Tuesday, May 31, 2011

getting back on the horse.

I got to use this phrase literally today as Jeremy and I were able to go horseback riding south of Edinburgh at Lasswade Stables. I found an amazing deal on Groupon and bought a two hour hack for the both of us for Jeremy's birthday. It's been more than ten years since I've been on the back of one of those beasts, and even after all this time it was difficult for me to keep my cool as I stuck my boot in the stirrup and swung my leg over the grey muscled back. As the stablehand adjusted the length of my stirrups and told me how to hold the reins English-style even he could tell how nervous I was--which, admittedly, made me even more nervous, can't horses sense that kind of stuff? The horses Jeremy and I were on were called Starsky and Hutch, respectively, and I was assured that I had no need to worry about being thrown off and kicked by these horses--I laughed nervously and told them that that's what I was told about the horse I had been on ten years previously before it tried to throw me off and took off at full gallop with me hanging off the side of the saddle. So yes, I was nervous, and no, I wasn't thrown off this time thankfully, though I was worried a number of times about falling off. After today I think that the pommel was a great addition in Western-style riding, giving you one more thing to hang on to as your horse goes down steep rocky hills, through rivers, or trips unexpectedly--all of which happened on our hack today. I have to admit that if I had somehow seen a video or known in any way all of the things I'd do on the horse or the trails I'd traverse, I probably would never have gotten back on. But I suppose not knowing was exactly what I needed, and I'm alive and in one piece right now and just that little bit more comfortable again with horses which is what I wanted. Though, I must say, I was worried at first about my ring fingers falling off, they were turning blue as I was gripping the reins so firmly and didn't loosen my grip for at least forty-five minutes, I eventually and gradually began trusting my horse and calmed down enough to know that I didn't need to hold them like a vise the whole time. I still have all my fingers.
The two hour ride itself was pretty calm for the most part, and unlike driving, the horse knows where it's going and you can look around at the scenery for the majority of the ride--though I had to pay attention to low-hanging branches and leaves most of the time too--that an apparently the swallows aim for you, I got pooped on going through the trees beneath a few swallows high up in the branches. But the land out there is gorgeous. Rolling green hills and countryside, towering green old-growth trees with gnarly moss-covered roots, spring flowers of yellow, white, and brilliant purples. We crossed a bridge on the way out and back, and that view of Midlothian was breathtaking, and it reminded me of home, of Western North Carolina. It was so nice to be out of the city for a while, not hearing traffic and sirens, but birds and bugs in the trees and nothing really at all. The silence of the countryside is rejuvenating. I think the best part of the ride though was when our guide lead us through an Aspen tree grove. I haven't seen Aspens since living in Montana, and when the breeze felt its way through those trees, the leaves quivered and shook just like I remembered and it made me glad. Most of the trees were younger, but there were some older ones as well, with their white bark and tall bodies swaying and quaking in the wind. Jeremy reached out at one point and grabbed a leaf; he gave it to me on our way back to the bus stop. How well he knows me.
It was a great day out with Jeremy doing something that we'd never done together before. He frequently turned around in his saddle to check on me and ask if I was okay, especially after we tried trotting a few times--I began to get the rhythm of it again, but man is it jarring! It'll be a memory we keep from our time in Scotland forever, and I'm glad that I mustered up the courage to do it, and I'm glad that nothing insane happened too. All in all, a good day, a good experience, and a great way to celebrate (a little late) Jeremy's thirtieth birthday. I apologize for not getting photos, but I probably would have fallen off had I tried to bring and use my camera on this trip, but hopefully I've given you enough detail to use your imaginations. :)

A little sore now in the rump region but quite happy,


Friday, May 27, 2011

a week back.

Well, it's been a week since we returned from our fantastic trip home and things are going well. I took my Gaelic exam, at least the second half of it, on Saturday afternoon and I think I did quite well on it. We went to a great church service at our church, New Restalrig on Sunday and enjoyed a nice walk through Holyroon Park, even if it did sprinkle on us a bit. We also went to go see Thor at the Omni Center, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's not Oscar-worthy by any means, but it was a fun and humorous comic book based film to go see on a date with my husband. On our walk home I snapped this photo of the Duke of Wellington horse and rider statue with the Balmoral Hotel in the background.
Taken with my phone.

