Monday, August 30, 2004

Wow..this is the 100 post I've made since starting out this little blogventure back in January. Guess that just goes to show I can really ramble on :)

Please take note: This blog entry will be a bit more of a mish mash than usual..with regular WEekend Review, a little bit of pleading/begging and then thinkly disguised email-like chat with Sister Sahra (b/c I am too lazy to go back to hotmail)

Friday Night - Jen & Shan prepare Keri's birthday cakes (take them out of their packaging and stick afew candles in them) and strategically place her gifts around the two cakes (yes..I was the cake shopper..who could really decide between Chocolate & Lemon??). The theme for Keri's gifts was Plstic & Bread. Back in July, when we were flat-hunting, it became quite evident that the main criteria for a suitable flat, in Keri's opinion, was the presence of fake flowers. Unfortunately our place on Canon Street did not come with such adornments, so we made up for the lacking with some pretty pink, plastic flowers. A plastic croquet set as also throughly enjoyed by teh freshly 24 year-old. As for the bread..well lets just say Dr Atkins and Keri Shields do not see eye to eye.

It was a pretty low key night all in all. We headed out to a pub of KEri's choice..Jekyll & Hyde's..with a 7 deadly sins theme and gothic decor. Surprise surprise.

Saturday: After spending loads of money via credit card, I joined the gals at the Stand Comedy Club. WE were there for the free improv show. It was damn good adn a nice way to wrap up the who Fringe Festival - cheaply!

Our Canadian friend, Brandon, was playing in a softball tournament so we headed over to watch the final game of the day. It was enjoyable if not a bit on the chilly side. Brandon's team rules - they basically kickced butt..probably due to presence of two Canadians on the team. I made my own winning as spectator, scoring free candy & cookies that the team had left over!

In the evening, us gals headed out to the Grass Market - JEn had a plan (as usual to meet up with some of her workmates (read - young, army boys) at hte 3 Sisters and all was going well until we were stopped by the bouncers who wantedID. I'd have been flattered save for the fact that one of them said he was really only after Jen's ID. Sigh. WEll, in any case she didn't have any proof that she was over 18 (???) so we were denied least for the moment. We eventually made it in via the assistance of some older-looking (but really only 25 years) Scottish men, who also bought us free drinks. Sometimes, I must say, it pays to be a female. In any case, we had to blw that popsicle joint after awhile (just us gals..we pleaded fatigue and the calling of our beds). In actual fact we were headed to the WalkAbout as it was the last week it was open until3. I officially made it to 3am for four consecutive weeks!

Sunday - V. low key..just did a bit of shopping and enjoyed the sunshine and warmish weather. for the BEGGING.

My sister, Sara, who some of you may know and others clearly would not, are going ot be travelling around England and staying in London for a few days during the first part of October. Sara is coming all the way from Canada for just 12 days to see her litttle sister and enjoy the UK. She wil not be enjoying the exchange rate. ANyway, have been racking my brain to figure out whether I know anyone living in London or to the South and have come up with nil. If anyone out there in blog land knows anyone (maybe from University?) that is in London or thereabouts and wants company of two lovley Islanders, please let me know! Alternatively..if anyone has been to London and knows of good (read clean and well located) accomodations, can you pop me an email or comment. Tanks so much!!

K - for Sahra and anyone who is really bored:

I was thinking that maybe when we arrive in Gatwick on Tuesday we should head to the countryside first. I have a few reasons for this thinking...If we can rent a car at Gatiwck and return it to HEethrow then we will be saving ourselves a lot of money onteh trains into London from the airport, because travel from HEathrow is included in Tueb Daypass which we will have to buy anyway. Also, some things in London are only free on Sunday. There si a huge fleamarket in London on teh weekend in Camden Townthat KEri & Jen highly recommended. We would be able to do three days and two nights in London, rather than tree nights and three days, thus saving ourselves from expensive accomodation of London. Hostels in other towns will be much cheaper.

Those are just some thoughts..will call you soon and we can chat some more

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Hello All,

K this has to be a quickie as I am at the library, but almost out of time. SO I don't ahve to write a tonne of emails telling people my plans for visit home at Christmas, here are the basic details:

Arrive in Halifax on December 6 at 16.45

Depart Halifax on January 10 at 17.20

I am flying with Continental, which means I have a stopover in Newark. I will try to contain my enthusiasm regarding entry into 'America. Lucky for me I am taking same flights as Jen. Woohoo!

So...yeah I have just over a month in Canada!! I am excited, but I am already poor. The flight was not too too pricy considering the time of year, but lack of employment for a month (unless anyone has a job for me on PEI in December???) and rent due immediately upon return to this fair Scottish city are going to be a bit rough. Hmm..don't usually worry about money..after all it is just paper, but think I will have to cut back on a few things - like food. Oooh..or maybe get a second job. Ms Shields is now working 9-9 for the next few weeks at two jobs. ONe from 9-5, teh other from 5-9. THE fact that the jobs are at least half an hour form each other has nt deterred her..she is plannig to build a transporter by Monday. I should probably go help her out with that. Or I could go watch Brandon play in his softball tournament as it is a gorgeous day, not one to be wasted building futuristic machines....

Friday, August 27, 2004

At 12.26 (AST), 24 years ago today a wee little problem was brought into this world and they (the parents) christened her Keri Shields (Keri like the lotion, Shields like the...well you know).

Today, 24 years later she finds herself living it up in Edinburgh, Scotland (Quite possibly she was banished from the Riviere du Francoise where she grew up for lack of poshness or dislike of lobster…)

In any case, this Shanadian wants to wish Keri the Bestest Birthday Ever!!! Being 24 does have its perks, as I’ve learned over the past 17 days..there are certain things one can get away with at 24 that would be considered unthinkable if done by a 23 year old. Enjoy your day and those ‘couple’ of pre-work drinks. If you make it past a couple of sips I will be impressed. Here’s hoping you have a Grand day, we will do our best to ensure this happens! Heart ya :)
At 12.26 (AST), 24 years ago today a wee little problem was brought into this world and they (the parents) christened her Keri Shields (Keri like the lotion, Shields like the...well you know).

