Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Mid-week and I actually have a wee bit of drama to report! This drama almost equalled devastating disaster. Right, so last night I went to the gym at work as per usual, then took a detour to the nearby shopping centre because I felt about to faint if I did not get something to eat. At the cash register I pulled out my change purse, only to realise that my wallet was missing. After a frantic search through my backpack, I started to really freak. The first thing that came to mind was that, recently, there have been a number of thefts at work – people (including a senior manager) have had their credit cards stolen and, get this, we all work in an open-plan office. So, yeah, my entire identity and access to money was gone, gone, gone. I ran through the mall with tears streaming down my face as I recounted the story to Keri. I am sure I was quite the sight. I honestly had no idea what to do. I knew I needed to cancel my credit cards, but that info was an hour away and event then I wasn’t sure I’d be able to call the NA toll free numbers. Anywho, suffice to say it all turned out to be OK (hence the calmness as I recall this tale). Upon returning to work I asked the security guard if anyone had happened to pass in a wallet and, lo & behold, someone had handed in my wallet 10 minutes prior. I had left it at the gym. My conclusion: exercise can be hazardous to your pocketbook.

In other noteworthy news, I have decided to apply for a full-time, permanent position within the team I am currently working on as a temp. My reason for this is simple – I want the option of extending my work visa after my two years here are up. There are basically two avenues I can pursue in order to have this opportunity:

1.Work for +12 consecutive months with one employer, at which time I can request a visa extension with the aid of said employer
2.Marry someone that is a citizen of an EU country.

Yeah, so since there seems, at present, little to no chance of successfully pursing option 2, I am gambling on option 1..seeing as it only involves the participation & willingness of one party , yours truly!!

Well, on that note, suppose I should go fill out employment application….and maybe sign up for a speed dating night ( always good to have a back-up plan right?)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Is it a good idea to blog on an empty stomach? Alas, I believe it will be the way forward from now on as I am opting out of the whole 'eating' thing. OK..maybe that 's a bit of an exaggeration, but my eating will be severely limited for the forseen future.

Now, I know a lot of you are probably shaking your head saying 'there she goes again with her losing weight and food obsession.' HA. Well, for once you'd be wrong about my reason for not eating. This time it is, wuite simply, because the greenish-gray, leaf-like mouse that I saw scurry across our kitchen floor in August, decided to scurry across my foot last night. This time I felt it, but didn't see it. Jen was lucky enough to be within close proximity so as to receive the full blast of my piercing scream. Earlier that night I had been telling her that very few things freak me out. Spiders - no prob, I've read Charlotte's web. Worms - nah..unless they are being flung at me like Ryan Simmonds did back in Biology class. Men - rarely and enough said. But a MOUSE that scurries across my foot (and gets his little foot stuck in my sock at one point) does freak me out - enough to curb my kitchen visits by A LOT.

And yes, I had a few bevvies earlier in the night, but I know I wasnt imagining things this time...I wasn't thinking about mice at all, I was thinking about how much I like Peanut Butter & Toast.

Anyway..If anyone has suggestions about how we can get this mouse out of hiding, so Keri & Jen don't admit me for psychological testing, please let me know. Oh..but it has to be humane. As much as I don't like mice, I am pretty sure I want this one to live...unless I find it in bed with me some night.

So - in comparison to the mouse incident, the rest of the weekend was rather mild.

Friday evening was a night out at the movies. Hadn't done that in a was v. nice :) Jen was in Glasgow seeing her parents off at the airport. She came back with tales of good shopping and meeting the son of the man who owns Filthy McNasty's. Small world after all.

Saturday we ventured out in search of bargains at car boot sale. I scored four books and 1 real muffin tin. Be 'real' I mean it actually had some depth to it. Most of the muffin tins here are so shallow you could only bake cookies in them. Hmmm.

