Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The following is a letter I was originally planning to mail my Christmas card recipients..instead it has ended up on my blog. The reasons are many, the need to explain non-existent. Enjoy the read (I hope) and then do your own yearly review and see how many times you can throw the word 'fuzzy' or 'yarn' or 'conducted' into your personalised "This Is What I Did in 2005" piece. For the record - my challenge was to include the names of all the people I emailed today to inform of this post...

Well, at the ripe old age of twenty-five I have finally succumbed to the versatile, yet slightly impersonal mass letter. It’s not even a mass email, it’s a mass snail mail – I’m not sure whether this is kosher! To be honest I’m not even sure exactly what kosher means, but it sounds good, so I’ve opted to use it. Speaking of mass (see sentence 2), if you go at Christmas, by all means do it in style and go to midnight mass. The stars will be shining, the frost will be frosty and the eggnog will be flowing.

Anyways, I suppose I should get on with this mass(ive) mail by sharing with y’all (thanks for that one Beth) what I made of the year 2005. After all, sharing is what the season is supposed to be all about. In an attempt to jazz up this whole ‘recount 2005’ thing, I will break it down. Not as in hip hop style breaking it down, but chronologically, month by month.

January - Welcomed in the New Year by nursing a rotten tooth (literally). No worries – I had it pulled three days later at a mere cost of $250. Returned to bonnie Scotchland and spent the month holed up at 4 Canon Street. It was a frigid month in all respects. The social outing of the month was the Burns night – a Scottish holiday in celebration of the writer, Robbie Burns. And here I thought we would be having a bonfire and burning some interesting things, instead we stood in humble silence as a sheep’s stomach was piped into the dining room on a platter. Later we did some Scottish dancing – it turned out to be addictive.

- A month of blurriness - possible correlation here to amount of booze consumed. Valentine’s Day was spent in the company of chocolate, wine and fellow singletons. Many ceilidhs were attended, the Irish band, Blue Moose, was ‘discovered’ on a random night at the Walk About, and Drop Kick Murphy’s became the place to be at the end of the night. It was a short month, there isn’t much else to recollect aside from a quick weekend trip to Glasgow, where we still somehow managed to end up dancing at the Walk About.

March - Ah yes, March the Month of Mental Turmoil. I wish I’d known, I would have skipped ahead to April. On a high note, I made my way to Sweden (up there by Norway, NOT the place with really really yummy chocolate). I saw Natasha, the wanderlust, explored a new country and discovered that Volvos are popular in at least one nation in the world. My father is not, after all, the only one with questionable taste in vehichles..there is a whole country out there like him....

April - With April came many new things, very few of which I can actually recall. I know there were new prices at ScotEq’s restaurant by this point in time and, as I recollect, they were contested…and…um..there were new things...uh…. Oh wait, it’s all coming back to me now (sorry for the Celine Dion there)! Yes, yes April was New Flatmate month!! Kelly Coffin, KC for short (good thing her middle name isn’t Francis), moved into the room recently vacated by Keri Shields. A new living dynamic, new blood and new bathroom tissue! Yeah OK, that last one’s a stretch, but it is also a fact that we bought new toilet paper in the month of April. Guaranteed. And Brandon came back to Europe (funny how his return coincided with beginning of softball season..ahem..)

May – May I have another holiday like the one I had in May 2005? Thanks to Europe’s very generous holiday allotment, I was able to jet off to Spain with Jen MacPhail and fellow traveller, Anne (not of Green Gables, but of Rocky Mountain House). Palm trees, siestas, fiestas, sunshine, sangria and a male exotic dancer. That pretty much sums up Spain. I would return in a heartbeat. Following my Spanish conquest, I made my way back to the Emerald Isle.