Today, 24 years later she finds herself living it up in Edinburgh, Scotland (Quite possibly she was banished from the Riviere du Francoise where she grew up for lack of poshness or dislike of lobster…)

In any case, this Shanadian wants to wish Keri the Bestest Birthday Ever!!! Being 24 does have its perks, as I’ve learned over the past 17 days..there are certain things one can get away with at 24 that would be considered unthinkable if done by a 23 year old. Enjoy our day and those ‘couple’ of re-work drinks. If you make it past a couple of sips I will be impressed. Here’s hoping you have a Grand day, we will do our best to ensure this happens! Heart ya :)
At 12.26 (AST), 24 years ago today a wee little problem was brought into this world and they (the parents) christened her Keri Shields (Keri like the lotion, Shields like the...well you know).

Today, 24 years later she finds herself living it up in Edinburgh, Scotland (Quite possibly she was banished from the Riviere du Francoise where she grew up for lack of poshness or dislike of lobster…)

In any case, this Shanadian wants to wish Keri the Bestest Birthday Ever!!! Being 24 does have its perks, as I’ve learned over the past 17 days..there are certain things one can get away with at 24 that would be considered unthinkable if done by a 23 year old. Enjoy our day and those ‘couple’ of re-work drinks. If you make it past a couple of sips I will be impressed. Here’s hoping you have a Grand day, we will do our best to ensure this happens! Heart ya :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Just a quick note regarding the new link I've added, entitled 'Bring Becky on Board'. This is what I like to refer to as a last resort in convincing Becky ROgers that she should move to Scotland in January. Heck, she's had enough of hte sun and Kiwi boys in its time for some rain and men in kilts! PLease help in any way you can.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Hey there! Twice in one day, not something most people can say v. often! IF you haven't checked blog yet today, you may want to read the post below this one (I swear, I'll have y'all trained someday soon..) back to weekend at hand. Saturday was in summary: relaxing, scrumptious, 'happy' (ie drink-filled), empowering, energetic & hilarious. That's all I am goin to say -that is that's fit to print :)

Please don't get the wrong idea, or conjure up some crazy hypothesis about what I'm NOT mentioning (even though, in truth this is exactly what I want each and every one fo you to do..I like to keep y'all guessing as it results in more emails!) I am still Shannon..sometimes I like to be a bit shandalous, but not OUTrageous :)

So, SUnday was pretty much a write off in terms of doing anything v. productive. although I did escort Jen to her new workplace (on a militarym base..the luck of that girl//first construction workers and now soldiers....) and while we were checking out the area I discovered that Scotland does, indeed, have grocery stores similiar in size to the ones back just have to live in the burbs for the privilege of being near them.

Oh, and we also checked out 'Dodgeball' advanced screening. HILARIOUS. LOL.NOt exactly intelligent humour, but good cleanish laughs and some great cameo the extrememly well-developed plot and actoin sections of the dodgeball elite made this a '2 Thumbs Up'

I am presently reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. It is one of those books that I am pretty sure will have a great impact on me. For one thing, there are two main charcters and one is an extremely intelligent gorilla who communicates through mental telepathy. Its about saving the world, which is just up my alley.

Yep. movies about walloping people with foam balls and a book about how us humans are destroying the planet - I'm all about consistency :)

So, we won't be seeing much of Keri this week - her job runs from 5 - 9 pm :( I just realised that means she has to work teh night of her worries, we will simply have to doouble up on the liquor afterwards right Ker-Ber?

At work today they were giving away samples of Cadbuyry Wafer Chocolate Bars..kind of like Kit Kats. I tooka few pieces, only to discover later on that they were GIVING AWAY full bars. I'd seen these much sought after bars, but assumed they would be charging for them. Sigh. ON completely related note, one of the women at work - the only one who seems completely addicted to dieting and is stick thin, told me I was losing weight.

Oh - right, JEn also noted that I talk about eating a lot in my if I didn't know that! ANyways, suppose I should curb such talk, or you'll all think I'm obsessed with food. true addictions at the moment : karaoke, the Walk About, blogging we'll leave it at that I think. #

Ms MacPhail, being the lass who loves logic within our little trio, has identified a distinctive pattern in my blog posting, which goes something like this:

Saturday, Sunday & Monday posts: V. upbeat, energetic and full of positive notes about weekend adventures

Tuesday & Wednesday posts: mid-week working blues kick in, all sense of optimism lost. Reflective on occasion, but generally just plain boring

Thursdays & Friday posts: anticipatory, generally more upbeat, with summary of weekend plans

So, based on this analysis it may be wise to skip reading of mid-week posts, or for me to pull up my socks and sing those mid-week blues away!

OK, onwards & upwards the Weekly Weekend Wrap Up.

Oh, right, but a few disclaimers/sidenotes/other news items first:

1. My name, Shannon, in case you didn’t already know, is not quite as uncommon as I’d once believed. I mean I know its no ‘Schemida’, but I’d like to think us ‘Shannons’ are slightly rare breed. Well, any such notions have flown out the window since I moved to Scotland. I have already met two fellow Canadians by the name Shannon (one from PEI the other Vancouver) and am constantly being confused by Jen’s stories about ‘her firend, Shannon’, because she has another friend by the same name. (insert Shannon sigh).Should I change it..or the spelling (like desert-like big sister)

2. Keri & Jen got jobs!!! Woohoo!!

3. If you want the whole story re: weekend events, you will just have to email me..#

OK, so here it goes:

Friday night was completely chillaxed. I needed such an evening in a bad way, having been worn down from constant going-out & activities of previous four weekends and long work days. Jen &b I baked a chocolate chip loaf (the equivalent of 12 smallish muffins) and polished it off within 24 hours. We also whipped up a chocolate cake for the next days’ birthday bash. We managed not to eat any of that, just a wee bit of batter licking ! We also made some progress on the quote wall (sidenote – the weekend also resulted in some new quotable quotes from this Shanadian).

Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous day, so I started it off with a jog around the neighbourhood. I intended to jog in the Botanic Gardens, but was stopped at the front gate by a menacing gardens employee who denied me entry as a jogger (although I was more than welcome ot walk the grounds if I wanted). I could have been put off by the audacity of such a restriction, but it was much too nice out and I was much too stress-free to really care. After going about a few errands, I met up with Keri & Jen in the park near our place. While I was there to enjoy the sunshine, I also wanted to avoid the kitchen in our flat. You see, our celebratory plans included crashing…er..I mean partaking in the community barbeque being held by the local church. To be quite honest I imagined it would be a rather simple affair, with hotdogs and sub-par burgers being served up..maybe some orange drink like the stuff from McDonald’s. I couldn’t have been more wrong and I am soo glad I saved me appetite. It was an absolute feast, a smorgasboard of foods including home-made salads of every imaginable type, bbqd chicken, sausages, veggie dogs, hamburgers and – the topper : A table full of delectable sweets including a Smartie Cake. Seriously, it was like something out of Pleasantville. We’d invited along some gals from PEI who we’d met earlier in the week through Natasha, as well as a couple of gals they’d met at the hostel. So, yeah, it does pay to have friends living in high places (EH3 5HE..our posh postcode has finally paid off!!)

Now, you’d think with all that food stuffed in me, I’d be less than eager to begin drinking the bevies, but nope..remember, I’m a keener! Bring on the Vodka & Diet Vanilla Coke, make it a double.

After a wee bit of house drinking we were ready to rock the town. I won’t ‘bore’ you with all the details of the evening (read: send email if you are curious and a cat), but highlights included:

Visiting Filthy McNasty’s – it will be the last time for a long while I believe. Hee hee hee. Well, at least until Jen’s parents come over…

Being asked if I was blind..not sure whether this was because I wouldn’t look bloke in the eyes or because he thought himself God’s Gift to Women and couldn’t believe I didn’t see that in his beauty. In any case, he repeatedly asked Jen to tell me that he was a ‘good-looking guy’. Yeah. OK, for an off night, but it wasn’t.

Meeting up with my Dublin-dancing friend at the Walk-About and dancing up a storm on the stage.

OK..lunch is over, but I’ll be back with further notes about the weekend. Promise.

Friday, August 20, 2004

JJejn posted more pics on her website, check the link to the right. Please note teh following disclaimer which I've copied & pasted from Jen's blog. It is true, I am bothered..this girl is professional poser and I .quite simply am not. Anywho...allis good, I will repay her kindness and thoughtfulness (i.e. her vanity) in kind soon enough :)

In Jen's Words: Yeah, anyway. I posted every single picture that I didn't delete from my camera. This bothers some people (Shannon) because it means I post/don't delete pictures that I think I look good in regardless of how the others look

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Just a short blog today - going against the norm ( i.e. ‘Shannon Ramble-On’). Actual reason for shortness of blog is inability to type and inability to make coherent sentences (as if I ever had that!!) Anyway, so yeah I don’t think I’m ready for Boxercise class yet. The class wasn’t just cardio, a major amount of weight lifting and presses and sit-ups (hahahah..I could do 15..out of the 100 we were supposed to do). I am a weakling, although I could hold my own I the punching part..does that say something about me?

Today I am truly having trouble holding my arms up so I can type. Earlier this morning I gave up trying to type and did some manual work, but this was no reprieve as my hands were literally shaking. Am trying to ignore fact that body-falling-to-pieces is in sync with Shannon-turning-yet-another-year-older..

Speaking of years older, it appears that August is an extremely popular birthday month..if you backtrack 9 months it appears December is a very friendly & giving month. Anywho, I seem to have started a trend for announcing birthdays on my blog so without further Adieu…..

Happy Birthday Mr Gavin Andrews!! Happy 25th !!

And I know I’ve got the age right this time, cause a quarter of a century is a pretty BIG deal. Oh, and one must respect one’s elders right?

Have a great craic (little bit of Irish slang there for you folks) Be to drink, eat & be merry..then drink some more and some more. I go to find a cheaper flight home…Jen got one for £40 cheaper than what I was planning to pay so I’m on it cause when you do the conversion that’s $100 difference.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Back so soon? Yes, sadly my evening is just that bland that I've landed at Easy Net Cafe. OK...not really true. IN fact, I was way overdue on checking my hotmail (more birthday wishes i love a never-ending birthday!) and wasn't able to make it home in time to join the gals in spectating Brandon's softball game. Sigh..the plight of the working woman who goes to the gym after work and then has an hour long commute in the evening. Crikey! I've got to do something about that.

In any case, I am staying late at work in order ot avoid rush hour and also trying to do 45 mins cardio/day at the gym. Generally I don't make it home until 7, then I have to make supepr, shower and make lunch for the next day. SO..essentially I may have 2 hours of free time in a night. Such a routine is tolerable at the moment because I am loving life outside of work and variance of weekends makes up for it all, but I can't imagine such a way of life day in and day out for the next forty years./ I know a lot of people do it, but I'm pretty sure ther is a better way..actually I know there are better ways (like maybe working form home or being an entrepreneur), but enough career talk. I am in Scotland for adventures life lessons...this is just one of many I have already absorbed. yeah, now that you know hte ins and outs of my daily routine I suppose you aren't one bit envious? Well, let me assure you the pluses outweight teh minues by a large margin. Every choice has its tradeoffs right? For now, lack of career development is only major tradeoff. Ah well.

Geez..what the heck? I thin I just lectured. grotesque. Sorry.

DId I mention it is getting dark here much earlier than when we arrived. I am v. much not looking forward ot sunsets at 3.00 in the afternoon. On the other hand...pubs are much, much more atmospheric when it is dark outside. Suppose I'll just have ot hole up at the C Bar when it gets dark and damp out.

Bloody fireworks..twice every night they shoot fireworks off from the castle. EVery time I hear them I think its thunder or shots being fired. I've yet to actually see fireworks..oh OK I saw them 1 night, but most nights its been too foggy to see across the bridge that connects New Town to Old Town, let along actually see the castle. case Grand is reading this:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! AND MANY MORE! I could have sung that..wait, I will sing that at karaoke this weekend. Anyways, here's hoping your birthday rocks and we'll be by to figure out the birthday bash plans for the weekend. (BTW - never got that email from you..see my address at top of the page) final note. I still am not receiving emails from people that I am quite sure are reading my blog. AM I ever going to stop harping about this lack of email? Nope. I want two way communication people!! Now some of you have been absolutely fabulous about the whole correspondence thing, and i thank you. FOr all others..please see my email address at the top of this blog and write about life at your end. I'd love to hear from y'all!
So..leaving off from last blog post:

Following on farewell to Kathleen, us gals ventured over to the Speigel Tent, one of the many temporary venues that ahs been set up for the Fringe – the Speigel Tent is basically a beer garden, but there are a number of circus-type acts going on all the time..a bitof drinking and debauchery of the G-rated version! We were joined by Stacy, an American girl Keri knows from her days at the hospital (as worker, not patient!), Brandon (our Ottawaian friend) and his buddy, Gary.

