Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Homesick and Holiday Trips

Image from flickr

Yesterday was a grey wet day here in New York, it reminds me of mornings back home in grey wet Scotland. I wouldn't say that I was homesick, I have been away from home many times, in fact I've not technically lived at home in about 8 years. However, it has been a long time since I have seen any of my family. A cousin who lives in Colorado was home last week and the family were gathered at my aunt's warm house, drinking, chatting, eating, laughing. I spoke to them all and felt a real yearning to be with them.

Image from flickr

Thinking of there made me think of Balquhidder, a tiny speck on the map where I spent every summer, easter and october school break. My grandparents bought a holiday cottage there many years ago and now it is shared amongst their children and grandchildren. I did a geograghy project on the kirkton burn that runs down off the braes and into the river coming from Loch Voil. I learnt to swim in the loch there. I have walked in the hills and built treehouses in the wood. I have always imagined that the kirk there will be in the one I get married in. I feel a longing to be there in the still, quiet, damp air.

This afternoon we are heading off for our Thanksgiving trip to Lake Placid. I'm looking forward to getting away from the noise and the dirt of the city for 4 wonderful days and nights. Captain and I are leaving first with all the food in his car for the long 5 hour drive up there and the other 8 are following later when they finish work.

So to the Americans - have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

I will be back next week with tales of the Brits doing Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Redframe & BB's Big Day

It is beautiful Redframe's big day today.

I hope you and BB have a wonderfully romantic day today and a long life together full of love, laughter and smiles.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Venting and Ranting

In the bookworm's values meme I mentioned a 'friend' who is tight with her money. She is someone that does many things that irritate me from being tight with her money to constantly trying to play the victim card to inviting herself along all the time to things but never making a suggestion for anything for us to do.
Then when she does appear she either sits in the corner with a face on her like a slapped arse (sorry if this offends anyone but its the best description!) or just non stop witters on with the same stories we here every time.
This evening she has invited herself along for a drink with a few of us, normally I would be thinking fine, there is a few of us, I can ignore it but this week I have been hormonal and I have been exceptionally irritable this month - I fear that the heavy glass mugs that the bar we are going to uses may prove too tempting a weapon!!
When I write my complaints about her out they seem so petty that I think I must be an unreasonable person, however in 10 months this girl has managed to fall out with at least 5 people - surely they can't all be wrong?!
I've tried avoiding her and not responding to emails and texts or when she asks what I'm doing I make something up that she can't come along to. I thought she might have taken the hint but no, after 2 weeks of no contact, an email will pop up in my inbox "Why have you not been in touch? Don't you like me?"
I can't respond "No, no I don't. Take the hint and piss off" I know it would upset her and I don't want to be cruel.

I should feel better getting that off my chest but I just don't know what the solution is so I just get frustrated!

E and I had a good rant about this issue and a couple of others last night as we walked 25 blocks down and 4 across in the cold after watching The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (which was very good). I think the ranting kept us warm on that cold walk home!

Today I am mostly being obsessed with ....mittens

All images from Flickr

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cold Weather Wish List

It is cold here today and it we were supposed to be seeing some snow. I've just been out on my lunch break and the sky is a clear bright blue but it is still cold, with a nasty wind that whips round my ears tormenting me for not bringing a hat out.

The reason I went out at lunch was to buy myself some lovely new Ugg boots. My old ones have been a death trap for a while now, bought in Australia a number of years ago the sole is now completely smooth and walking on any wet surface can prove lethal. So sitting beside my desk waiting to keep my toes home all the way are these.

Now that my toes are taken care I would very much like these to help in keeping me toasty this winter.

This hat to keep my head and my ears safe from the nasty bite of the wind.

These pj bottoms to snuggle up in and dream of white christmases!

This skirt to twirl in at the Christmas party.

This cowl neck sweater

This shrug

and finally this down vest.


I mentioned a while ago that a group of us were looking for a house to rent for Thanksgiving.
Well I'm very excited about going away because E found this little perfect lodge up at Lake Placid.
10 of us including Captain are heading up there next Wednesday evening for 4 nights. I cannot wait. 4 days of eating and drinking too much, enjoying the peace and quiet, and fingers crossed some playing in the snow! So the Brits are going to attempt to cook an American Thanksgiving meal - I'm not sure if Captain knows what he is letting himself in for...
All images from the owner of Birches Lodge.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tagged: A bookworm's values

I have been tagged by The Cwtch.

First up is "The Bookworm". the rules are that you have to open the nearest book to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence as well as the following few sentences. It has to be the closest book, not your favourite, or the most intellectual!

The closest book to me is the one in my handbag that I read to and from work everyday, Sebastian Faulkes 'Human Traces'. I have read a number of his books and I always enjoy them. It is one of 12 books I bought on the last hot sticky day of summer in a closing down second hand book store with no air conditioning! I endured the horrid sweatbox that was that shop though because those 12 books cost me a mere $24!

'"The sole is good, isn't it?" said Sonia.
"Yes," said Thomas. "Has my sister proved a satisfactory housekeeper, Richard?"
"Adequate, thank you. We had to let the cook go at Christmas. Domestic economies, you see"
"I enjoy it," said Sonia. "It's a pleasure for me to make dinner for Richard's friends, then to manage to budget with some modest suppers." She did not look up from her plate as she spoke.'

