The Scottish Saltire

The Scottish Saltire

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Housemates and Other Stuff

When I moved into the house Ian was the only other permanent occupant. The other two bedrooms kind of have revolving doors. We had Kenny's Uncle Chris, from Dumbarton, in one for about a week. Kevin has stayed a night or two on a couple of occasions when he's up from Glasgow to play the pubs in Inverness. And Craig, a North Sea fisherman, stayed one night. These guys are all our friends and Ian and I are happy to see them come. We have laughed about not wanting Kenny to fill the other two rooms on a permanent basis. We like it the way it is. We live here and our friends come to visit. Ian and I get along great and we hang out together a lot. But yesterday the Germans arrived! LOL! Toby and Chris are a couple of forestry students who are here for a one semester exchange program. We all had coffee together in the kitchen this morning and they seem very nice. So we have a full house for a couple of months now. All I can say is everybody better pull their own weight in the housekeeping department. I'm NOT cleaning up after 3 guys! Ian is really good about it and one of the new guys did the dishes before they left this morning so I think we'll be OK.

I broke my glasses on Thursday! I took them to 4 different optical shops and everybody said the same thing. They can't be fixed. So I had to have an eye exam (since I don't have my prescription with me) and order new glasses. The bad news is that it's going to take a week to get them so I'm back into my stupid little readers til then. The good news is that I got 2 pair for about half the cost of my last pair.

I think I want to eventually buy a little car but not until I get used to the traffic. When I ride in a car with someone it is very strange to sit in the left front seat without a steering wheel in front of me and it's still a little weird to travel down the left side of the road but what really freaks me out are right turns! I have that immediate feeling that we are cutting someone off in the right lane to make a right turn from the left lane! And then we don't turn into the right lane of the cross street. We go over the left side of the street! Again my instincts try to tell me that we are heading into oncoming traffic! This happens to me time and time again and it's really disorienting for just those few seconds. So until I get used to the wrong, uh I mean the left, side of the road, I think it's better if I just ride with friends or take the bus! Another very strange thing is that it's OK to park on the side of the street against the flow of traffic. Imagine crossing over the oncoming lane to pull up to the curb and park. Another reason for me NOT to get behind the wheel yet!

I had a two day orientation at the college this past week. There are about 15 of us in the History Program at the Inverness campus and I was pleased to see that we are a mixture of men and women, some just kids and others "mature" adults. Those of us who are first year students will have another orientation next week at the North Highlands campus in Dornoch (about an hour and a half north of Inverness). We'll meet the history instructors and all the other first year history students from the other UHI campuses from around the Highlands and Islands as well as get a more intensive introduction to the UHI history dept. which is based at the North Highlands campus. UHI (University of the Highlands and Islands) is putting us up at the Dornoch Hotel for 3 days. I had planned to take the bus to Dornoch but one of the other students, a woman just a bit younger than me, offered to give me a ride up and back. We'll leave Inverness on Monday morning and return on Wednesday afternoon. And then classes will finally begin the following Monday. I have my first class on that Tuesday! At last!!!!

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