I've also gone on a cooking kick, where I'm not only making dinner pretty much every night, but also making lunch for the both of us a few days out of the week as well. I'm on this omelette spree right now. On the day of Laurel's wedding, Christal made the both of them (since they hadn't eaten all day, silly girls) an omelette with red bell pepper, spinach, and feta cheese--and I haven't stopped thinking of it since. Today I kicked it up a notch and added quartered plum tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and a hint of lemon juice, and boy was it tasty! I've also got this Moroccan Chicken Tangine recipe that I make quite often, and did again the other night. The spices and flavors of everything together is near divine. That cous-cous is simply a store-bought instant bag boiled with chicken broth and apple juice instead of water, with dried apricots, honey, lemon juice, and sliced almonds. It's absolutely delicious.
Also taken with my phone.

The days are lasting surprisingly long already. I suppose it's not surprising for someone who has lived here during the summer, but when there's still light in the sky at 10:45PM, and the sun starts it climb back into the sky sometime between three and four in the morning and you don't expect it, it's surprising. Up in the Highlands and Islands in midsummer the sun never really completely sets, it's what's called the 'summer dim'. I honestly quite like it as one who loves sunlight, even muted grey sunlight, coming through the windows of whatever room she's in.
It's nice actually, where I was walking to my fiddle class at 7PM in near darkness only a few months ago, now I walk home from my fiddle class in plenty of light and usually able to observe a brilliant light show by the dazzling sunset. Case in point, last night:
Also taken with my phone, though I wish I'd had my DSLR.

There's nothing quite like a spectacularly bright and colorful ending to a drearily cloudy and drizzly grey day is there? Well, Edinburgh sure knows how to do that right.

I'm still plugging away sifting through books and articles for my dissertation, and it's going well, but nothing of substance to really report, other than how lucky I feel to be writing a dissertation for which I must read old Scottish tales and examine Celtic beliefs and deities relating to animals among other things.

Oh, and happy birthday to Josh Foreman and Rachel Foreman Courser!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

north carolina. [the trip home.]

Though I'm notably still quite tired, I feel rested enough to write a wee bit about our time back home, and I feel like Jeremy and I experienced and did so many things (and still didn't get to do all we intended) that the longer I wait to write on it, the less I'll remember to include. Firstly, I must say that being away from those mountains made me appreciate anew and enjoy, like an old sweet song, the beauty, verdancy, and familiarity of those blue ridges. Being there again, nestled in between those mountains and sheltered by trees, surrounded by family and friends, we remembered and solidified our desire to move back home to those joyful things and settle down.
my mountains.

After a full twenty-four hours of travel once we arrived at the Foreman house, we stayed up a little longer to say hello to everyone there, receive and give long awaited hugs, and try to take in the reality that we were really there. Then we crashed. With the aid of a noisy morning and a Moments latte we awoke and again settled into the reality that we were home. Things were pretty crazy as it was two days before Laurel's wedding and Mom Foreman was working herself to the bone, as usual, to prepare the food to perfection, but we managed to see her and her sisters, Becky and Debby, in her kitchen to say hello and go in for more hugs. That Thursday was probably the calmest day we had, but we were still pretty busy helping Mom in the kitchen and running errands with Dad Foreman, not to mention picking kids up from school, and dropped others off at soccer practice.
The next two days flew by. There was a breakfast for all the girls at Laurel's house on Friday morning, with the famous blueberry pancakes and a topping that can really only be called icing, but it's so much better than that. It was great to take time to visit, meet, and enjoy the company of the women in one place before the craziness of the rehearsal and the actual wedding day. I also looked after Zoe, Rachel's daughter, that morning as both Rachel and Cory were working. It was fun to get to know my new niece, and get to know her stunning personality a bit more.
the Zoe.

The rehearsal was not in the location that the wedding actually ended up taking place as the rain had decided to let loose it's fury on the mountains that afternoon, but after a while we got things sorted and in a small respite from the rain we ran up and at least got an idea of what the ceremony would look like in the field it was originally planned to be. If the rain wants to exhaust itself the day before the wedding that was fine with all of us, but we implored it to finish and clear off before the actual wedding. [Which it reluctantly consented to do.]
Attempting a quick run-through before the rain arrives again.

