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!!!