Friday, July 29, 2005

I am on holiday yet again! I think I may have picked a not so good week to take off work, but ah well, what can ya do? It has been thoroughly enjoyable despite the weather being all too reminiscent of last OCTOBER. It is still July right? You'd never know from teh rain and freezing temps of this week. Anywho, aside from Mother Nature, the last week has been absolutely brilliant.

This past Friday was the annual Beach BBQ for our department. This meant free food, free booze, and plenty of chances to make an idjit of oneself in front of colleagues and managers. Luckily, the cheap, boxed white wine did not have such an effect on me as to result in my becoming the entertainment! I did drink a wee bit, at a whole lot and tried to partake in a game of Rounders. Rounders is like softball, but with a bigger, softer ball and, evidently, no rules. Each team was ful of drunken Scottish people trying to play a friendly game no very uneven terrain that happened to be a favorite for rabbit holes. Now, based on teh way the game was played, it would appear that if you didn't hit the ball by the third try you just threw the bat down and ran like wild fire for first base.... Yeah, it was quite the 'game' :)

Saturday involved makign travel ararngmenet s for our trip to the Isle of Arran, making a three course dinner for myself and the flatmates and then making my way to the WalkAbout for a wee bit of dancing. It was actually one of the most productive Saturdays I have had in a long time

Sunday looked like it was going to be wet & rainy so JEn, Lindsay and I did the equivalent of a Moncton trip - we went to Livingstone - shopper's delight and budget traveller's nightmare. It's a place full of retail outlet shops and big box stores. Did I mention the Cadbury outlet store?!?! Cheap, delicioous chocolate in bins and big bags. Oh what a day! I came home with one pair of jeans, four tops, four lipsitcks, one palette of makeup, six chocolate bars, one book on calorie counting (yes, yes, I do note the irony and completely ignore it!), plus a few other random things which I cannot recall right now. £55 pounds less in my bank accout and with an even greater dilemna of how to I am going to get all my belongings home. OH what a tangled web we weave when at first we do... go to Livingstone !

OK - I am sorry but I have to go meet Beth at the Witchery and maybe a few random Americans that we met while on the Isle of Arran. Will write about that in my next blog post. Hope all ye are well ....

Monday, July 18, 2005

I've been a bad bad blogger. I am sorry, but the weather has been blissfully beautiful and the wine has been flowing like, well, like it does when certain relatives of mine have their hands ona bottle - perhaps I have inherited a Sampson gene that is just now rearing its lush head. Ahem. OK, sorry I am exaggerating there, but I must admit I am starting to sppreciate the idea of having a glass or two of vino midweek to break the mundanity of it all. UNfortunately, I find one or two glasses often means one or two bottles. In any case, I've been slacking on the emails and blogging as a result of the sunshine, wine and lunchtime exercise.

An update of past events and future plans:

OK, last week is pretty much a blur (refer to above paragraph regarding vino consumption for reasonable explanation as to the blurriness of it all). I know I worked a lot, did boxercise on Wednesday and went to Helene's on Thursday night to do travel research which, of course, required wine & chocolate consumption!

Anywho, it turns out Helene is more of a Beatles nut than I we are doing a weekend trip to Liverpool!!!! We are going to do the Magical Mystery tour and check out Strawberry Lane and the site of the Cavern Club and all that jazz (or pop music..whatever)!!!! I am soooo excited!!!!!! Liverpool is meant to have a fab nightlife as well. Anyways, we are missing Beatle week by only a few days, but I think I am glad I will not be in Liverpool whent ehre are thousands of Beatles fanatics about. Don't ask me why I think avoidance is a good thing- I just have a gut feeling :)

Anywho, Friday evening was pretty tame - Kelly, Lindsay, Ailbhe and I went to see the Wedding Crashers with Owen Wilso, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken and a guest star who rules!! Film was hilarious. Lindsay was even more hilarious, but that is another story which I will not divulge.

