Archive for January 2003

arrivals

Dawn and Phil had their baby on Sunday. As the first of our friends who share our lifestyle to have a child, this has been exciting. We look at them and realize it could be us, that we could adapt as wonderfully as they are and we could be great parents. It’s not that we’re ready to start trying for children right now, we’ve got a couple years of just the two of us planned, but it’s nice to know that it’d be lovely.

Saturday was Dawn and Phil’s baby shower (no, that wasn’t an error in scheduling, Dominic was early) and we got to spend some time with them and see how excited they were. Giving birth is an amazing thing, just the idea that I could get pregnant kinda fills me with wonder.

Dawn and Dominic are both healthy, hopefully we’ll drop by to visit later this week….
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Happy Robbie Burns Day

We know it’s a day early, but we’re celebrating tonight. I’ve got two haggis (is the plural haggii?) at home waiting to be cooked and we’ve got good scotch for the drinking… there’s nothing better than an excuse for a party.
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blue not red

I’m blue, slowly succuming to just wallowing in the blahs for a few days. I did try to cheer up tonight, I went to four stores looking to buy Amelie, such a gorgeous movie that one can’t help but laugh, yet the entire city seems sold out. As I walked home from Rogers, the rain started again and by the time I reached the apartment (1.3 km) I was caught in a downpour. I can hear a man screaming obscenities in the alley as I sit here, and the world just seems downtrodden and sad.

I mean we’re not talking disasters of monumental proportions here (which makes this emotional state all the worse for it’s lack of justification). My class today went well, I had lots of discussions with students and we covered the exact right amount of material. My grandmother liked her birthday present we sent her which always makes me feel warm and fuzzy, and the car got fixed without going over our meagre budget.
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traditional quality

The Craigallechie bridge, built by Thomas Telford in the 19th century. The bridge is no longer used by traffic, but still spans the river Spey majestically.

Wednesdays are normally my work-from-home days… I love being able to cuddle up with my pjs and the laptop and feel both constructive and cuddly. Today I’m in the office though, some data I’ve been hankering for arrived last night and it’s easier to work up here. I can’t wait for the weekend, I miss my apartment and those rainy Vancouver winter days where you snuggle up inside your house …
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at one with nature

we saw this lovely shaggy beast in a field just outside of Craigallechie, right next to the Speyside Cooperage where every barrel used to mature scotch is maintained. It was a bit suprising that the shaggy cows so common here aren’t really found in Canada, since you’d expect that the extra warmth the hides might generate would be a positive, but someone explained (over a pint or two) that the cows are actually smaller and leaner than their less-furry southern relatives and as such, are less profitable for farmers.

The Speyside Cooperage was a fabulous tour, we don’t have any pictures because we were actually looking at the workfloor where men where rebuilding barrels and it seemed inappropriate to take pictures of people at work. Later at a local pub, the barman (who was in his eighties) revealed that he’d worked for the cooperage back when he was younger and described to us exactly how tough the work was. It’s an extremely physical job, one that requires strength and, as they’re paid by the barrel, speed. While the distillery tours gleam with copper and mechanized instruments, the cooperage still depends on human workmanship. Each barrel is inspected and repaired almost entirely by hand. If you’re looking for the place where real heart goes into the whiskey, it’d be in the barrels.
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Northern Ireland

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