Monday, December 27, 2004

There is a blizzard warning in effect for the Island, oh, and a storm surge warning too, but no plans to go swimming or anywhere near bridges so should be ok on that front.

So, I am storm-stayed, thus making my visit home a completely Canadian experience. As an encore, perhaps I'll have a bottle or two of beer tonight and watch CBC.

Hmm am trying to decide between watching Lord of the Rings or Ghost or It's a Wonderful Life tonight.....

I am Home Alone..... no worries though. Will not be pulling a Macauly Culkin (Jen, I know I probably spelled that wrong - bad me!)

The most eventful thing that has happened yet today is that I ventured outside to, yet again, ensure the safety of wee Smudgee. Yes, yes, I did put him out earlier in the afternoon, but believe me I didn't want to. After a few vain attempts to call for him from the front door, I determined I would have to go out and get the Smudge.
It turns out the back door couldn't be opened because the snow had drifted up against it and I am very weak. Right, so after donning my marshmallow jacket, a toque, some ski pants, a scarf and some heeled winter boots (so practical), I made my way into the blustery whiteness. Finding Smudgee was easy, getting Smudgee to come out from under the patio was not so easy. I had to shovel out the back door as I knew immediately he would never make it as far as the front door. Anyways, I finally got him inside (woohoo me!!)

And that is as eventful as it has been. I don't mind, it is nice to be homebound with Elvis, Queen et al to keep me company and plenty of choclate to keep me from starving....ahem.

Right, anyway, I am going to try something new here..I am going to try to post a pic of me and my new man - Fred. He's a great dancer and very classy.

Hmmm..still working on that I guess...will get back to trying that later, plus maybe posting some new pics in my album.

Promises, Promises.....

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Phew.. OK that was by far the scariest driving I have ever done. All in the name of Smudgee's comfort and appetite. Hmm, well maybe a bit of my own too, but mostly I did it for the cat.

I hate driving. No, wait that is NOT TRUE!! I love driving when it is sunny and the roads are clear and visibility is more than, like, 10 feet in front of you!!

So, in conclusion..I hate driving in the following circumstances:

1. I am in Canada (or any other country prone to sudden meteorological happenings that could wreak havoc)
2. It is night-time
3. It is snowing
4. It is windy
5.The roads are basically a blanket of snow
6. I really have to use the washroom

Gah! The most harrowing experience I have had since returning to PEI that hasn't been related to my thoughts/heart, but to something concrete and scary as shite - A Weather Bomb (note the use of bomb in this blog is figurative and has no doubel meaning..incidentally I recently learned that 'weather bomb' is actually a bonafide meteorological term)

12 hours ago I was completely oblivious to the impending storm and enormous amount of stress it would induce on me (my back, in particular, is suffering).

I started the day off right - having a shower, packing up presents to bring to my Dad's and making sure the house was secure, as was planning a late night out - Boxing Day Bash in SUmmerside, here I come!!

Right, so its sunny and the roads are clear all the way to my Dad's. After a pleasent present opening event we take a drive up to Lloyd & Rita's. What a blast from the past - this lovely neighbour couple were subjected to constant visit from Mary, Sara and myself when we were just wee little things. We used to visit oh, I don't know, maybe once a day. Sometimes we'd prepare a song & dance - a particular favorite amongst us three gals was 'Rockin Robin'. Lloyd & Rita would invite us in and we'd have a nice chat (well..I'm not sure how exciting it was for them to talk to 8 year olds). If they didn't invite us in they'd always be sure send us away with candy!!

Anyways, it was great to see them again - they are still sharp, witty, well-informed and interesting conversationalists. But, given that I am a bit of a softie and romantic, I'd have to say that what I enjoyed most about that visit was seeing that this couple, who'd been together for 50 years, was still in love. You could see it in the eyes and in the way Lloyd took care of Rita. 50 years and still going strong - a beautiful sight and an inspiration if ever there was one.

OK, so after that blast from the past, I figured it was time for more blasts from the pasts in the form of a mini highschool reunion. OK, admittedly I've seen Keri, Schemida and Daniellle since high school, but I hadn't seen Christine!

So, by this time I was aware that PEI was going to be hit by a blizzard the next morning. Let me repeat - the NEXT MORNING. I came to conclusion that SUmmerside Boxing Day Bash with KISH gals could be carried out with no problemos. I would chaffeur all and head back to Long Creek after a fab night out..

Alas, it was not to be so. Well, actually, it was to be so..just A LOT shorter than expected and much much more stressful after dropping Ms Shields off in Riviere du Francais.

So, yes I am safe, but I never ever want to drive in snow again. And might I say, it is amazing what runs through your mind in such stressful moments.

A final thought for the day: Warm hugs, tender kisses, loving and kind words - offer them generously and recieve them graciously - they are the greatest gifts we can give or recieve.

Friday, December 24, 2004

1 More Sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Christmas Eve of last year (2003) I booked three one-way plane tickets from Halifax to London for May 13th of the upcoming year.

Two years ago on this day I recieved a telephone call from Don McCormac informing me that I had been offered a job by Allied Irish Banks in Dublin, Ireland. The job would start in April and run for 6 months.

Understandably then, this Christmas Eve seems a bit anticlimatic. No plane tickets to book, no surprise phone calls (yet) and I know where I am headed for 2005. Hmmmm.. I still have faith something will happen before this Christmas season is out, whether it be serendipitous or the result of plain hard work and ambition I am not sure yet, but I do believe. As Raffi says ' Every litte wish and every little dream has a chance of coming true at Christmas.'

Merry Christmas to all. May this year and all those to follow find you with happiness in your heart and love in your life.

'One day, the people of the world will want peace so much that the governments are going to have to get out of their way and let them have it.'
Dwight D Eisenhower

Wednesday, December 22, 2004 I should be wrapping presents right now, or having a shower since I jus finished working out..or, well, doing something mildy productive in any matter..given that I've kind of 'wasted' a lot of my time home doing one or a combination of the following things: Sleeping, emailing & crying/trying not to cry. Right, so on that note - Yah! Happy Happy Christmas!!

LAst night was my fav night home so far because I got to see so many fabulous, interesting and wonderful people all in one place at one time...and I organised the get-together (surprise!!). Many of those in attendance had, at one time or another, lived and worked abroad...a number of them in Scotland! There was also a bonafide Irish bloke there....I've decided that, in fairness to John & Janet, I will not make any blanket statements about Irish gents over the age of 30. I will, however, continue to make horribly generalised statements about those under the age of thirty, seeing as how I've encountered a representative sample of the lot.....but,I digress, it is, after all Christmas.... here's something I ripped off Jen's blog, because I am too unoriginal at the moment to come up with a witty blog post:

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. What does it say? "which the story ends"
2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first? Teh computer desk shelf..
3. What is the last thing you watched on TV? I have watched about 1 hour of tv since I arriving home over two weeks ago. Sadly I watched daytime TLC, meaning 'Perfect Proposal' followed by 'Finding the Right Wedding Dress' Blech.
4. WITHOUT LOOKING, can you guess what the time is? 12.20PM
5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time? 12.24PM
6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? Music - 'Band on the Run' is playing at the moment
7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing? When I got out of Keri's van last night. I was getting home from the get-together of fabulous people.
8. Before you came to this website, what did you look at? Jen MacPhail's blog, because it usually gives me a good laugh.
9. What are you wearing? A Sports bra and track pants. I juts finshed an hour workout
10. Did you dream last night? Yes, something about havinga weird gopher like animal in the attic. MOm put some plastiv up to keep it from getting out, but it turns out the gopher is Smudgee's best friend so the poor cat wasn't happy and neither was the gopher, which had really ppink and very big ears.
11. When did you last laugh? Last night..continuously...most of all when Ernie was telling tales of how he stepped in something the family's puppy had left on the floor.
12. What is on the walls of the room you are in? A calendar and a picture...and not-so-pretty wallpaper..
13. Seen anything weird lately? Two rather nice-looking men working at the restaurant we were at last night. Believe me that is a weird sight on PEI!!
14. What do you think of this quiz? I didn't realise it was a quiz..I hope there is a prize.
15. What is the last film you saw? Ocean's 12.
16. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first? Round the world plane tickets for myself and any friend/family member who wants to travel the world.
17. Can you tell something about you that no one knows? I could, but I choose not to.
18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do? I'd make it compulsory for anyone in power that decides they are going to invade a country to first visit the nation and hug every single citizen there and hear out each person's dreams & ambitions.

Or maybe I'd say - 'hey, you men have been leading the governments and business world for all time, step aside and lets see how this world works with females at the helm.' Don't get me wrong, there've been some damn fine men that have done great things in history but if you recall The Apprentice (first season)..The Women RULED when they worked exclusively with others in their gender and the men failed miserably when they worked exclusively with those of their own gender.
19. Do you like to dance? Yes, Yes Yes
20. George Bush: is he a power-crazy nut case or some one who is finally doing something that has needed to be done for years? Well, since I have ot travel throught he States on my way back to Scotland I don't want to be black-listed.Let's just say he's neither, he's a puppet. Go read 1984 and Animal Farm - the answers are thered.
21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her? Number One.
22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him? Number One.
23. Would you ever consider living abroad? NOPE, cause if I actually considered it I probably would have got too scared or too logical and never actually done it. As it
turns out I've lived in Dublin and Edinburgh ....

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Ho Ho Ho!