The rehearsal dinner was full of love, laughs, and good company. Laurel and Kent so perfectly complement each other it was amazing to see them together, surrounded and lifted up by their closest family and friends, on the evening before they become one flesh in the sight of God.
The wedding day was another full one. There was a worship service in the morning at the site of the ceremony to set the day apart to the Lord, and it was done with reverence and joy.
Jeremy spending some quality time with our niece, Seren, after the morning service.

My job as photographer began around 2:30 in the afternoon, after helping with this and that at Laurel's before going back to the Foreman house to get ready.
Though the sky looked threatening at times, the rain abstained from its fall until much later in the evening. Though getting everything ready took a bit longer than expected, it all happened in its time and it was beautiful. The ceremony was so well done and put together, from the music, the prayers, the vows, the ring-bearer hound-dog, and ultimately the love between Kent and Laurel. The rain started to drop little by little as I rushed to get the group shots done, but it held up long enough to spend a good amount of time with just Laurel and Kent, though they definitely got a little wet on the back of the golf cart as we rushed to get them to the reception.
Yep, they climbed the high dive--in the rain.

The reception was full of good food, good people, good music, and some crazy dance moves. I was able to take my photographer mode down a notch and enjoy a bit of the reception as well. It was just lovely, and again, full of joy.
The next day everyone was pretty much shattered, but we went to church (again with the aid of Moments coffee) and after church headed back over to Merri-Mac where all the food from the wedding still was and gorged ourselves on leftovers. Yum. Eve's violin concert was next on the list, so Jeremy and I, Zak and Brittney piled into Caitlin's car and we all went to support Eve--who did amazingly in her concert. She's a great little violinist, and made me quite a proud aunt.
We spent some time with Josh and Christal and the kids after the concert before heading back out to see a movie with everyone. For anyone who cares, Priest had an amazing concept but utterly failed to deliver a good plot and story, so don't waste your time. Though I hear the comic books are brilliant, so if you're into that I have it on good authority to highly recommend them.
Priest was also quite short, and as some of the us went to a different movie we had to wait on them to finish as well--so we snuck into Thor and watched a little of it before we got the call to say we were ready to go. Jeremy and I have since gone back out to see Thor and thought it was a fun film, we definitely enjoyed it.
The next day I was able to reunite with my closest friend and dear heart, Chelsea Rose. The Rose and the Thistle together again! We went out to lunch at Las Cazuelas (finally, and yum!) and then took a walk about Montreat, just talking and catching up a little. It was as if we'd never been apart, just picking up where we left off--though at the same time we were both disbelieving that we were actually in the same place again. We took silly photos, as usual, and we laughed together and made plans to live near each other again.

After a while it began to lightly rain and we went back to pick up Jeremy. We went for another pick-me-up at Moments then headed out to Asheville. We stopped by Barnes and Noble for a while to wait on my brother, Jake, to call us back. He is now taking care of Cael for us, and we were, all of us, excited to go see the pup as well as my loving brother. So when we got the call we all got back into the car and rushed over to Jake's house.
Cael has gotten so big! In reality, I don't think he's that much taller than he was when we left, but he's fattened up a bit and filled in. He's no puppy anymore! But it was so wonderful to see him, pet him, and give him some long overdue loving. He seems really happy at Jake's, he and Peter have a dog as well, Olivia, who seems like she'll teach Cael a thing or two and keep him in his place. We spent some time there, and decided to stay for dinner as well. Chelsea took us back to Moments to get Jeremy's dad's car, as that was Chelsea's last night in NC and needed to spend it with her family. It was absolutely fantastic to see her, and I look forward to the next time as well. Maybe I can get my arse in gear, be a good friend, and write her another letter.
Back at Jake and Peter's we sat around, wine in hand, while the aromatic spices of Peter's cooking wafted around us. He put together an amazing chicken curry dish with coconut milk, and greens, and sweet potatoes and also some naan bread. I'm not doing justice to all that went into it, but it was delicious! It was lovely to catch up with Jake's life and hear about Peter's job search and projects he's got going on. And I'm going to say it again, it was so great to see Cael and really know that he's healing well and enjoying his place in Asheville. Thanks to Jake and Peter for taking him, and thanks to Drew and Kelsey for keeping him up until then.
Jake and Peter.

Me and my pup!

