4 July 2004
Happy Fourth of July! I'm writing this on the train to Oxford from Edinburgh. Yesterday morning, Sue and Barb went down the airport to pick up a mini-van, which turned out not to be a mini-van at all. It was a five-seater BMW with a hatchback. So, the girls went into the back to nap, and the rest of us squeezed into the rest, and off we went to Strathaven.
We parked at the Common Green in Strathaven and found a sandwich shop for lunch. We then started exploring – first a local church, then the ruins of Strathaven Castle, then to the graveyard. We found various Wilson's and Frew's (ancestors of Barb and Sue), and finally found the monument to James "Pearlie" Wilson. He was their great-great-(insert multiple great's)-father, who invented the "pearlie" stitch (they were weavers), and was part of the Weaver's Rebellion. He was eventually captured and hanged in Glasgow.
At Pearlie Wilson's monument
Wandering through yucky rain and wind (ahhh – the incentive for the ancestors to leave Scotland :-), we found the local museum and more information on the area. When we left, we stopped by Drumclog to visit the church where Barb and Sue's great*-parents were married. It rained all the way back, and brave Sue suffered Scottish driving. We had "take-out" pizza and fish & chips, then watched the finals of the Strictly Come Dancing competition (like "American Idol" but with ballroom dancing, where one partner is a professional dancer and the other is some "celebrity") on BBC 1 Scotland.
Us at Strathaven
Yeah, the weather was yucky, but I found Scotland to be beautiful, and I really liked all that I learned about Scotland. Feisty, smart culture!