Saturday I was up at 6.30 and at work by 8.00 to do O/T. Yes, I am desperate for some extra cash. Anywho, after five hours of O/T we all kind of thought it would be a good idea to haev a few drinks at the pub. By we I really mean Helene, she si always the instigator. ANywho, after a mad rush to the box office to get a bunch of Fringe Festival tickets, I met up with some of my workmates at a pub in town and we had a wee bit of wine. I finally made my way home about four hours later (and one bottle of wine later). I had, in this span of time, managed to rnu across teh street to Sainsbury's twice. The first time to buy the new HarryPotter book, the second time to buy TP (I had an inspiration and recalled that we were lacking TP at the flat)

I had dinner and then Ailbhe and John came over and we all went out to the Walk About, which was actually fun. I think it is only decent in the summer there. Teh Old Guy was there and Jen practically shoved me into him, insisting I must talk to him before I depart Scotland. Alas, not tonight Jen!

Sunday was pretty low key - Kelly & I went to watch Jen and the Canadian guys play softball. Grand was looking especially sporty and hot in his bleach blonde eighties hair wig and fake tatoos! I can't believe he played the tourney donned in that wig - priceless and picture worthy. Good thing I brought my camera :)

Kelly & I then left the ball field for the high street where we searched for bargains - July is sale month over here!!!! I foud two tops but ironically, neither was on sale. Actually, that isn't realyl irony, that just sad....

Um..ok, that' teh weekend review.

Plans/News for the future:

I have next week off - I am going to the Isle of Arran and maybe hosting a fellow Islander and his girlfriend, who have been touring around Scotland and saved the best city for last!!

August = Festival!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHannon's Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Church Community BBQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Trip to Isle of Skye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, you get the idea - lots of fun and excitement to be had as the days wind down....

Hope all is well with everyone else - it would be great to get some email updates (hint hint)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I cannot walk. That is my only excuse for not going ona stroll with Helene on this absolutely gorgeous lunch hour. Apparently a weekend that involves charging at full speed up an incline of more than 45 degrees to show off and then climbing many spiral staircases of a palace can lead to sore calves. And OMG are my calves sore (no, i haven't moved to a farm..I speak of my lower leg muscles!). Um, yeah, so I am apparently walking a bit like a chicken today and at the speed of a snail (What is with all the animal references??). This is all much tothe amusement of my co-workers. I, however, am slightly concerned that this could only mean one thing: I am getting OLD! But I digress, this is supposed to be Weekend Review post, so here it goes.

Friday Night

Started the weekend off with a glass of wine and company of Helene at the Ritz. Tehre is nothing Ritzy about the is simply the closest and only bar within walking distance of Scottish Equitable. There were loads of people sitting and laying out in the greass surrounding the bar though, so it really was quite nejoyable and the scenery not to be dismissed. I love how Scottish guys (maybe all guys??) will remove as many items of clothing as possible when given any excuse!

I then made my way home and joined Kelly, Lindsay& MEily for girlie night which involved pigging out on taewaway anc chocolate with NO SHAME! And, of course, watching a romantic moive (The Notebook) and other films. Jen joined us later in the evening after her shift at the C Bar was over. We were watching the movie with the lights our when i spied a shadow running along the wall under the t.v stand. Our mouse is back - or a new generation has spawned. At first no one believed me, but they do now as more sightings over the weekend proved I am only paranoid and have an over-active imagiaitnon wihen it comes to certain things...


I spent the afternoon with Sean - we were supposed to climb Arthur's Seat so I was really pumped to finally get away from an activity that involed me consuming food. AS I really don't need anymore. ALas, Sean was hungry so we had to stop for a meal and he insisted (no really, I was honestly putting up a genuine fight) that he order me a serperate dessert, on the basis that he belieived I would eat half of his if there wasn't a plate in front of if... anywho, we eventually made our way up the hill/mountain I tried to show off and kind of run p the hill. That attempt lasted all of a minute but I am paying in pain now!