The plan was to check out the country, which I’d somehow neglected to do during the six months I lived in Dublin with Gavin & Graeme (or G-squared as I very infrequently referred to them). If I had been aware that the bus system in Ireland is slower than the donkey & wagon option available in less developed countries, I would have revised my plans. As it was I spent a good chunk of my Ireland holiday on buses, feeling doubly sick from a horrible cold and motion-sickness. Nonetheless, I managed to have a Grand time in Ireland. Upon my return to Canon Street, I was excited to meet my newest flatmate, Lindsay Peters, who had taken over Jen’s room. The floor could be seen again!!

June - Spent a lot of time doing things I didn’t want to do (like dating an Irish guy that was SO not my type) and things I really wanted to do (like celebrate flatmate birthdays and go out with fab workmates). June also marked the reopening of Canon Street hostel, with some absolutely wonderful guests dropping in to spend time on our IKEA couches and in the company of our resident mouse. Islanders galore in our humble abode! And to top it all off, Jen moved back into Canon Street. And then there were 4 (in a 2 bedroom flat). But back to the mouse – oh what havoc that little critter wreaked upon our nerves. Jen was the only one who didn’t seem in the least bit concerned. Maybe this explains how she is able to now work for a really, really big mouse that talks and is named Mickey.

July – Oh, oh, my favourite month in Edinburgh! Started it off with a bang by celebrating Canada Day in red & white style. I opted for the ole flag converted to a dress option, since I had no more Molson boxers to turn into halter tops (see Canada Day 2004). The month was spent eating, drinking and having a bloody brilliant time. Festivals were attended, wine was consumed, farewell parties were held (still missing you Emily!) and the best holiday within a working holiday was had. I took the last week of July off and in the grand company of Beth & Ailbhe, journeyed to the Isle of Arran for some R&R (or, more accurately, a lot of hiking and very little of anything else!). Arran was awesome in all respects, although I must say it was the company at the hostel that really made the trip for me. The Spiegel Tent still rocks! .

August – Celebrations and adieus galore. Birthdays, Fringe festival shows, farewells to everyone and everything, including about half of my wardrobe and our home/flat for the past year. It was the perfect way to end a very excellent adventure, on the highest of high notes! I even made it to Inverness and managed to gain 10 lbs in four weeks! Much
chocolate was consumed and there was a massive Grand Opening at Lau’s birthday bash.

September – Last of my days in Scotland were spent playing hostess to Canuck friends, Rae, Chris & Wendy. Good times were had by all…except my feet, which hated me..and possibly my stomach, which may have hated me even more for punishing it with food all the time. September 11th I said goodbye to the best adventure I have yet experienced and headed home with not a plan in the world. Luckily I had a place to crash in Long Creek while in this ‘Not a Plan in the World’ mode.

October – I kind of fell into a great job working in Communications. I bought a car and enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family, including Sahra (old sister…er..I mean, older!). I continued to marvel at how lucky I have always been to have things come my way just when I need them the most. It’s a combination of luck, timing, knowing good people and, well, I guess I can give myself a little credit for being persistent! First job perk involved a trip to Ottawa, where I connected with Rae & Becky, revisited my favourite haunt – Sugar Mountain, and met some really interesting and great people.

November - I found myself settling into and enjoying the quiet life on PEI. Of course, I kept myself busy with the gym, hip-hop classes avec Rana, going to the movies, cooking up a storm, etc. I finally broke down and visited a nutritionist. I finally broke down and bought winter tires. But, for a change, I didn't break down with the stress of upcoming Christmas season. What a relief!

December – And here we are again, getting ready to celebrate Christmas. Baking, shopping, decorating, trying to stash Christmas sweets in the purse while at various Christmas functions, putting the ole Raffi Christmas CD on over and over again, and kind of hoping for a light sprinkling of snow before the 25th. It’s a magical time of year, a time where every little wish and every little dream has a chance of coming true. retrospect it’s been a pretty busy and very fun-filled year, as they all should be!

