13 February, 2010

Inverness In Snow

Inverness Castle on a dark and snowing morning.
Taken from the Queen's walk side of the River Ness.

Inverness had the coldest and snowiest winter in the last 15/30 years (depending on who you asked). Many apologies were given to me for having to see Scotland so dark and cold. I have a different sentiment. I was fortunate enough to see Scotland as the residents do, not just as a tourist. Many times, during my off-season travels, I get to see things those traveling in high season do not. I like the uniqueness.

Let's talk bout dark. The highlands of Scotland are very far north. When I arrived in February it was still pretty dark when we went to work at half past eight and it was dark as can be by five in the evening. In the summertime, I'm told, there will be a few brief hours of dusk. The duration of darkness was quickly abating during my time there.
Moray Firth. I loved the monochromed effect the day presented.

12 February, 2010

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

I took a Jacobite Cruise which took us on a little boat ride on Loch Ness and over to Urquhart Castle.

I never,  in my entire life, thought that I would see Loch Ness. It was an emotional moment. I was a little bit disappointed, not that I didn't get to see Nessie, but the fact that the mystery surrounding Loch Ness dissipated while flying across one of the most beautiful lakes I've ever seen. Over 750 feet deep, the lake still leaves a little possibility, doesn't it?

Urquhart Castle was the second castle I've visited. I'm kind of liking this castle thing. The stories are so interesting. And since, I've met a member of the Urquhart clan.

This was so beautiful - the banks of the lake, the ruins that remain.

This castle was destroyed by the family as a defensive action, so it would not be overtaken by the enemy.

10 February, 2010

Inverness, Scotland

Looking down on Inverness from the wall surrounding the castle.

My first five weeks, were in Inverness, Scotland. The Highlands of Scotland!

I worked with two, wonderful, U.K. co-workers, getting retrained in what I hadn't done in a very long time. By week twopointfive, I was training again. It felt like wind in my hair.

Getting off the airplane at the airport was my first OMG moment. A tiny plane, at a tiny airport. I walked across the tarmac taking a moment to look around. Hills and mist. It was breathtaking. I could have started walking right then and there.

Here are some of the lovely things I experienced while in Inverness.

The River Ness with Inverness Castle in the background.

Church yard with cemetery. I love cemeteries - you'll see.

This path leads you to the top of Tomnahurich Hill. A hill that rises up in Invenress. It is part of the Tomnahurich Cemetery. The link provides you with a little Scottish lore.

Gaelic / English road signs abound in the Highlands.

08 February, 2010

What The H3ll Have I Done?

That was my first thought, on the first night, the moment I closed the door and looked around my little hotel room.

07 February, 2010

Don't Blink

Here's what went down -

He said: I need to borrow a couple of people to fill some positions in the UK.
I said: What are you looking to fill?
He listed them. One I'd done. One I hadn't. It was for a very long time.
That night, I talked it over with my daughter, whom I live with.
"Go for it Mom!"

The next day I expressed my interest in what I didn't know. I love to learn.

The next day I discussed it with my manager - she was supportive.
That night I wrote up a formal request summarizing my background and interest.

I submitted it.

I met with my UK (then) co-worker (and now Manager) and his manager.
I was gifted both positions.

I packed and trained new people on my (then) current role.

I left.

I arrived at Gatwick and flew on the Scottish Highlands.

I worked.

The Beginning
(and you were expecting "The End")

01 February, 2010

In The Beginning

In the beginning there was a conversation. It was held in a doorway as it was so many times before. The topics were the normal ones: our past years' adventures on bike and on foot, and then on to our jobs and then to the mutal tasks at hand. And then it all changed. Everything quickly unfolded into this amazing chapter of my amazing life.

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