Yeah….OK..sidenote here. I have a whole new appreciation for Canadian guys..maybe its just the Brandon & Grand are exceptionally cool dudes, but it is refreshing to find guys that want to actually DO things (like the movies, or quiz nights or just grabbing a pint..those kinds of things) & they are super RELIABLE. Like, you can actually make plans in advance to do things and they will show up or call. Plus, of course, they are Canadian, which is almost always a good thing. It is grand (pun intended). And while it may seem that I am indicating a lack of such qualities in guys form other countries this is not the case at all, but in my experience Canadians = Consistency..that’s all I’m saying. You’re all awesome no matter where ye hail from and I mean that!

OK..back to weekend in review. We called it an early night on Saturday due to our Altruistic Obligations for Fringe Sunday. We had all volunteered to help out at Fringe Sunday and were to be at the park by 9.00 am for a day of ‘family fun’. I don’t want to be too down about the whole experience, but I’m just not sure I’m cut out for the ‘Alturism’ thing….call me crazy but I really don’t appreciate being snapped at by staff members that are getting paid to run event for absolutely no reason. Seriously put a damper on my giving spirit. Pretty sure Jen & Keri had better volunteer experiences. IN any case, it was an amazing atmosphere and I did get a wee bit of chance to enjoy the acts. Highlights of the day included meeting 4 Canadian guys from NB & NS who were performing a comedy act. They had just been in Victoria-By-The-Sea the week before! We played the ‘do you know?’ game. But I suck..I don’t know anyone cool from the artsy scene on for my brief encounters with Matt Rainnie & Ed Rashed when we used to Fourplay. I also scored 6 sandwiches leftover from our free lunch. 2 bags of crisps and a bottle of carbonated apple juice (don’t ask..I haven’t tried it yet) that’s how the weekend went down. I was too knackered to partake in the late night party for Event staff & volunteers..instead choosing to watch a DVD (Veronica Guerin – excellent Irish film). Next time I volunteer, will be sure it is my cup of raising awareness of need for laws restricting unleashed dogs in the city.

Keri Shields is hilarious. Every once in awhile she actually gets around to writing a blog post and then she insists I read it. ‘It’s hilarious..I know I was funny..and its super long…You’ve got to read it!’ The humbleness of it all.

Plans for the rest of the week include – visitors from Aberdeen (Natasha & Holly), taking in Scotland vs. Hungary game in hopes of seeing/dancing with many men in kilts, multi-birthday bash, free BBQ and visit from Pam (recently returned from Oz!)

Monday, August 16, 2004

So its now been three months and three days since we left Canada, and it will be another 4 months minus 5 days before I return. This would be perfect time to reflect upon experiences so far. But I won’t bore you with such fluffy stuff…would only be fun for me!

So yeah..I booked my flight home. I predict massive success with weight loss ambitions due to lack of money for food. The price of being at home for Christmas. All I can say is it had better be BBQs galore and turkey overload when I come home :)

If Keri, Jen & I were really stars of a soap opera, it would most definitely be called ‘The Young, the Old & the Restless). Jen & Keri would be ‘The Young’, I would be ‘The Old’ and we’d all be ‘Restless’, although I think Jen would probably be Queen of Restlessness.

Yeah..OK, that as poor lead in to ‘Weekend Review’, but hey..we were pretty Restless and I did feel Old!

We had another BBQ in the park. It was delicious and v. enjoyable save for the bloody barrage of dogs that kept wandering over to our even licked my veggie burger. owners over here are rather inconsiderate..they had their huge, disobedient dgos ina park where people were eating and children were playing …and none of theme were on leashes!! Dogs on leashes are a rarity anywhwere in Edinburgh. Slightly annoying. Don’t get me wrong, I like dogs..its certain dog owners that peeve me off...the ones that don't own leashes and can't handle their dogs....

So, we began Friday evening at the C Bar..our favorite local (due to cool Canadian dude Grand) and had a pint or a vodka & Diet Coke..or in Keri’s case a quarter of a pint. She’s really becoming such a heavy drinker..we’re getting concerned. Anywho, we then moved on to Filthy McNasty’s wehre Jen completely surprised me (as if that’s possible) by getting Don to sing Happy Birthday to me. THE whole bar joined in and the turned the lights veryone could see my bright red face. But the truth is..I LOVED it..and the hug from cute bartender was added bonus. WE then blew that popsicel joint and headed to the WalkAbout, where we danced the rest of the night away on the stage. V. cheesy 80’s music and crazy Scottish guys who decided to do dance off to Bill Jean. Suffice to say it was a good night.

Saturday was pretty chillaxed (read – I was knackered from 4.00 am bed time of previous night). Keri bought a DVD player (woohoo) and we said our goodbyes to fellow Island Kathleen, who has been living here for a year & a half.

Shite..will have to get back to blogging later..lunch is over already

Friday, August 13, 2004

Now I don’t claim to be any sort of weather professional, or ‘meteorologist’, but well..isn’t August supposed to be summer for the Northern Hemisphere? So..we’ve got men in skirts, but no sunshine. It s a tradeoff… The last week has been perfect illustration of just how varying Scottish weather can be..from dreary gray, to bright gray to almost not gray.. The forecast for the weekend…varying shades of gray with the possibility of mist and the even slighter possibility of sunshine.

This weekend, we’ve kind of booked ourselves up with saying goodbyes to Kathleen, attending flat warming party of my workmate and volunteering the entirety of Sunday to help out at Fringe Sunday. I daresay I won’t be catching up on my sleep this weekend..or any time in foreseeable future.

Oh..I just remembered its Friday 13th .. Hmm..not much to say about that..have never had anything horribly bad happen on this superstitious day..

