19 February 2010


I From Alberta To Scotland (12Feb10)

0715 Just said our "so longs" and "see you soons" and "we'll call yous" to the kids. Mahoney got to squeeze Sheen's stuffing briefly. I tried to maneuver a hug while her arms were pinned, but of course she wiggled, grabbed my claw finger, and proceeded to twist

0823 Yes! Ran quickly to the university to test netbook wireless operations there, and everything runs peachy. So the netbook is going, and I'll be rucking a couple less pounds around Europe!

0925 I'm not taking anything to read. If I have occasion to read, I will use it to continue drafting one of the papers I started last week. It will be my virtual means of keeping connected to the coulee, which I already miss

1048 I bet Mi'ksskimm is already waiting for us to pick him up at the Mac's in Ft Macleod, 45 minutes early. Probably him and Sylvia are sitting in the car, stressing out and arguing about whether or not we'll remember to meet there. We'll see if he phones the cell before we get there

1127 Haha, I knew it. Frank was here pacing back and forth in the parking lot smoking, Sylvia and Wade sitting in the truck

1508 Geez, almost didn't get to check our bags. They said we were fifteen pounds overweight. Good thing Frank had an extra little handba

1544 Yawn! Getting tired already, and it's still two hours before we board the first plane. Maybe that's a good thing. Eight long hours in the air to look forward to. Hoping to sleep through the clauster

1552 $1,220 U.S. buys just 640 GBP - ouch! I know the pound probably goes a bit farther than the dollar we're used to, but it's still disheartening to have only half as many bills

1623 Omg! Frank just got tasered and cavity searched!

1748 Narcisse and Alvine finally arrived. Not two minutes later, here comes an NAS prof from ULeth to rub shoulders, lol

1812 Okay then, we're on the plane. Here we go...

II Haggis (13Feb10)

1151 Sitting in Alison's flat, going to eat haggis. No decent internet connection yet

1843 Too hot in our room and sleeping pattern all messed up. Heading downstairs to smoke. WiFi works wonderful in the hotel lobby. Here's the posts I would have put up yesterday if I could have (all clocked on Alberta time)

2211 Nearing the dawn here in Aberdeen. Feeling surprisingly well rested. Which is good, because I'm one of the designated drivers for our journey to the countryside. And best of all, today I take a shower!

III The Farm (14Feb10)

0027 Still waiting for the dawn and the coffee shops to open. The gulls are out in full force at Union Station, and I love it. They're swooping in all directions across the skyline, and standing like gargoyles atop the building ledges

0104 Well, daylight has arrived. It's 8:00 here in Aberdeen, yet the coffee shops still aren't open :(

0348 Omg it's going to be Mr Toad's Wild ride. I'll be driving a diesle VW standard. Just test drove, scary

0630 I didn't even crash us, not yet anyway. We've arrived at our destination for the afternoon, a small sheep and horse farm about an hour out of Aberdeen, in the countryside, with a meal hosted by Kathy and Stuart (whose last name I don't know)

0639 Really starting to appreciate the European influence on western Oregon flora... Scottish bluff, blackberry, curled dock, common plantain, and rhodedendron all have a significant presence here

0921 Before our lunch, I took a little photo expedition around the farm and into the forested hill. Then after eating, Mahoney and I went out together. We could easily spend all day exploring. The forest here is different. There's a shadow of prior occupations, long grown over. The trees are different than in the Valley Willamma, but the undergrowth is quite familiar. We could hear small birds about, but were only able to spot one of them. Lots of moss and lichen, fungi, and a nice patch of snowdrops in what we were told was an old garden

0945 Stuart has a gigantic wolf hound, who is the spawn of J.K. Rowling's dog. He says they were bred to pounce upon the wolves, and he played with the dog to demonstrate its bouncy-ness

1017 Woohoo! Dusk is upon us and I'm night blind, so Ki'naksaapo'p has decided to give it a go driving us home. We're on our way now and he's doing great