Second Tag:

Six things I value:
1. Kindness
2. The love and support of my family and friends even when I'm many miles away from them emails and letters tell me that they are thinking of me. The friends that I have made here, without them this year would have been so very different.
3. My health and also the free health care that we get in the UK. It may not be perfect but it's a hell of a lot better than here in the States.
4. Quiet. I don't think such moments exist here in New York.
5.Freedom. My father and my brother both served as officers in the British Army. My father in Northern Ireland and my brother in Iraq. My life would have been very different if either of them had not returned. I thank them and every member of our armed services and their families for what they are willing to sacrifice for us.
6. A really good cup of tea!

Six things I don't:
1. People that are inconsiderate - primarily I'm thinking about the subway but this extends to all areas of life. Those people who stand at the doors to get on and you can't get off, people that don't take backpacks off on crowded trains, all those people who don't stand up for elderly people and pregnant ladies - yes I"m talking to you three indian men who ignored the heavily pregnant lady at 23rd st last night and I had to push others out of the way so I could stand up and give her mine - just for you other Indian man to try and take it!!!Grrr!!
2. People that are tight with their money. From not standing their round to asking you for that 50p you owe them. I have a great friend who earns the same pitiful amount as me as an intern but we will always stand each other stuff because each of us knows the other will pay next time. Another friend always orders a nice expensive drink when it's someone else's round but on her round she'll always have the cheapest beer going!
3. Having to listen to someone judging others be it on their clothes or their choice of lifestyle. I have noticed this normally comes from people that are not very happy with themselves so have to belittle others to make themselves feel better.
4. Constant whinging, particularly from those who really have nothing to whinge about! (although I know this list is basically me whinging!)
5. Liars.
6. A bad cup of tea!

I tag Melanie, Shari, Miss Meep and Mrs S

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Election Night

Rockefeller Center

Obama Love

Empire State Building lit up for the occasion, the next night is was all blue

All images by me.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A brighter(ish) future

I was going to try avoiding talking about politics on here too much, mainly because I studied international politics at uni and therefore once I start I might not stop. But, of course, something rather big happened here in the States on Tuesday evening. Something that I truly feel honoured to have been here to witness.

However, the great feeling of hope and expectation that is enveloping so much of the country is, for me (and I'm sure many others) tinged with a little sadness. As Peonies has also talked about today, in Arizona, Florida and California bans were passed stopped same sex marriages and in Arkansas a ban to stop non-married couples adopting or fostering was passed. The supporters of this in Arkansas admitted this was mainly to stop same sex couples being able to adopt. In all 30 states now have bans on same sex marriage. As Americans now prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving I find myself believing that somehow this country has gone a bit topsy turvy! The pilgrims braved the journey to this new land to escape religious persecution and now just over 200 years later, religion is being used to inhibit the lives of this country's citizens. Whether it be same-sex marriage or a woman's right to choose I really believe that religion and conservative groups should BACK OFF. Sorry really felt the need to get that off my chest. Why should one person's beliefs change the way another lives their life? If two people love each other and want to express their love by marrying - does it impact on my life? NO! It makes me so angry, I truly hope that the fight will be won in the not too distant future.

On a brighter note two animal rights bills passed, YAY!!!

I work with a girl who was a big McCain supporter, yesterday she just kept saying how she was going to leave the country for the next 4 years then she actually said "I am literally praying somebody assassinates Obama and does it before January 20th". I had to pause and question her, "You mean you want those two little girls to grow up without a father?" Her response "If that's what it takes to save this country". Views like that are terrifying and she is a young educated person living and working here in New York. What is also scary is that she is believing of so many of the lies about Obama (he's Muslim, he's not a natural born citizen). If educated people are thinking like this what is being thought in other parts of the country? I'm praying for Obama to have the strength to do all that he has promised for this country. Expectations are high and he has some serious work to do, things will be tough for while but the future is looking brighter.

PS After hearing this "Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House", do you you really think those little girls care that Daddy is president?! All they will want is to get their hands on the new puppy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Missing vowels

I've just read this post over on The Cwtch. I read this story on the BBC website at the end of last week and it made me laugh today just like it did on Friday.

I went to uni at Aberystwyth and always liked that everything was dual language. (With the expection of the big long list of dos and don'ts at the beginning of every exam!) It is great to see a country that has implemented measures to ensure that its language lives on. I think I know more welsh words from my 3 years of living in Aber than I know gaelic ones and I have lived in Scotland for around 21 of my 26 years. I find it a little sad that Scotland could well lose gaelic completely within a few generations if we do not do more to promote it. Scotland has its own parliament and seems to be moving towards independence (eeek, scary thought)....wait, I'm starting to get political again and I didn't want to do that here. So I'm going to stop but I'm sure you get my point.

(I'm sure someone once told me that Welsh was the oldest language in the British Isles, true?)

Since I couldn't have said it better...

Please read Chris Cope's eloquent post today.

I couldn't agree with him more and certainly couldn't express myself as well.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pumpkin Pics

As promised a couple of photos of my first attempt at pumpkin carving. The cat is mine and the mini pumpkin was from Capt's parents.