Well, I've been 'home' for almost two weeks now. THe cruising speed of time seems to vary from day to day. When I have things to do and people to see (read - when I have a car at my disposal), time just flies by. When I am left to my own devices at home during the day, time is like the turtle..slow but surely passing. The trouble - I ahve been afforded waaayyyy too much time to think and of course, this has, in some instances, resulted in me bawling my eyes out. Perhaps this is a trend for girls that return from Scotland..if Keri would just get on board we'd be 3/3 in that department.

Anywho, I am not big into tears so I've decided to keep myself entirely too busy for the rest of my time here. If that means cleaning the house from top to bottom so be it (sidenote to mother - only using this for demonstrative purpose to show just how desperate I am to NOT think anymore!!)

Well, the past few days have been kinda sorta busy. I've been keeping to the gym routine of 50 mins cardio per day and, although I didn't plan it this way, my appetite has depelted substanitally..not for lack of good food mind you..let's jsut say I'm pulling a Keri type existence at the moment.

Got a chance to catch up with another like-minded traveller/not-sure-which=path=-he's-going-down-yet friend on Wednesday. It was refreshing to sit down and talk to someone who hasn't got it all figured out yet and know what 'maybe/probably that's a good thing - keep the options open for as long as possible'.

Wednesday night I went to the City Cinema with father to see I Heart Huckabees - hilarious, original, rather a nutshell - recommended..but only for quirky people...

Thursday - pull my hair out at home..contemplate actions that would be like taking two steps backward, become (yet again) entirely grateful that level-headed and very smmart Miss Jen is on Messenger to stop me from doing stupid thing....

Friday - Finally - out and about for the day!!! First the gym, tehn another visit to teh Kelly Building..refreshing and enjoyable conversation with an ENFP (you know who you are!!!), quick chat with other fabulous peoples at the Business School, then off to lunch with teacher/mentor for whom I am entirely grateful to have crossed paths with, because now I know where I want to make my career..or maybe more importantly that I don't want to waste my days running the rat race.

I was then meant to do Christmas shopping, but somehow found myself wandering nad meandering so that, in the end, I only had about an hour to shop and came out of that rather dismally..

Saturday (so far). Myrtle's step class. I wore my Snata Hat..I was not the only Santa, but probbaly the cuter one :) Some grocery shopping and then, once home, chocolate peanut butter ball making (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm). If anyone wants the recipe..just ask!!

Tonight I am going out..aside from the night I went to the Wave, this will be my first time 'out and about' since landing on PEI.I promises to be , if anything else, an interesting night and I am sure I will run into loads of people I has been the case since I got back. to sample those balls..........

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Wednesday already? How the heck did that happen? Apparently time flies when you're dong absolutely nothing. OK, OK, it's not that bad, but really, without wheels I am kind of stuck at home most of the time. Not that there isn't plenty to keep me entertained here....

Ss, what's the news of the last few days?

Sunday = Visit the gym (just for a quick hello), then off to see Father. Put my cooking skills to the test and make yummy (in my opinion) stuffed haddock fillets and sweet potato oven fries. Finally, off to the cinema to catch teh Polar Express. I'm sorry, but I expected more from the film. TO be honest, it seemed like the film was made expressly to show off just how good they are at animation these days..the story seemed to play second fiddle to the animation itself. I'm starting to agree with what Jen said - animation that doesn't try to replicate reality is much more The Incredibles.

Monday - Lllllaaaaazzzeeee around most of the day (am getting seriously practiced at this, it is rather disturbing). Popped into town to do Myrtles Steps & Weights class, then spent the evening decorating the tree.

Tuesday - Not even worth reporting what I did/didn't do..

Today - in an hour or so I am heading to the gym with Adam (one of the few remaining friends that is still on pEI!), then having lunch. Tonight I am going to see I (heart) Huckabees!

On that note, should probaly go have some food for fuel and get ready..

Will try to make next blog more interesting, promise!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

You'd think - with all this free time on my hands I'd have the decency to write more frequently on this blog. Well, afraid I'm just too busy (read: lazy) to get around to this writing thing on a daily basis. I have, however, managed to do the following things on a daily basis since returning home:

-Check my Hotmail on hourly basis
-Use MSN Messenger (most frequently to chat with Jen)
-Exercise (or at least contemplate the possibility)
-Think too much
Right, so what have I been up to for the last few days/nights?

Well, Wednesday night I headed into town to celebrate Jen's B'day (again). This time by joining her and some other mates for trivia at The Wave. IT ended up being the MOST interactive trivia ever - hilarious. I also had the good fortune of running into Sheena, Natasha and Shanon Comeau while at the Wave (this made me feel not so archaic). It occurred to me that I wouldn't knw any of these gals if I hadn't lived in Scotland, seeing as that is the common link between us all. Shannon, understandably, burst out laughing every tiem she caught my eye...she was present for my most embarassing moment (yet), way back in August.

Thursday I woke up super early to head into town. Went to the AFC and then did a few errands before heading to the university in hopes of seeing some of the crew at Kelley. Yah!!! I caught up with Janet, Ernie & Joan. We are supposed ot arrange some sort of get-together (a couple of drinks says Ernie, but I suspect it will be more like a few jugs...). Hmm..come to think of it, Janet volunteered me to get that if you are reading this Janet, please send me an email with all the people i should contact. Thanks!

Oh - in other boring errand news of Thursday I also got my hair is really short. Big surprise.

I fell asleep around 10.30 adn didn't wake up until 10.00 teh next morning..think the jet lag cuaght up with em finally.

Friday I was lazy. Firday night I was even lazier. There is no news worth reporting as to Friday's events. Oh, except that I ran into Jared Hogg when I popped into the video store. Crazy...he stayed with us while backpacking around Europe..strange how 4/4 of the young people I've seen since returning home. I wouldn't know unless I lived in Scotland. And my friend visting for the new year..I wouldn't know him if it hadn't been for Scotland either! Crazy!!

Saturday - more gym..return to Myrtle's step class. Not much has changed..all was good. Followed that with grocery shopping nad Christmas Tree picking out. Yah!!

K...gotta run..places to see, people to do...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I have a friend named Anne, she lives in Edinburgh, but is orignally from somewhere between Calgary & Edmonton. We (meaning me) want her to stay in Edinburgh for longer than she stayed in London or Belfast :) She is super nice ...


Ah - the joys of winter in Canada. The kids are at home today (not mine, as I don't have any, but the kids in general). A combination of snow & freezing rain forced school closures and has left this timid winter driver stranded at home. Lovely.

Am meant to head to the 'City' tonight to join Jen's birthday celebration/trviia night at the Wave, but chances of that happening are not looking so good.

In good news - I got my lost baggage! Unfortuately *cough**cough* some of the chocolate I brought back as for gifts was damaged and HAD to be opened (and sampled).

I am joining the gym for the month - yah!! I missed the AFC while in Edinburgh - my gym at work is lacking in Elliptical Machines and Myrtle's step classes.

Is it sad that the person I have talked to the most (aside from family) since I got home is Jen? And is it even sadder that I've 'talked' to her exclusively via MSN Messeger? Don't get em wrong, I heart you Jen!, but um...hello where is everyone else? Oh, that's right..they've all escaped PEI in order to get jobs and travel the world. Most will be back for one week over Christmas, then return to their new homes. Meanwhile, some of us (read - Jen & I..oh and Becky R) will be enjoying an extended and unpaid stay on this fair isle.

Isn't it just my luck that I check the employment section of the Guardian yesterday and find a job I would love to apply for nad may acutally be eligible to get, but which starts at the beginning of January? I go to do....wait ofr it....its coming.....NOTHING!!! Oh, and do it well I will :)

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Well, it's official, I am a bigger nerd than Jen, whihc probably makes me up there in the top 5 percentile, but anywho. I mean really, I arrive home 12 hours ago and I'm already blogging. Egads!

Not that I want to be awake right now. I told myself I would sleep for twelve hours stright - from eleven last night, util eleven this morning. Myself obviously doesn't listen very well, so here I am.

How as the flight? All was well. I came to discover just how slow Americans talk in comparison to Canadians and had to take my sneakers off for security in New Joisey...rather embarrassing as I had white jogging socks on and one had a whole in it (surprise, surprise). The only real hiccup was at this end of the flight, when I landed in Halifax and found that only one of my checked bags had travelled on the same plane. Conveniently, the 'delayed' baggage is exclusively Christmas presents for other people :( It is supposed to arrive in Halifax this morning....we shall see. It had better.

Last weekend in Edinburgh was full of drinking, friends and celebration. Wow, what an odd combination eh :) So let's last Weekend Review from Edinburgh in 2004:

Friday - A short day at work..the team left at 1.30 to have CHristmas lunch at a Mexican restuarant in Grassmarket.Of course we had to have drinks a bloody Irish pub wehre doubles were only 30p how could I not have two double in the span of an hour? Luckily my managaer was of the same mindset as me, so was not the only 'giddy' one by teh time we left for Mariachi's. Three-course lunch was lovely, but not exactly Christmasy, ,expect for the Christmas crackers. Spent the rest of hte night doing a bit of a pub crawl and talking A LOT to team members.. it is amazing how much I can talk in general, but give me a bit of liquor and its a danger zone really. Rihgt, capped the night off rather early by going to the World's End pub for Vancouver Shannon's leaving do :( My fellow Shannon has left Edinburgh for good...sigh.

Saturday - last minute Christmas shopping by day, house party by night. House party was at 'the guys' place. The guys being our Calgarian friends, Steve, Grand & Scott. It was a good time, what else can I really say? Much drink was had, many funny/fooloish things were done and numerous pictures were taken to prove this point.

