Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Edinburgh visit (part one)

This will be a short entry,with more text and pics tomorrow. I left here in the dark (about8:30) and arrived back here at 8:30PM, in the dark, accompanied by a nice snow fall. I took a train to Edinburgh and spent the day there with a friend from the states, who moved several months ago. The one pic attached here was taken from the train. After returning I unpacked, called Jacqueline, then spoke to Ann Baird about some plans for tomorrow which might include a train ride into Glasgow, in preparation for doing the same on Sunday to visit the St Columba Church and hear a sermon in Scots Gaelic. I am doing well but too tired to write more at this time.

Darkness all over the town

It's about 08:00AM here, 3AM back on the east coast of USA. It's still dark, but getting lighter, outside. Think about that next time you wonder where is the sun. Off to Edinburgh.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jetlag, Coatbridge, Airdrie ...

Jetlag caught up with me last night. I went to sleep around 7PM and did not wake up until after 9AM this morning. I ate a quick bite, drank some coffee, got dressed and headed to the train station ... about a 15 minute walk. First stop was Coatbridge, the birthplace/hometown of my Grandmother Susan Robson Bryden. I found (actually, I stopped in a church for directions and one of the parishioners told me "I have a few minutes, I'll walk you down there."") the street, Buchanan, she lived on but the area has been renovated. Based on discussions with residents, I boarded a bus to Airdrie, where my great-great Grandparents lived, to view pictures of Coatbridge (and Airdrie) through the years. A very helpful lady gave me directions to the street, Callon, that Oliver Bryden lived on. Returning from Airdrie, I asked some patrolling police officers if they could tell me where 117 Main Street, where my Grandmother was born, is located but alas, that too is gone. Ultimately, I arrived back at where I am staying at about 7PM. A long, but informative day. Apologies for the poor formatting (lots of white space) but it is late (almost 11PM), I am tired, and I have to rise early enough, tomorrow, to make it to Edinburgh.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Safe arrival

It's about 6PM in Scotland. I arrived safely in Glasgow where I was picked up Gordon Campbell who took me to his house for lunch, prepared by his wife Margaret. Lunch was holiday sandwiches of (melted) brie cheese with cranberry sauce. Very different and very satisfying. We visited for a while, I told Margaret why I was traveling in December (no migies !!!) and afterward they drove me to where I am staying, where I was helped tremendously by a friend of my hosts. I was also told that I was obviously dressed for the weather (wearing my usual shorts) there is considerable snow and ice. There is a train station a short distance from where I am staying so tomorrow I will walk to the train, and make best effort to catch a train to Coatbridge. In the meantime, I have been awake, more or less, since about 8AM yesterday morning and need some sleep.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Return to Scotland

For those readers who do not know, I am returning to Scotland. Today. The trip has been in the works for many weeks/a few months but due to the weather this time of year, I travel without Jacqueline. My goals are Glasgow, Coatbridge, Dumfries, Edinburgh, and ??? The purpose of the trip is to walk the same streets walked by my ancestors more than 100 years ago. I spent time online researching geneology and believe I have found residence addresses, etc.

This journey home would not have been possible without the encouragement of my wife, and friends. Also, God has blessed me with brothers and sisters in Christ, in Scotland, who are willing to spend time with me. Finally, but hardly lastly, I have been exceedingly blessed with a place to stay courtesy Pastor Paul Euliano, and his wife Heini, of Bridgeton Life Church in Glasgow.

I will be relying on God, friends and public transportation to make my way around between the various sites, and I endeavor to take pictures and blog each day. Jacqueline has insisted that this time I be in some of the pics. So, I will be in some of the pictures.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

18th Century Ball, Tablet at Marshwood High (Eliot, ME) Craft Fair

On the 21st November, 2009, in Greenland, NH, the Greenland/Seacoast class, Boston branch, of the RSCDS (Royal Scottish Country Dance Society) held an 18th Century at the Parish House in Greenland, NH. The reference to 18th century is that many of the dances are from that time frame. Jacqueline and I had been interested for some time in learning SCD and are taking lessons. This event would mark the first time our rank-amatuer-ish-ness would be exposed to others outside our wee weekly group. Other SCDers from Brunswick (ME), Nashua (NH), Salem (NH or MA?) and Cambridge (MA) attended and, as you can see, there was a sizable group arrayed in a wide variety of costume. We had a grand time. Sorry, nae pics of myself; not that none exist but you lot will not be seeing them !!!
On December 5 we attended our first ever craft fair to sell J's Bluebell Butter Tablet, and it was a great success. We met many nice folks (vendors and customers) and everyone was very complimentary to the quality of Jacqueline's product, as well as the attractive packaging and presentation. Despite what some of the regulars told us was a thin crowd, in comparison to previous years, we sold about 30 pounds packaged in bars, bags, and boxes. Praise be to God !!! for that encouraging, and fun time together, and the great location where we would not be lost in the crowd of vendors. Sorry the picture seems a bit out of focus but the fluorescent lights were bothering me quite a bit that day, and I took the picture before the show officially opened.