1602 Just finished taking a night stroll with Mahoney, through some of older streets of Aberdeen. We had started off along the silent wharf, but the dark, covered alleyways began to creep us out. Then, moving uphill, we came to a square that used to be a castle gate, perhaps seven hundred years ago. There was a wicked Van Helsing flavor to the damp, grey, stone towers there

1604 Presently sitting with our laptops in the hotel library, preparing to post some of today's pics

1730 We've come to the end of another exciting day. Tomorrow the conferencing and workshops begin. Should be interesting to witness how the museum folks here respond to the prospect of opening their collections to repatriation

IIII ) Repatriation (15Feb10)

0054 Woke up naturally when sunlight lit our room. Mi'ksskimm is right, our belief system defies jet-lag. Feeling good, well-rested. Day is day, night is night. Just popped down to the Starbuck's to get our morning dose. Managed to count out three pounds eighty in coins no problem at all

0136 Brought coffee to Mahoney and went back downstairs to use the washroom in the lobby while she showers. Every public washroom I've encountered here in Aberdeen is immaculate, but they have a strong chemical smell that hits even as you pass by them outside. It leaves an after-taste in the throat

0140 Now outside for a quick smoke before I go up to shower. It's overcast and chilly, the kind of weather one expects on the Scottish coast. At Union Square, all smokers stand knowingly under the eaves along its perimeter. The center is empty. Nobody wants to risk bombing by the clouds of gulls overhead

0205 Sat to visit with Mi'ksskimm at the coffee shop before heading up to the room again. He wanted to try out some of his presentation ideas on me. Frank is genius at speaking across social and cultural divides. In summary, he's intending to draw an analogy between our bundle tradition and European education

Even in this day of age, where we can travel to the other side of the world in a single day, or do it virtually online in a matter of seconds, old school museum folk will still argue that their collections are important for the education of their local citizenry in other cultures and histories

But imagine if the founders of each European disclipline of scholarship were responsible for creating the physical doctorates, the actual parchments for each of their disciples, that they could only make one, and that no other parchments for these disciplines were allowed to be created. In this manner, if you wanted to get your PhD, you would have to get the original transferred to you, that which was produced by the hands of the founder. And once you had it, you would be responsible for passing it down to the next candidate

This is how the bundle system works. It's a direct line of transfer and transmission, and the parchment is never cloned. Now imagine that collection institutions around the world wanted to take your parchments away and keep them as artifacts for their citizenry to view, so that they could expand their perception of history and other ways of life. In this scenario, soon you would have very, very few people able to gain an education in your society, and many disciplines would be halted altogether. This is what we face when the bundles sit idle in museum collections, and why repatriation needs to occur

0311 Big mistake. Had a quick breakfast at the hotel buffet on our way out the door - a couple poached eggs, a stick of sausage, a small slice of mellon. Cost was 15 GBP, which equates to almost $30 Canadian

0425 At the University of Aberdeen, going forward with the repatriation workshop, the key inquiry of which seems to be, "Would it be helpful or appropriate for repatriation legislation to be put forward in Scotland, and if so what should it look like?"

0440 The first panel addresses repatriation and the law. Kathryn Whitby-Last (whose farm we visited yesterday) and Catherine Bell, both of whom are professors of law, speak about relevant existing law (and sometimes beneficial lack-there-of) in Scotland, as well as ethical issues surrounding repatriation law internationally, with particular emphasis on the inappropriate-ness of an object-categorization based law, where legislated definitions of object categories like "sacred item" or "cultural patrimony" etc. may not fit the complexity of Indigenous systems of transfer at all

Ki'naksaapo'p, whose contribution is sandwiched between the two lawyers, describes how the legal apparatus of policy-based approaches can interfere with the true repatriation experience, which involves relationship-building toward shared understanding of a rationale for the return of certain items

