Monday, January 17, 2011

Where Are We?

I realize we don't exactly keep this up-to-date. Blogger has proved to be more of a hassle than we anticipated - not the keeping up with it so much as the uploading of photos. It takes forever and we can only upload a couple photos at a time or it will give us an error message. Annoying! Often, I'll upload photos to Facebook where most of you read updates about us anyway, and sometimes I'll put stuff up on flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwes), so you can pop over there to see some photos as well. I've also been posting stuff on Tumblr (http://www.urbanbasement.tumblr.com), but that's more arty stuff that I like or make on there - not updates about what we're up to.

I'll give you a wee update here anyway, but you may find your stalking more successful in those other locations. Jeremy and I have both resigned from our teaching positions. I won't go into details about it because this is the web, but most of you already know our reasons for leaving. It just wasn't what we expected and we couldn't condone or put up with what was happening there, unfortunately. We are definitely still interested in teaching, we're just not sure where that will be yet!

For the time being, I'm a Barista at Starbucks. I just started this past week, and I'm really enjoying it! I love learning how to make all the different drinks and talking with the customers. The people I work with are really great as well. They've been so helpful with my training, and they are just fun people to work with. Some perks of the job: I get to take home a free bag of coffee or box of tea every week, I get free drinks on shift, and discounted drinks/food when I'm not working, and we're required to do a coffee tasting every shift! Starbucks wants their employees to be knowledgeable of the products, so they require us to test all the drinks!!

Jeremy has applied to a nursery (kindergarden) and had two interviews with them. It looks really promising and we're just waiting patiently for the call. So things are really looking up for us after the stressful beginning to the school year. We are much more optimistic as we look to the future and decide what our next step is. We're applying to schools for the Fall all over the world (Kenya, Taiwan, Canada, Scotland, etc), and we're just hoping that something will come up for us!

That's it for now.

Katie xo.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Aviemore.





















Monday, August 16, 2010

Aberdeen Flat.

Well, Jeremy and I have been living in Aberdeen for just over 2 weeks now. We're still on holiday for another week. We've spent our time reading, touring the city, trying new recipes, and crocheting (well, I've been crocheting; Jeremy hasn't).

We officially moved to our new flat in Aberdeen on July 30th. We had some troubles with the car rental and ended up having to wait another 4.5 hours for another car! Once we got the new car and had everything packed, we headed on our way from Edinburgh around 2pm. We arrived in Aberdeen at 4:30, parked at the flat, and walked to a local restaurant for dinner. We were starving! Nothing too spectacular - the place was called The Harvester, and it was much like a Swiss Chalet, but with more variety. There's a salad bar. Mmmm.


We met the manager of the letting agency at the flat at 6 so she could give us the keys and show us some things about the flat (like how to use the electric heaters), then we were on our own to unpack. Luckily we were able to unpack everything that night; we don't have much. I love walking into a flat and have almost everything already set up for you! Renting furnished is the way to go when you're living abroad.

So without further ado, here are some photos of our flat, if you haven't already seen them on Facebook!









Monday, May 10, 2010

Vlog Entries!

As many of you know I have been teaching Kindergarten (they call it nursery here) this year in Edinburgh. I've heard some pretty crazy things from some of the kids so far and I have compiled a list of titles for my stories that I am going to post as video blogs. I plan to do two series, the first being "Life Lessons From a Kindergarten Student" with the other being "Tales of a Kindergarten Teacher." For those of you who are friends on facebook, I posted the first "Life Lesson" on my wall (for those of you who aren't, I hope to get on here somehow*). Stay tuned!

Jeremy

*I managed to figure out how to post it on the blog. Here it is:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Vanity.

Jeremy and I went shopping this morning to see if we could find anything to wear for next month's festivities. We're attending the End of Year Ball that my program is holding, and we are going to a friend's wedding in the Highlands! We headed to H&M first, because they tend to have some nice choices for good prices. Jeremy was looked after in 5 minutes flat. Jacket & Vest were decided on so quickly. Oh the ease of being a man. I, however, was worried that my quest for a dress would prove to be a little more challenging. I am, afterall, a woman. Surprisingly, I only had to try on two dresses before I found one that I quite liked. And I already have shoes that will go with it! Done and done. Oh, and Jeremy decided to purchase some faux glasses because he thinks they make him look distinguished. He also insisted upon a photo shoot when we got home so that he could update his facebook photo. So here the product of his shopping success:



My dress will remain a mystery for the time being. It is blue.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Berlin: Day 1

Blogger is acting up a bit when trying to upload photos, so I will try again later. These are some photos from Day 1 of our trip to Berlin! We thought we lost all the photos when our external hard drive mysteriously stopped working. Jeremy took it to a computer shop and the technician was able to retrieve most of what was on there! Hooray!


So here is Jeremy at the top of the Reichstag reading about the buildings you can see from the top.



This is the dome at the top of the Reichstag. You can go inside too and there is a ramp going all the way around to go to the top.Jer and I at the top of the Reichstag. It was pretty windy up there, hence the wind-swept hair! Also, it was a gorgeous 19 degrees that day!

This is the inside of the dome. You can see the ramp going round with people checking out the view. The giant cyclone-like thing in the middle is covered with mirrors. It was a really weird structure, actually.

These next three photos are of a memorial designed by Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold. It's a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. There are 2711 slabs of concrete displayed in a grid, all at differing heights - one for each page of the Talmud. The construction is supposed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere (they were originally supposed to be arranged in a labyrinth, but Berlin officials didn't want people to get lost or hurt in it).

Some controversy surrounds the construction: Graffiti is a huge issue in Berlin, and the memorial consists of 2711 five-sided slabs of blank canvas. Degussa, a company which produces an anti-graffiti substance called Protectosil, provides Berlin with the substance for free to help keep the memorial graffiti-free. However, a subsidiary company of Degussa, Degesch, produced Zyklon B during WWII, which was used to poison people in the gas chambers. Construction of the memorial was temporarily stopped while decisions were being made on whether or not to use the Protectosil.

Also, the site on which the memorial is built is that of a former SS Barracks. Needless to say, there is much controversy over the memorial and many people do not agree with its construction, saying the Holocaust is not an appropriate subject for a memorial.




Of course, we had to check out Check-Point Charlie. This was Checkpoint C between East and West Germany during the Cold War. Just behind me and to the left, there is the open air museum with info on the checkpoints, Cold War, attempted escapes, and much more interesting historical info. Dad, you would probably be there for hours trying to read it all! People were actually smuggled out of East Germany in hidden compartments of vehicles! Sadly, a lot of people died trying to escape East Germany.
Here's the sign that was put up at Checkpoint Charlie: "You are entering the American sector, Carrying weapons off duty forbidden, Obey Traffic Rules."

That was the last photo taken on Day 1. I'll make sure to post the others when Blogger decides to cooperate!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Victory!

Last week I went to go edit some more Berlin photos when the hard drive started acting up on me. The computer wasn't recognizing that anything was plugged in, so I couldn't access any of the files! Jeremy took the hard drive to work to see if it would work on a computer there, but still no luck. Heartbroken, I kept trying in vain to see if the thing would work on the computer. I was devastated at the thought of losing everything I had taken since we moved here in August! Jeremy took the hard drive to a computer shop near us, and the guy said he'd see what he could do. It took a couple of days to extract the files, but he was successful and we now have everything safe and sound on the laptop! Victory! Unfortunately, everything was all organized into neat little folders before, and now all the photos are mixed up together - edited, watermarked, mexico and the cottage, etc. BUT we have it all and I'm ecstatic!

Stay tuned for Berlin photos!