Sabbatical Update – 1

Douglas the Moose
Douglas and Cordelia’s first meal in Scotland

Well, here I am near the end of my third week of Sabbatical. It’s Friday evening and I’ve enjoyed my time here in Edinburgh. The first two weeks of sabbatical were good.

The first week was mainly spent getting ready to go and seeing family and friends. I flew to Halifax Nova Scotia on October 6 and was in the city overnight. It was such a treat to visit my old haunts. I visited my favourite children’s store, Woozles, where I acquired “Douglas The Moose” to be my companion on this adventure. I wandered around the city taking in the sights and finally treated myself to dinner at the Henry House, which was a favourite restaurant when I lived there.

Part of the reason I went to Halifax the day I did was because I wanted to be able to attend church at Saint Matthew’s United on Sunday morning. I spent several happy years singing with the choir and it was a treat to see them all again. The music was as wonderful as always and Reverend Betsy Hogan preached a wonderful sermon and gave a great children’s time. I hope I can be as skilled as she is one day.

Fortess Louisbourg
Fortress Louisbourg looking towards the King’s Gate

Then it was off too New Brunswick to visit my friend Marian. I’d never been to her home before. It is on a beautiful section of the Saint John river. The weather was perfect and I got to spend lots of time outside.

My next stop was the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia to see my Aunts Lisa and Lis. It was such a treat.

My final stop on this part of my trip was to Cape Breton for the Celtic Colours Festival. Attending it has been a long time dream of mine. The music was amazing, the welcome warm and I got to sneak in a visit to Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site. The trip was rounded out by Sunday Worship at Heritage United Church where my friend Rosemary Godin is the minister. It’s a neat congregation, created four years ago by a union of three United Churches and a Baptist Church. I was there for the celebration of their fourth anniversary and got to hear the story.

Then back to Halifax to catch my flight to Scotland.

Prince Stree Edinburgh
Prince Street, Edinburgh looking towards the Castle

This part of the trip was a bit of a marathon. By the time I reached my accommodation in Edinburgh and went to sleep; I hadn’t slept for forty hours and was feeling pretty disoriented. Clearly though, lack of sleep makes me philosophical. I spent part of the trip reflecting that international travel is rather outside my comfort zone, liking routine as I do, but that that was precisely the reason it is good for me. When I’m out of my comfort zone I’m forced to see things in new ways and learn new things.

Now that I’ve been here a few days I’m feeling more settled. I’ve successfully navigated the city buses, bought groceries and stamps and learned to turn on the electrical outlet when I’ve plugged things in.

I’m loving Edinburgh. Naturally I’ve visited a number of museums. My favourite so far is the a Georgian House Museum in Charlotte Square. It’s really well done with lot’s of things to try and a holly leaf on each of the chairs to remind people not to sit on them. I’m staying just outside the city so I’m also enjoying exploring the fields and gardens around here.

I’m here in Edinburgh until Sunday when I travel on to Aberdeen.

Until Next Time,