It’s been a minute…

Hello friends,

I apologize for my absence, although I doubt that anyone has been waiting with bated breath for updates on our life. February has been the longest month – complete with illnesses and cold temps with a few bouts glorious sunshine sprinkled in. I’m sure that what follows will be a random string of disconnected thoughts but I figured I should get something down now before next week when a flurry of activity begins.

AWA Mardi Gras

Before I launch into my diatribe on the bloody NHS, I’ll share some happier moments. 🙂 I have felt a real lack of purpose since moving to Aberdeen. Brett tells me I’m important to the family and I know that’s true but I’m used to affecting things outside of my home and I’ve come to depend on the uplift I get from making a difference – regardless of how small – in the outside world. So, I was beyond thrilled to help out the AWA Social Chair with the annual Mardi Gras party.

I know what you’re thinking… what experience does Saundra have in event planning??? I’d say that you have every reason to be thinking that! I have zero experience in event planning outside of my own wedding, which I hired a wedding planner for. However, I do like for things to be pretty!

Brett always says that I have champagne taste on a beer budget. He’s not wrong about that. My sister says that we were born faux rich and I tend to agree so perhaps this is champagne taste thing is just genetic? Thankfully the social chair has a better grasp on reality than I do and we were able to mesh our creative visions (aided by a few bubbles) and secure them within the confines of the budget…almost. We might have gone over slightly…oh well!

There were Hurricanes for welcome drinks (with the bartenders pondering over how much was in an ounce), a DJ that was instructed to play lots of 2000s rap/hip hop (although absolutely no R.Kelly…until we were all a few drinks in and were on the dance floor the second we heard the first few notes of Ignition – don’t worry – we all donated to charity to atone for our sins), masks galore, homemade king cakes, fried chicken, fried okra, purple, green and gold everything – and a only a handful of people who have heard of Mardi Gras or even been to New Orleans or Louisiana. Don’t fret native Louisianans – I think we would have made y’all proud!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

The *bleeping* NHS

Do you see the flames coming out of my head?

Brooks got strep last week. I know it’s strep because the poor kid has had it 20+ times in his life and his skin takes particular exception to it and cracks in ways that a 6 year old shouldn’t have to deal with. I took him to the now infamous (on this blog at least) Cults Medical Centre and explained his ailment to the doc. She took a look at him and said she didn’t think it was strep and we should go home and see if he felt better soon. She would do a throat swab though and call us when it came back.

I thought she meant from the waiting room.

She meant in a couple of days. There are no immediate strep tests here people!!!!

Me: Oh, but it is strep. If you look at his file you’ll see how prone he is to getting it and what the regular course of treatment is. Even if it’s not strep, he’ll need a round of antibiotics to clear up his skin. Additionally, he can’t be out of school that long. If we wait to get antibiotics until Wednesday at the earliest then he won’t go back to school until Friday and that’s just too much school to miss.

Her: Why wouldn’t you send him to school?

Me: [Head explodes.] [And maybe my mouth.]

Her: Why don’t I just go get another doctor so that we can get a second opinion, hmm?

She does and he basically confirms what she said. They then spent the next few minutes explaining to me that I just didn’t understand how the system here works. They don’t just throw antibiotics at everything that walks through the door – like perhaps I’m accustomed to.

O.M.G. I lost it. I’ll spare you all of the details but it was something to the tune of them referring to a set of general rules than actually reading up on a patient and prescribing medication that would treat the ailment and might have included something about the whole do-no-harm oath. They said that they would compromise and give me a prescription that I could fill when/if the results of the strep test indicated their necessity.

I walked out of there, got that sucker filled, and had Brooks back in school the next day – Tuesday.

Wednesday around 6:30 PM his doctor called to let me know strep was confirmed and asked how he was feeling. I told her he was just fine as I’d filled the script right away.


Kudos to her for making the call though. I would have probably had the receptionist do it.


Y’all, it’s been a long cold winter. We haven’t had any visitors since Jamie was last here in October! I was so thrilled that Jessica and Danielle made their way up to bonny Scotland from England this past weekend! They got to experience real Scottish weather too! Windy, drizzle, brilliant sunshine and blue skies!

We started off with taking in the sights at Dunnottar and eating at The Bay. If you come here, you’re pretty much guaranteed me taking you to see the dramatic coastline and castle ruins. It never gets old!

The next day we visited Fitte – the first planned housing mentioned in 1398 and marveled at how freezing temperatures and wind gusts up to 30 mph don’t make the sea any less soul soothing.

We took a drive through the hills and ate at the Alford Bistro (delish and maybe the best hamburger I’ve had here) followed by a short walk around Craigevar Castle.

It was after this castle visit that I started feel the onset of strep – acquired from Brooks. After a rousing game of Monopoly wherein we all had our asses handed to us by Danielle, I went to bed early hoping that somehow all of that fresh, unpolluted, Scottish countryside air is what caused my throat to hurt. Sadly, that wasn’t the case and we sat around all day watching movies while I pounded ibuprofen and dreamt of the wonders of the HEB RediClinic’s weekend hours.

I did ask Jessica about her impressions of Scotland since it was her first time in the country. I think I was pretty feverish at that point because all I can remember her talking about was how good the tap water is here.

She’s right. It is really damn good.

It’s so much fun to show old friends around this new place that we’ve made our temporary home.

Come back soon Jess & Dani!