Jeremy and Cael.
The next two days flew by as well. I had every intention of doing so many more things than we were able to do, but I suppose that's how it goes sometimes. An inordinate amount of time was spent waiting on the locksmith to attempt to pick, cut, and eventually grind off the lock on our storage unit--the keys to which were lost or thrown away in the Foreman's moving house last December. We kept the key this time, knowing now that we'll be moving back in September. After that was finally taken care of, we went running errands with Caitlin, getting a storage bin for all the things we brought back with us from Scotland. We both had checked two bags each, and left one whole bag plus the majority of the other bag back in NC to begin moving our things back, hopefully we won't have as much to ship in September. After errand running we went for dinner as Las Cazuelas with Caitlin, Rachel, and Zoe. It was great to spend some time with them apart from the craziness of the wedding.
On our last full day we stopped by to see Cael one more time and to say goodbye to him, as well as Jake and Peter, it was hard to leave him again, but not nearly as difficult as it was the first time. I think knowing that we'll be home in a few months made the parting a little easier. After saying our goodbyes there, we headed back out to Arden to see Josh and Christal and the kids. It's always a good time with Josh and Christal, we enjoy their company so much and we love their kids as well, so there's always people to talk to, or in some cases, play with. Those kids are growing up so quickly, and I have to admit that it's been hard being here sometimes knowing that they're all growing up and changing without me there to see it. Josh and Christal graciously offered us dinner, though we implored with them that we didn't need to eat their food, but it was quite delicious. Christal's mother, Susan, was there as well, and it's always nice to see her too. She's like another mum to me as well. We spent hours there without really realizing it, and before we left Josh pulled out his guitar and Christal her cello and they played us some songs that they had written together. We were able to see them play together at the wedding, but it is always so incredible to see and hear them playing and singing together. They really are so talented, and another great complementary couple. It was sad to say goodbye, but again, knowing when we were coming back this time made it better. And as Eden said to his brother and sisters "It's only four months, and then they are coming back to stay forever!"
The breath-taking view from J&C's house.

Me and my little buddy, Eden.

Dimitri demonstrating his awesome hand-made kaleidoscope.

Josh and Christal about to play for us.

We got back late that evening, and soon realized any plans we may have had to squeeze things in in the morning weren't going to come to fruition as our ride to the airport had to come quite early because of other things needing to be done that day. So arriving at the airport at 9AM, thinking we were going to be able to switch my flight so I could travel with Jeremy for extremely cheap, basically being told 'just kidding', waiting around for hours, luckily realizing in time that my luggage was only tagged to Paris, fixing that, watching Jeremy fly away on his plan five hours before mine left, waiting, waiting, waiting, and studying for my exam, then finally beginning my arduous journey home, waiting in Atlanta until nearly midnight, then finally flying to Paris, sleeping through breakfast and almost not getting it at all, Jeremy nearly being able to wait until my flight in Paris and get 250 euros in the process then not being able to, and finally touching down in Edinburgh over another twenty-four hours later made for a crazy time of travel.
But were back now, and we have things to do here, things to see and experience and things to enjoy and photograph. So for now, Edinburgh is home, but we look forward to making that ridiculous trip over one more time and settling down in those Carolina mountains.
Thanks to everyone who gave us a bed to sleep in, a cell phone to use, a car to borrow, a meal in our bellies, one well-needed hug after another, a wedding at which to give joy, and so many other things. And apologies to those whom we meant to see and pass the time with but simply ran out of time to pass. We'll see you all soon, and catch up with no time limits.
Whew, that really was a doozy of a post. Thanks for slogging all the way through it if you did. I hope the photographs were able to break it up enough. No more long posts for a while, I promise.

Content right where she is and joyful for the opportunity to be home,


Monday, May 9, 2011

photo ramble.

