girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

day 80

'not only does travel give us a new system of reckoning, it also brings to the fore unknown aspects of our own self. our consciousness being broadened and enriched, we shall judge ourselves more correctly.'
-ella maillart; swiss writer

i've spent the past week and a half back up in orkney with the jones' family. 
awhile ago i checked the latitudinal line to see where the island lines up with north america, and it lines up with canada. 
yes, canada. 
since it's an island, however, it stays pretty warm considering how cold it could be.
even still...i find myself wearing 3 pairs of socks, a sweater, a fleece coat, gloves, a hat and blankets as often as i can.
oh, and i drink plenty of hot chocolate. 
for the past week i've been trying to manage the 5 jones children while their parents are away in the states for some business (and pleasure too-they're on their way back from tahoe right now!)
these kids are great...they pretty much take care of themselves and i simply remind them to brush their teeth, clean their rooms, and wake up for school in the morning.
other than that though, i spend my time reading and trying to stay warm.
the part of orkney that i'm on is called stromness and is more like a small village than a town.
the jones' live on top of the post office and the stone road outside their door is barely wide enough to fit vehicles.
across the street is a bakery where we buy our bread as well as small shops full of expensive local crafts.
it's nice to be right here in the middle of things and it's still safe enough so that we never have to lock the door. 
this is also a hard place to live for someone like me who has come from american culture.
they have a small washing machine and have to hang their clothes to dry, which would be fine except that it takes days to dry since it is so cold.
despite renovations, there is no central heating through the house and warmth comes by fire or space heaters.
we have to hand wash all the dishes, which would also be fine except that there are 8 people living in this house and dishes add up quickly. 
we also light the stove by match have to guess when the food is done since the stove is so old.
if you want hot water here you've got to use the 'burco boiler' which takes about 30 min to heat up and when you jump out you're freezing cold again.
oh, and i also finish off mice that the cat finds around the house.
i have learned so much about myself in just a week.
i've gotten into the 'jones rhythm' and enjoyed helping run the house.
it's also made me miss home and really reflect and appreciate the luxuries i've lived with.
when i decided to stay until december my mom began packing a few boxes full of my winter clothes (what little of it i have since i'm from texas!),
and so i've been as warm as i can possibly get (thanks momma!)
yesterday i went to pull on a sweater she sent and as i slid it over my head i smelt home.
suddenly i was tearing up and wanted so badly to be back in tomball.
i smelled some of my other clothes and sure enough they smelled like home laundry.
that got me wondering if i've taken on a new smell here.
i wonder if i pick up scents from everywhere i've been,
and how long it will take after i'm home to regain the smell.
debbie and andrew return home this afternoon and i've got no idea where i'll go next.
shannon is back over in the states until mid-november but has offered to let me use her flat while she's away.
i've still got more places to see too-more communities in london, friends in bath, manchester, and of course there's ireland.
today is october 1 and i'm already listening to christmas music. 
i love the holidays, the fall, and the cold...
but for right now, i think i need another blanket and another cup of hot chocolate!


Blogger texelct said...

I'm freezin just reading this.

9:16 PM  

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