0535 Once their panel introduced the topic, we broke off into three discussion tables. Alvine and I were in the same group. The conversation led us quickly to the discourse of public trust, which is a central tenant governing the disposition of museum assets

With some prodding from Alvine, I argued that the whole notion of a collection institution holding its assets in public trust is to ensure its citizenry access to educational or learning resources. This position is fine and ethical in itself. However, we don't live in the same era when these collections were amassed. Today we can fly from Canada to Scotland in under eight hours, we can access digital information from around the world in seconds. We no longer need the physical Noah's Ark collections of cultural materials centrally located in each major city. The trust of the citizenry would, in fact, be better served by returning such collections to their home communities, where they will have a life appropriately contextualized once again

0707 After a lunch of various sandwiches, crackers, biscuits, and cheeses, there was a second panel to introduce issues around access to collections. The speakers in this case included Marcella le Beau (Cheyenne River Lakota) and Mi'ksskimm, as well as museum representatives Robin Boast and Laura Peers from Cambridge and Pitt Rivers

Marcella told the story of her successful repatriation of a ghost shirt from the Glasgow Museum, through public forum. Robin gave an short talk about the way a Papuan sculpture garden was created at Stanford, and the manner in which it was more an appropriation and spectacle than the establishment of any kind of meaningful relationship with either the Papuans as a whole, or even the individual artists. He has proposed the use of digital tools as a means of ensuring lasting community access to collections, as well as for establishing dialog

Laura Peers spoke about various experimental approaches, like the Blackfoot Shirt Project, but also taking advantage of digital opportunities, that could bring collections out to communities

Mi'ksskimm, for his part, touched on several relevant topics. One that seemed to have an especially strong impact was a point made about museums fostering spectacle. He asked the question, had he arrived at the workshop in buckskin and braids, how many would have lined up to get their picture taken beside him? The truth he attempted to illustrate was that the collections, even the people they'd come from, were still considered to be curiosities more than anything else

He also re-addressed concerns about law and public trust, pointing out that prior to the 1950s the law was that Blackfoot people were not allowed to sell anything without a permit issued by the Indian Agent. So how did the collectors manage to purchase objects out of the community? We've never seen any permits in the museum accession records. In many cases, it was the Agent who did the purchasing, without any written record. And what authority were the people to turn to in grievance, when the only authority was the Agent? There's a large collection at the British Museum that serves as a good example. The Blackfoot items in their holdings were donated by one of the men who used to work in the ration house, no doubt forcing starving families to trade their heritage for meat to survive

0830 Another round of discussion groups, and this time Alvine and I detailed our experiences as several museums where access to Blackfoot collections became an issue - some who had predetermined for us which items we would want to see, others that intentionally tried to deceive us into believing that they had nothing of any interest at all in their... See More stacks, when in fact they had massive collections. Beyond our examples, the group as a whole spoke about the lack of financial supports to produce digital resources, or to make visits between museums and indigenous communities possible

1032 With our workshop completed for the day, and almost two hours to work with before our appointed dinner rendezvous, Mahoney and I set off with Mi'ksskimm for an initial shopping foray, attempting to find a few gifts for people back home. I've got an eye out for padawan clothes

1221 Had no luck shopping. We've arrived now at The Square for an elegant three-course dinner. Mahoney's having shredded duck and orange salad to start, red curry king prawns for her main, and a sticky toffee pudding dessert. I'm having roasted pepper with goat's cheese, a pan-fried duck breast with plum sauce, and blackcurrant cheesecake

1549 Concluded the day with a sit down in the hotel's bar and a glass of dark beer - Mahoney, Mi'ksskimm and I reviewing the day with three representatives from local museums. Tomorrow, another round of the repatriation workshop

IIII ) l The Metric (16Feb10)

