Month: October 2010

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Ten things

In 7th grade, I’d sit under my comforter writing lists of things I wanted to do someday. I’m pretty sure ride a horse across a field was always on the list, along with be the caterer for the Yankees’ clubhouse. And fly over the Rocky Mountains. I aimed for the sky, I tell you. I still like lists, and sometimes I still write goal lists, but usually I write excessive amounts of grocery lists and shopping lists and library book lists, and gleefully press too hard when checking them off. Make and…

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Out and about

The fall evokes that burrowing effect, and I love being cloistered inside typing away next to the heater, as I am this sunny, Saturday morning. But yesterday, we finally ventured out of our little mouse hole. We took it to the big city, folks! To get the 50 or so miles to Edinburgh is far more complex than commuting in the States, which is perhaps why we don’t do it more often (because we totally would). We have to walk to the bus, take the bus to the train station, and take the train about an…

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A day for life

Yesterday wasn't a day for art. It was a day to refresh, to let my experience here be what it is—my life—not what I can order it into. I needed to step back and walk around town without thinking how to write about it, or how to frame it. Here’s how it went down: I had delicious fresh eggs cooked in fresh butter for breakfast; the best two foods in Scotland. The chickens must be happier here, because the yolks are practically orange. Delish. And then I got books. Almost a dozen. I sat on the…

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Little town

It's a quiet village, ev'ry day like the one before . . . Mornings in St Andrews are serene: the streets are silent save an occasional truck bouncing over the cobbles. In the calm this morning, surrounded by townhouses soaking up the sun, and the book shop looking eager for patrons, I felt like Belle, as if a window above me might open and a cheery Bonjour! sprinkle down. And this morning, I had my buddy. Usually when I pop round town to Tesco for baguette or Boots for contact solution, the…

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Distractions

This post is taking a long time to come out, because sitting directly across from me is a man who keeps saying, I love absolutely everything about you, and reaching over to hold my hand (impedes typing). I’ll take it, anyway, even if he is just trying to distract himself from game theory. And then my hands are back in position on the keyboard and I’m all focused when I sneeze, and he yells because my sneezes scare the daylights out of him. And nothing more gets written because we’re losing so…

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Applemania

All out doesn’t even come close. I stewed and brewed, and tried to think of as many ridiculous ways to incorporate our glorious theme as possible. For, when you have an extreme over-population of apples, there is only on thing to be done. A-p-p-l-e party! With pipe cleaners and googley eyes, about thirty apples and loads of votives, we made our little flat a veritable orchard. My favorite incorporations of the theme were the costumes. Red trousers, leaves coming out of collars (I literally…

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Garrets and chimneys

I’m constantly awed by the number of chimneys peaking over the stone walls in our small wynd, until I remember this is Scotland. And I wonder what is up there. Does someone live way up where winds surely must be louder? Is it cozy or cold under the gabled roofs? I have always fancied living in a garret. My desk would be pushed into the dormer and a small lamp would glow over my reams of manuscript (those are imagined, too). Perhaps I can blame this affinity on my Little Women years of longing…

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Inside voices

Again, we woke up to the rolling-suitcase sound yesterday. It proceeded to rain straight from morning until midnight; not a single respite long enough to step outside and twirl in the fresh air. Inside voices all day, for us. So, I cooked. I stood in that kitchen and made oodles of apple-cinnamon rolls, mashed sweet potatoes, fajitas, maple-cranberry salad. As my only subject for photography was food, I spent the other half of the day looking at food blogs trying to imagine how that shot was…

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Blue, and gray, and green

I. Sea-glass I’ve loved the sound of those words since second grade or so when I first watched Sarah, Plain and Tall, and Sarah tells her stepchildren Caleb and Anna about the colored pencils she’s bought. The colors of the sea, she says. Blue, and gray, and green. Maine. Those words bring me to Maine, my favorite place in the world for its sharp salt air, swooping puffs of clean, clean air, and piney cliffs. But those words are for Scotland, too. The colors of the sea are in the sand, the…

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Autumn's gold

Oh glory, yesterday I found fall, at last! But I get ahead of myself. That comfortable chill has turned into raw cold; it was 1 degree Celsius this sunny morning. Walker has a theory that if it’s sunny, the temperature will be lower than if it’s gloomy, and yesterday that sunny cold got me all over again. Thank goodness for life-saving Ugg slippers! You know those days where the dryer refuses to work, and your brain's muddled, and your dinner plans go awry because you don’t have the right…