Following on that I raced back to the flat to prepare my potluck dish. I opted for making the easy but highly demanded Irish Soda Bread. The girls ate this up like crazy last time I made it!
Anywho, we had about ten people at the flat for a potluck in honour of Emily's Leaving :( We gorged, we laughed and then we gorged some more. Then I poped over the Aibhe's house party,. which was fab becuase they had M&Ms and cocktails and funny Irish guys and because, for once, I wasn't one of the hostesses at something!!! A very rare event in itself and very enjoyable

The night finished off in the Grass Market where I met up with the Emily leaving crew and we headed to Drop Kicks. I think that the novelty of that place has ended.

K - I will write again soon, but back to work now!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Life is back to normalish after a rather crazy/disturbing week. I suppose I was being a bit naive in my expectation that the G8 Summit would happen without any outbreak of violence. Oh how wrong I was - unfortunately. The trouble started on Monday with riots breaking out on the Princes street - crowds of angry people throwing projectiles at the lines of fully armed riot police blocking their path of destruction. Oh, it was a messy one - but no one was injured and teh police did an impressive job of managing the angry mobs. I woudl call them protesters but they weren't - these were just persons looking for an excuse to have a good ol punch out. You know the kind of people - they can be foudn at sports games, bars, concerts and generally anywhere where there may be achance to cause a bit of trouble. Anyways, it all ended without great incident.

Wednesday was teh beginning of the G8 Summit and there was aplanned march on Glenegles,w here teh 8 men were staying. I went to work withouta hitch, but jsut after lunchw e ahd a tema huddle and were told we were being sent home for fear that smoe of teh protesters may march out to the business park I work ni. Kudos to them if tehy did - its a heck of a commute from anywhere...Anyways, i didn't really feel right just going home so I joined my co-worker for one glass of wine at a pub in teh grass Market. Somehow one glass turned into two bottles and by the time I staggered home I am sure I could have been arrested for public lunacy.....

Thursday was, well, I suppose it was indescribable. I was genuinely shocked, as was everyone. These are sad times are they not? No more noble fights between two armed knights or even two armies who know the consequences of walking into battle. No, now it is commuters and tourists, children, mothers and fathers who find themselves victims of a faceless belief that will never prevail.

On that note, I believe I should finish. I will write a weekend report next time I am on the Interne.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Oh my - funny how a moment can change one's mood so much eh? I mean twenty minutes ago I was chirpy (well, for a Monday anyway) and looking forward to my lunch break so I could blog the weekend details to you all. And then, a super short conversation with my SM at work turn my mood completely sour. It is confirmed - I am not suited to this job and this job is not suited to me and I am so tired of feeling incompetent and slow. It is draining me of all my spark and enthusiasm to be here day in and day out with absolutely no confidence that I am answering queries correctly or processing efficiently. Basically I suck at this job and hate knowing that. A failure at my first 'real' job. Ahem.

Right, so enough of the dreariness and self pity I suppose....

Weekend Review

Friday Evening = Canada Day celebrations!!! The result of last-minute planning became rather evident when our 'party' numbers didn't even reach the double digits. But, as they say, quality is more important than in quality and in the company of Beth, Anne, BRandon, Ailbhe and John, plus us Islanders, much fun was had.

I decided my ensemble for the night should be my flag. This decision came about after much deliberation and many outfits were tried on. Basically the flag hid my (big) flaws and reinforced my partiotism and lack of white articles of clothing.

We eventually made our way to The Globe, a backpackers bar where last year the whole place was a mass of red & white. Not so much this year - possibly because it was a Friday night, possibly because it was teh eve of the March for Poverty. In any case, there were some Canucks there and some wanna be canucks. The night was enjoyed thoroughly by all, although for some it was cut rather short due to excessive amount ofalcohol intake/ lack of tolerance.


