Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Highs and Lows 2015

Obviously the highlight of this month was the two weeks we spent in Scotland together. The rest of the month was mainly about planning, packing, and getting ready for the trip, and unpacking and getting back into the daily routine.


  • a day trip with my Schwiegermutter to the Kloster (monastery) ruins in Hirsau

  • on the same day we went to the Stiftskirche in Tübingen for a special tour of the choir, which has been the resting place of tomb monuments of important Württemberger since the Reformation
Graf Eberhard im Bart, founder of the Tübingen University (1477), among other achievements
  • meeting up with a friend of ours in  Tobermory for a pint - he lives on the island with his family, and he kept us entertained with stories of island life, mountain biking and running, dealing with highland cattle...

  • visiting the Great Polish Map of Scotland close up and standing on the peak of Ben Nevis! Post pending - I'm very eager to write about it, but I want to make sure I do it justice.
panorama of the map - Mull is the light-shaded island in the foreground
  • meeting my 10,000-step goal every day for 22 days in a row (still going!). I find it is much harder to exceed those steps at home than it was while we were on vacation.

  • the weather - in Scotland it was much better than we'd expected with some sun almost every day and not nearly as much rain as is common, and since we've been home it's been sunny and pleasant. The cool crispness of fall is refreshing after the scorching weeks we had this summer.

  • reading the novel Edge of Eternity, by Ken Follett. I picked it up in Oban and ditched the book I'd brought along and was dragging myself through. The novel takes place during the cold war - not at all my area of interest - but it's the third of a trilogy and he is such a brilliant writer that it's hard to put down.


  • sitting next to a woman on the plane who was so heavily perfumed I got a headache, then in Frankfurt having to walk through the perfume section, followed by sitting amongst a group of stinky hormonal teenagers on the flight to Stuttgart. I apparently have a rather sensitive nose at times.

  • missing our connection to Stuttgart because of a delay in Edinburgh and having to sit in Frankfurt for five hours

  • both of us getting a cold while on vacation

Funny Moments

At our friends' home in East Linton near Edinburgh, one night after a huge and delicious meal plus dessert, we were lounging in the living room, watching a little TV, having some wine, chatting with our friends, etc.. At about 9:30 Keith asked us "Would you like some supper?" I must have looked at him like he'd grown a second head, and thought to myself, "Has he gone mad?!" There was no way I could fit in so much as a bite of cracker, much less another supper!  Turns out "supper" in Scotland is what we Americans call a bedtime snack!

After coming down from Arthur's Seat and deciding where to go next in Edinburgh, M asked me, "Do you still want to find Old Friar's dog?"  "What? Oh, you mean Greyfriar's Bobby?  YES!"

Old Friar's Dog
At our friends' home in East Linton, I chose the side of the bed with the reading lamp on the night table. The night table on the other side had a decorative bowl on it, and M doesn't read at night like I do. One night I got up to use the loo while it was still very dark. I heard M fumbling around a bit, and when I came back into our room he got up as well. I turned on the lamp next to me so he didn't have to navigate back in the dark, and when he came back in he paused a moment and said, "Hm. No wonder."  "What?" I asked. "I tried to turn on my lamp for you, but it was a bowl."

I wish you all a happy October!


  1. Sun in Scotland in September? That gives me hope for England! I fly today :-)

    Hope you recover from your colds soon.

    1. Gute Reise! I'm looking forward to hearing about it. And I'm totally stumped by your Christmas cross stitch. Love the guesses, though!

  2. Hehe, turning on a bowl - hilarious!

    I am friends with a Scottish person and she would invite me to tea. I always had to ask if she meant the drink or the meal ;) We also got ourselves all thoroughly confused by the idea of pudding, which is something entirely different to those from the UK vs the US!

    1. Oh my gosh - I just read that blog post, which you wrote long before I knew you! I'm from Wisconsin, and I _totally_ call ATMs TYME machines! I keep trying to break the habit, but it's just ingrained. Did you know TYME stands for Take Your Money Everywhere?? And the CURRY! I'll add a comment on your post...