Sunday - KEri, Jen & I met up with BEth & Lisianne for 'coffee' just up the street from where we live. All of us live in the same area of town, which is nice. Amywho, after 'coffee, we headed over to the fairgrounds in the Princess Street Gardens. First we checekd out the German market and scored delicious free samples of chocolate, then it was over to the rides. Eeeeee!!!!!!!!!! Beth & I forked over the pounds to ride one of those fancy carousels where the horses go up and down on poles..ahem..lalalalalala. RIght, welll it was sooo fun and much faster than one would expect.

The rest of the afternoon was spent packing. When Jen finally got home from the gym (or should I say sauna??), we sang her Happy Birthday and proceeded to eat chocolate cake galore and head to a pub for birthday meal. Afterwards we headed for Rose St to meet up wiht other birthdya celebrators. KEri made pirate hats out of newspaper and we wore them while we sipped back drinks at Scott's. We got a few odd looks. Mos t previous moment was when two young lads came in and kept staring at us as they passed. Jen went 'Aaarggh' in best pirate voice ever. We finally mosied over to Filthy McNasty's. WE hadn't been there in about three months, but everything was stil the saem, incluiding the crowd in the corner. Well..they say if one doesn't have anything nice to say, one should not say anything at will not speak of Filthy's :) Left after a bit and, on teh way home, I noticed a load of Santas in a pub..we went in and got out pics taken with them.

And that was the end of Edinburgh in 2004. Now it is PEI in 2004...

NOte - now that I am home and have access to computer I will be posting a LOT and emailing and, best of all, UPDATING MY PHOTOS page..let you know when that happens - stay tuned.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I apologise for the length of the rant below, and for its lacko fdisjointedness..I had just come from a boxercise class - thus adrenaline was running, but hands were still shaking and mind has been in a muddle since the first part of November.

In any case..near the end I meant to say 'treated unfairly' rather than 'untreated fairly'..BIG difference :)

6.5 hrs of work left in this calendar year..well paid work anyway.

For the record - I miss you!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

OK - a few comments first:

Janet - can't wait to see you, Ernie,Joan, Don & the rest of the gang..Expect the unexpected in the near future

Kelly C - you need my assistance!???? That is laughable, but'd be great to hear from you and catch email is Will be home on Monday

Becky Rogers - you'd better have one damn good tan when you come home. I hear you on the leaving your home sadness....I can't imagine how I'll ever pull up my roots from Edinburgh. I can't wait to see you though and hear your plans for the new year, knowing you they'll and completely unexpected...maybe you will est up shop in Souris and open a hostel for all the backpackers that head to the 'field of mice'?

OK - enough notes, now it is time for a rant. As of late, Ms Shields has related to me two disturbing stories regarding persons being screwed over royally by businesses. Here are the details , I ask you to consider, whenever you buy a product or service- does the business really deserve your custom? Have they treated you well? Do you feel good when you leave the shop/finish the transaction? Way too often I think we go back to businesses that provide crap service because we think there is no other option - we assume that there is a trade off between price & service. This is simply not the case... I've outlined a third story (also from Ms Shields, to prove this point. Please, people - you have the power - choose to use it.

E-Vil Business Number 1 - E-Bookers

Ebookers are an on-line business that book flights for travelers. Keri booked her return flight home from Edinburgh to Halifax and back. It cost her about £50 less than the on-line booker Jen & I used. At first I was jealous, because she was also flying Air Canada for most of the flight, thus avoiding a stopover in the US. But then the cracks began to show. They had screwed her over royally in a number of ways:

1. On her return flight, Keri will be arriving in London Heathrow from Halifax. 4 hours later she will be departing from London Gatwick for her final flight to Edinburgh. The cost of getting from Heathrow to Gatwick is approximately £20..the travel time is approximately 1 hour and, of course, there's the hassle of traveling, dragging luggage from one airport to another and then checking in again.

2. On the way home, Keri's stopover in London Heathrow is 1 hour and 10 mins. This is simply not enough time to get from one terminal to another, given the need for security checks, etc. Air Canada recommends a minimum of 1 hour and thirty minutes for transfer in Heathrow.

3. Because E-bookers booked Keri's flights separately, she can not check her luggage the whole way through. she would have to pick up her luggage in London and recheck it for her flight to Halifax. Impossible.

4. When Keri called to inquire about this issues, she was given the run around and basically told that there was nothing they could do since she'd booked the flights. This phone call followed numerous unanswered emails and one previous callwhere she'd been put onhold for ten minutes.

5. Keri also had to pay £15 initially to have her tickets mailed to her - Jen & I rec'd our tickets free of charge through first class mail.

6. In the end Keri made the choice to book another flight to London - the night before she is to leave London. She is now out another £60 and will spend the night in the airport. ON the upside, she will have plenty of time to check her baggage.

I know this is only one instance, but I suspect that it is not uncommon for people to experience these hassles...

Some better discount airlines (in my experience) -
Major Travel
Zoom Airlines

2. The Unloyal Loyalist in Summerside PEI.

Imagine the shock of arriving at the place you are having your wedding ceremony & dinner two hours before it is to begin, only to discover that all the decorations you spent hours putting up have been torn down because some worker thought the wedding had already taken place. Imagine how you would then feel when, ia panicky state you approach the woman at the front desk to ask what has happened and what can be done to rectify the problem and find that she shrugs her shoulders and basically says 'its not my problem'. so you spend the next two hours frantically redecorating and trying to find the stepboard platform you had set up so your little cousin could do her stepdancing routine. And then, to add insult to injury, the LOyalist OVERCHARGES you for the event - claiming they have no record that you paid in part back in July when you booked the place. Finally, after much hassle you find you ONLY have to pay what you actually owed in compensation whatsoever for the fact that they pulled apart your wedding and caused you stress.

3. It DOESN'T have to be this way

Last year Keri went to buy a digital camera at the FutureShop. EVerybody goes to the Future SHop yet I know few people who actually enjoy the experience there, namely because they have sales people trying to sell you upgrades and ridiculous warranties, and because when you actually try to cash in on a warranty, they try to give you the run around and most people just give up.

Anyways - so Keri goes to buy her digital camera and encounters the sales guy who tries ot sell her the warranty (no thanks) and tells her that the software doesn't come with teh camera????? what? Right, so Keri leaves without buying it because she feels a bit uneasy about it. And then she does what every person should consider doing -she shops around and finds that she can get teh exact same camera with teh software for the EXACt SAME PRICE from Charlottetown Photography (I thnk that't the name). And the people who work there are nice and not at all pushy and you can leave feeling good that at least your helping a local business person and not some huge conglomerate which answers only to its shareholders and sees customers as putty to be moulded.

There- rant over - anyone still readin???? really though - I am sick and tired of hearing all these stories about bad businesses - why are we all so Complacent? This is my attempt to not be complacent - spreading the word is a powerful thing - try it on for size the next time you feel you've been untreated fairly...and while you're at it lodge a complaint with the company and DON't give up - persistance does pay off.....

Monday, November 29, 2004

Turkey & Gravy, Stuffing, Lasagne, Sweet & Sour Meatballs, Beef Curry, Mushrooms stuffed with Feta Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Taco Salad, Bananas & Chocolate, Fruit & Whipped Cream, Sweet Potato Pie, Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Chip Muffins, Chocolate Cake & a whole lot more.

This is what happens when you have a potluck Christmas Dinner with 3 over-dealous hostesses and guests that are fabulously well endowed with culinary skills and ambition.

I am officially stuffed and now take this opportunity to warn you all that hosting such an event could be hazzardous to your waist and appetite. On the upside your grocery bill for the week following will be nil, as your fridge will be filled with copious amounts of leftovers....

In other news of last night's Christmas Celebration:

Gift exchanging can get nasty, espeically when you play the Chinese Gift Exchange Game. This involves the participants picking numbers and then, in order, picking a gift from teh pile. The trickis that the second person can pick a gift from the pile OR steal the first person's gift. If you are teh last person to pick, you can steal ANYONE's gift. Due to objections from a few of the guests, we had to go with a 'nicer' version of this game. in the original game, you would open your gift immediately, so the next person could choose from an opened gift belonging to someone else or take their chances with the pile. In our version, everyone had to keep their gifts wrapped until the game was finished and everyone had a gift. I ended up with a jelly bean candy dispenser - very fitting I think. Personally though, I think my gifts were among the more interesting - I had wrapped up a walking dinosaur that runs on batteries and a snowman that grows when you sprinkle it with magic water. Shields insinuated my 2 in 1 gift might be dodgy when she shook it, but I think Rachel was chuffed with both gifts :)

It is v difficult to wash dishes without hot water. Thank goodness for bathtubs and electric showerheads. Yep, we gave our dishes a good ol bath last night!

Hmmmmm..Oh right..did I mention we have a FAB group of friends here last night. Seriously, I think moving to a new city is THE best way to meet new people (unless you move to Dublin..but thats another story), and I am so glad that we ended up in Edinburgh, which seems to have more than its share of friendly and fun people!

Ms MacPhail informed me earlier today that there are only 188 hrs before we will be flying across the Atlantic....

Oh -as for the rest of the weekend - yeah it was fun - Return to the Walkabout went ahead smoothly - it was packed for once - v unusual (reason was a rugby game)..even more unusual - it was packed with good scenery (see above reason :)

K - back to work here...will write again soon(ish)

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Well am here at EasyNet just killing some time before I meet up with Anne for a chat and, hopefully, some grub. I can't think v clearly..a result of rumbling stomach and mind-numbing week of work.

