Monday, October 30, 2006

Return to Scotland

Entry for 30 October 2006

Back after a brief, but intense, visit back to Ohio. More of the leaves have turned in our absence, and we were greeted by a gray, cloudy day, with quite a low cloud ceiling over Glasgow. Since I have been studying the flight path into Glasgow Airport during my runs, I was able to recognize many features from the air this time, including the stretch of the canal as it curves in a large arc around the section of Anniesland-Temple where we live. The locks look a bit like sporadically-strung pearls; and there was a barge negotiating one of the locks as we flew over.

The end of British Summer time means that it is already fully dark by about 5pm. I’m not quite ready for this much dark this soon, but November is almost upon us.

Many pieces have fallen into place during the past week, both here and in Toledo. Among them, I am now in possession of a National Insurance number, which is described primarily in terms of what it is now (“It is not a means of identification”), but which various bureaucratic entities seem to want. And I finally got a direct-deposited paycheck; although the amount is strange and will need to be investigated, this is a clear Sign of Progress. The other day, Diane announced that she is almost ready to believe that our luck has turned, an intuition which appears so far to be holding.

I found it comforting to hear the local Scots dialect and accent as we deplaned this afternoon, like coming home again (I felt this way hearing Dutch in Amsterdam also). We are still only at about 70-80% comprehension of Glaswegian Scots, but that is a great improvement over a few months ago.

Our Glasgow home was none the worse for our absence, although it felt small and cold after our time in our Toledo house. Diane soon remedied the latter, and we are settled again into our cozy quarters. It appears that we may soon have our first house visitors, which will make the place feel really cozy: As far as we can tell from her email messages, Diane’s Chilean exchange student sister Gloria and her daughter are planning to arrive in the UK in two days’ time. Coupled with an acutely overdue manuscript and teaching commitments and a large backlog of admin, this is shaping up to be another crazy week!

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