Thursday, 24 November 2011

Adventures in Stirling

For school we are required to spend one day at a livestock market.  This requirement techniqually doesn't have to be completed until Spring 2013, but since I've happily surrounded myself with overachievers, we decided to get it taken care of right away.  Thus, last Saturday I spent the day an hour + north of Edinburgh in the town of Stirling.

The market itself was quite interesting.  We were there on a slow day of only pedigree sheep sales, but that meant we got to explore the holding and transport areas more thoroughly without risk of being trampled!  I did learn the hazards of talking too aggressively with my hands, though.  While innocently discussing with a classmate how the show pen expands to accomodate cattle, I made a two-handed gesture that got me into the bidding on a Zwartbles lamb! Luckily, the other girls I were with realized the auctioneer had motioned to me and silenced by hands before I raised the bidding even higher!  I had raised the bidding up to £230...and the sheep sold for £240, so I would have been in trouble if someone else didn't raise the ante!

View of Stirling, Scotland.  Wallace Monument on the hill in the background.
 We then had a little bit fo free time to explore Stirling before catching the train home.  Stirling is best known for the Stirling Castle and the William Wallace Monument (where lies his sword with the handle made of the skin of his enemies!?!)  We didn't go into either, but we had the taxi driver drop us right outside the castle so that we could take in the views of the city.  It was a beautiful SUNNY Scottish day!

Old graveyard beneath Stirling Castle...Scotland has some of the coolest graveyards!
 Today is Thanksgiving, and I'm a bit burnt out.  I'm used to having a little break from school around now, but here I am typing this from the veterinary library, waiting for my first lecture of the day to start.  Luckily, I only have a short day of classes, however, and then Brian and I have our own version of a Thanskgiving dinner planned:
-Roasted brussel sprouts and hazelnuts in a browned butter sauce (even Dad likes them they're so good!)
-Mashed rutabaga (in honor of holidays with Gma Rhoda)
-Scottish Lamb (for Brian...he figured it would be good to do something local, especially since they don't typically have Turkey in the grocery store, nor will out min-oven fit a full turkey)
-Yorkshire Puddings (this will be a new one for us, but we figured it would be a bit of British-flavor added into our American holiday)

And then for my sweet tooth:
-A Paleo Pumpkin Pie a la Brian (ground walnut crust, low sugar, real mashed pumpkin)
-Peanut butter Chocolate Pie from Sarah Foster's Southern Cookbook (nothing low-sugar about this one!)

Christmas festivites begin today in Edinburgh, too!  The German Market, Scottish Holiday Market, Edinburgh Fair (complete with giant ferris wheel), and Ice Rink (complete with concession stand serving mulled wine!) all open.  Additionally, each year Edinburgh gets a giant tree from Norway that is being lit tonight, followed by a Norwegian Carol Concert in St Giles Cathedral!  There are lighting ceremonies throughout the city all week as the various neighborhoods turn on the Chirstmas trees on all the corners.  Brian and I have already made a big calendar of the festive events throughout the next month so we can hit up as many as possible!

I miss everyone at home so much and wish I could be there to celebrate with everyone.  Our computer is slowly dying, so my posts may continue to be infrequent for the next month, but please do email, and I'll try to keep up with everyone from school.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


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