We then headed off to ASDA (read Wal-Mart). It was the most North American experience I've had since I arrived here (recall - I don't eat fastfood). I hated it and loved it. ASDA is basically a huge grocery store and department store combined. I loved the grocery selection and the make-your-own pizza concept. I hated the crowds of shoppers with ther huge carts and unhappy faces..oh and the smell wafting from teh fast food cafeteria. Ugh. It was a bit too remniscent of Wal-Mart at home. It reminded me of just how addicted we are to consumption. But is it an enjoyable experience? Nope. When I consider the atmosphere at the Charlottetwon farmers Market versus the Superstore or Wal-Mart, there is a remarkable difference. People go to the Farmers Market to shop, but they also go there to socialise. I don't think I've ever gone there without running into someone I knew. A lot more smiles and friendly chatter, healthier, fresher food. Oh, but you have to give up a bit on selection & cheapness.

Saturday night = Drinking & Dancing. For first time in long time actually felt v. popular..with invites from four different friends/groups of friends. Wooohooo..we are finally making a home here and a fab circle of friends. Anyway, in the end we somehow found ourselves at the Walk About where I decided it was time again for a Congo Line. Ole Ole! JEn lead again and it was pretty good..although short-lived.

Today is pretty mellow day - am just going to do a bit of shopping, then we are going to see Shawshank Redemption on the big screen.

NOw..did you think I'd possibly forget SISTER SAHRA?

HAPPY 28th Birthday from your younger SHISHTA!!! Looking forward to making a huge and embarrassing ordeal out of it when you come over next week. Rest assured there will be singing, excessive attention-getting and plenty of chocolate cake.

Best wishes for a fab year..I know you will make it so :)

Friday, September 24, 2004

A Point Form Post RE: Last Nights Mini-Karaoke Bar Crawl
Gone too long. Lost priority at Filthy's. Only got to sing one song (Footloose), with one microphone to share. Song started skipping half way through.

Don, the Karaoke guy, missed us. Big hugs and 'where have you been?'.

Apologies to Jen's Mom (Janet) for spiking her cooler with German vodka, turning a 5% alcoholic beverage into a 50% alcoholic beverage!

Edinburgh wind disappears once it gets dark and the streets are deserted.

Walkabout on Thursday night = Good Deal on Drinks -£1 in, then all drinks £1.

Deep-fried Mars Bar..the often talked about, rarely seen Scottish specialty finally sampled at Cafe Piccante. Fat, sugar & chocolate all in one bite. You will just have to try it for yourself.

Jen's parents are cool! Roy can cut up the dance floor, his daughter inherited that ability.

Johnny B Good - great song :)

In bed by 1.00. Late(r) for work today...paid for my sin(g)s

Stay tuned for more tales from the weekend, with plans for car boot sale & night out w/the army..or at least some of their employees!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Thursday + Jen’s Parents Visiting + A Wee Bit of Vodka + No Shame = Karaoke Night at Filthy McNasty’s. Yep, that’s right…after a 1 month 5 day hiatus (yes, I counted..believe me it wasn’t hard) from the Rose St bar, we are returning. Oh dear. On a high note, however, I am looking forward to the singing + drinking portions of the evening…just not necessarily keen on the venue. Funny how that is eh? In the beginning it was all the rage, but now we’ve moved onwards (and upwards) in our quest for the best night out. There were, of course, mitigating factors for our relocation.

Anywho, not a whole lot to report on, the week has been pretty uneventful. Me thinks the weekend will make up for it though, starting tonight! Since there is little to comment on with regards to my adventures in Scotland this week, I will use this post to make random (read – babbling) comments about the state of the world & marshmallows. last night I was watching the news. Cat Stevens (pop singer of the 60’s & 70’s) was on a flight to Washington (from London). The plane was diverted to Bangor, Maine, where he was taken in for questioning, then deported and told not to return to the US. Apparently he was on a Terrorist Watch List. WHY???? No one really seems to know. He converted to Muslim back in the 70’s, but has condemned terrorist attacks and reworked Peace Train last year to protest the war in Irag. Hmmmmm.

