13 January 2010

"Blanahoolie" (blahn-ah-who-lee)

You know those days where it takes every ounce of energy and willpower to get out of bed and into the (cold) bathroom for a (not hot enough) shower? Yeah. Today was one of those days. A bad night's sleep and too much darkness. I barely made it to work on time - and definitely not in the best of moods.

The office next to mine is in the middle of a refurbishment. It was, of course, supposed to be done over the two weeks the University is closed, thus minimally impacting workflow. Yeah, that didn't happen. So 12 or so of my colleagues have been without their own computers and phones for over a week now. They have been displaced to desks of other colleagues who are away on holiday or business. But for the most part, it's just been mayhem.

There is one lady who has been in dire need of a computer due to time sensitive work, so she's been using my computer in the afternoons when I leave. But the past two days she's needed one in the morning too so I offered my desk since the work I have been doing hasn't required a computer. Instead, I've been next door in the office that is in upheaval. I like getting to work in there from time to time because there are some entertaining characters that work in there that are also known as my co-workers. Since there are desks in there, we've been doing non-computer related work while the electricians string wires and make weird noises with saws and drills.

Most of the other secretaries in Nov. pre-refurbishment when we took a picture to send to a former secretary who moved back to China.)

Today we were talking about how I need to learn more Doric (the Scottish dialect in this area) before we move away. Two of above said characters are fluent and fast Doric speakers. I have to listen hard to keep up with what they are saying when they talk to one another. But I absolutely love listening to it! One of the ladies previously taught me to say "scoofin' oot a bott-le" (drinking out of a bottle...water bottle, in my case, lest you get other images in your head). So we were "havin' a carry-on" and a little bit later the other lady says, "It's blanahoolie." They she looks at me and says, "There's one for you to learn."

They explain it means the wind is blowing hard. I proceed to repeat it. (It's easier to say than "scoofin' oot a bott-le," by the way....they were entertained at my accent saying that.)  I decide this is my new favorite word. It's fun to say and it describes something that happens frequently here, so why not make it fun to say?! So I ask them to spell it. It's really "blawning (blowing - but you drop the "ing" when saying it) a hoolie." I ask what a "hoolie" is. They say it can also mean "party." To which I reply, "the wind is having a party."

The past couple of days I read something in a book that was expounding on Psalm 23:5, "My cup overflows with blessings" (NLT). I have been pondering how full my cup is and how God has blessed me. It was a day I was glad I went to work. It reminded me that I do love living here amongst the Scots. I have to remember that on days like today. Things (especially the weather!) may not always go how I want, but I am indeed blessed and my cup is overflowing. And I am grateful.

So if you ever hear me say, "It's blanahoolie" (which most certainly you will), you can be in the know and even use it yourself.

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