Now I will admit work has been a lot better in the last few weeks, since I got trained to process Single-Life Death Bonds, but,I swear, this place may be the death of me (pun totally intended and, in retrospect, not v. funny but I am too lazy to erase it so deal). Anyway, apparently there haven't been so many deaths lately so I've been forced to go back to the good ol' CEC's. Fun

Oh - I have some Hypocrisy/Irony to report. Today's front page newspper headline read 'US warns Ukraine to Clean Up Election or Face the COnsequences. Yep, that's right, the experts in dirty elections & fraudulent voting are threatening to take action against little ol' Ukraine if they don't do something about the fraud that is being reported leading up to the country's election. The AMericans claim that the results of the election will not be representative of the citizen's wishesd...Hmmm..does this seem VAGUELY familiar (rewind to 2000 Gore vs Bush)??????
Buried somewhere in the article was the 'aha' as to why the AMericans care about Ukraine. THey fear fraudulent election results will affect relations with NATO & Russia as well as SUPPLY OF OIL....

It reminds me of school....the kids that got into trouble all the time..they only got punished/reprimanded about 20% of the time, but if you were one of the quiet kids and you did something bad once, oh you got in BIG trouble.

Anyways- that's my example of hypocrisy & irony - I find it both funny & sad (which is also ironic in a sense I suppose).

Tomorrow night us gals are heading to ASDA - ooooh a field trip. ASDA is teh equivalent of Wal-MArt (owned by them, but branded differently here). WE are in search of food and decorations for our Sunday Shindig. Should be fun.

Bloody hell..there are a load of fireworks going off outside as I write this..leftovers from Guy Fawkes Day, or celebratoin of CHristmas?

DId I mention there is a giant Ferris Wheel overlooking Princes Street, and they have an ice-skating rink in the gardens below the castle. Oh - and to top it all off, a German market. Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas ....or at least like winter/a carnival/Germany...a virtual smorgasbord of entertainment and novelty for us Edinburghers!

K - off I go to eat..10 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Ugh. I just ate too much for lunch. I had a cup of soup, a cup of yogurt & fruit, a delicious apple & a granola bar. It really doesn't seem like much, but it is when you've not had much of an appetite for weeks...

Right- so last night saw the reappearance of Miss Jennifer MacPhail who has been traipsing around Europe for the past week and a half. She 'did' Paris,Finland & Estonia, and appears to have had a fab time...albeit no luck in meeting Liam at teh London airport. So sad.

In other news - for once someone has actually taken me up on the offer to come & stay with me in PEI! I randomly invite friends and people I've just met to come visit - rarely do they take the opportunity, but Brandon did! (WOOHOO) And its thanks to this blog..because who knows if he would have emailed me, or I would have emailed him..but he commented, I replied and the rest is history! THe power of a blog- it astounds me :)

We are having a huge Christmas dinner this Sunday for all our friends in Edinburghj - and by all, I really do mean all. Despite having room for approc. 13 behinds in our living room, we've invited 19 people to our flat (thats including us). SO it'll be cosy and some will have to make do with mashed potatoes & chocolate..Keri's only cooking enough chicken for 12..she figured not everyone will want chicken. Um, yeah, OK- but they may want another option in lieu of chicken/ Me to the resuce!!! I am goingot make a vegetarian alternative which I hope will appeal to the meat-eaters and veggies in attendance.

Anywho, it promises to be a great gathering and fab way to say goodbye to everyone before we head home for the holidays...will keep you posted on how it turns out

Monday, November 22, 2004

Two weeks from today at this time I will be flying across the Atlantic Ocean - destination: New Jersey (pronounced New Joyzee by residents). Thankfully, this is not finall destination, but mere stopover on my way to best place anyone can go - HOME SWEET HOME. 14 days til the journey!

Right, so this is my 3rd last weekend review from Edinburgh for the year 2004. Eek! And it isn't even overly-exciting, although pleasant enough..

Friday night after enjoyable gym workout had night in. Invited one of our new hostel friends, Sean (Shawn?), over to watch an exciting documentary (oh, and the Sipmsons, which is FINALLY available to us plebes without cable or digital). Sean/Shawn is cool Aussie dude who had job I envy greatly - he drives a tour bus around Europe for six months of the year! OK, soi I cold do without the driving part of the job, but travelling around Europe for six months of the year & always meeting new fun! Incidentally, Sean/Shawn knows another Islander who is living in south England - Jackie 'Something', who used to work for Magic93 SummerFun Cruiser and played hockey. She knew our high school classmate - Jennifer Champion, goalie extraordinaire! How is that for six degrees of separation?

Right, so Saturday was spent shopping and, as mentioned previously, moving into the itty-bitty room for me two month stint. Now, I know its only been two days, but I already love my new 'digs' cosy & small, it heats up in no time at all with the little portable heater. And since its just little ol me sleeping all by my wee self, the single bed does quite nicely.

Saturday night I had a choice - enjoy dinner made by Keri Sheilds adn tehn do a movie marathon with her & two friends (Skye & Graeme - so v. cool), or venture out into the cold to dance the night away at crappy meat-market type club.

I chose the dinner & 3 movies option and am glad I did. Dinner was good - Graeme was treated to a specialty - Keri Hair in a Vegetarian Lasagne. We ahd two desserts b/c SKye & Graeme are good guests who bring food and good movies with them. Movies watched: Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands & Willow..seen tehm all before, would see them all again - six thumbs up!

Sundsay - more shopping. We checked out the Car Boot Sale wasn't really worth it- pretty dingy, v. crowded and kind of dodgy. Oh, but I did score a Murder Mystery Party Game for a mere £ looks like we'll be hosting a party sometime in the near future - I put dibs on the writer character.

Oooh, but the funniest event of the day relates entirely to my being rather mischevious and completely random in adminstering my mischief. Right, so there's a store in teh Princes Street Mall called the GadgetShop which has all sorts of cool items like Robots and Duff Beer Glasses & Bubble Chairs. What caught my eye though, was a game that was supposed to be shocking - it had four grip hadnles and a button in the middle that you were supposed to push. Graeme & I grabbed the handles & pushed the button and then I got this huge electric shock which made me jump back. OK - so we got Keri to do it and that was funny, but I wanted to see someone else do it, so I stood by as people walked up to it. NO one seemed to get that you had to push teh button in teh mniddle to start the game. I was getting a bit impatietn, so when this girl came along with one of those push-pin poxes in one hand and tried to play the game, I helpfully pointed out to her that she had to press the button in the middle, which she promptly did. Then she promptly got a shock and jumped back with sucha start. I figured it was time to make a quick exit..Graeme & I were laughing our tooshes off. Apparently she gave me the evil eye, but I didn't even was all too funny :) So, that's me being evil..

Sunday night we watched ELF and listened to Christmas was all in the spirit of Christmas.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Hello, Hello! It is yet another gorgeous Saturday here in Edinburgh..and moving day for this Shanadian. No, no..they haven't kicked me out of the flat..yet, but I've been demnoted to the tiny room. Yah! Anywho..all fun & games this afternoon as I try tostuff my huge wardrobe into mini room.

THis has to be a short blog - time is a costing, so without furth ado...

HAPPY HAPPY 58th Birthday to Kenny Courtney (aka Daddy)! I wish I could be there to celebrate the day with you (21st of NOvember). Here's hoping your year is filled with love & laughter. Movie & dinner date when I return (in 15 days!!)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Today is free sample day at Marks & Spencer, but I skipped the trip to the Gyle so I could sit here and eat my lovely homemade lunch., only to discover I had forgotten it once again. (sigh).

I also got to chose what invesments I wanted to make into my Group Pension Plan. I went for 50% in above avg risk funsd (socially resp & ethical), and 50% at avg risk. What do I know about investing in things? OK, OK, I probably should have learned something about it during my time at UPEI, but suppose money has never been a prime motivator for me. In the end, I really don't think it matters what I invested in as it can always be changed, but, more notably, I won't be here for long enough to build any amount of significance.

Somehow Beth copped a bloke from the hostel into coming over for Bridget Jones Diary. Following on the flick, us 5 gals had a rather girly chat about a number of things. I like to think that Sean enjoyed it..I mean who doesn't enjoy being the only one in a group of the opposite many trade secrets to be learned .. Tonight, we are all heading off to Bridget Jones 2..the joy :)

OK -that's the end of yet another lunch..only 11 more before I head 'home'.
I wish I could extract the sadness emotion from my being.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Gah. Middle of the week already? How did that happen? Oh right- time flies when you're having fun (or sleeping and drinking..not at the same time, but you get the drift!).

Right -so this week is shaping up to be a very girly week indeed. LAst night, Keri & I visited our new friend Anne at her flat and then a group of us went out for drinks. I may have embarassed Anne by having the one-man band wish and sing her a hapy birthday at the Irish pub we were in. Ah well, how else can you liven up a Tuesday nite in Edinburgh?

Tonite we are having some friends over to watch Bridget Jones (the first one), in preparation for actually seeing the sequel tomorrow nite.

Of course, I also have boxercise tonight - Yah - I have a whole week's worth of frustrations to punch out :)

I'm back to my old ways - studying up on personality types- hey its the best way I've been able to gain a better understanding of myself and others and figure out why I have no trouble getting along with some, and a lot of difficulty understanding others (and vice versa I am sure..even as I write this I am sure there are people out there scratching their heads and not understanding me!).