Anyway, so yeah..marshmallows are really expensive over here. Like super that no one really would want to make Rice Krispie squares because they wouldn’t be worth the ££. And the only place you can find marshmallows is in the candy section…not in the baking section. I have taken to eliminating marshmallows from my diet as a result.

Haiti has already lost over 700 people to the severe flooding of the island. The other side of the island lost only 11 people to the floods (it is another country, my geography escapes me at the moment – actually it always it Cuba??)Anyway, the reason that Haiti has been devastated, while the other country on the other side of the island has not is due to deforestation. Haiti is extremely poor, so it has had to cut down its forests to increase agricultural lands. The lack of forest cover is being attributed to the floods, because the land simply could not absorb all that water. More and more I am realising just how devastating agricultural demands can be in so many respects.

Oh..looks like my lunch is over..back to the grind. Let me muster up some enthusiasm….woohoo.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Wow..Tuesday already. Crazy. OK, the truth is I am utterly bored and, upon beginning this blog, have no idea what I am going to write because, essentially, I have nothing to say. So I will fill this space with random notes, thoughts, suggestions, etc. Feel free to navigate away at any time unless you are as bored as I.

For all of you Spreading A little Ker In the World fans, I feel obligated to tell you that Ms Shields has not broken any fingers, is still in good health and regularly visits the Internet CafĂ©. From this you can conclude that she has no acceptable excuse for not blogging in the PAST MONTH!! Personally, I don’t mind..I know what she is up to ;) And her lack of blogging likely means I have more readers on my blog, but I know that some people must be wondering Where in the World is Keri? Or Why Doesn’t She Blog. Well, today, I can reveal that answer without fear of any consequences from Ms Shiilds (as she never reads my blog). The answer is simple: MSN Messenger. Yep, that’s right..every time Keri goes to the Internet she hops right on Messenger and starts chatting away. She may have all intentions of writing a blog post, but the lure of talking in real time to people back home s just too much – she needs discipline. There, I’ve outed Keri – I heart you KerBer!!! Anyway, rest assured she’s having a grand time!

For friends who’ve left PEI – can you email me sometime and let me know if/when you will be home during the Christmas holidays?!?!? This little planner wants to be sure she sees everyone and maybe co-hosts a Scottish shindig with her fab flatmates. Yes, yes this is a thinly veiled attempt to get emails from friends but can you blame me? My Inbox has been depressingly empty as of late (save for Blair House reunion!!!). there’s this store called ASDA over here which I’ve yet to visit b/c it they tend to be out in the suburbs. People kept telling me it was the Wal-Mart equivalent, which made it slightly unappealing, but last night Jen & her parents came home with food ..including yummy Build-Your-Own pizzas, which were from ASDA!! And Janet said it was pretty much like the Superstore back home. It is now a priority visit for me!

You know what else is funny – they have Woolworth’s stores over here. American icon that died in the 60’s is still alive and well over here. They have a great pick’n’mix and candy section.

There I have filled a void of time with useless chatter. Woohoo. Tonite I will have to find something else to fill the void of time, as Keri & Jen have both deserted me for better things (Germany & Scotland tour respectively). Maybe I will buy a puzzle…

Monday, September 20, 2004

Bonjour, bonjour! Yes, me thinks a voyage to France's Disneyland is a necessity. True, I can't really afford the £ to visit Mickey & Donald and it may be rather cold by tthe time we finally make it there (i.e. November), but HELLO..its DISNEY :) Last night I was not so keen on the idea..obviously I was being too practical & logical..the consequence of having finally caught up on my sleep. Anyways..we shall see..there are free flights via one of the discount airlines, but sale ends tonight so will have to be impulsive purchase (will just pretend I am buying candy then!).

Right - OK, here's Weekend Review.

