I caught my first Scottish cold! Which really isn’t that great of an accomplishment at all, especially when it happened right as FunkyPlaid and I left for our weekend away with friends in Glencoe.
On the way there, we stopped for gluten-free fish and chips. I’ll let that sink in a moment. Gluten-free fish and chips. And they were good. (Stop by the Real Food Café in Tyndrum! Well, not for the next few months, since they’ll be closed.) As we were enjoying our meal while watching the birds at the many bird-feeders outside the restaurant, a local sat down next to us. At first, he kept pointing to his bill and exclaiming that it was so dee, so very dee. In my cold-muddled state, I could not extrapolate what he was saying until he very carefully did some addition and subtraction for my benefit. Ah, DEAR. It’s very DEAR. Expensive. I get it now. Right.
Sadly, my comprehension level did not rise much during that conversation. Not only did I tell the gentleman that my husband was going to school instead of university — in effect calling him a grade-schooler, and then myself too, when I failed to pick up on his correction — I could not really add much to the conversation because I had no idea where I was at in it. My entire fall-back contribution was lamely exclaiming, “I like the birds!” while vaguely gesturing out the window and smiling like an Old Navy mannequin.
It was not a shining moment for this amateur linguist. The birds were great, though.
Drunk with that victory, I passed out almost immediately upon reaching our cottage. And the next day, while the rest of our intrepid party hiked in the sopping wet, I huddled indoors and sneezily snoozed. In the evening, I was well enough to be propped up in front of a pint of cider at the pub. My ears still hadn’t popped, which meant that my listening comprehension was even lower than usual, but people were very patient with me.
Tonight I am celebrating my new favorite weird thing about living in another country: hanging laundry indoors. We have this great contraption in our utility room on a pulley that we hang our freshly-laundered clothing on, then yank upwards and out of the way until it all dries. We drape the rest over every free inch of radiator space. The result is clean but somewhat sandpapery clothing, but that is a fair trade-off for getting to hang my underwear all over the house.