In answer to questions recently posed via email or on blog:

Planned dates for visit home at Christmas: Dec 9th– Jan 9th.will visit Sahra a few days on each end as I land in Halifax. Er..I haven’t actually confirmed this with sis, but am sure she’ll be happy to have me????

Time Difference between here and home = 4 hours (we are ahead of in it would be later here)

A digital camera is a luxury that I am quite sure I can live without..will be happy just ot be home for Christmas. On the other hand…surprises are always fun ;)

VOX Phone Card is available in Canada (Shoppers Drug Mart) and is v. good for calling phone boths int eh UK. I suggest that certain people whom I am related to make the investment in two-way communication as calling from my mobile is rather expensive and I am rather poor….

Random Thoughts

They advertise pizza with Candian bacon over here..and Canadian waffles with maple syrup. Yep..Canada’s pigs are world –renowned and the Belgians have nothing on our waffle exports!

Jen tans so easily, I am jealous. Why can’t I tan just a wee bit..just enough so I don’t llok like porcelain girl (from Asia..go figure, am still getting that one)

Is it too early to be thinking AS (After Scotland)..because I’m kind of throwing around the idea of going South….Down Under to the land of Kiwis or Oz.

I am rowing lots these the gym anyways. My right shoulder is killing me. Coincidence or correalation?? I am also having toothaches and continue to chew gum. Could I be masochistic?

More sweets & chocolates of the women is celebrating sale of stock at Gain. I will soon be celebrating simple gain..of weight. Oh woe is me and my gluttony (note the rhyming)

Us gals started a list of quotable quotes and will someday soon make the actual effort ot post these quotes on a wall…Here are a few samples:

Keri: Let’s blow this Popsicle joint
I I’m sucking diesel man
(apparently this means having a good day to Irish people????)

Jen: If I know (insert name) like I think I know (insert name), which is not at all…
I need a plan!

Shannon: The only thing I can come up with in an improv show is a pick up line
I am giving up candy (That’s a new one…I just thought of cracks Keri up when I say this..every second day)

Will make effort to create a quote board on blog so as to allow for each of us to add in quotes and for y’all to view them..or maybe Jen, with her spare time and amazing computer abilities would be better for the job?

K..lunch is nearing its end….

Oh – does anybody have book recommendations. I am looking for non-fiction and/or autobiographical read..something that is easy read, but insightful and interesting. Was thinking of reading Ishmael..but too busy (and by busy I mean lazy) to go get it at the library. This may pose problem with whole book reading endeavour as most books are located at library…

Thursday, August 12, 2004

OK, so there are 15 people on our team (2 blokes) and 3 of us have celebrated birthdays this week?!?! What are the odds? So, anyway,..that has meant massive amount of sweets at work and I'm still lacking in the will power (oops..meant to ask Mom to send that over in parcel..sigh).

ANywho, not a whole lot to report today.Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishses :) We're having a celebration of August-born persons on the far there are three of us (KEri, Grand and myself). Anyone else who wishes to join in is more than welcome!! Evening will begin with free BBQ courtesy of Bellevue Chapel...don't ask

We have another visitor this weekend...a repeat actually - NAtasha, oneof the girls from Aberdeen is making her way up from York to take in some of the festival and enjoy company of fellow Islanders :)

Today's Metro headline stated that Embryo cloning has been given the go ahead. Sigh. Sometimes I wonder whether I should have studied biology, but I don't like tha lab glasses or the smell of formaldehyde. On the other hand I actually enjoyed diseecting fetal pig in high school.

WIsh I could be wittier at the mo, but alas, in my old age am losing all sharpness of mind that I may once have had.

On that note...return later in the week for more blogworthy post. I'm trying people, I'm trying. . .

Oh.,.BTW . .I FINALLY got some photos developed only to realise that I still can't ppost them on teh web due to lack of scanner..and computer. a digital camera is looking v. enticing, despite my vehement belief that phots are meant to developed not displayed. May have to change my tune on that one..

Monday, August 09, 2004

SO it is Monday, the weather is complete shite and I've had no trouble crossing any street today. Guess that means I have no excuse not to write in my blog.

Leaving off from previous blog/recap of mad weekend:

Saturday (day) was absolutely gorgeous. I opted to go for a jog out & about, and ended up at eth Royal Botanic Gardens which are, like, 5 minutes from our flat?!?! How we keep missing things like grocery stores and massive gardens that are right at our doorstep is beyond me, but anywho...The gardens were lovely, but my feet simply weren't up for the run..I need an elliptical/cross trainer in a bad way. Yep, will just hve ot get one of those with my next 15 pay cheques!

Anywho, I then wandered over to Easy Net cafe and met up with JEn, who had a devilish grin on her face. She pulled out her phone and revealed yet another victory - she'd scored another phone number from Filthy's and we'd been invited to join two of the bartenders in the Princes Street Gardens for a lay out in the sun. How could we possibly say no? Was a lovely/lazy afternoon lying in the greass and listening (freely) to bands playing on the stage.

I really didn't think the day could get any better, but it did. JEn & I had booked tix for THE KARAOKE SHOW, which was a sing-a-long theatrical show set in a KAraoke LOunge. We ended up meeting a Bloke from New York who was an actor (go figure) and had auditioned for the show back in New York (where it originated). So we sat fron t& Centre, enjoying a truly fantabulous, interactive show with plenty of opps for us to get up and dance the night away. Oh, but following the show they had KARAOKE IDOl, where audience membesr could get up and perform. There were spotlights and a fabulous sound system and a real audience. So, of course, Jen & I had to do it. OH, but first Michael sang Desperado as a solo and he was damn good..too good for karaoke, but he was cool and he joined Jen & I for December 1963 and we had a blast. Alas, we did not win..I chalk it up to fac that we were the only participants who did not get help from the professional actors, but anywho. I never realised how much I love the stage, but JEn just brings out the extrovert in me and it is fantastic!

Yesterday we saw a musical during the afternoon called FLopstar, which was alright but not in same league as Karaoke Show (ie not cheesy enough for us)..then I had crossing street incident. All was good though, cause we ended up having a lovely barbeque with veggie dogs and veggie burgers and we didn't even start a fire in the park..