Starting where I finished off on Saturday (with overly sentimental and chirpy post), I headed to SuperCuts to get my mop chopped off yet again (for anyone wondering, yes..its been a mere three weeks since last haircut!). ANyway, I might as wellhave gone to a barbershop and saved myself some money..yes, my hair is just that short. I wish I had a cool hat to wear.

Saturday evening was another Walk About..I know, I know..predictable! Ah well, it is always a good time. Before heading out, us gals, along with Jen's parents and Stacy (Keri's friend), had a photo slideshow, checking out all of KEri & Jen's pics from the past four and a half months.Conclusions - Jen & I go out on the town A LOT and always take pics at the beginning of the night, when we look half decent. Keri & Jen both love taking pics of themselves. I need more clothes.

The Walk About was a good time, we met up with some Canadian dudes we've befriended. Oh, but the weirdest thing is that when I was leaving the bar some guy asked me if I'd been in Ireland the week before. How weird is that?? Didn't realise I was so memorable..he must have seen my graceful fall to the pavement.

Sunday was a rather quiet day - shopping, phone calls to friends/family back home and a rather sentimental movie to finish off the weekend. Oh..and I picked up an application form at a shop that my friend works at. I think its about time I got myself a P/T night job...

So..yeah, it was a pretty quiet weekend by Edinburgh terms. But hey, we all need those on occassion and if I were back in PEI I ssupect I would be getting overload of quiet weekendsd!

Oh BTW - I forgot to mention two things from my Dublin tri:.

ONE: Customs is an OPTIONAL PROCESS at Edinburgh airport. Seriously, once you pick your baggage you can opt to go through the customs area or simply exit the terminal. Lovely.

TWO: Issey Miyake perfume smells sooooo good..I think I will have to splurge with money I don't have!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Ahhh...what an absolutely gorgeous day! It is one of those rare Saturday afternoons in Edinburgh, when teh sun is shining and there's a crispness in the air that is refreshing rather than chilling to the bone. Autumn is upon us and, so far, has been splendid in comparison to the summer we had.

Ok, apologies for is just that I have absolutely fallen in love...with our little neighbourhood in Edinburgh. WEll, technically, it is the neighbourghood just adjacent to us, called Stockbridge. This morning, I decided to take a meandering walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and then wind my way thrugh Stockbridge. The Botanic Gardens were lovely..they have anoutdoor exhbition on right now called Earth From The Air. Arial photographs taken by a true artiswt, which demonstrate the intricate links between humanity and nature. ALongside each massive pictureboard were thought provoking details about the fragility of nature and the impact humans have had on it. Some stats to ponder: Scientists stimate over 50,000 species become extinct EACH YEAR. 77% of the world's freshwater sources are used for agriculture, namely for irrigation. OK, so that was that......

Right, so next I meandered in Stockbridge, which is this lovely, bohemiam area with plenty of little shops and sunshine. Previous to today, I'd generally just walked through the area and taken pleasure in that, but today I decided to check out some of the shops. Wow...from the quaint Second Hand Bookshop to the Bread & Cheese shop to the bakery with free samples of almond cake and the ORganic grocery with lovely Carrot Cake samples, I was stunned. Who knew one street could pack in so many treasures? And I didn't even go into any of the cafes or restaurants, although I suspect they are just as tempting and unique. Yes, I must say, we are in an excellent location, adjacent to posh New Town, the BOtanic Gardens, within a short walk of Princes Street and alongside the lovely Stockbridge. I only hope the weather holds for Sahra's visit, because the sunshine makes all the difference.

Last night was a quiet one as Keri & Jen were changing rooms. It came to the attention of Jen & I that Keri is a pack rat. That being said, I was impressed by teh speed with which she made her new room a cosy little retreat with candles and pictures up on the wall..I only wonder where she hid all those 'essential' items that had been shoved in a dresser drawer???

Jen's parents arrived this morning. They brought treats, like good parents do, a nice sisters will! Amongst the treasures- red licorice & Cripsy Crunch bars, THat's right people, these are necessities we've been living without for the past four months.

