January 06, 2014

week five.

More Scottish photos for your viewing pleasure -- all these taken during our fifth week in town.

There is a hill in Edinburgh called The Mound -- aptly named, I'd say. Perched on top of this hill is New College -- the place that theology/divinity students at the Uni of Edinburgh call home. Wayne spent a good deal of time in the library here. We met some American visitors at our church and spent an afternoon giving them the grand tour of downtown Edinburgh -- how strange to turn so swiftly from  newcomers in a city to hosts!
Feeling adventurous one day so popped over to the Royal Botanic Gardens for a stroll and a sit. Free entry, lubbly jubbly.

Had ourselves a rainy day in Edinburgh this week so we found a cafe to get a change of scenery and set to work. As you can see from the mother's day card, I managed to find myself a handy dandy print shop -- located pretty much right across the street from our flat, thankyouverymuch. A friendly bunch of employees there -- though they were plenty confused as to why I would be printing mother's day cards in June. Confessed that though I was a tad late (more like a MONTH late), I knew my mom and mom-in-law would still appreciate the gesture. They said my family must be quite forgiving seeing as I was more than three months late. I said no, I'm only ONE month late. We argued for a moment and I doubted my sanity before coming to realize that Mother's Day in the UK takes place in March.

After that we all got along swimmingly. One of the guys who worked there told me about his dream to illustrate comics. I told him he should do it. He said he would if I would sell my cards. I said I'd try, maybe. Jolly good friends, him and I.

Not much to say here. Just a wonderfully wonderful North Bridge sunset. 

And now, looking in the opposite direction down South Bridge -- the red carpet being rolled out for the stars coming to attend the closing night gala of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Tonight's film: Not Another Happy Ending. No, we didn't attend -- just hung out the window with our chins in our hands watching supposedly famous beings waltz up the steps in glittery dresses. Quite fun.

No, contrary to appearance, I am not stabbing a small child in the eye with a paintbrush. And yes, the child does have eyes in real life but the smudging is due to my weak efforts to create anonymity in this photo. I don't know who this child is, but I figured I should be a responsible blogger and not post photos of other people's children without permission. So, what we have here is a faceless child being face-painted by Suzanne in unbelievably cold June weather.

The Craigmillar Festival Fun Day -- an event that our church in Niddrie helps put on (with the aid of other local organizations) every summer -- is a big old neighbourhood party meant to get the community out for an afternoon of fun. Apparently the summer before this ended up being a total washout -- rain and rain and rain -- so everyone was quite pleased with the balmy 8 degree temperatures and brisk breeze.

Have you ever face-painted for four hours straight in 8 degree weather? I digress.

This festival presents a wonderful opportunity to speak with families in the area and to let them know about Niddrie Community Church, the programs they offer, and most importantly, the Gospel. Being perfectly honest here, I did not do any gospel-sharing while smearing face paint all over those blessed childrens' faces. Us three artists at the table were busily churning through a massive queue of eight-year-olds who would ask for these obscure cartoon characters to be painted on their faces (who on EARTH is Peppa Pig and why is she so popular? Be reminded that I am not British and as such have no knowledge of British cartoon characters).

These children fascinated me. Many of them were seen earlier throwing objects and swearing at an inebriated old woman while at the festival. They often run wildly around the neighbourhood, and stopped me at the church doors on more than one occasion to tell me raunchy jokes.

But as soon as they were in that chair, they'd shrink back from my paintbrush and look up at me with uncertainty in their eyes and when I asked "Well, what shall we paint on your face today?" they'd answer in an almost-unheard whisper,

"A love-heart, please."

These children -- these misbehaved and wild children -- made me think of that story in the Bible where the disciples try to shoo the kids away from Jesus, and Jesus tells them to leave the little ones alone, because the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these. If the kids in that story had been polite, clean, sweet children, chances are that they a) wouldn't have been running around the streets in the first place and b) wouldn't have made the disciples so uncomfortable as to try and send them away. Really, I don't know -- maybe they were well-behaved kids. But after our stint in Edinburgh, I now imagine them with the faces of the kids from Niddrie -- a little bit flushed from zooming around on their bikes all day, cheeks smeared with orange after their latest drink of Irn-Bru, checking over their shoulder to make sure no one's coming after them. And Jesus, being God, loving these children because they are His children, welcoming them to Himself, showing them that He is the Way and the Truth and the Life.

Pretty neat way to end week five. However I will say that I hope never to have such cold and wet and pink and blue and red and green fingers ever ever ever again.


  1. I still partly can't believe you went to Scotland at all.
    Also, I've totally seen Peppa Pig before! Isn't it that pig family with their snouts coming out of their foreheads?

    1. Haha!! Yes!!! I was quickly introduced to Peppa.