Jeremy and I are leaving the day after tomorrow for North Carolina, and we are utilizing trip to also begin bringing back some of our clothing and things that we won't be using for the next few months until we move back permanently to North Carolina. Since I haven't used my lovely lenses and adapters for my DSLR, I've decided that it's best to go ahead and take them back home. Since I know I'm losing them--not my camera, mind you, just all the attachments and extras that I normally don't use--I went out on a quick photo ramble today around Southside, shooting interesting things and playing with my old 50mm lens that was originally part of my father's old Canon film SLR. I bought an adapter that would allow me to use it on my current Rebel XTi DSLR, and I haven't really gotten around to playing with it since being here. It was interesting since it is a completely manual lens, I have to set to aperture on the lens itself then coordinate the shutter speed accordingly in the Manual setting on my Rebel. It was entertaining to see what I could remember from my fully manual photography classes in high school. The 50mm lens has a fixed focal length which means I can't zoom in or zoom out, and it was good for me to realize how much an easy zoom lens can be a crutch to a photographer. There was a quote that my photography teacher in high school had us build a composition around in our art journals, I don't remember who said it, but it goes something like "If your photographs aren't good enough, you aren't close enough." I think this is so important as a photographer, you can play with depth of field and focus when you physically use your own legs as a zoom rather than a quick flick of your wrist on the lens.
My ramble was unfortunately cut a bit short due to a rogue Scottish rainstorm that moved in so quickly that I found myself running down Nicolson Street, past coffee shops with open doors and people with umbrellas, back to my flat to keep my bag and camera from getting wet. It was rather nice though, the rain was a warm spring rain rather than a chilling winter shower, and the wind that picked up with the rain was a refreshing one instead of one that makes you wish you had seal skin as it nips and bites at your exposed arms. Cut short though it was, I still was able to get some interesting shots. I played around a bit with them in Photoshop and these are my favorites.

The stairway in our building.

I love the weathervane in this one.

The stones in this wall looks so worn and experienced. If stones could speak, huh?

A pub just around the corner from our flat.

I've also posted this last photo as photo of the week on the tab above, go check it out if you want to hear more about composition and editing.

Feeling happily artsy,


i heart faces. [motherhood]

How apt that this week's i heart faces challenge is motherhood. There are many mothers in my life right now, as I mentioned in my Mother's Day blog, and there are many who have inspired me to be a great mother myself when the time comes. My own amazing and talented mother, of course, will have probably the biggest impact on my mothering style and inclinations, but another mother in my life taught me--as an adult--about the day-to-day life of being a mom, a wife, and woman, an artist, a fashion designer, a seamstress, a teacher, I could literally go on and on. Christal is my sister-in-law, she married Jeremy's brother, and she currently has five children. I have been with the family since before the third one, Eden, was born. She has had home births for all of her kids, and I have proudly been on 'Call when labor begins' list for both of the children since Eden as well. Before I met Jeremy and his family I was quite nervous around children, more specifically infants, I just didn't know how to hold them and I may or may not have thought I'd hurt them if I breathed on them too hard.
But the early morning that Eden was born I was able to hold him at just hours old. It was perhaps one of the most memorable experiences of my life, that, and then also a year or two later when I sang him to sleep in my arms for the first time and felt his little body calm down and finally yield to sleep with his sweet little cheek against my chest as I sang 'Old MacDonald', his favorite song, to him in slower and quieter tones the longer I sang. Anyway, I have been present for the next two births, Ariel and then Seren as well.
My entry this week is from Seren's birth. She is only minutes old in this shot, and Christal had just had her put into her arms and looked at her third daughter for the first time. The hand in the photo is actually Christal's oldest daughter, Eve, eager to make a connection to her new little sister. I love that Seren has wrapped her little hand around Eve's finger, the only kind of hug she can give. As trite as 'the miracle of birth' may sound, it is remarkably true, even as a bystander. I look forward to continuing to learn and love with my nieces and nephews, who have lovingly and sometimes frustratingly helped prepare me for when I have kids of my own.

Check out the other entries for this week by clicking the link above.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

happy mother's day!

Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mum, as well as my marvelous mother-in-law. I've admitted gotten pretty lucky in the case of both of those roles in my life, and I am so thankful for them. A happy day also to all the other mothers in my life, both family and friends, I hope your day is filled with joy and delight, love and laughter. Even though it might not feel like it all the time, being a mother is one of the most important and awesome vocations one can be called to, and I appreciate all of the mothers in my life being a beacon of inspiration and a tower of learning. Thanks to mothers especially today, but let us all try to appreciate the ones in our lives every single day of the year.
Cheers to Mums!
My own Mother and me, from the last six years.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

being together.