Shite..low time warning..this is post for now..sorry for lack of wit..blah blah blah.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Friday yet again?!?! Where did the week go? Right, so the sun is shining in this crazy city and I'm sitting at my desk, trying to resist the cakes and peanut butter cookies (yes, was me who baked tehm!) by chewing on sugar-free Tesco gum. TGIF adn only 3 hours left.

ANyway, today I've decided to by psychological (note: not pyschotic) and revisit the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator Types. Back in December I became rather.,.,er..obsessed with this personality test. I suppose the fact that my results were bang on slightly unnerved me, but I think I was namely interested in understanding the various personalities of others and how relations are affected by the mixing of personalities. All very interesting to me, probably not to some others. Funnily enough, a person's interest and belief in things such as personality tests is a reflection of their personality. Some people are a bit more skeptical ..they need scientific proof or something like that. The fact that it makes sense is enough for me to believe in its validity

Anyway, I found a pretty good website that offers a Myers-Brigg like test (the realthing costs mucho $$) and insight into each personality. For the record, I am an ENFJ (apparently a rather rare type) . I've taken this test via a few different sources and always come out the same. Go figure. There are a few traits I'd disgaree with, but on the whole it's me in a nutshell.

If you want to check out the site/do the test, here's the link:

Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Well, that's it from Psychology 101 Shannon-style today! I'm off to eat some cakes (oh the gum could ever be a satisfactory substitute!).

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Sigh. Back to work after a looooonnnng weekend. I’ve lost my vending card and one of the programs I use every day somehow got deleted in my 2-day absence. On the upside, the minestrone soup from the deli is lovely. I am sipping it as I write this.

OK – enough about my boring Tuesday morning, this blog post has to be about aforementioned Long Weekend! In breaking with tradition, I will give this post a title:

Shannon Does Dublin

(I’m glad my name isn’t Debbie or Doris….could result in some disturbing misinterpretations of that title.)

The ABBREVIATED VERSION of my weekend in Dublin:

A little bit of country life, a little bit of night life
Excessive eating of food, excessive viewing of movies
Hockey watching and clothes shopping

The WEE BIT LONGER VERSION of my weekend in Dublin:

Thursday Evening: Arrive in Dublin via Ryanair flight, feeling slightly nauseous due to eating a whole bag of jelly babies while waiting for flight take-off. In absence of reading material I had chosen to spend my time window shopping Vending Boulevard and selectively choosing my sweet of choice. Was greeted at Dublin airport by former flatmate/current friend, Gavin. First impression of new ban on workplace smoking was rather poor, given that two Irish blokes decided to light up on the bus from the airport. Cough, cough. (sidenote: impression vastly improved during rest of trip as was greeted by a breath of freshish air at bar after bar). Played catch up on lives (given the fact that I blog regularly I really had no news to tell, although it should be noted that this did not stop me from rambling on as I tend to do)

Friday Day: My big surprise plan – a trip to Glendalough (which stands for ‘Geln & 2 Lakes). It is about 30 miles outside of Dublin and I’d heard it was a beautiful piece of countryside. Yep..first thing I wanted to do upon landing in Dublin was get out of it J Anywho, turned out to be a beautiful & serene place. Save for the lashing of rain that we got caught in, it was thoroughly enjoyable. I wouldn’t have minded the rain at all, except that it did my hair in completely. Sigh..I am just SO high maintenance! Surprisingly , I am not made of sugar (despite excessive ingestion of cola bottles & other such sugary foods), so I did not melt away in rain.

Friday Evening: A take-it-easy-after-long-day-of-doing-nothing kind of evening. We went for dinner, then watched Shaun of the Dead, which I’d prematurely assumed would be a silly spoof of Dawn of the Dead, but was actually a hilarious, British comedy with original plot line.

