Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Back to School

Today marked the end of summer for the Nicol Clan. The boys went back to school this morning in the pouring Glasgow rain. It was bittersweet for me. The boys were delighted!

Charlie had a big day starting Prep 1 (kindergarten). He was excited to go but surprised us with a few jitters this morning. Once in the classroom with his friends, he was good to go! I thought I would be weepy, but off to the gym I went; not a tear in my eye. (Don't know what that says about me as a mother!)

And Christopher and Ethan didn't need us to hold their hands! Apparently, Prep 4 and Prep 7 boys don't need hand holding . They left us at the school gate.

All three had a great day and were relieved not to work too hard. Again, time is flying!

Sunday, 23 August 2009


I don't really have anything eloquent to say about the Lockerbie scandal. It's strange to live less than 75 miles from the site of this tragedy and yet feel so distant from it. Last year, we followed the presidential election in the British press, and it was a bit surreal. I have the same feelings this week. I never really felt like an expat until now.

I will tell you that we've had multiple apologizes (in jest) from friends here in Glasgow. Most Scots do not agree with the decision to release Megrahi.

Thank goodness it is not ultimately for me to judge.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Birthday Cake

Charlie requested spaghetti and a monkey cake for his birthday meal. Our beloved babysitter Gemma and our neighbor Angus joined us for dinner and I think the little birthday boy had a good day. Gemma brought a new race track which was a big hit with all of the boys.

Charlie was melancholy but I think it was the realization that his party is not until Saturday and he'd have to wait 5 more sleeps until then. Funny how he is a ham for the camera most of the time but couldn't be bothered while we were singing to him. Big 5 year old.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Sailing Camp

After our big sailing trip to Croatia this summer, Scott was thrilled to have a few budding sailors in our family. Christopher was invited to a sailing camp with a friend last week and he was very keen to go. James Hamilton Park is a local man made loch great facilities for learning many different water sports. The camp was all day for 4 days and he LOVED it.

I am a fair weather sailor but Christopher proved to his daddy that he can handle the worst of it. It rained and rained all week long! The water was freezing and the wind was whipping, but that didn't deter him! The instructor was very relaxed with this group of 8 newbies and allowed them to gather their own equipment from the shed as well as to put the boats together by themselves. I was amazed at the things these kiddos were able to do. On the last day, the weather was a bit better and the children were tested on some of their new skills. All week, Christopher had been telling me how much fun it was to capsize. He loved it and since they were in pairs, he thought there was nothing more fun than turning his boat over with his buddy. During the test, they had to capsize their boats all by themselves and then right side them. Despite being a feather weight, his practice payed off. He passed with flying colors.

Christopher had a ball and made a few new friends. Check out his smile! Looking forward to our next sailing adventure!

Perth Highland Games

Attending a Highland Games has been on our list since moving to this green place. We've just not fit it in until now. Throughout the summer, different villages and cities host a Traditional Scottish Highland Games Day. Each has their own flavor but most consist of the traditional kilted throwing sports, tug of war, highland dancing, running, cycling and piping.

We enjoyed the day relaxing at the Perth Highland Games, soaking up the sunshine and watching the friendly competitions. The caber toss was crazy. These guys pick up this pole and then have to throw it up in the air in an effort to spin it 180 degrees. The judges are not looking for distance, but for accuracy. If you picture a clock, the competitor stands at 6 o'clock and tries to throw the caber so that it turns end to end and lands at 12 o'clock. Very few managed the task. And then they throw lots of other heavy things. Some for distance, some for accuracy and some for both.

The highland dancing stage was just to the right of our seats. They dance a variety of dances, 10 or so on the stage, all to a piper. Let's just say that Lord of the Dance was not meant to be a 6 hour show. Also in the main arena are the running races, the cycling races and the tug of war. We all loved the tug of war. Especially the couple judging them. (check out the picture) And the cycling, around the grass track, with no brakes and no gears. Again, crazy. Most of these events are happening simultaneously.

Outside of the main arena were the solo piping competitions (the competitors just stand in front of one judge, piping away at one of 10 or so small tents) and the pipe band competition.

Scott and I enjoyed seeing all of the events and the boys did for a few hours, then they'd seen enough. Charlie and Christopher were able to run in their age races which was fun. And Christopher entertained himself by mastering tying his shoes! Yippee, yahoo!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Happy Birthday Charlie!

Please stop the clock. Time is going way too fast! 5 years ago today, our 3rd baby boy was born. William Charles, it is a privilege and a pleasure to be your parents. You are hilarious, confident, smart, loving and adventurous! We love you and we wish you a very happy 5th birthday.
"O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we pray, on your servant Charlie as he begins another year. Grant that he may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen his trust in your goodness all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
The Book of Common Prayer

Saturday, 15 August 2009


I've been following this amazing young woman's ministry for about a year and am constantly inspired and in awe. If you read one thing today, make it this blog!

Climb, Skywalk, Jump and Mini Golf

On Davis' last day in Glasgow, we headed over to Xscape, our local indoor playground. It is a huge mall-like building with a ski slope, a movie theatre, a soccer pitch, bowling alley, laser station, arcade, mini-golf, climbing wall and skypark, shops, and multiple restaurants inside. They've figured out what to do when it's raining here.

We'd previewed the scene on Monday while birthday shopping for Scott and the bigger boys wanted to try the sky park and climbing wall. And Charlie wanted to play mini-golf.

The sky park is a suspended obstacle course where you can travel around high in the sky while harnessed in for safety. Ethan, Davis and Christopher LOVED it. Davis is climbs like spiderman and they each completed the jump at the end.

Jane played mini-golf with Charlie where he scored a hole in one and a par 2 on a few of the holes. It was a very fun way to spend their last day in Glasgow. Thanks to Grandma for bringing your camera along!