Jeremy and I had a number of errands to do yesterday in preparation for our trip back to North Carolina next week, one of which being a jaunt to an outdoor/army supply store down on Leith Walk. So we took the bus, though we rarely do that--I think memories of the last time we walked from the bottom of Leith Walk all the way to West End full of burning feet and blisters still haunt us. We caught the bus, got only a block or two turned around but eventually found what we were looking for. It's so nice to get out and about again, to see parts of the city we haven't really seen in months. As we were walking back up Leith Walk to a different bus stop we popped into a near-empty pub for a sit-down, a drink, and to enjoy each other's company. The pub was quite neat on the inside, deep mahogany paneling with matching furniture trimmed in a forest green leather. The pub only had a few people in it, so we went to the back corner--past the adorable old man with his whole bag of golf clubs beside him, and we just sat and reveled in being together, not doing anything.
Here we are, together. :)
Things seem to have been on auto-pilot lately, and we seem to rarely cross paths--though we have for extended periods of time, it was more like just being in the same room than spending time together. So our whole day out was almost like a date-day, even though we went out for errands and not specifically for amorous intentions. But it's nice to be reminded why we were attracted to each other in the first place, and to look at my husband and know that he is mine and I am his, and that neither of us have to worry about the 'dating scene' ever again--though we can lovingly, and sometimes laughingly, remember our time of dating each other. We laughed and talked, and then we caught a bus back home, ran a few more errands--made fun of the girls running around Edinburgh in just tights and a top, they apparently think tights pass for trousers, someone should tell the poor lambs--then back home, and I made some dinner and we spent some more time together. It was nice to be together again, really together and not just near each other. I am so thankful for my husband, and so blessed to have him in my life.

Here I am, modeling my drink and the opulently colored furniture.

A happy wife,


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

dissertation topic officially cracked.

Well, I've been slamming my head against this topic for months now trying to crack it, and finally I have some semblance of what I'm going to be researching and writing about.
My plan is to analyze and explore the motif of animal-human transformation within traditional Gaelic narrative. I'm still looking at ways to narrow my focus and anchor my research, but the biggest hurdle has been crossed, and it feels great. I sent an e-mail to my advisor and it was official okayed by him today, so thank God for that!
This is how that makes me feel:

So we'll see how I get on from here.

We're going to North Carolina in one week! What?! Much to do before then!


Sunday, May 1, 2011


This is proof that both Edinburgh was gorgeous today and that I went out and enjoyed it. I walked all the way around Holyrood Park, it was absolutely lovely.

To be fair, this next shot wasn't from today, but from Friday. When I was uploading the other photos from my phone I remembered this one and had to share it. Taken in the Meadows.


Lately things have been busy with nothing at all. Isn't it frustrating when you feel so rushed and busy, yet you don't really end up doing anything? You just feel anxious about the things you're not doing, or should be doing, or will be doing.
This morning Jeremy and I listened to a sermon from Jeremy's grandpa, Edmund Clowney. We have a number of sermons saved on our itunes, and when we can't make it to church for various reasons (this morning being, again, that Jeremy's back prevents us from walking anywhere too far, and Jeremy had to be at work at one o'clock to boot). This morning we listened to Pop Pop reading Phillippians 4:4-6, which has always been a favorite verse of mine. Anxiety tends to be the bane of my own existence even when I try to suppress it, but these verses reminded me of some beautiful promises I tend to forget about in my own clouds of stress and anxiety. The clouds disperse and the sun comes out, warm and gentle on my face, and I am thankful.
A couple weeks ago, Jeremy and I took a trip to Northern Ireland to visit some friends, Billy and Katie, and it was great to spend time with them, catch up, laugh, and enjoy each other's company. It is always nice to get away and do something new for a while. And we have another trip coming up quite soon as well--we leave for North Carolina in about ten days! I can't believe it's already so close, we still have some planning and packing to do. We're planning on bringing just the bare necessities for the trip, and packing full our other suitcases with things we know we won't need or use from now until we move back to NC in September. So there's still plenty to do from now until then, as well as studying for my Gaelic exam which is the day after I come back from NC, and also continuing to chip away at this dissertation topic which is finally beginning to form itself into something coherent in my mind, but not yet ready for public revelation.
A shot of Jeremy and I goofing off below Mussenden Temple near Whiterocks Beach, NI.

Last night was the fire feast of Beltane, and today, according to the Celtic calendar is the first day of summer. Jeremy and I caught a fleeting glimpse of the fire up on Calton Hill from North Bridge last night, but since I have an odd aversion to crowds and it cost money, we didn't venture up to Calton Hill for the festivities themselves. But it's another gorgeous day in Edinburgh, and I have a mind to go out an enjoy it.

Until next time,