Saturday Day: Shopping for clothes. Actually, was more like tagging along with shopper extraordinaire, Gavin. All my preconceived impressions of guys & shopping flew out the window. I was slightly embarrassed and ashamed of my inability to do real girl shopping, but will blame it on my lack of funds and practical approach to shopping for clothes/shoes.

We also visited the cinema and watched Anchorman – The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Hilarious! Almost as good as Dodgeball! Of course, for me, movie viewing was secondary to Pick’N’Mix experience. I’ve yet to com across another movie theatre that rivals the UGC in Dublin for its fantabulous Pick’N’Mix. Who needs popcorn and Nibs, when you have access to bins full of a lovely variety of candies including cola bottles, marshmallow bananas and sour worms??

Satruday Night: Attend leaving do for one of Gavin’s friends. This involves more eating, this time of the Asian persuasion. A Japanese sushi restaurant to be precise. I veered on the side of safety, or so I thought, by ordering a Chicken Curry Thai Style. While it was delicious to the mouth, I really think my stomach was still a bit unhappy with my Saigon Saigon Saigon stunt. Sigh. On the upside, I tried Salmon Sushi (that’s right, raw fish) and quite liked it.

Following on the food, drinks were a must, thus a bar crawl ensued. For me, it ended as a bar fall, but that’s not something we need elaborate on. Apparently my depth perception is further inhibited when there is drink involved. Why must sidewalks and roads be at different heights? Why? Anyway, finished up the bar crawl at The Outback, a v. cool bar similar to the WalkAbout (i.e. Australian themed). They were playing the World Hockey Semi-Finals via CBC. What a sight for this Shanadian – good ol CBC with Ron MacLean and the Air Canada Centre with its Canadian adverts. O Canada, O Dear..I am getting sentimental.

Sunday – A movie marathon, with Outback interlude. Back to the movie theatre – Gavin with his bloody unlimited movie pass, me with my Student Card (bless ISIC and my youthful looks!). Open Water & Supersize Me were the shows of the day. Personally, I preferred Supersize Me – excellent documentary, slightly disturbing. V. grateful I do not consume Fast Food. Ever grateful to Mom for cooking us real meal as kids,, and to QEES for making school lunches that were so unattractive (except Hot Dog Friday) That a bag lunch was always preferred. We ate dinner before Supersize Me..not sure this was the greatest plan, but anywho…

Monday I was on my own, so made my way to the ol workplace (AIB) to visit former co-workers/friends. It is so nice when you see people after a long time and they remark on weight loss. Thank You Sandra! Apparently I’ve lost loads of weight. I suppose I will take that in positive light. I neglected to review my weekend eating at this point in time. Holiday calories don’t count J

I redeemed myself in the area of clothes shopping by picking up some real bargains. In total I spent 16 Euro and got myself 2 pair of trousers and 1 top. One pair of trousers was so cheap the store wouldn’t let me try them on!

That was about the excitement of Monday. I returned home (so strange, but I refer to Edinburgh as home now) last night and am trying to catch up on sleep and recover from eating copious amounts. The next few weeks promise to be just as hectic, with Jen’s parents visiting, then my big sis coming over for 12 days! Woohoo J

On final note: Dublin is much more pleasing to the eye than it was last year, and more enjoyable (at least for me) as a visitor. I didn’t realise I missed the Irish accent until I went back there. So much nicer than the Scottish accent .


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

So, how was the much-anticipated fireworks display that was to end the Edinburgh Festivals in a big way? Well, must say they were the best fireworks I never saw. In true Scottish style, fog descended upon the city mere minutes before the fireworks display was to begin. They still carried out the show, however none but the lowest and smallest of the fireworks could be seen. Ah well, that's Mother Nature for ya. They sounded good though....

