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Creature From My Sink

The creature in the pictures below appeared in my sink this evening. Upon spying it, I was immediately taken aback, because it evaded my attempts to identify it. It greatly resembles a dillapede, and all I can say at this point is it is an invertebrate. It exhibits attributes of being an insect, except for the most obvious fact that it has way more than just six legs. And no, it’s not a caterpillar, because all those spindly appendages are most certainly legs. But neither is it a millipede or centipede, at least not according to appearances. I escorted it outside, but not before taking some pictures.

If you can help me identify this creature, please comment! I am most anxious to know what it is.

UPDATE: Upon consulting Wikipedia, it turns out this critter is a centipede after all, of the order Scutigeromorpha (see Centipede article). Learn something new every day!

Golden Ireland

Idir dhá láimh daoine fíuntach
Scríobh an agham i mBanba óir
I nglas béinne fial ó nádúir
Fonn ceoil i mBanba óir

There is so much I could say about the emerald isle. Of all the places I roamed in Europe, the Irish were the most friendly to us strangers, and of course having a love for Ireland before I even got there certainly helped. My sister and I rented bikes in Killarney and explored the National Park there, admiring the lakes, mountains, and castle. On our adventures we crossed a small waterway which my sister called a creek, whereat I replied, “No, it’s a brook, don’t you know? We’re in Ireland!”

We bought red Irish cheddar at the grocery store for lunch, and made it up to Dublin, where we saw Riverdance and viewed that ancient old manuscript, the Book of Kells. Not wanting to make a days trip across the island to see cliffs, we contented ourselves with the cliffs of Howth, just outside of Dublin. We stayed in a hostel in Tralee, where I accidentally left my jacket, and subsequently we were scouring all the charity shops in Ireland in search of another jacket, knowing winter was on its way. Due to a disappointing mixup concerning our planned flight to Spain, we stayed in Cork an extra two days, and enjoyed that seaside town.

And I can’t forget the music! My preliminary plans to go to a concert there didn’t work out, but there was no shortage of street musicians, and we enjoyed those immensely. My sister enjoyed the fact that everyone spoke English (I was hoping to hear more Gaelic, myself), and both of us agree that Ireland is definitely on the list of places to return to someday.

Photos from Brussels

Photos from Brussels, Belgium on Flickr

Ah, Brussels! I have some good memories from there. We spent a few days in the capital city of the great nation of Belgium, and it was our first exposure to underground metro systems. As far as metros go, Brussels’ is fairly small, so it was a good way for us to practice before moving on to the more daunting metros of Paris and Rome.

Brussels is a beautiful city, and I was able to practice my French there quite a bit. Even though it’s officially bilingual (and most official signs reflect that), from my experience French is the more popular choice in the city. The downtown square was very spacious, and surrounded by high, old buildings on every side. For the lover of architecture gothic could be seen, as well as some others. While there we got to peruse a few museums, including the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, a museum full of musical instruments of all sorts (my favourite!) and also a comic strip museum. If you are not aware of the fact, it is good to know that Belgium is widely known for its comic strips, and perhaps the most famous of these is Tintin. I had been a Tintin fan long before going to Belgium, and it was with glee that I went through the exhibit on Tintin and his creator, Hergé. That Sunday, before returning to our homebase in Verviers, we worshiped with the French-speaking church there in Brussels. I had the privilege of teaching the Bible class, which I regrettably had to teach through the help of a translator, since my French was not good enough to avoid that step. The church, though small, was very kind, and while it consisted primarily of Belgians, I met some people from Scotland, Canada, and the U.S. there as well.

Overall it was a lovely trip, and I would gladly return if given the chance. La Belgique me manque !

Photos from Flanders

Bruges and Ostend, Belgium photos on Flickr

Bruges—you may not have heard of it, but it’s a fairly well-known city in northern Belgium. It’s called “Venice of the North” for all the canals that pass through the city, but it’s not surrounded by water like that Italian city-island. Although in Belgium, I didn’t get to practice my French there, since it is in the half of Belgium called Flanders, where they speak a variety of Dutch called Flemish.

I was very struck by the distinctive architecture of Bruges. I suppose it’s characteristic of the low countries, and I’m sure there’s a term for it, but my specialty is not architecture. I also have a fond memory of eating a sack lunch by the canal, a lunch consisting of a ham and cheese sandwich made from a baguette and gouda cheese, and ketchup-flavoured chips. The weather was nice, and we visited the “Church of Our Lady” while there. As I mentioned in another post, the cathedral was filled with tombs, and with fascination I tried to decipher Latin and French inscriptions.

Bruges is not a seaport, but it is located a short distance from the North Sea, and after walking around a good while we proceeded to Ostend, which is a seaside town. My sister loves the ocean, so we went and walked around on the beach. When dinner time rolled around, we spotted a Subway (yes, the sandwich shop!), and decided to go there to eat. The people there spoke sufficient English, but we were taken aback when we saw the sandwich lengths represented in centimetres! Now, for an American I’m a big fan of metric, but I wasn’t accustomed to measuring sandwiches thus, and after guessing we had to tell the kind Belgian sandwich artist “Could we have the longer one, please?”

We had a very pleasant experience in Flanders, and it made us realize how small Belgium really is: we traversed the whole country for this trip, and made it there and back the same day! So if you go to Belgium, be sure and hop on the train to Bruges and Ostend–it will make for a very nice outing!

Abbotts Bridge and Bicycle Adventures

Chattahoochee River – Abbotts Bridge photos on Flickr

I checked the temperature outside: 35° C (95° F). That’s pretty hot, but not hot enough to deter me from the evening’s adventures I had planned. My philosophy is that time spent outdoors is never wasted, and while high temperatures keep most people indoors, as long as I’m either moving or in the shade, I don’t mind the heat at all.

So I went, and I rue it not a bit. First I rode my bicycle to the library, and was very pleased to discover that there was sidewalk all the way (I prefer the safety of the sidewalk as long as there’s no people in the way). Also, the way was almost scenic. A portion of my route took me along Main Street, and while it may have been busier back in the day, now that there’s a highway that runs parallel to it, it’s almost like a peaceful country road. I didn’t stay long at the library, only to grab a Korean dictionary that I had requested. My next stop was a unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The river flows around the town, and this park has a nice little trail that I enjoy very much when I go. I took some pictures, which you can view above. After that I went home, not at all overheated, and much exhilarated from my biking adventure. I should definitely do this more often!

In other news, God is great, and so is life! I got to preach Sunday morning; it was very well received and I hope there was lots of learning going on. Work is going fabulously, and I’m glad to say that I love my work! There’s some exciting things going on at Truth For The World, and I’ll keep you posted on here as those things shape up.

This weekend I’m headed to Tennessee for some friends’ wedding, and while I’m not a big fan of weddings, at least there’s usually cake. Actually, these are really great friends, and I’m so happy for them. Plus, I’m actually in their wedding, which is a first for me! ‘Tis an honour, to be sure, but besides that I’m not sure what I think about it.

¡Sigamos adelante!