Anyways, I think its a good place to start learning and achieving personal growth, so here's yet another link to some info on Myers-Briggs...Yah to ENFJ's!!

17 days...

Singing do a diddy diddy dum diddy day :)
Gah. Middle of the week already? How did that happen? Oh right- time flies when you're having fun (or sleeping and drinking..not at the same time, but you get the drift!).

Right -so this week is shaping up to be a very girly week indeed. LAst night, Keri & I visited our new friend Anne at her flat and then a group of us went out for drinks. I may have embarassed Anne by having the one-man band wish and sing her a hapy birthday at the Irish pub we were in. Ah well, how else can you liven up a Tuesday nite in Edinburgh?

Tonite we are having some friends over to watch Bridget Jones (the first one), in preparation for actually seeing the sequel tomorrow nite.

Of course, I also have boxercise tonight - Yah - I have a whole week's worth of frustrations to punch out :)

I'm back to my old ways - studying up on personality types- hey its the best way I've been able to gain a better understanding of myself and others and figure out why I have no trouble getting along with some, and a lot of difficulty understanding others (and vice versa I am sure..even as I write this I am sure there are people out there scratching their heads and not understanding me!).

Anyways, I think its a good place to start learning and achieving personal growth, so here's yet another link to some info on Myers-Briggs...Yah to ENFJ's!!

17 days...

Singing do a diddy diddy dum diddy day :)

Monday, November 15, 2004

Monday, time for another weekend wrap-up.

Hmm..since I already posted on Saturday, there's not a whole lot else to say. Oooh..except I think I had THE most successful afternoon of Christmas shopping EVER!!! What makes me think this? well I came home loaded down with parcels and wasn't even cranky from having to deal with the crowds! The only thing - my arms are wee bit sore today, clearly I've been dedicating too much time to cardio & not enough to toning at the gym. Ah well!

Saturday night was a Girl's Night in and it was a blast namely due to the company, but with added enjoyment from liquor, crepes and chocolate.

Sunday was a lazy day, didn't do much worth noting. Actually don't think I really did anything worth noting. Oh, except work on my business plan.

Yep - that's right, I am actually getting my act together and developing a business plan for an inspiration that hit me back when I was on PEI doing my honours thesis. And funnily enough it has absolutely nothing to do with ecotourism. Right now I need the following things: a computer, some creative/imagitinative people + a computer-savy person to help me get this thing off the ground...oh, and some capital :) Return to this blog for more information, which will be posted on a sporadic basis. If you are creative/imaginative, computer-savy, rich/wealthy, me, we'll talk :)

On a questionably related note, my job has become far more tolerable/enjoyable. THis is because they finally got around to training me on something more interesting/challenging than data entry. Actually, I was told I was going to start off doing one of the most difficult tasks/processes, because the trainer thought I was 'switched on'. Phew, glad someone thinks so. Anyway, turns outI've been 'spot on' with my work so far, so think that my manager is pleased. Of course, this begs the question..where can I go from here??? ANyway, for the moment it is keeping my mind occupied and that is absolutely essential at the moment. One good thing to come from one very sad thing is that I've pushed myself out of the comfort zone I had fallen into and am ensuring that each and every night of the week I have some sort of distraction, whether it be food, film or friends! Oh, and teh gym of course - 4x a week.

Mmm..yogurt with raspberries & granola is delicious.

20 days to Canada.
14.5 days of work
3 weekends of socialising

Not that I am counting......:):):):):):):):):)

Saturday, November 13, 2004

It is a gorgeous Saturday afternoon and I am just on my way out to do some Christmas shopping giv en that the exchange rate now SUCKS THE BIG ONE, I've decided that I will do my shopping in £££ here so as to minimse amount I need to exchange when I get home.

Right, so Keri & JEn are gone to Disneyland in Paris, leaving me to my own devices, which may or may not be a good thing, we shall see :)

Last night I headed out to meet up with a few friends. We started out at this bar called HEnry J Beans whihc had nothing going for it (it even had ana americna flag and american paraphenilia everywhere), nothing EXCEPT the best bartender scenery in EDINBURGH. Seriously, have you seen Cocktail, with TOim Cruise? Well, Rob of Henry J Beans would blow Mr Cruise out of the water... SO I ordered a second drink even though I didn't want one and in truly good bartender form, Rob remembered what I was drinking from the first round. Lalalala.

ANywho, in need of some dancing, so we headed off to this place called the Privy Council which was alright for cheap drinks but a bit pretentious and the music was a bit blah guessed it..Anne & I headed to the WalkAbout where our ears were treated to some decent music and the crowd was much friendlier...too friendly maybe. IN an ironic twist, Anne & I were hit on by two Italian gusy (brothers), who started asking us some odd questions about our residency it turned out allthey wanted was green cards!! Ahem**

No time left - oh just as a note - I don't know who calls me on my mobile if the voicemail picks up right away...


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Hey again - bet you didn't expect me back so soon, well neither did I. A

Anyways, thank for those who commented and those who care - I am much, much too lucky to have such wonderful family & friends, so to wallow in sorrow for too long would be to ignore my many fortunes. In any case, judging from the past - things always seem to have a way of working out for me- whether its because I make them work out or the stars are aligned in my favor is yet to be determined :) So ke sera sera, whatever will be will be. Don't get me wrong now, not saying I am completely non-sad anymore, but sometimes you just have this sense that soon enough things will be just fine and that's enough :)

So - back to the blogging minus the sentimentality. Tonight I discovered my calling (in regards to sports anyway) is boxing. I am seriously addicted to punching and the instructor was impressed with my form and strength tonight and asked if I'd been practising - she doesn't impress easily. Nope, not practising, just had a wee bit of built up steam to let off :) ANyway, given the fact that boxercise doesn't require any catching or throwing and I can't let the team down by scoring in the wrong net its just the sport for me :) Today one of the women on my team brought back sweets from NY City incuding - oh yah - Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Yum!

forgive disjointedness of this post :) See below :)

Below is a post I started last week and am only finishing some of the details may be out of date, but only a few people would actually know that, and even fewer would really care...

Totally ripped this 'fill in the blanks' off Jen's blog, but she ripped it off Shannon Comeau's..and SHannon has the same initial as me, so all is good, and I am obviously v. bored, just like Ms MacPhail has been as of late...

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? The Da Vinci Code - sooooo gooood!
3. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Pictionary (with Mom as partner - unbeatable!)
4. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? Blech - I don't really have one at the moment -will say National Geographic though because it makes me sound educated and refined, even though I'd be more likley to pick up Glamour..
5. FAVORITE SMELLS? Freshly baked anything, Issey Miyake& Davidoff Coolwater perfume and chocolate
6. FAVORITE FOODS? Strawberries, apples, tomatoes, lasagna & candy (in no particular order)
7. FAVORITE SOUND? A car revving (that is SO a guy thing, but whatever), the sounds of nature minus humans (best heard in the woods behind my Dad's house), certain music and certain accents (of males)
9. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP? Did I sleep through the first snooze? What day is it?
10. FAVORITE FAST FOOD PLACE? Subway, if I have to choose, although I v. rarely visit Fast food places at all
11. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME? Hahaha (not a name..just a thought). OK, OK, well, first off em thinks this is something one must consult with their partner on but anywyas - In keeping with family tradition of keeping same first letter for all children - Evelyn & Elliot ....or...Alistair and Alice/Alison.
12. FINISH THIS STATEMENT. "IF I HAD A LOT OF family & close friends would have no debt/plenty of luxury, I would be self-employed and the world would be explored thoroughly.
13. DO YOU DRIVE FAST? Not now, when I was younger maybe. Never really owned a car that could drive fast without rattling and shaking...
14. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? Sigh. Oh what does it matter- yes, yes I do and he travelled around Europe with me. Think less of me if you wish, he makes a good pillow
15. STORMS-COOL OR SCARY? Cool if lightening & thunder are involved.
16. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? A Burgundy Honda Accord
17. FAVORITE DRINK? Choclate milk, even though I rarely have it..or Diet Vanilla Coke.
18. FINISH THIS STATEMENT, "IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD... get in touch with my spiritual side, join Green Peace (no, seriously) and start a business.
20. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE? A deep red, or maybe a shimmery dark blue....
21. NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS YOU HAVE LIVED. North Granville (the sticks), Kensington (almost the sticks), Charlottetown, Long Creek (the sticks again), Ottawa, Dublin & Edinburgh..does that really make me a transient??
23. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? Hockey - although I've almost given up o the sport- too many teams in the NHl - not so much about skill anymore, plus, heck they don't even have a season this year!!
24. ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU. Just one? Jen is a fab friend whose ability to approach distressing situations in a calm and logical manner and give advice without judgement is so refreshing!
25. WHAT IS UNDER YOUR BED? Pillows and empty boxes from parcels that Uncle Mike & Schemida sent me.
26. TOILET PAPER/PAPER TOWEL-OVER OR UNDER? Not even on a dispenser....
27. MORNING PERSON, OR NIGHT OWL? Oh how I wish I could be a night owl, but the years are taking their toll on me. Not that I am by any means a morning person, although in comparison to Keri, whose bleary-eyed appearance in the morning can be a bit disconcerting, I'd have to say I do quite well


29. FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX? At home in front of the fireplace (winter) or outside on the patio in the summer
30. FAVORITE PIE? Graham crust with fresh raspberries and a raspberry glaze topping

What is that it?? Geez I don't think I copied all that over...anyway, that's all she wrote for now folks. Hope everyone is doing well - write when you can.