Last night I made the unwise choice to attend an all-you-can eat Chinese buffet, where I then made the unwise choice to eat all I could plus some more. I am now suffering backlash from my stomach. It hates me. I can't blame it. The thought of eating anything is a complete turn off at the moment.
I am NEVER eating buffet again. If you ever see me being tempted by teh idea, please, please just say these words: 'Saigon Saigon'

Anyway, will hope that an hour of boxercise and attempt to detoxify through massive water intake results in me feeling better, less like I've been at sea for the last month., As long as I am still under Ryanair weight restrictions (are there such things for passengers?? there should be ), I will be on a flight to Dublin tomorrow. I suppose I could always figure out how they get those blimps to stay in the air, then just take up that method of self-transport :)

Positive note of the day - it has been absolutely gorgeous weather here as of late (save for the fogginess of Sunday evening) and I am reminded of just how much an impact abit of sunshine can have on one's mood

Grumble of the Day - Commercial websites that display a COONTACT US option, which, when clicked, will not allow you to email unless your computer is set up to automotically do so. How am I supposed to email unless I have an email address?
In moment of brilliance I go to check Source option, which would let me view original HTML coding, but the option is grayed out on my computer. Bloody bullocks. I need to contact my travel agency about flight home at Christmas. Phone call too expensive, and no access to email address. Sigh.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

There are certain activities which persons should most definitely take out personal injury/damage insurance on before pursuing. Sure, sure, there are those so-called 'extreme sports' and 'adventure' acitivities such as white water rafting, bungee jumping and rock climbing that one would take part in with a certain expectation that they MAY get a few bump, bruises, maybe even a broken limb, but it would be just as wise to consider the risks involved in a night out at a Scottish Ceilidh. I, for one, did not realise that dancing with men in kilts could be so hazardous to the health. I suspected it could be tempting in a multitude of ways, but never imagined it could be so bloody paiunful.

Right, so Saturday evening, Keri, Jen & I showed up at the Caledonian Brewery (same one we'd visited for the beer festival in our early Edinburgh days). Inisde the large ware-house style pub, there were long bench style tables lined up against the walls, adorned with tartan linens & candles (seriously, I never cease to be amazed by the numerous fire hazards at the public buildings and bars over here - Where's a Scott Mintie when you need him?). There was a huge dancing area in the middle of the massive bar (picture the school gym at junior high prom) It was really quite lovely and atmospheric. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

We joined Brandon and his mates from the softball league he was in. There were men in kilts sitting within a metre of me. Actually, I was sitting on the kilt of the bloke beside me, who, incidentally, was from Canada. Yep, so the band started playing a traditional Scottish song and a load of lads & lassies just hopped up on the dance floor and started twirling and whirling around. I was shocked - they all knew exactly what to moves to do. Where did they learn this? Where Scottish dancing classes part of the mandatory class curriculm for elementary students in Scotland?

Well, soon enough I was getting the itch to dance myself. Some of the moves reminded were similar to those I'd learned in Irish set dancing classes waaaaayyyyyy back when I was a wee 18-year old. ANyway some lovely older gent in a kilt came up and asked Keri to dance in a Set Dance. Next thing you know, I caught Jen's eye and she was like 'Do you want to go up?' Oh what the heck! So, of course, I ended up being the lead (i.e. guy) to Jen and when it came our turn to lead the set dance we were so ghastly I almost collapsed in fits of laughter. The only thing that kept me from keeling over was the assistance of other dancing couples in our set. It didn;t take too long to catch on though, especially when we realised that the whole 'blind leading the blind' thing wasn't the best way to go about learning a jig or reel. We made sure, after that, to pair up with someone who had at least a vague idea what they were doing.

All was going along well with regards to my physical well-being (save for the fact that I was absolutely dripping in sweat and my face melting off) until weJen & I got up with Brandon & another lad (in a kilt) for a set dance. The lad in the kilt knew all the dances, and before we'd even recieved our instructions he informed us that in this particular dance the gents had to lift the ladies. Ha ja. Poor Brandon got stuck with me. AS it turned out the whole lifting thing invoved two getns and two lads coming together in a tight huddle, with the girls putting one arm around the shoulder of each lad, adn the lads lifiting each girl around the waist then spinning around and aroud for a 16 count. At first I felt sorry for Barndon, but after just one spin I felt sorry for myself. My upper arms were in excruciating pain and my head was spinning. But we had to keep on dancing, and dancing and dancing, I don't know how many times we did that spinny thing, but by the end of it I thought my arms were going to fall off. As it turned out, a rather large and unattracive (as opposed to the attractive ones) bruise was forming under my left arm. Oh the pain.

