Is what they say in Scotland. I've very little idea what it actually means, something like 'ooh la la' perhaps? Maybe they say it in the far north of Scotland though, and not in Edinburgh, which seemed to contain more American accents than Scots during our visit last weekend. Elladora said this could have been because it was 'Spring Break' in the US, and lots of American witches and wizards were visiting Scotland on vacation. I'll say!! Our very own Hermione Bagnold, Elladora Madley (who despite being from Taiwan, grew up in the U.S.), and Elladora's fcriend, Vicky all added to the general American sounds. So Lily May Clearwater, who is Scottish, and Emma Gorodok, who is German, and my very dear sister Lizzie and I were able to enjoy a little education in various magical American things. We were especially fascinated by the different potion recipes our American friends shared with us, and found that although we think we speak the same language, actually we really don't!! So I found that 'coriander' is 'solento', and while we enjoy pasties, Americans love to munch mysterious food called 'pound-cake' which doesn't contain any money at all!!
Edinburgh itself is a truly gorgeous city, and if you'd care to visit my sister's magical portal you'll find a series of photos she took of some of those parts which are protected from muggle eyes by enchantments performed in keeping with the Statute of Secrecy, including our very dear Hogwarts Castle (Muggles think it is an ancient monument where Scottish kings and queens of the past lived), and a few places that are particularly dear to Slytherins (e.g the castle dungeons, i.e. 'The Snake Pit').
On the day of our arrival, Lizzie and I relaxed in our room after a long journey on the Hogwarts Express. We travelled in 'first class' - a real treat as we were served food and gallons of tea at the spacious table we sat at, whilst the riff-raff all had to crowd together in other carriages! After recovering from this excess we roused ourselves to wrap the presents we had brought with us for our spoilees Hermione and Elladora. We had special permission from the headmistress to give our kits early as we were meeting our spoilees in person. We took care to take photos before and after the wrapping, so here is my kit for you to see. Elladora will, I am sure, post more detailed photos and descriptions when she has completed her vacation and finished the long journey home to Taiwan.
Elladora's Kit before wrapping:
Unfortunately I have never managed to get a really good photo of the bag, which features owls all the way around. I took this one a few weeks ago before lining it with yellow satin as you see above (Elladora is a Hufflepuff). This photo at least shows the eyes, and you can just see the owls too if you allow your pet mouse to nibble the picture to make a Hagrid-sized version. In real life the owls really stand out and are very cute!
I also took this close-up of the owls on the sock blockers which Mr. Wigworthy made and I painted:
You may have already noticed the strong owl theme in Elladora's kit? Well, I guessed she loves owls when trawling through her projects and favourites early in The Swap - I found many owl-themed patterns there, and she asked for an owl pendant in her wish-list. Then when I gave her the kit, even though she was surprised to discover she had unknowingly manifested a passion for these magical creatures, she showed me her purse - another owl!!
The other items in the kit? Another of my felted knitting wand holders, in Hufflepuff colours and lined with owl fabric, the pendant she asked for, a book (Anne of Avonlea, from her wishlist), a long Knitpicks Harmnony circular for magic loop (Lizzie taught her this during the weekend), the Rivendell sock pattern (in her favourites), three varieties of Muggle Sweets (sherbet lemons, treacle toffees, and mint humbugs), a needle gauge, a yellow tape measure, two balls of yellow sock yarn (not only is Elladora a Hufflepuff, she also loves yellow!) an assortment of yellow and black beads, an owl poster (she asked for stuff to decorate her walls), and finally, this little owl which I named Toblemory (though Elladora may of course rename him if she wishes):
While I took only a few pictures myself in Edinburgh I did get this one of us enjoying a meal in the little coffee shop where J. K. Rowling first wrote about our beloved Harry. This was before we went to see Hermione in the hotel after her nightmarish journey (read about it at her magical portal).
Especially Aidyn and Calen!!