1234 Up in the morning to the rising... overcast skies. Very much enjoying Scotland. North America really needs to get with the program, in terms of energy efficiency. Just as when we visited Australia last winter, the investment in efficient-use technologies is so apparent here. All toilets have a low-flow setting and, at the hotel, we must insert our key-cards into a slot in order to turn on the electricity. Removing these cards as we walk out the door, our lights, television, computers, etc. are automatically shut-down

0232 We've returned to the University of Aberdeen for day two of the workshop. The morning has started off with a presentation by Katharine Malcolm regarding Blackfoot collections at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. There are questionable "Blackfoot" items that came from collector W.H. Bonehill, said to have been aquired in South Dakota. There are also a few Kainai items that came through HBC employee Alexander Naismith Mouat at Ft. Macleod - moccasins with beaded bottoms, a catlinite pipe with a beaded stem, and a roach. Nothing too exciting

0250 The next presenter is Mark Hall from the Perth Museum, who showed a few slides of materials from other tribes and spoke of the possibility of Perth lending these items "across the pond"

0256 Pat Allan from Glasgow Museum came up next, again showing slide images of items we might be interested in seeing. They have 150 objects with a Plains provenience. It was disturbing to see slides of clothes, jewelry, and moss bags aquired at the Wounded Knee massacre site. There are some Blackfoot items in Glasgow. One slide Pat showed us was a small pouch with ksiistsikomiipi'kssi beaded on the front. I will want a copy of this image, because the design of thunder here includes kokomiki'somm in a crescent that forms the wings

0318 Rick Knecht, a well-known archaeologist from Alaska who's now working at the University of Aberdeen. He showed us how people in Alaska had used archaeological collections to renew local art forms

0334 After Rick, Honor Keeler from the law school of the University of New Mexico came up and talked about her study of N.A.G.P.R.A. and international repatriations. She's interested in creating a database system to help increase communications between North American tribes and European collection institutions

0344 Finally, Mahoney closed the morning presentations with an overview of the history and purpose of the Blackfoot Digital Library

0454 Had a quick coffee break during which we fielded many questions about the digital library. Then back to another panel, this one addressing experiences of the repatriation process and its impacts

0500 Marcella LeBeau and Mark O'Neill opened this round, with basically a reiteration of the repatriation story Marcella shared yesterday, about the Wounded Knee ghost shirt from Glasgow. I'm still thinking about the images we saw this morning, the other items taken from Wounded Knee, people massacred and stripped naked, with all their belongings now in various collections. Very disturbing, and it makes me wonder how many things we have come across in our museum visits that originally came from the Bear River massacre

0630 At the short lunch break, a few of us made a mad dash through the sleet to a small university store. There we were able to find several affordable gifts to bring home

0710 Back in the meeting room for a continuation of the earlier panel on process and impact, Mi'ksskimm took up and absolutely floored everyone with an amazing speech, very directly addressing the topics. He described in some detail our "laws" for aquisition and/or claim to the bundles, and then spoke of the massive shift in both the reclamation of control that has occurred at Kainai - covering everything from education, to health, to justice or peacemaking - as well as the direct and indirect affects that repatriation has had in the life of young people

0719 After Mi'ksskimm spoke, the panel disbursed and Alison brought a flip board to the front to begin writing out the collective ideas from all participants about next steps. The big ideas, as I understood them, were the need to develop far better modes of communications between collection institutions and stake-holder communities, as well as the crucial need to seriously rethink and redefine the objectives of museums, coming to grips with their true history and shifting toward a greater ethics, purpose, and relationship-building. I'm so grateful Robin spoke up and insisted that museums were not originally for public education, but rather an instrument for measuring a population's evolutionary distance from "civilization" - so much of the troubling residues of antiquated museum practice stem from this history

0926 On a minibus now, heading away from the workshop, on our way to dinner. Later tonight, we'll be returning to the university, as they've scheduled Ki'naksaapo'p for an evening film-showing and talk about our Learning From Place curriculum. Before hopping on this bus, we returned to the university store again, where Mahoney finished her gift-shopping, so we will not have to worry about that for the rest of our travels