The rest of the dances were great fun and less painful. The topper was a line-style dance, where the lads lined up facing the gals, all the way down the dance floor (there must ahve ben forty couples at least), and the couple at the top of the line did a spin for 16 counts, then started of twirling their way down the line. I can't really explain it, but it was quite a spectacle and I've never had so many people's sweat on me. There was one guy who was absolutely soaked in sweat, I nearly slipped off him (ew!).

Sigh. I want to go there again SOON! BUt we need to find us some male dancing partners and learn some dance moves. I have probably bored you with this detailed account of our ceilidh night but it was SO MUCH FUN!!!

As for the rest of the weekend - Friday night was leaving dos galore and cheap shots (completly unplanned), with finale of the night taking place at WalkAout where I came up with brilliant oidea to bid Brandon adieu via a song request. In absence of any ability to think (And I can't believe I did this to a Canadian), I requested Summer of '69. Don't get me wrong, I do like the song and I knew the DJ had it, so was a reasonable choice, but it is just too cliche Canadian. Next time I will request something less cheese, more true Canadian like Bob & Doug or Stan Rogers.

Today marks the last day of the Edinburgh Festivals and the city's farewell comes in the shape of a massive fireworks display with orchestra accompainment. I'm not sure the weather will hold out, its overcast at the moment, but am certain it will be a spectacular sight in any case.

So, now I must wander on to the mall in hopes that the hair salon where I cut my do done last Thursday is open. YOu see, she didn't cut enough off and today, in moment of frustration I took the scissors to my fringe (ie bangs) Jen said she couldn't notice any difference, but I fear that if I leave it alone for any more time, I will not be able to resist more snipping. This would be disastrous, as anyone who has seen me hold a pair of scissors, knows.

K..not sure when I'll be posting again, as must do research on London during my lnch break s at work, and am off to Dublin on Thursday for long weekend! I wil try my best to post mid-week and let you know if I still have hair on my head.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Just a short blog today, not much to report I'm afraid. Reason for lack of activiites upon which to report is that I've been rather under the weather for the majority of the week..bit of a cold.Usually I try to deny presence of sickness and just go about my business as usual, but this time I had to force myself to take it easy as it was absolutely essential that I recuperate by the weekend. So..for first time in this working girl's history, I took yesterday off work. I spent my free time (not really free though, was an opportunity cost of £30) sleeping in, finishing jigsaw puzzle, creating crafty things to decorate flat and devising new Healthy Eating plan.

So..did day off work help in recovery? ABsolutely! I am feeling much, much better today..althogh admittedly a bit lightheaded.

So, the weekend. Yeah. Woohoo. 3 Leaving Dos & a Ceilidh to Attend.

The leaving dos are for: 2 workmates + 1 Canadian friend and they are all tonight. Luckily the the work leavings are a combined event, so will pop into that first, tehn make my way to say farewells to our Ottawa friend, Brandon. Oh..sidenote about work-do - am hoping Jen will join me as am trying to matchmake her with the lad (the only one) on our team - don't worry R & J, he is really, really nice boy - a rarity. Too young for me though.

Tomorrow night we are heading to a ceilidh at the Caledonian Brewery. Brandon is having his leaving do with softball team and we are honourary members due to our unwavering support and presence at the sidelines (I think..or it could just be that he likes our company!) I am looking forward to many kilt viewings, some traditional Scottish dance and a few bevvies! that's all the news that is the news today. Sorry for shortness, although in truth you are all probbaly happy with my succinctness (for once).