Month: February 2011

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The most beautiful thing

Instants of splendor have been stacking up before I can sort them out, and now they are toppling all over. So here I sit by the heater at home (ah, so sweet to be home) with the gulls racketing away as usual in the twilight air, trying to organize and consolidate and do what I love. I want to hold each instant up for you to taste the air, suck in the majesty. The mountains, the tall trees, the long waterfalls. We saw the desolate and wild and craggy side of Scotland this weekend. (Hello,…

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Nordic compass

Of all the countries I’ve traversed in Europe, Scotland is the winner to me. No matter where I go, part of me misses it here, and I often wonder if that’s because this is home, or if my aesthetic compass just sets to a nordic and coastal place. Maybe it’s my Maine heritage. Today I’m breathing in instants of the sea, and soaking up the salty and slightly fishy air that pinches my nose in that cleansing way. Here are my fave ocean moments from our wee journey across Scotland at the beginning of…

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The prince in town

Today was one of those days everyone was smiling. The future king of the United Kingdom was in town with his recent fiancee, Kate Middleton, both alumni of St Andrews. The street our wynd connects to was lined with students and locals cheering and waving flags, and the sun shone for the first time in weeks. Happy day! Today kicked off the 600th Anniversary celebration of St Andrews, and Prince William of Wales, patron of the celebration, gave a speech; I heard snippets from outside the quad,…

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I'll take one

A castle, that is. In one of our first conversations, Walker told me of staying in his family’s castle. I believe the clan system dissolved in the late 1700s, but everyone with Scottish blood still traces it to a clan, basically a large family led by a clan chief. My clan is Campbell, and Walker’s clans are Forbes and Ramsay. Apparently, the Ramsays kept their castle in the family longer than any other clan, and had recently sold it to a hotelier prior to Walker and I's conversation. I almost…

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An isle. A castle. A winner!

We'd arrived after journey by taxi, train, and car the day before, and I woke up and snuck over to the curtains. I peaked out at this. The sight from our bed and breakfast room in Oban, a port town on the West coast of Scotland, was a hint of what was to come in a weekend of saying ‘spectacular’ and ‘gorgeous’ incessantly. Walker’s (awesome) parents are in town, and arranged for a short weekend trip across our beloved island, which brought many firsts for me. It was my first time bringing a…

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Pirate gulls

Armed with the longest lens in our bag, my salty wellies and no object in mind other than some tangy and deep air, I headed toward the beach. I expected the thick fog, called haar, to be suspended over the sea from yesterday’s storm, and to have trouble seeing through it. The air was heavy with moisture, but the farther from our flat I walked, the louder everything got, until the din completely expanded to fill every inch of air. The sound was the drums of bursting waves and the woodwinds of…

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Guilty

It is quiet inside, rainy outside, and the only thing disturbing this perfect solitude is the occasional post-it raining off the kitchen cabinets. There are 46 post-it notes still on my cabinets. Guilty as charged. Last night I made a dinner that I quite liked (recipe here). But you already know what’s missing from that plate. That would be anything green. Guilty. I tried a new vegetable thanks to my veg box, and stained everything purple temporarily. Sorry, cutting board! My fault. I woke…

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He's the MAN

In addition to wrestling with my resume and poetry drafts all weekend, there was time for baby-pink elderflower tea, angel food colored nail polish, and pink fingertips from exercise on cello strings. And while I just wrote a diatribe of career ponderings and edited about 20 poems, I’m much more interested in talking about slivers of cake and a weekend of instants filled with adoration and intentional love. Indulge my sappiness for once, k? Thanks! Two years ago today, we'd barely had a…

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Red hot tamale

(This should've been posted Saturday! Oops!) It's a lovely weekend here. The gray, low sky has elevated and when I walked to the post office, the sun made warm stripes of air for me to walk through. Plus, I'm tingling for a holiday, for quirky things like making place-cards and serving multi-course breakfasts, and best, being with family (the one I have here). To all the picketers of this cheery Monday, I make no apologies. For goodness' sake, Walker tells me all the time what he appreciates…

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Grab bag and first giveaway!

Yet again, I’ve been holding this blog up to the window to see what it should be. Yesterday morning I sat with colored fine-point markers and made sketches of new pages. My hopes were kiting up and up and the wind was starting to pull me along beneath them. New topics and sleek designs, new pages and sparkly features. I even analyzed serifs. Turns out my ideas didn't look as good in real life. I got frustrated. Salty water came out of my eyes. I'm an expert at not getting my hopes high enough…