1016 At La Lombarda, the oldest Italian restaurant in the U.K., preparing to eat calamari fritti. Decided to conduct a pocket inventory, to find out what Mahoney's carrying: touque, cigarettes, pen, hotel key, workshop badge, lighter, Aberdeen downtown map, sunglasses, gloves, several business cards, cheap cell phone, lotion, several napkins, various medications, a metal bead, crumpled receipts, a blt sandwich, bag of loose tobacco, candy and candy wrappers, elphe camera, iTouch phone, 70 GBP in bills, 7 pounds 95 pence in change, two usb drives, and her wallet

1108 Just went downstairs to the restaurant washroom, and found an odd souvineer in a gumball machine. It's called "Fuzzy Breath" - a bizzare toothbrush in the shape of a little ring with a raised node at one end that you apparently chew up and eat. Mahoney said it looked dirty, and Robin Boast, who was sitting across from us, noted how tiny the circle was. I then suggested that it may say something about the girth of Scottish men, which prompted a warning that I not speak too loudly

1451 Mahoney and I have been sitting in the hotel lobby for the last couple hours, relaxing, checking our email and updating our Facebooks. Right now we're Skyping with Sheen, who appears to be camped out in the living-room at home. We miss our Buttsy. Tomorrow is a sight-seeing day. Alison's taking us to the beach and to a castle. Should be awesome

1535 Late-night Yo! Sushi with Mahoney, Ki'naksaapo'p and Alvine. Came up with a devilish scheme to get a two-week Kainai Studies block course going out here for next winter, keep the relationships building and, of course, a bit of annual travel for us

IIII ) ll The North Sea (17Feb10)

2333 up, UP and somewhat missing our steaming soaks that help knock us out at night. We had a chance to sleep in this morning, but both of us were restless last night. The Zzzzs were sporadic, and punctuated for me by stressful dreams about my dog being in danger, and other things. No coffee shops open yet, but we're going down soon to see Mi'ksskimm off. He's leaving for Oxford with Laura, and from there home, while we continue our visit in Scotland a few more days before heading to Oxford ourselves, and then Paris

0230 Got another hour before we head out to visit a few Scottish sacred sites, castles, and scenic areas. Found some buffs for sale in one of the shops downstairs, and since we never see them at home I'll probably pick one up before we leave. It'll come in handy for our evening visits to Sspopiikimi in the upcoming nesting season. But since we still have two days here before Edinburgh, I'll hold off on the purchase until just before our departure. It's not that they're expensive, but there's always the chance we'll come across others with better designs elsewhere today or tomorrow. This is the way I shop while travelling... I like to see all the souvineer possibilities before making my selections. Only if something strikes me as absolutely perfect do I make a purchase on the spot. This is quite opposite my normal practice, where I must have in mind the product I seek before setting out, and wouldn't bother comparing what's offered at different stores

0429 Our first stop of the day is Aberdeen Beach, and I am a bad husband. In my excitement to explore the tidal breaks for good pictures and colorful shells, I walked away from Mahoney, and while she was taking off her shoes to follow me, she lost balance and fell in the North Sea. Now she's being quickly run back to the hotel to change and will have to wear boots the rest of the day, because her runners are soaked

0512 On our way again now, heading to the castle. While Mahoney was back at the hotel to change, I waded out in the sea following a troop of little shore-birds until my feet became numb beyond all sensation. One thing's for sure, dog walkers all over the world are equally annoying to those who are trying to enjoy the presence of local nature

0525 Driving north along the coastline, we pass through a beautiful area with sand-dune shores and sheep farms. Apparently, Donald Trump is planning to turn it into a world-class golf club and resort. The resident families have each been offered hundreds of thousands of pounds to relocate, but refuse. Now Trump has applied so much pressure that the government here is going to force the families to leave their homes