I don't really think the show we saw last night, the Carlsberg Comedy bus, even deserevs a mention. It sucked, it really did. The comedians were not funny and one of them was downright crude and the entire audience were of the same mind. It kind of put a damper on the night, but we'd had a good run of shows up til then so wasn't really that much of a bother.

Today I am expanding my gut, for the umpteenth time since arriving here. Jen & I are going to Saigon Saigon for a Chinese only costs 3.5 pounds each because we have a two for one coupon. Apparently the desserts are delicious..which is good, because I'm not really into Chinese food. Anyway, Jen needs to enjoy her days of unemployment and I am doing my best to ensure that happens. FOllowing on gorge, we are going to see The Giant Pineapple Boys..comedians who do impersonations...hmmm, just like the old days, except they won't be impersonations of Kim Tran or Raeanne...

K..well that's it for now..sorry if this blog was a wee bit uninspiredm, am on a time crunch.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

It is late Sunday afternoon now and an absolutely gorgeous day out..sweltering by Scotland standards and I just know I am going ot be red tomorrow because I forgot to wear sun block. At the moment I am a wee bit flustered..and by flustered I mean p*ssed off. I just spent ONE HOUR trying to cross a street. One bloody hour weaving through throngs of tourists in sweltering sun just to get across fifteen feet of pavement!!!!! SO, yeah..this may be a short blog, as am perhaps not so much in the mood to write anymore.

As for why it took me so long to cross Princes Streeet - Well, turns out the Festival Calvacade was this afternoon..unbeknownst to myself. BTW Calvacade = Paade but without cheesy commercial floats or free candy for on-lookers..serisouly what kind of entertainment is that ;) ANyway, so Jen & I were just returning from a show inthe Old Town and had parted ways so she could call home and I could blog. I decided to go down the Mound, which brought me to the middle of Princes Street, only to discover a giant calvacade proceeding along. I would like to say that I took the opportunity to stop, enjoy the show, relax and maintain patience about crossing street. But I Didn't. Patience..not exactly high on list of Shannon descriptors. SO, instead I erronoulsy started hiking toward west end of the street because I presumed there would be a crossing point. FOr anyone who doesn't know..PRinces Street is very very long. It is even longer when there are all sorts of old people and young people and big people and small people wandering around adn walking at a snail's pace. So I finally get to the end of Princes only to dsicover the calvalcade continues on and on and on... finish story in v. abrupt manner..I finally did make it across PRinces street, but only because the calvacade ended. Sigh. I am going to go have BBQ now and the dispoable BBQ we bought had better do a marvelous job at grilling burgers and hotdogs...

Oh, OK..i've setteld downa bit, so suppose I can tell you a bit about the adventures JEn & I have been up to this weekend...

If I could use three words to describe our adventures they would be, in no particular order: CAMPY, CRAZY & FANTABULOUS.

Friday night Jen & I went to see a Scottish Comedian named Criag Hill. HIs show was called One Man & A Kilt (or something like that) nad in the advert he was desribed as the 'campy'. Jen presumed campy meant 'funny & witty'. I, however, knew that 'campy' means, well, 'FLAMboyant'. And campy he was! An aboslutely hilarious show. HILLarious..get it! hahaha. OH dear. RIght, so then we headed to McNasty's where we ended up meeting a few new people and, of course, the regular crew of Irish bartenders and karaoke addicts. We sang Breakfast At Tiffany's, drank a bit more and then headed to an Improv show which was just so so. In true Shannon-style I accidentally/voluntarily chose ot embarass myself during the show by getting up during a game of 'Freeze' to take place of one of the professional actors to be in the show. It was short-lived fame..Andy Warhol like - fifteen seconds and, mercifully, one of the guys tagged me out. Never again will I say 'Freeze' out loud. NOt at an Improv show anyway.

Hmm.well woudl love ot tell you about last night because it absolutely RULED, but time is runnning out on INternet cafe. I am taking tomorrow off work as is better than taking off my BIRTHDAY..which is TUESDAY. Where did the year go? Seriously? How did twelve months pass so quickly???? Anyway, will try to write again tomorrow but only if weather is shite and I don't get peed off by lack of ability to cross a street.

Smooches! I miss y'all and wish that you could be here cause it is fabulous festivities (save for calvacade!!)

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Writing on an empty stomach..never a good idea. I am starving. NOt really sure why as have had apple & peanut butter with a little bit of bagel just a few hours ago. Perhaps the liquor still running through my body has amazing metabolic abilities and is burning up energy faster than I can feed it, or maybe I have a tape worm. Nah.I like the metabolic alcohol theory better. this city is aboslutely BUZZING!! I can not believe the atmosphere here, it is fantastically mad and outragish, mirthful and a bit campy on occassion! Is there anywhere else in the world I'd rather be right now? Nay!!!!!!

OK..but I have to backtrack here a bit and tell you about Thursday night first..even though it isn't half as crazy/fun as the weekend's adventures, it did give me a bit of insight into just how girly I can be sometimes. RIght, so Thursday us gals decided to make an appearance at the C Bar, which is this v. cool bar dwitha beer garden and cosy encloves and, best of all, a CANADIAN bartender. FUnnily enough we were only a stone's throw from this fab hangout when living at Drummond PLace but only managed to make it there in our final week there (despite my persistently suggesting we go there cause it was in the TOP TEN book Schemida gave me of pubs/bars in Edinburgh). ANywho, so we had ourselves a drink (or two) and the Canadian bartender (Calgarian BTW) joined us for drinks after his shift. Yeah, new friend!! Must say, it is sooo much easier to meet people over here than it is on PEI..even the Casey's regulars thought they were too good for us... OH, fun sidenote, the new friend's name is Grand. I reasonably thought he was saying Grant, but GRand is soo much cooler, especially considering how people over here like to throw that word around in same manner that Keri uses the phrase 'f*ck off'.

