Friday, January 19, 2007

January Notes and Update

Entry for 19 January 2007:

1. Snow. It snowed yesterday for the first time since we’ve arrived in Scotland, an inch or two of wet snow here in Glasgow. It felt familiar to us, like our familiar Midwestern winters. From the train I could see the fields covered in winter, as I travelled through Central Scotland toward Edinburgh. Unfortunately, this grew less as we approached Edinburgh, and had mostly all melted away by morning today, but still it was lovely to get a bit of Winter. (And a bit of Winter is generally enough for me!)

2. Magpies. Today was a bit warmer, and clearer. As I walked to work, I noticed the black-and-white british magpies fighting in the trees, their loud, raucous cries reminding me of the blue jays of my California childhood. Apparently, they begin to gather this time of year to sort out their territory and pecking order, into groups called “parliaments”. What I saw today was small groups of third birds chasing and scolding one another. Although they are a type of crow, they are certainly prettier. I like their brashness.

3. Catching up. I’ve spent much of the past two weeks catching up on work I didn’t get done over the break. Much of this involved a careful editing of a long book chapter entitled, Experiential Therapy Today, which Alberto Pos and Les Greenberg had done most of the work on. This is good, because the deadline was looming, but other things, like the papers for the Fulltime Counselling course, didn’t get done on time, so then I had to finish them in a rush. I enjoyed reading the papers, and in the end found them easier to read and grade than I had anticipated. I'm not sure my grades are consistent with the rest of the course tutors, but as always I have tried to be transparent about what I am looking for as I read the papers. This generally entails content coding the papers using little letter abbreviations to mark the "pithy points" germane to the different grading criteria along the way.

4. Moving. While all this was going on, we have also begun to move things into our new flat in Hyndland. Diane has been shopping with Elke at the giant IKEA store near the airport. Diane has already packed up much of our stuff. The movers will come this Tuesday to take our furniture out of storage, to collect a couple of old Mahogany wardrobes from a friend’s mom’s flat in Broomhill, and of course our things from the house in Anniesland where we have been living for the past five months.

5. New flat. We really like the new flat, which is a classic Hyndland flat, first floor, tiled close (=pronounced like the adjective for near, but referring to a shared hallway and stairs), stained glass windows over front door and bathroom, bay window in lounge (=living room), cozy dinner room, etc. The quaint touches remind me of our Toledo house. When Mick and Allie (our first visitors!) came by last night to drop off a table, they said, “This seems much more like you!” And that’s how it feels. We feel as though we are making a new beginning, but in a better place and a better psychological state.

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