At church today, I was talking to a lady visiting from Glasgow.  We were discussing weather (it was a more interesting conversation than it sounds), and I happened to say, “Well, back in America-”  I was immediately cut off by the baffled woman who said, “You don’t sound American!”  The lady explained that she visited America every summer for several weeks and I didn’t sound at all like an American.  I was, I admit, a little surprised.  No one had ever accused me of not sounding American before.

Then, it hit me.  I asked her, “Where do you go in America when you visit?”

“Texas,” she answered.

The mystery was solved.  I imitated a passable Texan accent for her and her face lit up.  That was what Americans sound like, of course!

I went on to explain the different sorts of American accents and the fact that while Texas is all but its own country, it is not, in fact, representative of America.

The reason we were discussing weather was because today was another cold, but brilliantly sunny day.

And so I decided that I deserved a treat.  I spent all of Saturday (I’m not kidding, I mean from morning to night, nonstop) doing homework.  So today, I would go outside for a bit and enjoy the scenery and the sunshine.  I did bring homework with me, but I was outside while I did it.

I went to the swan lake in Holyrood Park.  A good thirty or so swans, along with hundreds of gulls, flock to the shorelines where passersby toss bread crumbs into the water.  Watching the flocks rise and dive into the water is perhaps a little too pretty of a distraction, but I did get some homework done.

If I was a runner, this would be a great run through the trees and past the lake.  But I’m not a runner, I’m a reader.  So I sat on a bench and read a book on early Irish literature.  It’s quite fascinating.

It started getting really cold as the sun set, so I got up to leave.  I’d had my back to this…

That’s St Anthony’s Chapel if you remember from an earlier post.

I realized that I might not get another good chance to watch a relatively clear sunset from such a good vantage point, so I hiked a little ways up the Salisbury Crags for a good view and a few shots.

It’s amazing what setting tweaks on a camera can do.  The first version of this picture was a nice scene of the cityscape, but a washed out sky.  A few changes to my settings, and I got this instead.

Nap has been feeling very left out lately, even though I explained to him how little he would want to be in a picture with a swan that would probably be trying to eat him.  But I took this one to make him feel better.

I love the sun!!!

The clouds started to come in and blocked out the actual setting sun, but the colors in the sky were phenomenal.  But I don’t really need to say that, do I?

Opposite the sunset, the sky was full of pastels.  I couldn’t really get a good picture of them.

And this is a clock telling me that I’ve been out for far too long and that reading a couple measly chapters in a book on Irish literature is not enough for an afternoon so I’d better get back up to my room and sit down with my Welsh pronunciation practice and learn all the things now!

Yes, that’s what the clock says.

Hopefully, I can take more pictures of awesome things soon, but for now, I am swamped with books filled with knowledge that I must attain.