Blah blah blah..have just noticed how shite I am at getting to the point of a story....for those who have withstood my marathon prelude, which has NOTHING to with the actual Shannon is SUCH a girl ancedote. we got home around 11.00 (I had three vodka & diet cokes in me)I walked into the well lit kitchen and let out the highest pitched scream posssible as I saw somethign with a tail scurry across the tiled floor and behind the washing machine. Keri & Jen went right into action. Keri was impressively ready to take on the scurrying thing, which I'd concluded could only be a mouse due to the tail and the scurrying. With mop in one hand and toaster box in other she boldly tried to move the washing machien to get at the little critter. When she couldn't actually move the appliance JEn stepped in and, again, proved she has more brute strength than KEri & I combined (me having none whatsoever and Keri having varying abilites depending on how much alcohol she's consumed). there was nothing behind the washing machine and, after a few tense minutes of scanning the kitchen we concluded the mouse was not there anymore.

That was when KEri & Jen asked me to describe exactly what the scurrying thing has looked like.

My response:
'Um..oh be honest it kind of looked like a leaf..but with a tail and scurrying ability'.

Keri: 'Well, what color was it'

Shannon: 'Hmm..well I don't really know..somewehre between greensih and grayish'

Jne: 'Are you sure it wasn't just a leaf?'

Shannon: 'Well, I don't know I wasn't weearing my glasses, but can leaafs scurry?' Awkward pause while Shannon contemplates possibilities. 'You might have just been a leaf..I don't know.'

And we still don't konw for sure we have the compnay of a mouse or scurrying leaf in our flat. make this easier to read, am going to start a new post about teh weekend, beacuswe long post are kind of annoying.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Am feeling more like travel agent than high-flying data entry career woman as of late. Have been booking flights, trying to find cheap deals and considering how long I can endure Scottish ‘winter’ before hightailing it to sunny locale where I can sip margaritas and work on my never-present-tan. Have had some luck with cheap flights in Europe so am all booked to go to Dublin & London in the upcoming months. Have had no luck finding cheap flight home at Christmas…in fact, cheapest flight I could find was with Continental, flying thru NY to Halifax for $1000 return. Not bad I suppose, but nothing compared to the $140 direct flight I got coming over…. one of those random thoughts/observation days, so bear with me while I ramble:

Have just finished reading Roald Dahl’s autobiographies (2). Despite his fame as children’s writer, neither of these books contained any recollectionof his years/experiences as writer, instead he recalled in disturbing detail his childhood days and English boarding school and his fascinating career as pilot in the RAF during WWII. Was a great read and am really starting ot like autobiographies. Raffi's was also v. interesting and inspiring..Raffi teh Children's musician that is.

OK, since on the subject of literature must mention something I read in the Metro yesterday. The Metor is free newspaper which I get everyday fromm young lad just outside McDonald's (yes, same one that Miss MacPahil showed her true colours in frontof). ANyway, teh paper is mediocre read (sidenote - there are v. few quality newspapres over here..back home many of them would have the saem readers as MAxim if you get my point).In any case, there is a section in the paper for readers to send in comments, questions, etc. Is not to comment on news items, but to ask questions like: Where are allthe good men in Edinburgh? or If mothsw like light so much why do they only come out in the dark? There are also quite often insults thrown back and forth between Edinburghers and Glaswegians.. to my slightly interesting story. Yesterday Ed From Edinburgh enquired as to whether he should be calling people from Canada Americans or French. I was momentarily insulted, but pretty sure he was being cheeky/smart with query. today the Metor had created a section entitled Oh Canada, with responses to Ed's query. All were from Canadians and all of them were way too serious..answering in detail and being rather defensive.

Well no wonder people like to take the piss out of Canadians...sometimes we are just a bit too senstive about the whole thing. I liked Keri's email resposne (which didn't make it to print..yet) It went something like: 'Funy, because I have the same problem figuring out whether to call people from Scotland Irish or English..' ANd that's the way it should be done...cheekiness returned with equally cheeky remark.

Last night I took a boxercise class and now I am so very keen on taking up boxing..minus the actual contact. What a fab way to get out frustrations of the day while also getting a workout!

Saw The Stepford Wives..weird movie, personally believe it was a waste of talent. It could have been better.

It is the last week of Big Brother. Thank goodness. Honestly I can stand bad t.v. once a week..but once a night..for an hour!?!?! And Jen has hopped on the BB bandwagon.. Sigh..perhaps I should just give in to horrible T.V. and spend my time watching other people do outrageous things for attention...

Monday, August 02, 2004

My spelling is atrocious. Wait..actually my spelling & grammar are quite god, but my ability to type is lacking due to my theory that when writing blog at lunch time (in a hurry) is better to go for quantity than quality, so I apologise because I know how annoying it can be to read paragraphs of text filled with spelling mistakes and transposed letters. Speakingof which..has anyone besides me noticed that people today overuse/m,isuse the possessive form excessively. It seems that whenever a word ends with s people are inclined to through in the old apostrophe…For eg. ‘pizza’s of all size’s’ or ‘a few great idea’s ‘ Just one of those wee things that drives me a bit batty..battier than I already am that is.

OK - so Sunday night I saw a side of Miss Jennifer MacPhail I’d never seen before. It would also be wise to note that I’m not sure I want to se it again..or maybe I do. I’m still not sure whether to be disturbed or proud of leaning towards the latter. She held her own and that is generally a good thing. The fact that she was holding her own against a wee punk of 13 is irrelevant.

Here’s how the Jen Reveal went down:

Keri, Jen & I were walking home around 10..00 from our non-quiz night at a pub. We’d just turned off Princes street and were passing by McDonald’s when, out of nowhere, a McDonald’s paper cup (empty) bounced off the back of Jen’s head. She stopped dead in her tracks. So did Keri & I. I looked back and there were a group of punk boys all scattered about. Jen got this really strange look on her face and an aggressive stance I’d never seen before and in a rather commanding voice demanded to know who had thrown the cup. One of the kids was like ’wasn’t was my friend..’ (ok..he had a really strong accent..Scottish trash accent really..but can’t replicate it in writing) Jen proceeded to declare that she was going to er ‘kick his butt' ..something like that anyway..there may have been a few other words used,I can’t really recall. By this point I was following her..not sure whether to stop her or join her and Keri had completely frozen ( NOT rely on Keri to back you up in a bar fight..or any sort of encounter..she simply wouldn't be able to..) I probably woudl have frozen too except I had my pleather jacket on so was feeling rather tough and greaser-like. If I'd had my jean jacket on would have been a whole different story..

