Monday, December 27, 2010

Slainte Mhah

Christmas is nearly completed.  I can tell it's nearly over because we are slowly but surely regaining our house.  The wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and curled ribbons are in the recycling bin.  The toys are slowly being put away and finally I can see the living room rug once more.  We've nearly run out of batteries and both my youngest & I have a lovely common cold that we'll generously share.

However, there's still random lego pieces waiting to remind you that it's not yet safe to tread barefoot in our house.  And there's still the scary-huge, Ferguson-recipe Christmas cake to remind you that there's still a mountain of edible ways to throw caution to the wind. If that cake had any more brandy, then instead of sitting in our Craig's List bargain cake stand, it would need a trifle bowl.

So it must be time to get ready for Hogmanay.  We have 4 friends scheduled to visit and so our house will double in occupants for the first week of 2011.  But it's worse, all of the visitors are ladies - so the inherent male dominance of the Tweddle household will be destroyed as well.

In LA we have a long Hogmanay celebration, with the UK being 8 hours ahead, we'll start by skyping relatives at 4pm.  Then we've friends and family on the east coast of USA to cheer on.  And finally we'll have our own midnight start to the new year.

For the 2009 Hogmanay, we'd been in the country for under 3 months and our belongings from the UK had arrived just days before.  For 2010, we had just bought our own tumble-down home, but still only had visas and I wasn't allowed to work or have a social security number.  This year, I will start with a work permit, a social security number and a stack of projects and commitments to work my way through.  With the date starting at 1/1/11 it feels like this year will be a new beginning - an American beginning.

In Scotland, we'd raise a glass and say 'Slainte Mhah'.  Pronounced something like 'Slan-jay Vah', it doesn't sound anything like it writes - a bit like me.  So I've just spent the last few moments searching for a link to where you can hear it said - I point you to 2 minutes 22 seconds into this video - (I hope you like rock).