Final thoughts

I am truly grateful to be home, to welcome home old high-school friends like Christine, Jimmy & Schemida, and more recently acquired ones such as Sarah & Kelly. Alas, some friends will be absent, but rest assured they’ll be toasted on New Year’s Eve – Gary, Beth, Ailbhe, Anne, Brandon, Teresa, Pam et al.

I am also grateful to be with my fabulous, if not slightly odd, family this year, as I will be packing up and heading to Australia in the summer of 2006. Christmas 2006 will be celebrated from a Land Down Under for this Shanadian.

I am also thankful that I will not be seeing my nutritionist during the week between Christmas and New Year’s as I fully intend to enjoy some tasty sweets on J’s birthday. And I am thankful for gift bags, because there is no way I can finish wrapping 50 gifts before the 25th. Oh, and I am thankful for government holidays and cheap flights to Orlando and, well, a whole lot of things!

It doesn’t get much better than this folks – family, friends and food...

Enjoy the moments because they are truly what make up a lifetime of memories.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Raffi is singing We Wish You A Merry Christmas. I love Raffi, Canadian children's troubadour extrordinaire. I've never been particularly keen on autobiographies, but my father gave me Raffi's a few years ago and I'd have to say it's one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

Anywho, yesterday was a no-go-to-work day, due to snowfall and wind warnings that deemed it rather unwise to venture out on the roads. Especially in a Toyota Echo. No, really, the Department of Transportation specifically said "If you are driving a tin can, we highly recommend that you do not go anywhere in your tin can today. It is almost guaranteed to be blown off the road." So me and my tin can stayed safe, nestled in at 3376 Long Creek, with the fire blazing, the Christmas tree lit and Mom hacking away her cold and strep throat.

Now, could there have been a worse time for me to be impaired from driving to work? Of course not. Yep, that's right folks, the skills of a twenty-something were rather in high demand this week at work, so, byt the beauty of technology, I was able to get some work done from home and finally made it to the office today..just in time for my scheduled lunch.

In other food related news - I made fudge yesterday. It took me approximately five minutes from start to end. Bless microwaves, bless chocolate. Chocolate-Walnut was the flavour of the day. I''ll have to take the word of my taste testers that it was good, since I was not allowed to sample even a morsel! I made it for gifts, in going with the whole 'less consumption, more sharing' idea. As if any of us needs more food in this part of the world. but anyways....

Random self-observation of the day - I lose things a lot. By a lot, I mean all the time, and by lose I mean misplace. Because, of course 90% of the time I eventually find them..sometimes in the weirdest places. The problem is, in the meantime, I tend to drive myself and everyone else around me nuts. Lindsay & Kelly can atest to this - I am sure they remember when I lost my teal halter top and turned the flat upside down looking for it. I was almost convinced the mouse had decided it would make a nice nest and somehow towed it to a secret hiding place. I found it a few days later tangled up in my freshly laundered sheets. Whoops.

Anyways, tomorrow night Grand Theft Bus is playing at the Wave and I SO want to go, but wouldn't it have to be PEI, where I can STILL count my friends on one hand plus and extra thumb, and all but one have confirmed their lack of availability. Oh,e xcept Tash who will arrive late with her Navy commrades....

ANyways, will keep my fingers crossed and keep harassing people. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

12 sleeps!!! 12 Drummers drumming!!! 12 pounds of chocolate to be consumed!!! OK, that last one was a stretch, but give me credit for trying. I just realised it's almost the middle of December and I've yet to mention anything about Christmas, so here's my first season special blog post for your holiday entertainment.

Christmas comes but once for two months of the year. Once the scarecrows and goblins are tucked away and the bags of mini everything are sold off at discount rates, in come the giant candy canes, gift galore at every store (note the cute rhyme there) and, of course, good old Sunday shopping. Is it just me that finds it ironic that on PEI Sunday shopping is not allowed except for the five weekends before we celebrate Christianity in big to-do birthday party for Jesus? I mean, based on my unqualified assumption that Sunday shopping is banned due to its interference with the 'day of rest' concept (because PEI is still v. dominated by church-goign elders), it just seems kind of, well, hypocritical to declare pre-Christmas an OK time to shop - as if business somehow deserves the opportunity to make even more big bucks in this cheerful season of giving and receiving.