0602 Just past Cruden Bay is Slains Castle. It's a ways out down a very muddy trail, so we don't walk it. But we do pull-off the roadside because I spot a small herd of Scottish deer. From there, it's just a quick hop to Bullers o'Buchan, a small clifftop fishing community beside a steep, mossy sea cauldron where the birds - gulls, doves, and crows on this day - swoop and feed. People are so tolerant here. We walk a path that takes us right through the villagers' gardens to access the picturesque cauldron. There is a wild umbrella plant growing here, with stems nearly the thickness of cow parsnip. It could perhaps be an angelica, but hard to tell right now, with all the leaves having long rotted off the stems

0712 From Bullers o'Buchan we travel further north to Peterhead, an industrial fishing port where we can get a bite of local seafood at Zanre's. We order cullen skink soup for a start, which is a fish chowder, and then their "reward winning" halibut with proper chips, peas, and buttered bread for the main

0818 After eating the biggest fish and chips dinner we've ever had, walking out absolutely stuffed, we crossed the street into a souvineer shop and there found stuffed dogs for Tyra and Hail, and a nice kilt for my Isabella girl

0844 Walking down the street in Peterhead, a little girl laughed out loud when she saw me coming, then puckered her lips and whistled up at me. A few minutes later, a fat boy caught me peering over someone's back wall. He gazed at me with tired, knowing eyes

0900 On our way to the castles and stones. We may have to visit some of them in the dark. Mahoney said it's okay, because she has a headlamp in her camera-bag. Alison, on the other hand, claims to have "torches" as well (and maybe pitchforks?)... but I suspect she's talking about flashlights

0946 Got lost looking for the Culsh Monument, which we hoped would be ancient... it wasn't. But we did happen upon the Culsh Retirement Home run by Mr. and Mrs. Kindness, and we found a hawk with a missing tail, feeding among crows on a field. Then we drove in a big circle

1054 It has all gone horribly wrong. As dusk overtakes daylight, we make it to the supposed "car park" (i.e. parking lot) for the Easter Aquhorthies Stone Circle west of Inverurie. Ki'naksaapo'p hurries ahead along a snowy trail which turns out to be the wrong one. Before we know it, he is out of earshot. Alison, Alvine and Mahoney drive on while I stay behind to wait for Ki'naksaapo'p to return. Soon after he does, the ladies come back for us, and a short ways up the road we finally locate our objective

1135 All is night by the time we reach the circle, the early crescent of Piitaiki'somm glowing high above. The site is comprised of eleven large pillar stones linked by a short rise, with something like a seat, altar, or gate recumbant stone on one end, set between the two largest pillars. It is obviously aitapissko, and all the while we're there, a lamb or goat can be heard crying in a nearby field. I walk sunwise around the perimeter of the circle, then enter. We all take some photographs, as best we can in the night. Before we leave, I set my favorite winter touque in between the recumbant and one of the pillars as an offering, and Mahoney leaves tobacco

1319 Back at the hotel after a very long and eventful day, we find that the in-house laundry service is far to expensive (it would cost more to do our laundry than the fee for our six-nights stay). So we pick up a bit of grub, and I buy an olive-green buff to replace my touque. Mahoney settles into the room to rest, and I go down to the lobby to post and edit photos. Here's my notes for today...

