Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Trip to Dunbar

Here in Scotland, I am sponsored by the Rotary Club of Dunbar which meets every Monday night. As my host counselor is traveling this month, Peter and Jenny Armstrong have stepped in as my surrogate counselors until November. 

Me with Peter

Jenny and Peter Armstrong 

After Monday's meeting, I stayed at their adorable farmhouse and got another good taste of Scottish/Dunbarian hospitality. We stayed up chatting until around midnight, had a lot of laughs sharing stories about travel, service ideas, past scholars, Scotland v. Ireland, Protestant v. Catholic, Rangers v. Celtics, French v. Spanish in schools, sons v. daughters, hard v. soft boiled eggs, stuffy v. laid-back Rotary meetings, Scottish v. American dating, Ryan Air v. Easy Jet, whisky with water v. whisky with ice, etc. (For the record, I took both delicious drams of the Armstrongs' Benromach with water.)

Wonderful view from the breakfast patio

In the morning Jenny prepared a delicious "cooked" breakfast, which is to say, anything involving a frying pan, I think. Eggs, bacon, potato patty, toast. Delicious. Peter and I headed to a quick tour of the John Muir house in downtown Dunbar with some other Rotary affliates visiting from South Africa. Very informative tour. As I may have mentioned before, Muir is a Scot by birth, and spent some of his childhood here until his father and his "itchy feet" moved the family across the Atlantic. Once in North America, John got the itchy feet gene and walked a total of some 44,000 miles exploring our natural world.

One of his journal entries made me nostalgic for my own trips exploring California. He writes, "Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pushing onward we know not where." 

Another made me nostalgic for my family and childhood, "My first conscience memory is the singing of ballads and I doubt not they will be ringing in my ears when I lay dying."

A final entry just made me smile -- "It's always sunrise somewhere." 

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