Friday, 29 February 2008

Rural Scotland

After a hard work week I was looking forward to today, leap day, taking it off to do some more hiking. No such luck. The weather is gross. But I thought I might share a few photos from recent walks, all remarkably near Edinburgh.

Christina, Z and I went to see Lauriston Castle and the suburb of Cramond. It is adjacent to the same body of water we live along, the Firth of Forth. The castle is publicly owned and, while they weren't giving tours that day, the grounds were beautiful, and we had them all to ourselves. After the castle we walked out to Cramond Island, which is about a half a mile walk across a strip of land when the tide is out.

More recently we hopped on a bus going to another castle. Except it wasn't the right bus, and we ended up nowhere near the castle. We did, however, end up at a splendidly pastoral stretch of land on the edge of the Pentlands, just south of Edinburgh. We pushed the stroller a mile and a half up a muddy trail, but the views were worth it. It was the first time we had genuinely been out of the urban environment in months, so it felt good.

And just last weekend I went out for a "stroll" with friends from church. Six hours later my feet were hamburger, but we did see some tremendous tracks of land. Scotland has a roaming law that allows hikers to cross other people's property, permitting us to see some fairly remote areas of the Borders, a surprisingly uninhabited stretch along the England-Scotland dividing line. I especially enjoyed the number of grouse spotted along the way (how I miss my shotgun!), as well as some old-school stone sheep pens.

With a new baby backpack, we're ready to take on more trails. We're here in Scotland, right? We'd be fools to hole ourselves up in the city.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Wings of Hay and Corn Husks

As I was strolling around this afternoon I came across this video, which is of a song called "Lawrence, KS" by one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Josh Ritter.

This song has many layers for me, since I grew up in Lawrence, KS. How clearly I remember the house on Mississippi Street, the Pinkney School tunnel, the tennis courts up near KU stadium, walking around the block with my dog. When I visit Lawrence now I find it much changed, or at least so it appears to my adult eyes. And much of it seems for the worse. It seems more broken, more despairing, more centered on things that are fading away. But even so, it must not be left behind. Walking the streets of my childhood, I hope for resurrection at every corner.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

February Dreaming

I'm afraid that February is not my favorite month of the year. Cold, dark, snowy, rainy . . . you know how it is. So usually in February I tend to daydream a little. Daydream of choice this February: St. John. I couldn't resist posting a view pictures. Sigh . . . we look so warm.

All About Z

He gets mesmerized by the red-eye light and refuses to smile.

Hanging out.

Getting ready for a walk.

Playing computer games with Daddy.

Z has started eating solid food. As you can see, carrots, at least mushed up carrots, are not his favorite.

He likes yogurt quite a bit more.

Out to see the sea.

Z rolled over for the first time about a month ago!

Prince of Egypt