Caroline, and dog, Bella), miles from a village or even a town.  Life starts early - the children wake with the sun and run and dance and go crazy all day long till the sun goes down at night.  We jump on the trampoline and read books and sing songs and change nappies and let the dog out and put plasters on injuries - clearly we're learning lots of new jargon too!  

We eat mostly porridge and toast for breakfast.  Danny made a pot for everyone on Monday morning and it wasn't exactly to their liking.  I guess we still have some learning to do on how exactly to cook Scottish (we ate the entire pot the two of us, as we couldn't tell the difference).

Easter Sunday was spent with lots of family - church with Granny and Papa and Uncle Jamie, and then to Auntie Anna and Uncle Richard's farm for an egg hunt with cousins Rosie and Allister and a walk to see the lambs (only a few days old!) and cows.  A few hours later we drove a bit farther to see Auntie Jessie and Uncle PeeWee and cousin Alex for lunch, another egg hunt, and a walk to see more cows.  At night, once the kids were in bed, we watched "Our Queen at 90" on the television together while we ate cheese on toast.

D - It's been great adjusting to Scotland so far!  My first morning I had some Marmite on my toast and it was really...strong.  One thing I love so far (and there are many) is how many sheep we see while driving around!  I'm hoping that once lambing season really starts I'll be able to pick one up for a classic "Good Shepherd" pose!

Life is simple but good.  Sometimes it's repetitive and tiring and makes me wonder if I ever want to have children of my own (and we've only been here a few days!), but on the drive home on Sunday, one of the children told me I was their best friend.  We're all getting on quite well, really, which we're so thankful for.  

We celebrated Granny's birthday at the house last night and started to feel like one of the family.  Auntie Anna came with the kids and the most gorgeous birthday cake any of us had ever seen, and, of course, Granny and Papa and Uncle Jamie came too.  We made lasagna and after we fed the kids and wrangled them out of the bath, into pajamas, and into bed, all the adults sat around the table for a while and talked and talked.

Everyone has been so welcoming and kind and wants to talk to us about where we're from and what we're doing and Spain and all that.  And, almost every single person has asked about Donald Trump too, embarrassingly enough.  

D - I've been so impressed with Hugh and Caroline during our short time here!  They are so accomodating, so welcoming, and so flexible so it's truly been a joy helping out with their family.  I feel like we've already become part of the family, which is exactly what Shannon and I were hoping for.  I'm also enjoying learning more about farming and Hugh and I have agreed to exchange American football and rugby lessons!

Every day is a little different.  Tuesday I painted nails and emptied the dishwasher and took a walk around the farm and made soup with Danny for lunch.  Today we had the kids from when they woke up until lunch, and now we're off for the afternoon - we're going to try making sloppy joe's for supper and see how they go over!  Tomorrow we're having guests, friends of Caroline's from Ireland, so we're just pitching in however we can, I suppose.  

We're hoping to see more of Dundee and St. Andrew's (we've driven through, but haven't really seen much) and to explore Glasgow and Edinburgh thoroughly.  If we're lucky, we'll get up to see Nessy and some other lochs, and maybe even to the Isle of Skye.  

D - I'm really hoping to be the first person to capture indisputable evidence of Nessy...

But first, Danny needs to get a bit more practice driving on the other side of the road.  We keep walking to the right side of the car to get in when we go places, and Hugh and Caroline are like, "Oh, we're driving..."  Yesterday Hugh gave him a lesson and we went into Arbroath to practice.  I was so, so (so so so) stressed the whole time, I felt like a parent whose child was getting behind the wheel for the first time.  Danny didn't even do a bad job, I was just so panicked that we were going to hit a curb or car at any second that I was on edge the whole time.  After Hugh gave Danny the "all clear" to tour Scotland (or drive ourselves to the grocery store), we decided to get a bit of practice in and drive to the church we went to on Sunday and take a few pictures, since we didn't want to do so on Easter.  (Notice that I'm not really volunteering to drive us anywhere, so hats off to Danny!)

D - It's funny how many things are just slightly different while driving in another country and how those slight differences can really add up to make one feel very incompetent behind the wheel.  Hugh must've fallen asleep or something when he took me out the first time because I hit three curbs and almost ran a couple red lights so I think I would've failed a driving test back in the States.  That being said, I've been out driving a couple times now, and I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable (I haven't hit any more curbs or run any lights, or killed anybody).  I just keep singing Bey everytime I come to an intersection or a roundabout: to the left, to the left...

So even though it hasn't been a full week (we arrived so late Friday, it was nearly Saturday), I felt that so much has been happening, and it was time for an update!  Looking forward to sharing more soon!