Monthly Archives: September 2009

study begins


So, back to studies this week. Not a good start really, I discovered some clashes in my timetable between my two Honours subjects and we’re in the process of sorting them out.  Thankfully we managed to change a class time today, so, one down! I’m trying not to think too much  about the months and years to come, otherwise I think I might  be slightly overwhelmed! Once I get the first essay out-of-the-way I hope some of my studying skills will come back and keep me company, but right now I feel so out of touch.

My timetable is fairly filling up, I was under the illusion of less actual class time and more personal study for Honours, but it looks like it’s going to be a bit of both, this semester anyway. I have my cor language and oral classes for Gaelic and Spanish, as well as three classes of Catalan a week. It was really uplifting to hear some spoken Catalan in our class yesterday, that was the first Catalan I’d heard since leaving Spain. In a way I’m really glad of the opportunity to build upon the tiny foundation I gained during my time in Catalonia, but then I think of having to do three languages in one year, when I am far from mastering Gaelic after a lifetime, never mind Spanish. A very scary thought, but I keep thinking one step at a time and be glad to have the privilege and opportunity. At least it is a very interesting and rich language, it could be worse!

It’s good to be wandering around campus again, to be in a ‘normal’ atmosphere and day-to-day life after last year. I’m wanting to study again as well, which is a good sign. I think I might have been getting fed-up by the time third year came if I hadn’t had that year away. I have two Gaelic option courses this semester, one about the Gaelic Novel. We had our first class today and it promises to be interesting! The other is a History option focusing on The HIghland Clearances, starting next week.  My only Spanish option this semester is Catalan (enough!;) ). I have less course options in Spanish as I have elected to write my dissertation next year under the Spanish Department. But fear not, I hope not to stray away from or exclude Gaelic. The main reason for this is that there were more appealing course options in Gaelic than in Spanish, and I knew that the Gaelic department would be very willing to help even if I was ‘officially’ under guidance from the Spanish Department. I’m still thinking about a dissertation topic, I’m sure I’ll keep you posted.

Well, you’ll be fed up with all this study talk, but unfortunately that’s all that’s going on at the moment for me! I’ll try to do something exciting during the next few weeks for you to read about!


Summer’s end


Stornowaywater lily on our pond in the garden

Here on the wet island, Autumn is pushing away the summer, what we had of a summer. It seems that the weather in June was really nice here on Lewis, and then I came home at the end of the month and chased it away! There has been so much rain we still have peats out on the moor to be taken home, and the midges haven’t helped either. But I’ve been busy enough despite the weather over the past two months. I cannot believe we are in September already, time has flown past me this year. A lot of time has just been spent getting used to being back in Scotland and at home, and of course lots of catch up time with family and friends.

stacking the peats into a 'cruach'peat fire

Our week at church camp at the end of July went really well, despite having so many boys. Two boys went home homesick though, so in the end we had 19 boys and 2 girls from Primary 5-7. We were staying in a centre in Netherurd in the Scottish  borders. We stayed there two years ago so were familiar with the place which helped a lot. We did some onsite activities such as mountain biking, climbing and a ropes-course. We also managed to fit in some shopping (yay!) and a visit to Laser Quest a fun activity centre where you are kitted out with laser guns and a censored waistcoat and you run around a maze trying to shoot the others! Sounds crazy, but it’s good fun. We also went trout fishing, a camp first for me even after 11 years of camps. We went to a stocked pond where we knew we would have to pay for each fish we caught. We didn’t expect to catch as many as we did- 16! Nearly everybody caught one, and they all loved it, even the girls. We had some nice trout for supper, a first for some of them. I think we would all recommend fishing as a future camp activity.

Amelia with Dad and Grandpathe bride

We had a family wedding at the end of July which was a great occasion. My cousin Charissa married David on the 31st July. It was a full day of celebration, of family, friends, good food and laughs ending with a lovely Ceilidh. You can browse photos on flickr- Colin also has quite a few-

I was working until the end of August but managed to get a couple of long weekends away. I went with two friends, Flora and Alison, to visit another friend in Portree, Isle of Skye. Alison was very brave and took her car on the ferry for the first time. The ferries have been so busy this summer we weren’t sure if we would get a booking, but we managed to get off the waiting list the day before we left. We had a wonderfully relaxing weekend with Fiona and her family who are always so hospitable. Lots of talking and laughing of course as well! Then I went down to Leverburgh the following weekend. It was my boyfriend Ruairidh’s church’s Communion service weekend, so I went down and stayed with him and his folks, sister Diana and her husband Norman. There were a few other friends visiting for the weekend and we all had a blessed and lovely weekend.

Charissa and Davidthe first dance

I’ve been finished work since the schools went back about two weeks ago, and even with more time on my hands, I don’t know where it goes! I’ve been spending a lot of time with friends and family, I appreciate them a lot more after being away on my own for such a long time during last year. I’ve also been making some more cards to sell to various places, just something to help pass the time and earn a little more money. I’m traveling back down to Glasgow at the end of next week, so little time! I’m looking forward to getting some kind of routine and a purpose to my days. I’d definitely rather be really busy than quiet! I just hope I haven’t lost my studying skills after being away from study for a year, and that I still have some Spanish in my head, and Gaelic too for that matter! But being home over the summer has helped brush up my Gaelic after only being able to speak to myself in Gaelic in Spain! I wish I’d done some more studying over the summer, but its gone now. Will just have to work hard from now on. Any prayers and help in this area would be appreciated, i.e. Seoras-remind me I need to study rather than be doing whatever I’ll find to procrastinate!

So, I’d better say goodbye and get started on my to-do list for my last week at home. I really hope that the summer went well for you all, and that you’ve been cheered in preparation for the winter months ahead. Keep in touch, I know I am often slow in this on my part, but hopefully I will have more routine back at University. Cheerio for now


“…Grace says you have nothing to give, nothing to earn, nothing to pay. You couldn’t if you tried… Salvation is a free gift. You simply lay hold of what Christ has provided. Period. And yet the heretical doctrine of works goes on all around the world and always will. It is effective because the pride of men and women is so strong. We simply have to do something in order to feel right about it. It just doesn’t make good humanistic sense to get something valuable for nothing.”

From ‘The Grace Awakening’ by Charles Swindoll