It’s going to happen when you’re on vacation, you will have the best days and then the others. The best meals and then the worst.
We had a rainy cold day yesterday, but we have been prepared for cold rainy days, in fact, I watched the Scotland weather forecast for weeks before leaving Australia, it showed snow more times than not but we have not seen a single flake. Maybe we have a different method of forecasting in another hemisphere. Maybe we say Scotland……cold, freezing, wet; Bahamas………blue skies, blue water, hot days, balmy nights, bikini weather. Here’s what the north say about Australia….. hot, dry, dusty roads and kangaroos. Oh come on please!! But today, the day of our departure the skies are as blue as any summers day in Australia but the cold is biting, the forecast is for 6 degrees at 4pm today.
Aberdeen is a city built of granite, a young Norwegian women who served us in a men’s store yesterday said the city glistens in the sun and she was so disappointed we wouldn’t get to see it, but even if only briefly I can attest to the truth of her statement, it does indeed sparkle in the sunlight.
Our movements have been very much hampered by Peter’s injury, we would have explored every nook and cranny had we been able. I was adamant to search for a magnificent monument of Robert the Bruce King of the Scots before leaving Aberdeen, last night was our final opportunity. Braving the cold and wet we ventured just a couple of streets in the direction where we knew it to be, it was worth it. The Robert the Bruce wearing his crown, sits gloriously on his mount in front of a majestic building once a University Marischal College now the Aberdeen Council offices but still known as Marischal College. Peter in his inimitable style engaged the young security guard in conversation who pointed us in the direction of an even more impressive monument of William Wallace and opposite the beautiful Aberdeen Gardens. These three landmarks are an absolute ‘must see’ should you travel to Aberdeen, (see photos on Facebook).
As much as we are foodies, food does not dominate our time and movements when we travel, but I must tell you we stumbled across ‘Tony Macaroni’ restaurant last night. We had the best Parmigiana di Melanzane (aubergine parmi) ever, piping hot generous serves with a side dish of buttery spinach. It was opening night for this site last night but we’ve seen TM elsewhere and not surprisingly with 17 other restaurants all owned by the one man. It was actually a re-launch last night the manager told us, the official opening was two months ago, kitchen issues closed down the restaurant for five weeks. They must have been serious issues to close for such a significant period, but last night it was the place to be.
If you’ve travelled to the UK, anywhere in the UK you will have seen Costa cafés. There are 2500 cafés all around the UK (not Orkney) and we learnt from one of the Pastors, who moved to England to plant a church recently who is in the interim currently managing Costa cafés, Coca Cola recently paid £4+billion for a region of Costa Cafés. I thought after the conversation GBP£4billion is AUD$8billion give or take a dollar or two, I could buy the whole of Australia for that and all it’s bought in UK is a number of Costa Cafés.
Things aren’t always as they seem. As you may have read on the day of our arrival we were confronted with the less appreciated side of Aberdeen and the circumstances of a significant number of people. Today however as we leave Aberdeen we are able to see, shall we say, more attractive parts of the city. It’s never too late to appreciate a cities better offerings and where we might have once decided that once is enough I think we could be encouraged to return even for a brief visit.
Our conference (Equip) finished yesterday it has been a week of input and enrichment and every conversation was significant and had purpose. We have met people from all over the UK but also South Africa and Europe. I think it is not usual that someone from Australia would attend a UK Equip but it was right for us, every session spoke into our lives and encouraged us in our ministry going forward.
We will soon be landing in London Heathrow as we begin to make our way home, a brief stay in Hong Kong where I had hoped to see my brother but I might be lucky enough to cross paths with him at the airport as we go to catch the flight to Australia that he will have arrived on, but we will see my nephew Andrew (living in Asia) and Michael and our sister in law Nola (on buying trip to China). How global is our family that we travel to HK to see family living in Adelaide? Hahaha!
Thank you again for following us on our madcap journey, my scribblings, and all your encouragement to me to consider trying to earn a living doing what I love, writing.
See you all again in Adelaide very soon.
Tina (& Peter)