Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008!

Just a quick (slightly post-Christmas) post to say Happy Holidays to all, Peace on Earth, and to all a good night!
We've had a real Charlie Brown Christmas here - a tiny tree, a carol sing (at the church with the choir), and some quiet times. We've also had three brilliant dinners with new and excellent friends and many good phone chats with family. Its the first Christmas we've ever spent alone, and it was very different, but it was still a good one.
As the holidays continue to roll along with Boxing Day and the weekend coming up, we just want to wish you all a happy, safe and peaceful time this week, with lots of lovely snow, as we have had a very green Christmas and we hear that the entire country of Canada, for better or worse, is covered with a beautiful blanket of white. Sounds like classic Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Afeared of losing the faith of the lovely people who follow this blog, I have finally returned to make a post. I don't feel like I have a very valid excuse for my long absence. But I feel the need to come clean about a few things in an effort to explain my procrastination.

One - is fairly straightforward. The first three weeks after I arrived, I was allowing myself some time to unwind, "de-stress" from the move and explore my new surroundings. Then I started looking for a job, and this has eaten up time I used to spend in quiet cafes writing my blog.

Two - is somewhat unexpected and shameful. We finally got internet at home three weeks ago. One might think that this would make blogging so much easier, but the truth is when I used to have to go to a cafe for internet, I would usually have a time limit, even if it was just the amount of time I could manage to sit at a table with only a tea and not feel guilty about using the free wireless. Hence, there was no idle surfing, no You Tube visits, no Word Twist games on Facebook. I had to write my blogs in advance and post them, then answer and send emails, post pictures, all in under a couple of hours. Now... the procrasto possibilities are endless. Sad. But true.

Three - is a good thing. I have filled up my schedule with some activities that now involve more of my time. Besides the job search, which so far has been fruitless although there is much more searching to do, I have started volunteering once a week for the British Heart Foundation at their charity shop on Byres Road. There are lots of these "charity shops" here, which are second hand stores which accept donations like Goodwill or the Sally Ann, but they tend to be fairly small and are run by a variety of charities, like Oxfam (they have their own secondhand bookshop) or Cancer Research Society or one called Pets without Vets. There are plenty of others too and they seem to do a fairly good business.
I have also joined a choir at a lovely church down the street from us, that has a fantastic choir director and does really challenging music. Its been quite fun joining just before Christmas as we are doing all kinds of great arrangements of wonderful carols. Its a really amazing place to sing too. And there are lots of interesting, "artsy" people in the choir.
And I've been going to a knitting group too. It just meets once every two weeks and I missed one session, but the woman who set it up runs a great wool shop nearby and is from Toronto! We didn't get too much time to talk about that but she said to come by her shop sometime and have a chat. I'm clearly the novice of the group, but that's kind of nice. There's lots to work up to, and it has been revealed that some projects that I always thought would be really hard, like socks, turn out to be not very hard, but just might take me a while. There's also something really cool and earthy almost about sitting in a small circle of women, who are all knitting and just having a chat. No one seems to know anyone else really well, its just a friendly group.

Four - (gee, I didn't realize there were so many!) is not as good but is something I should talk about. Its just that sometimes I have gotten bogged down, shall we say. The weather is something that can be depressing. In fact today was the first day in 5 that we saw any sun, and boy did I feel a difference. Also, there are times its been hard not to get lonely. Aaron has been really busy writing a chapter of his paper, and so there were many times this past month where I spent quite a bit of time alone. It was better if I was out and about but times where my energy was drained and it was hard to leave the apartment even for a walk were isolating. And, I know I've talked about this before, but the combination of the gray days and the short days (I am going to truly be celebrating the Solstice this year) has made it hard to maintain momentum sometimes. In short, I have been struggling somewhat. But a very good and wise friend of mine said to me before I left that even though moving to Scotland was an amazing opportunity and I would have an incredible time, there would be times when it would be crap. It was really good for me to hear that because its true. And although I have many many moments here when I am in love with everything around me and still in awe of what views come into focus just as I'm walking down the street, sometimes it is crap. And not to admit that is just too much pressure.

Five - (last but not least) is something that definitely has affected me a lot over the past month and which I am very very happy about. To some of you this is not news and to others it is big news, but I am happy to finally reveal that I am pregnant and due in mid May. In fact I am at 18 weeks, or four months, and everything is going well so far. I have had a lot of digestive challenges as symptoms of the pregnancy but they are apparently well within the list of normal expectations, given that there is another being growing in your abdomen and stomach, intestines and all other inner organs have to make way as it grows. Also my energy levels have been drained, perhaps a combination of the pregnancy and the move. Some days are better than others, and its all still a mystery to me. But a glorious mystery. Belly pictures to come, I promise.

There! I've come clean about it all.
Now I can move on to the posts that I've been planning in my head for weeks and really catch up.