The days are getting longer in Scotland now. It is getting a little warmer (still not warm to me) but I think it should be hitting the 60’s soon. I hope! We just had our daylight savings time this past weekend so the days should be even longer. I have heard it doesn’t get dark over here in the summer until late- like 11 or 12. I don’t know exactly but I will let you know. I don’t know if I can go to bed if it’s light outside?
With the longer and warmer days, Kent and the boys have been back to the golf range. Kent and Timothy played 9 holes last week at a course called St. Michael’s. It opened in 1903. It was the first time T had played and I think he just had to laugh a lot because some of his shots were horrible. (his words) They also have something here called “honesty boxes”. I’ve seen one at the golf course and at a fruit farm so far. You take what you need and put the money in the box on your honor.
I know I am late in so many things but I finally got my eyebrows threaded. I have seen this since we were in Texas but I had never tried it. My friend and I went and did our nails and eyebrows and she encouraged me to try it. It is amazing a long string of thread can cut off the hairs on your face. I was fascinated. It stung a little but for the most part I liked it. Here is a picture of my friend Carrie and my before and after pictures of the eyebrows. These are horrible pictures of me but oh well…..
Do I need to say anything?! Does this look like the most amazing cheese ever? It is melty, gooey, soft, cheesy deliciousness. This is one of the many cheeses at The Old Cheese Shop in St. Andrews. It is French and it’s name is Epoisses. It comes in small little containers or the large one. If you go in a cheese shop I think they should give you a small sample to make sure it’s one you like. You also can choose the size piece that you want. You don’t have to buy the whole wheel.
The next cheese is raclette. It is one that is easy to cut and is easy to give out as a sample. It is yummy as well. It doesn’t look the same as the one above because it is harder but it is tasty just the same.
If you notice the sign above. The shop puts the name and a description on each cheese. They also put the country’s flag in the top left corner and the animal whose milk is used in the bottom left. Isn’t that a great idea? The front container is the one used for the samples that are given out to customers.
Are there cheese shops in your area? I am trying to remember if I know of any in any of the places I have lived. I would love to know if you are aware of any and where they are!
One thing that is interesting about St. Andrews is it’s history. There is a rich church history which is demonstrated by the ruins of the St. Andrews cathedral at the edge of town. It was constructed in the 1100’s and was the tallest building in Scotland for 7 centuries. I will post pictures of it when the weather improves and I can get a day of warmth and sunshine.
I was walking to my car from the main part of town and realized that it is a very unusual path that most towns don’t have. Because of SA’s age it has little paths and walkways to get through to different areas instead of walking on the main roads that the cars drive on. The following are the pictures I took as I left the main street and wound my way through the alleyways to get to my friend’s apartment building.
As you can see people live in these little cottages that line the walkways.
When I got to the bottom of the steps (above pic) I was just around the corner from my friend’s apartment. It is neat to walk through since you can’t see these paths from the roads surrounding the town.
Last Sunday after church we invited our French friends from church over for lunch. Eric is a senior lecturer of law at University of Edinburgh. Over here, if I am correct, there are four different levels – lecturer, senior lecturer, associate professor, and full professor. He is fun to be around and very intelligent. His interest is in South African law. He has a neat story of how he became a Christian and is very committed to our church. He rides a train over an hour to get to St. Andrews from Edinburgh.
Frances and Aleks (I don’t think I spelled it right but it is pronounced like uh-leeks) are missionaries. They were in France and then in Canada. They have 2 sons which I didn’t get pictured that are 6 and 14. Frances and Aleks are both getting their PhDs. I have no idea how they are doing it! Frances is studying New Testament in John’s letters, and Aleks is studying Old Testament in Psalms. Like us, they would appreciate your prayers.
Last Monday Kent had three meetings set up and they were so encouraging to him. He left the last one ,with a well known systematic theologian, and said he felt like he had been given water to drink in this dry desert he’s been living in. This man was a believer and a straight shooter like Kent and at the end of their time together they prayed. Kent felt so refreshed that we decided to go to a pub and celebrate.