Following on a mid-morning jog around the deserted streets of Stockbridge, Jen & I finally ade our way up towards the Meadows, which is a huge park where lots of events were planned ot coincide with the Live8 and March for Poverty events. When we reached Princes Street we were greeted by the sight of a sea of people in white walking slowly and peacefully down the street, Marching to Make Poverty History. Jen & I deduced that it would take longer and be moer frustrating to try to go against the flow of people to get ot hte MEadows, so we merged into the march and eventually foound ourselves at the Meadows. We enjoyed an afternoon of entertainment and checked out some of the booths set up for the day. Ironically, we were able to land some free food, bottled water and, er, protection. Ironic eh? I mean, we are the ones that can afford all this stuff and we were supposed to be there to encourage fair trade and all that jazz, but still we were able to get more free food than most Africans probably consume in any given day. Certainly they wouldn't have access to the juicy oranges being provided.

Saturday evening we all sat in and watched the Live8 concert on tv. It was amazing! Then Jen mentioned she wouldn't mind going to the Walk About (I think this is because we heard a Scissor Sisters song that reminded her of teh Walk About). So the two of us headed up to the Aussie bar and proceeded to dance the night away.


Sunday was pretty tame - I went for a jog with Beth, then did a bit of window shopping. Eventually met up with Sean and checked out War of the Worlds, which is just out here. Pretty good, but not great. Tom Cruise really is short eh?

Well, back I go to my meh job - am now dreading it :(

Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Canada Day!!!!! I'm already decked out in my reds & whites - somehow managed to squeeze into my red pants, not so sure its a pretty sight. Reaffirm commitment to healhy eating and plentyof exercise starting...tomorrow! Oh, come on now, I already bought treats for work including a chocolate fudge cake, jelly babies and yummy white choc chip cookies. Plus I HAD to make chocolate muffins with choclate icing for our Canada Day bash at the flat tongiht. Then I had to make peanut butter cookies ot spread the joy of PB amongst as many Canucks as possible. So, um, yeah - healthy eating starts tomorrow :)

Anyways, I brought in my huge Canadian flag (compliments of, funnily enough, Irish & Scottish flatmates from Dublin days) . One of my coworkers hung it up on the wall. Given that this is an open office it is 'kind of' noticeable. Oh well! What can I say? I'm love being Canadian.

I've been educating the coworkers on Canadian history all morning - apparently I know a lot because I can recall that our Constitution came into effect on July 1, 1867. All those years of Canadian history classes really paid off - I am able to impress SCottish people.

ONe of the women I work with asked if Canada Day ahd anything to do with the Boston Tea Party. I confirmed that, in fac,t it did not have anything ot do with Canada Day and that the Boston Bruins suck. (OK I didn't tell her that - that was more just a dig at ma:) .

A woman from another tema came over on behalf of her colleageuse- initially they thought I was American(you know, because Americans like to hang up Maple Leafs) and was wondering if it was Independence Day. Nope, sorry - that is Monday.

Incidentally, there are already Anti-American protests planned for July 4, namely because the G8 (or Gate as Jen likes to call it) is here and people are looking for any and all reasons to protest. Tomorrow is the big day though - the March to Make Poverty History - estimates of over 200,000 protesters marching the streets. I think I will have to be there. Of course, teh Live8 concerts are also being held tomorrow - I wish I could go. The one in Edinburgh is actually on Wednesday, the day the G8 Summit kicks off.

Anywho, we are having a Canada party tonight then heading out to the Globe, where Canadian karaoke reigned last year and many renditions of Summer of 69 and If I had A Million Dollars were attempted with absolutely no success but plenty of drunken enthusiasm. Ah -red & white.

Not a whole lot else planned for the weekend - hoping it will be nice weather but forecasts are not good. May have to force myself to go on shopping spree and veg in front of the telly.

Next week's planned events will include celebrating Independence day with Emily, hostessing Emily's leaving do and GET THIS - going to a medieval festival where we can watch jousting and all sorts of other knightly things!!!

Um - I guess that's it for now! Congrats to Jen on getting a job at the C Bar. Opportuntiy to hang out with Grand, serve drinks and check out hot guys/patrons..dream job!!!

O Canada - I stand on guard for thee. Bisous.