“Hiya,” as they say here. It’s Thursday evening and we are in for the night after a walk to the city to get our new cell phones set up. And…finally…SUCCESS! Yes, it’s true that we have only been here for just under 2 weeks. But I’ve come to realize that life without a working phone number in today’s day and age is nearly impossible. Everyone and everything asks for a number. So we have rejoined society and Nathan and I can finally contact one another and the outside world without being in a WIFI hotspot or on Skype! WEEE!
In my reflections on the week, we are back to school in more ways than one. Let me share about what I mean…
1) We are back to school in the literal sense. Nathan is a student once again (we love school, what can I say?). On Monday he will officially begin his program! He has been up in the cube shaped library hunting for additional books he will need, as well as securing his new office on campus where he’ll hole up and write for 3 years, and he’s been meeting and emailing with his advisor regarding his structural plan of attack as he begins his dissertation. So, Nathan is back to school in a literal sense! YAY!
2) We are back to school in the way of accommodations. Our flat is hooked onto a set of the main residence halls on campus. Fortunately, the back entrance to our area is locked in the evening hours, meaning that slews of students can’t make their way back to our private flats whenever they want. So it’s quiet and feels relatively removed, with a nice courtyard of trees standing between us and the high traffic hallways and dormitory wings across the way. But it does mean that our laundromat is in the main residence halls, as well as the place where we pick up our mail, etc. So sometimes I feel like the old lady in the dorms. I was in our sardine can of a laundromat with a constant influx of undergrads on Monday, while trying to learn the fancy scan card for the machines. There I was, the PhD student’s wife, trying to measure out powdered detergent in milliliters, looking much older than these young ones around me. But their carefree demeanors, bubbling conversations with friends, and laughs throughout the hallways on the way to dinner were fun to witness. Oh the days of first leaving home for college! I was there scowling about paying £2.20 to wash ONE load of clothes, and they were beyond that (or graciously naive) and moved on quickly to evening gatherings with friends.
3) We are back to school in the way of logistics and timing. Things don’t work at our American pace here (which I know we’ll come to appreciate), so it takes a while to set some things up. i.e. our phones. i.e. our registration with the neighborhood medical practice. i.e. getting our wifi improvement request processed, etc. Plus, things take longer on foot. We have walked everywhere, so far, and have yet to ride a bus. But I must say that I am really enjoying the exercise, the buzz of people all around, and the fresh air. We’ve been warned that the winter months are coming with their bitter cold winds off the North Sea, the rain that blows on the horizontal, and the chill that cuts to the bone. So the temps in the 60’s this week have been purely delightful. We’ll take it!
4) We are back to school in many other ways as well! We are learning about a new city, new people, new money, a new church, a new economy, a new accent, a new dialect, a new climate, new food, new healthcare, and so forth and so on. We are also learning what it means to be Haley & Nathan French in Scotland. We are discovering what our own unique path will look like here. School. Work. Community. Etc. Adaptability must become our middle name! 🙂
And so, Team French is back to school! We are enjoying Aberdeen, the friends we are making, the explorations we’ve been on, the learning curve we’re adjusting to. Everything is different, but change is good!
Along those lines, I am excited about a couple other things going on personally. I picked back up with some of my clients this week, which felt great! I am continuing on with them through video chat sessions. And I’m happy to share that my mother and I have fully renovated our counseling practice website and we’ve been promoting our new “Transformative Talks” approach that has come as the result of months of discussion and prayer! If you’re interested in knowing more, hop on over to our website to check it out!
With that, I’m signing off. It’s time to hop into comfy clothes, get ready for bed, and watch some Netflix. As usual, I’ll leave you with some lovely pictures from our trek around the city! It was the most gorgeous fall day.
Until later! Xoxo