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Showing posts from March, 2016

Biscuits with No Gravy: I Attend Church in Dunfermline

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The first week I arrived in Dunfermline, I attended Sunday morning services at Viewfield Baptist Church on the high street. The building itself was built almost one hundred and seventy five years ago, and the stone work outside is old and mossy colored from the weather. I walked to services that morning and enjoyed that very much. The act of walking almost helped to prepare me for worship with my brothers and sisters. It was something different to see the faces of people on the street who walked past me on my way there. I never realized until that moment that when I attend church at home, I get in my car and go straight there. I don't see or engage with anyone until I walk in the doors to rehearsal. If it was possible, I would walk to church and greet people on my way there every morning at home. It is something to seriously consider when I return home. The doors to the church sanctuary were shut, and I didn't realize they were meeting downstairs until I saw the sign that said…

Roadtrip and The Isle of Skye: We Meet the Little Folk

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It's amazing how hard it is to find time to write when traveling. Almost every night you're so exhausted that all you want to do is sleep, so please forgive my tardiness in posting. Last week we drove to Aviemore from Dunfermline. The drive was beautiful and it felt good to get out of the city for a while. The hills surrounding our wigwam were high, and speckled with a reddish purple, the heather that will begin blooming soon. Our wigwam was warm and cozy, and upon waking the next morning, the entire area around us was shrouded in a thick mist. The little stream flowing down from the mountains trickled all night as we slept, it's dark water a constant in a wilderness whose weather is unpredictable as each day, almost every hour, passes. We made our way to Pitlochry, a tourist infested area but one I enjoyed very much. The shops on the high street were quaint and kept well. We had tea (or lunch if you want to get technical) at a place called "Hettie's" where I…

Creaky Floors and Creaky Doors

Is there any felicity in the world superior to the day I've just had? I know I'm stealing Marianne Dashwood's impassioned speech ( I can't remember reading it in the novel but oh well ) but I truly did experience felicity today. This morning, Mr. Phil Howe picked me up and took me on a morning tour of Jane Austen's neighborhood. The lovely countryside spanned far and wide as we drove down tiny streets and muddy drives to reach the old houses she danced and laughed in. There are many very dramatic stories she tells in her letters pertaining to village life at the time. One instance was when Jane recounted to her sister Cassandra about the "fewer than ten minutes" she spent alone in a dining room with the owner of a mansion who had a reputation with the ladies. Mr. Howe told it much better than I can, but Jane did tell Cassandra that she thought about ringing for the housekeeper, and kept her hand firmly on the door knob in case she needed a quick escape. T…

Getting To Know Me: My Walk with Jane

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Well. It's been about ten years in the making, saving, scrimping, losing and starting all over again, but I've finally done it. I am sitting on my bed in a low roofed cottage opposite Jane Austen's house in beautiful Hampshire, England. Tomorrow I will tour the other places she frequented, and also the places where her novels came to life in her wonderfully witty imagination. I've walked up and down the tiny village streets where she spent the most prolific years of her adult life, writing the novels that would inspire millions of readers for years to come. Getting on a plane to travel here, alone, was one of the hardest and most challenging things I have ever done. Since my mother and I were here almost ten years ago, a lot of things have changed in our lives. But through loss, a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, college graduation, and a host of other challenges, my dream of returning to England and my beloved Scotland never faded. I took strength from Jane herself …