25 days until I go to CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Today I am sad and that is all I can really say about that at the moment. I realised I have not blogged in awhile, so am just writing this to let you know that I haven't pulled a Shields and gone off the blogging. I will blog again soon, check back if/when you wish and hopefully I will be in better form for writing a real post.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Another Monday, another month gone by and, most importantly, return of the Weekend Review! Yes, yes..after depressingly long hiatus related entirely to lack of content for such a post, am proud to report that we did stuff this weekend!

Friday night I was ALMOST tempted into doing nothing (ie watching a DVD at home) by Ms Shields. ONe must be careful with this character -she works with the City Mission, but alterior motives are definitely in her agenda :) Ah, but I came to my senses (i.e. Jen arrived home and seemed a bit p. od that we were both 'ditching' the plans we had all made to go to a Fancy Dress party). Yep, so I got fancy dressed (in Scotland that means I donned a costume of sorts). I looked like a cross between a goth chick, medival lady and vampire. I was meant to be the latter. ANyway, the party was fun - saw some old friends, met some new people and..of course..ate some treats!!!

Saturday day - I can hardly remember what I did - all I know is that it didn't involve getting up at the crack of dawn to drive to Aberdeen for a Lacrosse game (that would be Jen's post). Actually, I believed I cleaned the flat, baked some muffins and then attempted to go shopping. Shoppin attempt was unsuccessful due to this Shanadian's considerable intolerance for crowds & queues!

Saturday night we had some friends over and not just ANY friends - NEW CANADIAN FRIENDS! Woohoo :) I think we have radars for fellow Canucks - whatever the case we have a disprportionate number of Canadian friends considering the fact that we are living in Scotland. Keri's friend, Skye, and her husband, Graeme (Skye's..not Keri's...don't worry things aren't getting that out of control ...YET :) They are hilarious. All in all it was a grand night, capped off by checking in to a few pubs & clubs only to discover nary a costumed person - unless all the reg chicks had decided to dress like EDINBURGH GIRLS -a scary sight indeed - but honestly, I think their numbers are just multiplying...

Sunday, despite being the longest day of the year, felt incredibly short. This is probably because we had invited some folks over for a brunch, which didn't get going until around 1.00pm. Following on massive amounts of grease, sugar & chocolate we could not move for a few hours. So, by time I left the flat it was going on 3.30. Anyway, not much else happened that I can speak of at the moment.

Evening - movie viewing - Finding NEverland - v. enjoyable!

ANd that's that...back to Monday again - 5 weeks until arrival in Canada!!!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Happy Hallowe'en everyone!!!!!!!

Today I am Countess Shanula - Gothic vampiress in training, Tomorrow who knows? Perhaps I will suck my way to the top in siliar fashion to Presiditial Candidate George Dubya!

Anywho, another short blog today - this time completely and utterly because I spent my lunch emailing various warm-blooded peoples.

Right, so this weekend is bound to be full of tricks & treats. Tonight, we are heading to Leith (scary enough in itself) for a Fancy Dress (read - costume) party. I am Vampiress, Keri is Goth Chic and Jen is French Maid/Flasher ... honestly if she bends over even the slightest bit she'll be pulling a Bridget Jones!!

I've been informed that I will recieve training for my new position in v. near future and that I am being put on one of the most complicated type cases (my manager thinks I am capable/quick enough to pick it up..hahahaha) ! ANyway, looking forward to using my brain again - maybe then I will be able to write Witty Blogs again.

Oh - my official start date is November 8th, which, incidentally I am taking off as a holiday.

I am thinking about getting my nose pierced...thinking A LOT.

K - that's gota be the end for now..try to blog again soon with more interesting news....

EAt, eat and eat some more treats!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

K - this is goingot be the shortest post in awhile, namely because I don't have much lunch time left, but also because there is not much of a Weekend Review to post about anyway. It seems, with autumn weather and it darkness settling in, we have become rather predictable and slightly more homebodyish....

Friday night = Farewell to Kathleen - 8 girls, 1 American-style resturant and overpriced Hamburgers (seriousoly $18 for a hamburger & fries people...I don't care what anyone says..I will do conversions if something seems a wee bit overpriced). Anyway, the most eventful part of the night was when I became the target of anpkin throwing.....Kathleen was trying to take an action photo..don't ask.

Saturday -Hallowe'en costume shopping with Jen - turned up empty handed in the costume department,but landed tonnes of free food samples at a really interesting outdoor market wiht many international food booths and yummy hot nuts.

Saturday night we went to a pub called the Hog's Head to meet some other friends...I had to do a double take on this new drinking venue, beacuse, it turns out I had been to the Hog's Head 2003! Fun times, but our gals didn't show up until long after we'd departed for the Walk About. Jen & I have decided it si time we moved on to another place..there seems to be a trend developing here what with Filthy's, the WalkAbout, etc.

Sunday - absolutely nothing - a day full of laziness. The highlight was a walk which found me atteh Botanic Gardens - beautiful depsiet the drizzle.

Yep..short and sweet.gotta get back at it.

Write soon, so I have mail to read when I PAY to check my hotmail account :)

Friday, October 22, 2004

Blimey..I don’t blog for two days and a blood relative queries via email as to why? While I wish I could say it’s because life has been just soooo hectic I couldn’t even find the time to eat, but, alas that is not the case.I have been eating just fine. The reason for lack of blogging is, for the most part, because my mid-week days were rather boring. The other reason is because I am seriously considering going on strike from the blogging thing until I get some decent emails from blog readers…not just replies to my emails, but actual emails initiated by y’all. How else am I to know what is going on with you? In particular, I would love to hear from the following sparse-communicators: Andrew (since I am sure he has lots of news about his new home in Calgary) Becky Coffin, Constable Mintie-Fresh, Schemida (although she did just reply to an email I sent so is in the good books for a few weeks!), Chris my Kitchen B*tch #1, and, well, pretty much everyone else who has access to an email account and time in the day/night (if you are working for the gov’t I KNOW you have time!!!)

Other random thoughts, opinions or news:

6 and ½ weeks until I go home for my 5-week stint. Can’t wait for Christmas in Canada!

Something is kind of fishy at work today. Literally. Our office has a disctintly fishy smell, which all the women have noticed. Some men came down earlier to rectify the smell-problem. I’m pretty sure they thought we were all a bit daft and imagining things b/c they didn’t smell anything (they sprayed something on the carpets anyway). In conclusion I would say women have a better sense of smell, but does this mean that we necessarily have to smell better?

Last night I heard a quote that I just love – very fitting for the moment I am in right now. OK, first off, I must admit that I was watching Princess Diaries and that is where the quote came from (and yes, if you are wondering, the DVD came from good ol Glasgow Pirates). Right, so here is the quote:

The brave may not live forever, but the cautious never live at all.’

In a similar vain, here are some other quotes with a similar message.

There is as much risk in doing nothing as there is in doing something.’
‘The greater the risk, the greater the return.’

K, new subject!

Yes, Mom, payment time does suck, especially when one is repaying Student Loans, yet currently finding her degree of no use whatsoever (except that she’s been able to maintain student status and continues to receive discounts at the movies).

Keri & Jen are going to Disneyland in November. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to indulge in a £200 2-day trip to Paris (see above for main monetary issue). I am slightly jealous, but have decided that, in the new year, I will make the most of my 49 holidays (yep..that’s right, with public holidays, annual entitlement and flex-days, I can take off 49 days!!)

Tonite we are saying our final final goodbyes to Kathleen Duncan, who heads back to Canada after almost 2 years in this fair city. We will miss her!

K..that’s all I can blog now…have fun, stay safe and, if you haven’t done so already, get out there and buy up some yummy Hallowe’en candy. Eat it without any feeling of guilt, because mini-packs don’t contain any calories or fat!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Hey Hey Hey Folks! It snowed last night in Edinburgh. Mind you, it was wet snow and it didn't last long, but I got by it. Apparently I did not have my snow-fill this year, despite the bloody 4 months of endless white stuff while I was on PEI.

Fast-forwarding from last blog post, where Sahra & I were waiting and waiting and waiting to fly back to Edinburgh to this past weekend, when Sahra returned to Canadia and I decided it was time to be a tourist in Edinburgh.

Jen & I made our way over to the Old Town to visit the Royal Scottish Museum (free!!!), which was pretty good, as museums go. Lots of different themes including the Natural World, Asia..tehy even had room for more relics of the recent past liek a giant cell-phone from teh early 90's and computers from the 80's. Plus one of Elton John's Pink Polyester outfits from 1973. THey ahd some sort of drawing activity going on, where you could take a drawing board, paper and pastels/chalk/crayons and be inspired by the museum's pieces. Jen & I took the materials and were inspired by each other, drawing 'portraits' in rather interesting colours. I use the word portrait loosley - mine turned into an interpretation of what Jen would look like if she were a male. Hers turned into an interpretation of what I would look like if I were an Anime cartoon.

Saturday night we ventured to a new pub - the World's End, where our friend, Shannon is the cook. We were there to say a fond farewell to our Canadian friend, Kathleen..who, incidentally, we already said goodbye to back in August, but who decided to return early from her European travels. She is flying back to Canada next weekend.

Oh, but Sunday was the higlight (and lowpoint) of the weekend. Jen & I decided to head off to Glasgow (my first time there) and visit the markets, which are open on the weekends.