1640 Finally done editing all the photos I collected today. Only took me three hours! Geez... I'm sure Mahoney's fast asleep by now. And I'm gratefully off to join her

IIII ) lll William Wallace (18Feb10)

0053 Awake after a decent night's sleep to our last full day in Aberdeen. Tomorrow we train to Edinburgh. Ki'naksaapo'p will be speaking at the university this morning. I don't know if we are going... after our expedition yesterday, Mahoney is pretty sore and should probably give her legs a rest. Our only objectives will be to get laundry done and find an extra luggage for the souvineers we purchased

0233 While Mahoney rests in a bit more, I'm off to find laundry facilities somewhere in the city

0303 I take to the streets under light snow with our suitcase full of dirty clothes and find a roving patrolman to ask directions of. He suggests I take it to the Wash Hoose (yes, that's the way it's spelled) about a half mile up King Street. I'm expecting a regular do-it-yourself laundry-mat, but apparently that's not how it's done here. It's a service with only a few machines, one proprieter, and a floor absolutely filled with suitcases similar to ours and garbage bags of laundry. She charges by the weight. I pay 11.50 GBP and am told to return at about 3:00 this afternoon

0330 On the way back to the hotel, I found an inexpensive bag shop, and there picked up a nice duffle sack with a sturdy bottom and wheels for 12 GBP. So both of our critical tasks are taken care of, and we can now explore the city center at our liesure for the next four or five hours

0420 We head out to explore and photograph downtown Aberdeen, with Mahoney in her push-chair and myself as the muscles. It's a good deal for both of us. She needs to let her body recouperate from long travels in sleet and snow the last few days, not to mention falling in the North Sea. I need the exercise because, since I haven't been able to coulee-hike for almost a week, my legs are craving a good stretch

0505 We wind our way along all kinds of streets, just meandering wherever the interesting architecture take us. These buildings will serve as my landmarks to find our route back to the hotel later this evening. People warned us the these cities wouldn't be wheelchair accessible, but we're not finding that to be true at all. The cobble sidewalks are a bit rough, but overall it's much easier to maneuver here than at home

0516 We pass through block after block of what is, to us, highly ornate architecture. Some of it is in ruins, which we love. There is a giant statue of William Wallace, and a grimy, long-haired man on the street who tells us that Wallace was his great, great, great, great grandfather. He wishes us welcome to Scotland. Not too far beyond the statue, we stop at the Mediterraneo Bistro for a pasta lunch. I order meat lasagne and Mahoney gets the Italian sausage. Omg the flavors! Quickly coming to appreciate that most restauranteurs in North America do not know how to cook. Mahoney eats as slow as possible to make the experience last

0740 Walking around some more after lunch, we came across a street that had several cherity shops. These are second-hand stores that donate their proceeds to a given cause, for instance "Cat Protection." We then went into a few kilt shops. Looks like it would take about £750 to get fully outfitted. My dream of that is shot for this visit, but I did find an Armstrong Clan pin. Eventually Mahoney gets cold in the overcast drizzle and we make our way into a mall, while I leave her to fend for herself while I make haste to fetch our laundry

0935 An hour later, after what in the Army we'd call a "range walk" through the city, to pick up our clothes and bring them back to the hotel, I catch up with Mahoney again at the mall. We sit outside for a bit to drink coffee and eat street food, spicy bratwurst from a German sausage stand. A gull comes inspects us as we eat, so finally we relent and feed it three pieces of kaiser bun

1123 Still walking the streets and malls. We've almost wound our way, switch-backing through the downtown area, to our hotel. Mahoney has picked up a few more gifts and two local cookbooks. I've found a nice little book of Scottish aikaitapiitsinikssiistsi. I also spotted an collection of old-fashioned angling narratives that I came very close to buying for Ken. But leafing through, I came upon a short passage the author had written about fly-fishing, and he was like, "It's a waste of time to fish with flies when you could be using minnows." Then I knew it just wasn't the right book

1202 After dark, we return to the hotel. It's been a good last day in Aberdeen. The following are my notes...

1227 When William Wallace's self-proclaimed great, great, great, great grandson told us of his ancestry on the street today, my only reply was, "Hania!?"

1538 I just realized that my old man naps back home were timed the same as actual bedtime in Scotland. Maybe that's how I avoided jetlag. Another good reason for afternoon siestas

1722 For all their hatred of the Brits (which I love), Scottish people sure do mimic their southern neighbors' love of the F-word