scotland

Getting Settled (September 2009)

Here are some of the things we did in our first month in Aberdeen.

We discovered the Train Park:

We had no idea it would become one of our favourite hangouts!

Peek! Jesse looks through the train

We discovered some strange mini beasts:

You can't tell, but this spider was as big as Brady's palm!

Snail hiding after the boys over-turned a rock

Elijah and Brady started school:

The boys put on brave faces for their first day at Sunnybank Primary School

Walking on a garden wall on the way to school

We explored the city:

Taking the bus for the first time

At Castlegate, where Union and King meet

Walking down Union Street

We played in the North Sea:

Matty loved the sand on his feet

The water was cold, but it was oh so fun to try and beat the waves!

We hung out in our back garden:

The boys on the garden wall

Matty and Jesse loved exploring the back garden. They always stuck close together.

It took some time to get used to hanging laundry. Can you spot the cuties exploring?

We celebrated Jon’s birthday:

Happy Birthday Jon! At Dunnottar Castle

Playing with Keziah and Naomi at the harbour in Stonehaven

Elijah and Brady were very brave and did so well with all the adjustments that came in that first month. By the end of September we were smitten with this fine city and had already settled into a wonderful church (called The Mission) full of very special people.


It All Started As…

A Dream

Then we had some funny pictures taken


On August 31, 2009, when Elijah was 6, Brady was 4, and Jesse and Matty were 9 months old, we said good-bye to our family and friends in Canada and began a 3-part journey: Edmonton to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to Amsterdam, and Amsterdam to Aberdeen! It was not easy. At all.


(These pictures are deceptive as they were taken on our first flight, when everyone was still in good spirits and sleep was not lacking.)

Finally we saw it! Scotland!

Next thing we knew, we were walking on new streets in our new city.


And it didn’t take long for Aberdeen to steal our hearts.


Homeward Bound

So, we have our tickets booked. We are moving back to Canada on 26 July. I am very excited! And extremely sad.

King's College, April 2011

Our time here has been incredible. Scotland is a beautiful country with beautiful people. We have made some wonderful friends and had some wonderful experiences that we will never forget.

I am hoping to go back over the last few years and post some pictures and memories of some of the highlights of our time here. Stay tuned…


It’s been a while

We’ve had a busy month or so.

There were lots of things going on in December, not the least of which, was Brady’s sixth birthday!

Happy Birthday Brady!

And another valiant attempt at doing a Jesse tree leading up to Christmas day. Maybe by next year I’ll have my act in gear enough to do it all the way to Epiphany. That’s my goal, anyway.

Our first 11 days of advent. I forgot to take a picture on/after Christmas day. (More on the Jesse tree later.)

And of course, Christmas,

Christmas jammies from Grandma & Grandpa Z

which included a visit from Dave and Amy and began very stressfully with a call from the police letting us know they had been in a car accident near Glasgow. Thankfully, Amy ‘only’ had whiplash and a sprained wrist and Dave’s broken back was stable so Jon was able to bring them home on Christmas Eve!

Despite the broken back, Dave was a trooper and we were able to get out and about and see lots of good stuff with them before they headed back home.

It was a wonderfully foggy day at Dunnottar

Saying goodbye in Edinburgh


Lonely toothbrush

Jon just returned after being away for 27 hours. (He went to the Arcade Fire concert in Glasgow with some friends. He loved it, by the way!)

It has been a pretty full 27 hours, so the time went by pretty quick. But still, every time I was in the bathroom I felt sad. Seeing my toothbrush all alone in its glass made me very aware that something was missing; something wasn’t right. I just came back from the bathroom for the first time since he got home and my heart is happy and full. My toothbrush isn’t alone any more! Things feel right again.


Aberdeen is awesome

I love it here in Aberdeen. The pace of life is different than it was in Canada. Tonight we were walking on busy streets in the rain and everyone seemed so calm. I appreciated that! Drivers are generally more considerate and seem to be less rushed than I remember them back home, too. The weather is never too hot and never too cold. We are minutes from the North Sea. There are numerous castles and cool places to take day trips to. We have some great friends and a church family we love. Our flat is cozy and warm and we have a great little garden out back.

Okay, this is Eilean Donan on the west coast, but we have castles around here, too!

One of the funnest things about living here has been learning the lingo and listening to Elijah and Brady pick up Scottish accents and sayings. I’ve been working on a list of some of the words we’ve learned or started using since moving here almost 15 months ago. I’m quite certain that I’m missing lots, but here’s a start.

Clothing:
wellies = rubber boots
vest = undershirt
waistcoat = vest
jumper = sweater/sweatshirt
trousers = pants
pants = underwear
winter hat = toque
nappies = diapers

Places and Things:
football = soccer
North American football = football
cot = crib
flat = house or apartment
garden = yard
sitting room/lounge = living room/family room
vestibule = entry hall
toilet = restroom
loo = toilet
rubbish = garbage
rubbish bin or just bin = garbage can
city centre = down town
pavement = sidewalk
dual carriageway = highway
roundabout = traffic circle
lorry = cargo truck
petrol = gasoline
boot = trunk
bonnet = hood
wind screen = windshield
surgery = doctor’s office
paddling pool = wading pool
flumes = water slides
queue = line
rota = schedule
head teacher = principal
depute head teacher = vice-principal
nursery = playschool and/or daycare
creche = nursery
jotter = notebook
rubber = eraser
floor brush = broom (you brush the floor, you don’t sweep)
hoover = vacuum (also used as a verb and a noun)
corn flour = cornstarch
bicarbonate of soda = baking soda
biscuit = cookie
crisps = chips
chips = fries
pudding = dessert
courgette = zucchini
aubergine = eggplant
fizzy drink = pop/soda
squash = concentrated juice
bloke = man
mobile = cellular phone
bairn = child
mate = friend
ben = mountain
loch = lake
pram = stroller
trolley = grocery cart
drugs = street drugs not over the counter or prescription medications
sick = puke (to say you were sick means you threw up, not that you were unwell)
fortnight = 2 weeks
redundant = here you are not laid off from a job, you are made redundant

Descriptive words:
moreish = said of something that makes you want more
daft = foolish; stupid
fit = good looking
gutted = disappointed
mingin’ = dirty
cracking = great/very enjoyable (ie. ‘We had a cracking time.’)
cheeky = cheeky (but they say it a lot here)
chuffed = very happy/excited

Sayings and phrases:
‘sling your hook’ = ‘get out of here’
‘have a blether’ = to ‘have a chat’ (Jesse was called a blether when he was talking a lot)
‘ring’/’bell’ = here you don’t say you’ll call someone, you say you’ll ‘ring them’ or ‘give them a bell’
‘ta’ = thank you (said by people of all ages, not just babies)
‘ah dinnae ken’ = ‘I don’t know’
‘nae bad’ = ‘not bad’
‘aye’ = ‘yes’
‘cheerio’ = ‘goodbye’
‘cheers’ = ‘thanks’

Things you hear much more often:
‘as well’ (you don’t hear ‘too’ or ‘also’ much)
‘brilliant’
‘clever’
‘f*#k’
‘Ace!’
‘hiya!’
‘wee’
‘baddies’ = ‘bad guys’
‘goodies’ = ‘good guys’

So tell me, what else am I missing?