Anywho, Jen proceeded to locate cup-throwing culpirt and woman-handled him just a wee bit to let him know she was nay impressed with being random victim of his childish behaviour. OH he was scared, he ran into the empty street, trying to hide behing his friends, with JEn quick on his trail. ANd tehn, as quickly as it had started, teh whol ordeal ended. Jen held her stance for a few moments, said a few more intimidating things that I can't recall and then turned back towards us. DId I mention she did this all while in a cute, orange skirt and with her BEtty Boop purse strung around her neck. It was quite the sight and I must say Keri & I were v. impressed. I am so glad that she stood up for herself..I am pretty sure i wouldn't have and darn sure Keri couldn't have. Jen, I salute you..and I try my hardest to never ever p*ss you off.

Oh, as sidenote: When we got back home we were dissecting the whole incident and Keri was going on like 'I can't believe you did that Jen, I never would have imagined you'd do something like that..' Then she looks over at me and says 'I might expect that from you Shan...' Thanks Keri, thanks a lot... ;)

I hope Jen finds a job soon. She deserves one and a good one...not one that isn't even in the A-Z guide to Edinburgh.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

OK... so 6 jars of Peanut Butter, 3 bags of Rockets (aka Smarties in America), 2 bags of gummy red fish, a bag of tootsie rolls and a a bag of screaming sour wormies later and I am pretty sure my whole 'healthy eating' plan is back on hiatus..come to think of it, am pretty sure its been permanately on hiatus since I arrived in Europe. In any case, must admit I was more than slightly shocked dand pleasantly surprised (as were flatmates) to open parcel from Uncle MIke that contianed a YEAR's supply of good ol' American peanut butter and plenty of candyjust to be sure my will power is broken. I'd like to say it is a year's worth of candy too, but truth is it'll be lucky to survive two weeks in presence of Candyaholic (refuse to dub myself by name Becky Rogers tagged me with). Oh..on slightly disturbing note, I think customs must have opened my package of sinful foods because one bag of rockets/smarties was completely opened as was the box of sour squirmies.... Yep cocaine laden candy...right up there with cocaine laden chippy burgers eh Keri? aside from excitement re: food (and I must apologise if I talk too much about food, I simply can't help myself is EVERYWHERE!) we had a Fabulous weekend! See recap below:

Friday - Folllowing a rigourous work out at the gym, Jen & I got ready to hit the town. The Plan - A Bar Crawl! Was feeling particularly daring/in need of attention so decided to wear...a SKIRT. Yeppers...and this time I took the leap from trainers to Jen's Freaking Fabulous Black Boots! Oh, I was HOT! Or so Jen says..but she may be just a wee bit the boots of course and the candy I keep on giving her. Anyway, we headed over to the Old Town first to a bar called the TRon, just off the Royal Mile. It was one of our friend's work leaving dos so we popped in, caught up with her, drank a wee bit and then headed across the street to CITY CAFE..which didn't really seem to have much of a cafe atmosphere to me ...more like laid-back, pre-clubbing bar with many men and cheap shots...which Jen & I took advantage of. (the shots that is) but the night was passing too quickly and we still had to 'DO' Filthy McNasty's. I figured it was time to return... And,as it turns out , our absence had been noticed by Don (The karaoke guy) and two of the bartenders. Oh Yeah...Canada is Back ;) Rounded off the night at the Walk About, then crawled home..literally (OK..maybe not literally, but I could have made it faster by getting on my knees) . Um, yeah Jen's boots RULE, but practical they are not and my feet were in an abhorrent state by the time we finally arrived back at the flat. back to the trainers and trousers for more skirts or showy shoes for this shanadian. GEez I love alliteration. but the HIGHLIGHT of the weekend was most definitely last night, when we had our flat warming! Canada, quite frankly, ruled the do..with other nations representing Scotland, Ireland, England and the States. There was food galore, there was drink galore.Drink of choice for me was vodka, but somehow I moved on to Spiced rum & coke quite was a gift from the Aberdeen girls which was much appreciated last night, but may have had something to do with the I experienced early this morning. is not a good idea to drink loads of liquor, eat loads of food then go dancing and jump around for a long time. Anyway, we did karaoke at the local pub (JEn & I dueted to December '63...better knwonw as Oh What a Night and Sex Bomb). We eventually made our way to the Walk About where, in my opninon, the Highlight of the evning was had (BTW..JEn was also wearing a highlighter coloured top which RULED and I was wearing RED pants!!!..she is rubbing off on figurative way only). it was getting near the end of the night and this song which I can't hum for you because I am only blogging came on ...but trust me it was a good song and the lyrics went something like' singing hot hot hot, ole ole' Well in any case I had brilliant idea that we should do a LOVE TRAIN...I whispered/shouted my idea into JEn's ear..'let's do a love train'. She shrugged her shoulders and proceeded to lead us in the most fabulous Luv Train... WE got EVERYBODY on the dance floor to was outrageously fun. After that we went to a night club just round the corner and it all gets bit fuzzzy from thereon in....but I knwo we were home at a decent enough time and I am not feeling too bad today..not bad at all looking forward to more gatherings at the was nice to have people over to 'OUR PLACE' other news...I have become a volunteer. It isn't really in my nature to volunteer...not that I don't believe volunteering is worthwhile, but for whatever reason haven't really done much of it. In fact teh only thing I can recall volunteering for was the Co-op COmmittee..and that was AFTER I was finished being a co-op student..go figure. ANd now I had ot leave Canada before I would volunteer again. Right, so am volunteering at Fringe Sunday which is this free event in the Meadows (huge park) on August 15 where performers at Fringe FEstival can showcase their acts..there are over 200 performances adn over 20,000 visitors expected. SHOudl eb a crazy day..I am helping with registration....we get a free t-shirt lunch & post-event party in return for our efforts... need money in a big way. Coming home for Christmas is going to kill me financially. $1000 + forfeited wages, but I suppose I will find a way to do it. At least MOm seems to have faith I will..she seems to think I have this know-how that works wonders in finding cheap things..personally I am not so confident in my abilities this time around and aside from going via cargo I've not figured out a plan. ANybody have any ideas??????? All suggestions much appreciated!

K..must go do some flight searching and then get my butt in gear for a good ol jog