I was envisioning a mini-Camden type Market. Little did I know I would find myself admist 'Pirates of the Bonnie-Land.' I was absolutely blown-away by the massive number of vendors (aka cons), selling pirated DVD's and CD's. Seriously distrubing - where were the police??? I felt guilty just walking amongst the stalls. Oh, in case you're wondering, most of the movies on DVD are STILL playing in theatres (e.g. Shark-Tale), or haven't even come out over here yet. Same deal with the CDs....the latest and greatest.

Anyway, I learned the full significance of 'Caveat Emptor' myself. I purchased two bottles of perfume (CoolWater & Chanel 5) that were boxed and plastic-wrapped, for a mere £10. It was only when we were shopping in real stores that I decided to open my Coolwater and do a test spray. Blech. Not at all like it was meant to smell. I was duped, but hey, in retrospect it serves me right and, like they say, you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, I am still out my favorite perfume, but will manage not to let the smell get to me :)

So..yeah, that was quite the experience. Makes me think twice about the whole piracy thing, cause it seems wrong for these people to be profitting off someone else's talent. Plagiarism is still considered a serious offence by the law and most people, so I wonder why the same ethics don't seem to apply to other forms of media.

The rest of Sunday, we shopped in legitimate stores. We also had nachos at Pizza Hut - they should stick to pizza. We told Keri we met some Kiwi boys (her favorite kind) and went to the WalkAbout in Glasgow..we've yet to tell her that we made that story up. I have no fear that she will discover our fib by reading my blog :)

This is fun, but my lunch is done (note the rhyming)

Monday, October 18, 2004

This post may cause confusion, head-scratching, disorientation and, in rare instances, maddness. If you have difficulty processing massive amounts of gibberish and/or understanding disconnected sentences/paragraphs it is strongly advised that you refrain from reading this particular blog entry.

London Adventures Continued

Saturday in London = Shopping Galore, Grand Entertainment and Fabulous Atmosphere.

We decided to hit Camden Town, as the Camden Markets had come highly recommended by bargain-hunter extrordinaires Keri & Jen. What an experience!! The market is massive.... Booths upon booths of people purveying goods - jackets, boots, tops & trousers, crafts, candles, jewellry and, of course, massive amounts of food representing cultures from around the world. I can't really do it justice in words - it was an amazing sight and unique experience. I was relatively good about managing the money though (given that I ahd so very little on me!). My only purchases were a cute T-shirt and a Bag/Purse adorned with the Beatles.

Following on the market, Sahra & I made our way back to Covent Garden, where we enjoyed a few street performance shows and got to see the most tattooed man in the world (he was entirely grey AND wearing a kilt!!!!) Afterwards, we visited the Theatre Museum, which focussed on the history of live theatre in London. It was def. my favorite museum as it was more hands-on and colourful. We watched a theatre make-up demonstration and Sahra volunteered to be a canvas - She looked like one of those pale women from the 18th century by the time the artist was done. Quite teh sight. I wanted to volunteer too, but was certain I wouldn't be able to put on the wig at the end. Sigh - starting to realise just how limiting my hari style can be when it comes to wearing clothes/doing certain things.

You know what? I can't even recall what else we did on Saturday! Packed and ate at the Italian restaurant again??

Right - Sunday, our last day in London. Lots and lots of waiting- not the restaurant kind that could get you monetary returns, but the kind where you sit around and check your watch every five minutes and get really ticked off when you learn your Easyjet flight is late and you will be arriving home too late to catch the AIrlink bus.

Anyway, we spent Sunday morning at Buckingham Palace, waiting to watch the Changing of the Guards. It was worth waiting for - the weather was great and the policemen doing crowdd control were amusing. No sign of the Queen though - because she was in bloody Edinburgh along with Sir Sean Connery ..parading down the street to open the new Scottish Parliament.

Following on that spectacle, we did some last minute shopping for souvenirs then headed to Regents Park to watch a Scrum in the Park - the World Champions of Rugby (the England team :), were practicing in the Park and it turns out that is a big deal. Wish I could say I was enthralled, but such was not the case. of the day was spent waiting. I know Gatwick airport much too intimately now, giventhat I spent 7 hours there last November and another 4 this October.

OK - fast forward to this weekend past!! Blogworthy adventure to post but have just noted that my lunch is over, so will do my best to post this evening or tomorrow.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Gah! Sorry I've been lax with continuation of London Adventures. THursday was just not a good day. If I'd blogged on THursday, it would have been quite unenjoyable a reaad. And Friday I decided to be sociable at lunchtime (for once) and joined a colleague in the restaurant for food and a serious chat about our ambitious entreprenurial plans. I have an idea - humbleness aside, I think it is a great product/service and I think it fills a major gap in the market. Thats all I can say for now, but hopefully it will come to fruition soon enough...

OK ..back to London Adventure - to be honest, it is all blurred together in my head at this point. The only thing I know for sure is that Sahra's feet hurt and we spent a lot of time eating/enjoying the sight of food and catching the Tube to get from one place to another.

Friday, however, was our day of escape from London. We'd booked a day trip on a Luxury Minibus (read - expensive!!). THe tour was called Stones & Bones, and took us through the English countryside SouthWest of London - with stops in Salisbury, Amesbury (for a country pub meal), Stonehenge (the piece de resistance) and Avebury (which,was really much cooler than Stonehenge in my opinion).

Hmmm..what were the highlights of the day? Well, Salisbury is famed for its Cathedral ..apparently size does matter when it comes to religious temples and this one has lots of features that are 'The Biggest'. It also contains one of only 4 remaining original scripts of the Magna Carta. THe Magna what?? I knew I had heard of it..way back in high school..I knew it was important, but heck if I knew exactly what it was. As it turns out it was basically the first Constitution - the first piece of law that gave people certain freedoms such as the right to a fair trial. THe basis for many Consitutions of today and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pretty neat. Salisbury was the quintessential English town, with its cobblestone streets, tiny shops of all kinds and a lovely river running through it (the Avon). Apparently there are lots of rivers called Avon - it means water.

Stonehenge was, unexpectedly, impressive. Sometimes one can build up their expectations of something like this, only to be let down by the real thing. This was not the case with Stonehenge, at least not for me. I suppose it is just a bunk of stones/rocks...but when you consider they were placed there some 5,000 years ago, adn the circle was perfected over a period exceeding 1,000 years, you really have to wonder what made it so significant and what were these people doing here?? Oh...they also had pictures of Crop Circles that appear nearby on an annual basis - kind of 'freaky'

My favorite stop, however, was a little town called Avebury, which had a stone circle of its own (they are actually quite popular). THe stone circle encompassed the entire town centre, it was much much larger than Stonehenge. Our tourguide let each of us use the dowsing rods he had with him. The Stone Circle was aligned with are many of the significant stone circles across Southern England. . the tour was worth it. We got back around 6.00 and headed back to Harrod's as Sahra was dying to have mug of the hot chocolate I had enjoyed the day before (I swear they just melted a chocolate bar and added some cream). Alas, the cafe was closd, so we set our sights on Covent Garden - the theatre district, where there are plenty of tourists, restaurants, cute little shops and street performers. There was a lovely atmosphere in the area, and we enjoyed Cornish Pasties while listening to some guy strumming the guitar & singing Bob Dylan & Marley.

That was Friday....will get back to yas on Sat & Sun soon enough. Am sure this recap of London is getting rather winded..I'm sorry, but there's not a whole lot else to report on at the moment. We haven't been up to enough trouble lately :)

Tomorrow we are heading to Glasgow for some touristy stuff, and cheap shopping at massive carboot sale!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Shannon has been at work since 8.45. It is now 1.15 p.m. She has just clocked out for lunch.

How many hours has Shannon worked today?

a) 5
d) None of the above

If you chose anwer are good at math. If you chose answer D, you are realistic.

In total, Shannon has actually worked only 1 hour today. The other 3.5 hours have been spent doing aptitude tests (see example above), interview, training and drinking hot chocolate.

I can't help it..there are just some days when one finds oneself unable to perform in disciplined manner. Albeit, I did have excusable reasons for not working most of the morning, but am now finding it difficult to concentrate on work. Ah well..this afternoon I am training a new temp to takeover my lovely data entry position.

AS fot the interview - it ended up being non-existent. After 1 hours worth of aptitude testing, in which they made sure I could perform basic math problems and spell properly, I was brought into an interview room and left to wait. I willed myself not to start panicking/sweating (they go hand in hand0, only to discover that the interview had been cancelled adn replaced witha casual chat between myself, my manager and an HR person about my work visa and teh need for a clause that would render me terminated in May 2006 if my visa cannot be extended. THe HR person informed me that chances of extending my visa on teh basis of a skill shortage in customer services was fairly low. Hmm..guess I will have to move to Plan B - a marital arrangement. Will take tips from my sister, who fenangled a fiance without going through the whole dating thing...

OK - back to LONDON ADVENTURES. Thursday: We made our way to Buckingham Palacae to watch the Changing of the Guards. The Changing of the Guards was not to occur _ our guide bok was a bit out of date. We spent the rest of the day down along the Thames, checking out Tower Bridge (which everyone thinks is London Bridge..but London Bridge is really quite plain & ugly), visiting the Tower of London (Sahra went in..I was too cheap to pay the £13/$30 admission so I wandered around and spent no money).

