I have made my way through Scotland, almost entirely. I arrived in Stranraer, then over to Glasgow, then to Edinburg, onto Stirling, up to Inverness, back down to Fort William and I am in Oban as I write. I only pause here to wait for my next bus onto Glasgow where I’ll stay for the night then head south to the Lake District, which is either in the very southern portion of Scotland or the northern of England. I forget which. There are towns I would’ve liked to have stopped in for a full day, Pitlochry, Aviemore, Glendoe, and here in Oban where I could’ve seen the Isle of Mull and the Isle of Iona, where Christianity began in Scotland by Columbo, but the weather is poor.
Finding shelter from the now daily rain in a tourist information store I only realized today that Scottish heritage is really Irish heritage, where around 500 AD a King from Scotland came across. That accounts for the Celtic history shared by both, something I’ve been reading up on, specifically Irish Mythology. My father’s mother’s maiden name was Foley, which derives from O’Foghladha, which is a very old Irish name, and in actuality I believe a Celtic name. How wonderful! On my mother’s side is Massie and Brock and I believe Massie or Massey comes from Normandy in northern France, which is the area the Celts are believed to have come to Scotland from (if I’m recalling correctly). That leaves Wright (father’s grandfather) which I’m sure is English and Brock, or Broch from Gaelic/Irish. So it appears the area I’ve been traveling for the last month is where I’m from. Cool. In an old man cool kinda way.
What to share? The Highlands are beautiful and I wanted to hike a long distance path from Inverness to the coast. Would’ve taken about 2 weeks, but I’m not prepared for it, and if I want to see England I don’t have the time. Perhaps next time, perhaps with someone. I would prefer.
I like small town people over city people any day. No matter where I am in the world, I have found this to be the case. Which is why I’m determined to leave Atlanta. There’s the matter of the property to be sold or rented, but I’ll cross that bridge soon enough. I apologize for the bullet points, but I feel like there’s so much to cover. I sing aloud alot recently, in lonely places where no one is to be seen, or behind closed doors. The more I do it, the more I almost need to. I’ve found something in it that fills a part of me. My mother has a wonderful voice as well as my father. I joke with my sister when I say it makes logical genetic sense for me to have a good voice. It’s not for me to say. It’s for you.
My beard is getting thicker. My hair is growing long in the back, where I have not been able to trim my neck. I fear the appearance of something akin to a mullet. Ha! My shirts all have a rough texture in the lower back where my daypack has worn them thin. The knees in my jeans broke sometime ago and they continue to enlarge as the temperature drops. I’ve worn holes in the toes of a pair of socks and another is almost cardboard due to not being washed for sometime. I’ve found a white hair in my beard. Wizard. Regardless of the amount of trekking I’ve done the pain in my knees has gone. I’ve gone down two belt holes. I can now efficiently live on £35/day which includes lodging and transportation. This trip has taught me the things I’ve lacked, mostly how to live on very little and do so with a pleasant attitude, a grateful attitude.
When you go weeks without the simple things you enjoy, like a Dr. Pepper, when you do finally find one you relish it with great joy. I got excited for a Dr. Pepper the way I use to get excited to go to Chucky Cheese’s. Less is more certainly. Why is there cold air blowing on me inside this library when it’s 5 degrees outside? (40ish Faren.)
Hmm. I eat a lot of pb&j’s. Not really anything new. I tried a version of Ramen over here and then remembered why I stopped eating it, though I would still probably eat the shrimp flavor. Sounds kinda good actually. I’m hungry. I have two pb&j’s in my bag. I’ll eat on the bus. 3 hour ride to Glasgow. I think I wanted a long ride. “Sometimes you just need the road” a friend wrote today. I agree.
I met someone in Edinburgh who ran into someone she knew or someone who knew someone she knew in every place she’s been so far. We traded info. Who will she know who knows me? Since then I haven’t befriended anyone and not for lack of trying. It’s the off-season now and there are less and less people in the hostels and I tend to stay away from cities, where there would be crowds. I have a routine now. When I make my meals, when I make my lunch for the next day. I walk the streets at night with my ipod, sometimes on, sometimes not. I read. I write. I sing. I walk… alot. It’s absolutely wonderful. A good life.
I miss working. I do. I miss being productive with something. It’s been almost a year since I’ve had a job. That’s crazy to think about. I wouldn’t change it. This time has been so much to me and not a single day goes by where I don’t think of my dad, wondering what he would’ve thought of all this. I try to create pictures and movies in my head, down to great detail, of times gone by, his laughter, his thick hand on my shoulder. I miss him terribly. When I find places or great trees I spread some of his ashes. I would’ve liked to thrown some at the Cliff of Mohr, but I had this image of the wind blowing it in people’s faces. It makes me laugh now, but I don’t think they would’ve thought it was funny. “Allow me to introduce my father.”
My name is Courtney Lindberg and I’m Gaelic.
I think my hunger is making me silly, moreso. Somebody better have got me some Sam Adams Seasonal beer.
I think about you more than you think. Again it becomes apparent in my life the value in sincere relationships. They are rare and I am very fortunate to have those I do. One of you is almost always on my mind. And with that I bid you adieu until next time.