Sunday, February 20, 2011

Glasgow’s inventory of birds

Every bush and tree rustles with the energy
of the tiny, expert wings of coal
and blue-winged titmice.
And pigeons fly down from rooftops 
with a sound like gentle
gloved applause.
Magpies, startling in their stark 
black and white
jump nervously at every little movement,
even that of other magpies. 
Crows glower darkly and
seagulls crest the clouds 
looking like pale slivers against 
an always gray sky. 
And only occasionally does one catch a glimpse
of a fat little bird with a dull brown coat
and a bright red breast.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentines Picnic

It is a little previous for a picnic, but I wanted to have a Valentines get-together with Rachel and Winnie, and Rachel suggested the picnic in the Botanic Gardens. It was very lovely and sunny, but as soon as the sun started to go down it got rather chilly.
Can you see the bubble? There were lots of families in the park, and someone was blowing bubbles.
I requested that we all wear red or pink. Rachel in pink.

Myself in red.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Take a Spin

I have lately been volunteering in the Hunterian Museum (see: on campus, with hands-on activities for school groups (tiny 8 year old Glaswegians in little school uniforms!). The activities available for the children are: wood drilling, stone drilling, stone carving, grinding grain, writing runes, spinning (with a drop spindle) and small-scale archaeology. Yesterday I was able to demonstrate the drop spindle. I eagerly told them about early sheep breeds, and explained that everything, from clothes to the huge sails on Viking ships came from yarn spun on a drop spindle. In the evening I got together with a friend from church, Becca (an American who married a Scotsman two years ago. He just got called to be our Bishop in January. And they're only 30 years old!). We had a jolly time hanging out, just the two of us (her husband was at church). We had dinner together, then she showed me her drop spindles, her wool and we span and talked and had a lovely evening. (It is span isn't it? Like the old rhyme: "When Adam delved and Eve span who was then the gentleman?") Becca loaned me one of her spindles, and I thought I'd show you what I have spun so far.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Great Western Road

I am very fond of Great Western Road, and often walk along it - most often to go to church, but also on my way into the city centre, and on my way home from choir practice (my preferred subway station is on Great Western Road). Some of the things I see on an almost daily basis are, I realised, quite interesting, so I took a few pics of them today.
I took this mostly for Morag, as she liked action movies with this actor. This is coming down Hillhead Street.
One of those old-fashioned notice boards.
Ooh! Jon Fratelli!!!
Police Boxes (others of which survive around the city):
Hopefully, if you click on this and it enlarges, you can read about this.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chinese New Year!

This past week was Chinese New Year. To celebrate, Winnie and I made dumplings together - they were delicious! The filling was: beef, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, green onions, celery, sesame oil and soy sauce. After they were boiled, the sauce we used to pour over them/dip them in was a combination of soy sauce and malt vinegar.

I helped Winnie make them. Mine are the grossly misshapen ones, hers are the lovely ones that actually look like dumplings. Well, after all, she is Chinese!
This is before we boiled them. After they were cooked I was SO hungry I didn't stop to take any more pictures, I just gobbled them up!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Preston Temple!!!

Sadly, it has been six months since my last trip to the temple, so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to this trip. I almost didn't want to mention it to anyone, in case something came up to prevent it from happening - or to prevent my being able to attend. But not so! It was so wonderful to go through the temple again, though I must confess I was a little overwhelmed by the largeness. Of course, as a youth I did baptisms in large temples, but I haven't done any endowment sessions - my only experience before now has been the lovely Palmyra temple.

But I did have a wonderful time, and afterwards enjoyed a delicious meal, and a trip to the nearby distribution center. A lovely, rainy, beautiful day!

My apologies for cutting the angel Moroni out of the picture. It was raining and I was trying to wield an umbrella and a camera, and stand back far enough to get - well - most of the temple in the frame.