May 2014

The Scottish Coast and the Strangeness of Families

Family day in the Stevens household.

We collected the troops and headed for Auchmithie, a former fishing village on the coast. Despite being only half an hour away, I had never been there before. It was beautiful. The restaurant was perched on the side of a cliff overlooking the sea. You couldn’t tell where the sea ended and the sky began. A wash of light blues painted the horizon.

My family consists of three couples, an elderly lady, a middle-aged woman, a twenty-something girl, and a baby boy. The couples include my parents, whose love still resembles that of a teenage romance, my brother Alan and his fiancé Zara, and my brother Roy and his girlfriend Sarah. Then we have my Grandmother, Zara’s mother, my one-year-old nephew and myself.

We are a strange mix and it is obvious that strangers find us quite interesting to watch. Whenever my family is in a public place, people stare. I know this because people in Scotland are subtle about nothing. It’s daunting at first but now we have an adorable mini-human to consume our attention. And what an amazing little human he is.

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Sebastian has wonderful pearl teeth, he runs away faster than my hamsters, and he has awesome catch phrases. After dropping his spoon on the floor, Sebby exclaimed “OH NO!” and stuck his head under the table searching for it. Considering that I have barely heard him speak before, this was a surprising and hilarious moment for me. Seb also has a complete fascination for technology. He picks up any phone around, sticks it to his ear and says “HIYA!” again and again.a3

I love that little boy. Another of his fascinations is girls. Waitresses, strangers, other little toddlers. He will seek them out, smile and say “hiya”. And then get embarrassed and run away. Adorable.

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Back to the adults, we all updated each other on our lives. Roy is at university, Sarah works for a game designing company, Alan works with my Dad, and Zara is a hairdresser. I love my brothers and I love their partners. Zara was discussing their wedding plans and meals and bridesmaids etc. Sebby is going to be dressed in a kilt for the wedding! It is in June 2015. She also asked if I would like to be the Chief Bridesmaid and I gave a resounding ‘yes’! I feel very honoured to be given the role (and it also means that I will be in a red dress instead of a purple one like the other bridesmaids – result!).

Sarah talked to me about awesome feminist web zines and comic strips that she thinks I will like. They all sounded awesome. I love her recommendations! Sarah and Roy told us about their holiday in Spain and there future trip to Portland, Oregon (Sarah’s hometown) in May.

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After some delicious local fish dishes, we drove to Lunan Bay which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland. Sebby walked on the sand in his new Wellies and he wasn’t afraid of the incoming tide. Instead, he splashed around and said hello to dogs and ran at full speed in any and every direction.

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I love seeing my family. They are a strange selection but it keeps things very interesting. And I imagine most families are a confusing jumble of people. We are different and I think it is a wonderful thing to be.

Love Jill

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