It's not just Independence Day for our American friends, but Debbie and my 13th wedding anniversary today! Sorry, but we got married before the age of digital cameras, so all the wedding pics are stored away in albums back home! For those of you new to the story, Debbie and I got married at Findlater Castle in Scotland, a remote ruins on a spit of land jutting out into the North Sea. This came during my post-doc stint at the U. Aberdeen. As I departed Canada, I jauntily stated that I'd find us a castle to get married in, not knowing what the heck I was saying.
Our dear friends Joe and Sue Sutherland, who I met at a symphony concert during my first weeks in bonnie Scotland, were my saviours and inspiration for this adventure. They are keen musicians and fans, so we got to be great friends over meals at a nice French restaurant before each symphony concert. Joe, a retired minister from the US who took over a church in the small fishing village of Buckie, presided over the ceremony. He also arranged permission from the Lord whose family owned the castle for the past 400+ years, who thought it was a great idea because there had been no weddings there that entire time. Sue arranged all the logistics for Debbie. The day dawned with lashing rains, but magically cleared and dried up just in time for the wedding and pictures. Not 15 minutes after we were seated at the reception, the skies opened up again for the rest of the day! The reception was at "The Monastery" restaurant, of course an actual former monastery and one of the top restaurants in the entire country. There was a "no pants" rule in force at the wedding, such that all the men were in kilts (except for Joe, who's from Scottish heritage!). So we had Chinese, Canadians, a Dutch, and a Norwegian in kilts! We also had a bagpiper playing and Robbie Burns poetry for the full Scottish effect.
It was a "Triple Happiness" dinner at the Kirin tonight. In addition to our anniversary, we celebrated Jacob's upcoming 9th birthday (July 8) and MaMa's birthday July 10. Jacob on the lower right is fully loaded up with chocolate cake and black sesame soup!