Kent got steak pie and we shared some nachos. The pub was very traditional and the food was good and plentiful. We wanted to bring the boys back but they have a sign on their door that no one under 18 can enter. Kent said his food was delicious. Their steak pie is like a chicken pot pie in some ways. It has a thicker crust that completely covers the steak and gravy inside. They serve it with tatties or chips (mashed potatoes or french fries). I didn’t take a picture this time but I did get a couple of pictures inside the pub.
I am planning on going to a baby shower tomorrow given by an American for another American. I was talking to a couple of British ladies separately and they both told me they don’t do “showers” here. One suggested that a shower would be too presumptuous. My older friend asked me “what do you do at such things?” I’ll try to take pictures especially of my friends who have never been before. They should enjoy tasting baby food!
I wanted to share about a place in town I have been going to help the last couple of Saturdays- a cheese shop! It is the cutest shop and has so many delicious cheeses.
The neat thing is the connection I made with the owners. Their names are Alexander and Caroline, and they are from Poland. They have owned the shop for about a year, and have a great relationship with their customers. Apparently, people really like their cheeses. Saturdays there have been fun and busy and I have a lot to learn about cheese! Once during a busy time there were a few wheels of cheese on the counter that needed to go back in the case but I couldn’t help because I had no idea where to put them! Soft, hard, blue, they have it all!
These are just a few they sell. They are from France, Germany, Spain, Scotland, and other places, and they are all artisan or farmhouse cheeses.
The interesting connections between us are that Caroline went to the University of Richmond and lived in Richmond for 10 years. We lived there for several years as well. Alexander was born in Ukraine and lived in Kiev until he was 10! How cool is that? They are a super nice couple and appreciate their customers and workers. They have a few college girls come and hand out samples to show people where the shop is. They are always making sure they are OK and offering them a cup of tea for a break. They work well together as a team.
I don’t have a picture of Caroline yet, but this is Alexander. The picture on the right is a goat cheese. The outside is a mold and it is edible. They had received two the day before and one had already been sold.
I’ll have to highlight some cheeses on here so you can look for them wherever you live. They really encourage me to sample them so I’ll know how to help people coming in and looking for a specific taste or cheese. It’s so fun to taste and compare- just have to learn to keep them straight.
So, if you are in St Andrews visiting you need to come by! They are located off South Street which is one of the main streets in downtown. However, they are set in a little courtyard which is a great set up. They have tables and chairs in the courtyard when the weather is warm so guests can come and have a glass of wine or coffee and a cheese platter with it. How fun! Come visit!
I have not been diligent about writing on the blog. I am taking a class from the seminary online so that has been taking up my time along with yoga and schooling Timothy. Kent is working so hard on his writing project (due April 7) that we know he is in the house but he is reading or writing almost from breakfast to bedtime. It will be much better once he turns it in.
Just for fun and to get out of the house we will drive over to Edinburgh to the Costco. Here are a few items that were interesting.
We’ve had a few people over for dinner so we can get to know them better. I’ve also been keeping a friend’s daughter one morning a week. Ellie is 4 and she has been so fun at our house. She brings her Pet Shop and Barbie toys and sets them up to play. She told Kent the barbies were “sun-dating” for sunbathing. Her mom is a doctor and had been working over here in the national health system which has been interesting to hear about. She is in the US now for some work so friends from church are helping with Ellie so her husband can work on his PhD.
Our little dog Lilly has been staying with Michael and Robert. Robert texted me Friday and said she wasn’t doing well. He took her to the vet and then had to take her to the animal hospital. She had a pancreas infection. Thankfully, she is home and doing much better. Michael sent me the following pictures a few weeks ago. One is he and Lilly after she went to the “salon” for her treatment. The next was her “studying” at his desk.
I have really enjoyed yoga which I never had any interest in before. I think I am improving, but I have a long way to go. My friend put this picture on Facebook she took of me. I couldn’t lift my head up the week before so we were so surprised she took the pic. I do feel a lot stronger. I never knew yoga was so hard.
Lastly, (I hope I’m not boring you), a friend gave me a jar of pickled walnuts. She knew Kent and his partner are developing the farm in Chile to grow walnuts, and thought we may be interested. The entire nut including the shell is pickled. I love food so I had to try it. I can’t compare it to anything but it does have a strong pickled taste. Here is a picture.
Have more news so I’ll see you tomorrow….