We then walked along the Thames to the Millenium BRidge - a pedestrian bridge that wobbled when they first built it. It was a long walk - I discovered that I am either a fast walker or Sahra is a slow walker. Anyways, after much walking & waiting, we finally made our way to a wharf, where we caught a boat headed down the Thames. I love boats, I wish I could be a pirate. Following on teh boat ride, we made our way to Baker Street (which I was later informed, was the home of Sherlock wonder there was so much paraphenilia about him). Anyway, we went there to visit the Beatles store. V cool, but rather expensive.

We decided to make it a quiet evening and visited a lovely Italian restaurant, with lovely Italian waiters. It was as romantic as it could get, given the company :)

K..back to work..must train the new temp to do my old job :):)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Right..its time to write.

Well, as I've already recounted, my arrival in London was a wee bit panicked due to absence of sister at Gatwick airport. I still hold that she told me she was arriving at Gatwick, although I should have recalled that Air Canada does not fly into that airport. Anywho, looking back on it, it is quite funny...the funniest thing (to me anyway) is that Sahra had brought over a rather heavy duffel bag of Canadian goodies for me, but had insisted time & time again that she would not be carrying the bag any further than the airport terminal in London. As it turned out she had to lug the bag (without a shoulder strap) up and down a number of staircases on the Tube. Ah well, good weight lifting practice I say (and thank you)!

OK, so Tuesday we decided to start the morning off at some of the FREE museums - I was particularly keen to check out the Natural History & Science museums. Sahra was not, thus our 'visits' were more like 'whirlwind' trips through the hallways of each musuem. It's alright though...I realised early on that my interest in science was as muted as it had been in high school (yes, I am still embarassed that I dropped out of Chemistry). As for teh Natural HIstory was v. interesting and right up my alley, but the sun was shining, so I didn't mind much that we quickly found our way from the museums to Hyde Park.

Hyde Park is huge. Mammoth. Lovely. The highlight there was at teh Round Pond (such an original name), where there were a load of Swans and Canadian Geese chillaxing on the grass.

After Hyde Park, we decided it was time for a bit of posh shopping, so we jumped the Tube to Harrod's. OMG - where to begin in describing this massive, amazing department store. It is like nothing I had experienced before -the epitome of perfection in every way - this was no Zellers or was in a class of its own. My favorite departments were the Perfume/Make-up section where Jonathan, working at the Versace counter, asked me if I'd like to try some new colours (YES!!) and said he was surprised I didn't get asked for makeovers all the time, what with my unique eyes..oh how I love flattery! Now, I know you're probably saying 'well, he was just trying to sell you something', but he didn't try AT ALL..seriously.. The other highlight was, surprise, surprise, the food hall..which was divided into sections including Cheese, Bakery, Desserts, Sweets..I was in food heaven.

After a 3 hour stint at Harrods (about 2 hours too long for me, but somebody just ahd to viist the Christmas and Stationary sections :), we grabbed a bite to eat at a vegetarian Thai buffet. I know, I know..after Saigon Saigon I was a bit wary, but the whole vegetarian thing gave me some hope. that was Day Two..stay tuned for the rest of the story. I have to go eat now. I am coming down with a cold. THey have hired a new temp to replace me..looks like I am pretty much guaranteed a place on the team (so why, why must I do interview tomorrow?? Woe is me).

Hope all is well - email me if you can - especially Andrew and Becky R :)

Monday, October 11, 2004

Ooooohhhh Free Internet!! Free, free, free. I had completely forgotten that the tourist info centre sometimes offers free Internet, probably as I haven't been here since JUne..having morphed from tourist to visitor to temporary resident over the past five months. Did I mention how much I love Free things??? Free food samples are obviously the best and I have become quite the expert at sourcing them out, bt, hey, free Internet is also nice.

K..enough about free things - let's talk about something that definitely was NOT free- My London Trip. Officially, my holiday is over :( I am back 'home' in Edinburgh, having arrived late, late last night after extended delays and way too much waiting for an airline that calls itself EasyJet. Yeah..easy to predict they will ALWAYS be late. But I'm not bitter about missing my FREE airlink bus home and having to pay cab fare. Nope, not bitter at all,

ANyways, I'd love to tell you all about my Lovely London Adventures..and don't you worry I most certainly will, but now is not the time. Given that I lack the ability to be concise at this whole blog-writing thing, I best pace out the whole London adventure and post it in a mini-series format over the week.. Another thing I love - the whole mini concept - mini cars, mini series, mini candy bars (excessive amounts of these at Hallowe'een. Right, so keep checking back this week - I'll post lots about my time in England over the next week or much as my weary mind can recall.

Oh right- so back to the present. Sahra is staying with us and since today is Thanksgiving in Canada (Happy THanksgiving), we are celebrating by doing what us North Americans seem to do best - eating copious amounts. Due to lack of money to buy a turkey and the dressings, as well as some hesitation at trying sucha cluinary feat as cooking and serving a turkey to persons who actually want to eat, I've opted for a safer route - the French-style Thanksgiving. Thanks (no pun intended) to a well-packed duffel bag brought over from Canada, I am again armed with my crepe pan, thus I will be treating (?) the gals to sweet & savory crepes tonight. Crepes with cheese, ham, mushrooms & onions for the main course, crepes with choice/cobinaiton of nutella, strawberries, whipped cream, bananas, syrup and/or sugar. Yeah, so that's it- just a simple, French dinner. No replacement for turkey, but I try...

K best go see what Sahra is getting up to..knowing her it can't be good ;)

OH - in case anyone is wondering, I have another job interview and aptitude test for the perm position at my workplace. Wednesday is D-Day. Oh, how I hate interviews. Tests are fine. I can do tests. But talking in a clear and coherent manner. Answering specific questions about my capabilities. NOT rambling....How am I going to do it??????

Wednesday, October 06, 2004, dude, I'm in London and it's Totally Awesome!!!!!

OK, I really didn't expect to be blogging from here, but the hostel had to go and give us 15 minutes of free Internet here I am to relay our adventures so far.

If I could turn back time, here is what I would have said to Sahra a WEEK AGO!

'So I'm fliying into Gatwick at 10.00. What time do you fly in?'

'OK..well then if you are there at 6.25 you can just meet me at my arrival gate - flight 704 on EasyJet'

''s the part I should have added:

'And you're absolutely, positively sure that you are flying into Gatwick???????'

'Oh, oh you're not, well that kind of changes plans doesn't it? If you're flying into Hethrow thee is no way we are going to connect at the airport..'

Yes, yes that's right . . . .major miscommunication resulted in Sister & I arriving at different airports. I, uncharacteristically, had not planned a contingency and had no info written down about the hostel or how to get there or even how to contact them..was relying on sister Sahra, who had all that info. UNfortunately she did not have my mobile number. there was some panic, a few curses and a frantic call to Saviour MacPhail!!! Anyway, we ended up meeting..just a few hours delay. It didn't help that, at the airport, Sahra had left me a message, but a wman by the name Courtney Shannon had come by for a different message and the airport people presumed she was me.

K, so after initial unsought panic, I decided that self-inflicted panic was the order of the day. With this in mind, I insisted that we go up the London Eye..the world's largest observation wheel - read GIANT Ferris Wheel..with pod-like capsules for the 'victims'. Why I chose to pay £11 to get on this very, very high and very, very slow-turning wheel I have no idea. Anyne who knows me, knows tha I freak out at the thought of heights...I've even been known to shed a tear or two on a ski lift. Funnily enough tall buildings don't scare me and flying is fine, but something about big wheels and hanging from wires puts me off. ANyway, I survived and, to be honest, it was definitely worth the money and initial panic for the view..we even had a rainbow

TIme is up..gotta go 'DO LONDON'

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Its Sunday afternoon - gorgeous day out and here I am in EasyNet cafe trying to work out last minute details for....get this.... my LANDING IN LONDON!!

That's right folks, in two mere days/48 hours I will be in LONDON - One of the great cities of this world!!! Best of all, I will be meeting my big sister, Sahra there for a 5-night, 6-day adventure that I suspect will be full of fun & fantastic sights, and, quite possibly, a few moments of panic on The Tube and when we get 'Lost in London' (it is bound to happen..apparently 'sense of direction' does not run in the Courtney blood...Sahra will likely deny this, but it's true)

Anywho...yeah so, right..the Weekend Review:

Well, for once I don't have a long-winded report of what we got up to on this side of the pond. To be honest, it was a pretty tame time by Jen & Shannon standards..not sure what Keri's analysis would be..I think she was asleep more than she was awake this weekend...

Friday Night = Flat warming party at a friend's flat in Leith. This friend's name is Shannon and she is also Canadian (a West-Coaster though). I am feeling less than unique since I arrived in Edinburhg, having met two other Shanadians.... A short drop-in to the Walk-About on our way home..just to be sure it was still in good order. Don't usually go on Friday nights as there is always a band playing, thus the stage is unavailable for dancing and we must mingle with the commoners :) Anyway, glad we went because the band rocked. I may have developed a wee crush on the singer despite, as Jen pointed out 'he probably weighs less than me' It's true..he could probbaly go in the ball room at McDonald's if he wanted..but there's something about a guy with a mic in his hand...

Saturday = shopping at the mall. How North American. But I scored a sweater (aka jumper in the UK) and v. shannon-like shirt

Shoot..think time is running out.

Anyway, hope y'all have a good week while I am IN LONDON. Oh, but I am in work tomorrow and I have my interview for the FT job, so keep your fingers crossed at 11.30 (GMT)

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 :)