There - that's my one and only comment on the materialism associated with Christmas. In my humble opinion, it's not an overly ridiculous rant. Believe me, I could have raved on for much longer! The thing is, I love Christmas so much and I love everything about it! People who say they don't like Christmas because it is commercial, well I don't understand that philosophy. Christmas is only as commercial as each of us chooses to make it. Why, all one has to do is watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas to understand this very simple concept. So, if you don't like the commercialism, don't buy gifts and don't spend every moment worrying about whether your decorations are better than the Jones'. Take some time and make gifts, or donate some of your hard-earned money to a worthy charity on behalf of your friends and family and tell them this is your gift of the season.

Random notes regarding Christmas 2005 so far:
  • Every year I get better and better at the whole being prepared thing. The time I came back from Europe at the beginnin of December I was on the top of my game, having picked up all my gifts along the way and somehow managing to stuff them in my luggage. Suffice ot say there were many soft and light gifts given that year. And a lot of chocolate, which almost got sniffed out by the drug dog at the Montreal airport. This year there is no Europe, only on-line shopping, big box stores and some cute little independent shops in downtown Charlottetown. It's no Florence, but somehow I have managed to get about 75% of my shopping done!
  • I helped pick out the Christmas tree this year. Helped being the operative word here. Last time I was given full reign I paid and extra $5 for a super tall tree. Mom still claims to this day that the amount we had to saw off the bottom of the trunk was equal to $5. Hey, I never claimed to be good at guessing measurments. This year's tree is fir, as per usual, and just the right height, with very full branches. The only snag we encountered was that the entire top broke off when it got delivered. There was nowhere for our angel. Jim and some pipe clamps to the rescue! SoI guess our tree isn't 100% wood, there's a bit of metal to 'er!
  • I've done most of the tree decorating to date. With Mom presently sick and Jim just recovering, I was called to lighting duty. Oh and how I strung those Christmas lights with care. And then there were the beads, and the bulbs and the candy canes. 80% there now!
  • I've never worked during the Christmas season before. I must say it's a rather less-than-enjoyable experience, but it pays the bills and keeps me from thinkinga about elves and the such...
  • Christmas candy. Sigh. It is SO off limits, it's not even funny. Most dissapointed to discover that Shopper's is not carrying Fazer mints this year. They are a favorite of mine and I was looking forward to smelling them through the wrapper and salivating.
  • No Christmas baking...yet! I very much intend to participate in making chocolate balls and shortbread cookies, but will refrain from consuming.

Ok too tired to say or do anything type

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Achoo! OK, so it's Saturday evening and I should be getting ready to go to a movie with my father. I was supposed to go with him last night, but delayed because a rare occassion occurred - a friend (one of the four I ahve here on PEI) invited me to a movie. Anyways, Adam and I went to see A History of Violence last night after a few drinks (the diet stuff for me, the draft stuff for him) at the Churchill Arms. It was a pretty good film..very graphic scenes of violence and sex. One woman who was old enough to know better had a child who could have been no more than ten with her. Good grief. It was definitely an 18 and over movie.

Anywho, this morning I went to aerobics as usual. Afterwards I was meant to meet the guy I met a Cultarama for a coffee. The thing is... I had decided at some point last night that I didn't want to go. I am just not interested in being pursued right now (there are exceptions to this rule, but they won't be disclosed until an exception occurs!) Anyways, so I was going to cop out on this guy, but to my great fortune, he copped out on me! Hey, I gave him five minutes grace and then walked. When I got home, it looked like he had called me earlier than our meeting time, probably to cancel. All's well that end well!

We picked up our Christmas tree on the way home. Heading out of Ch'town I pointed out a sign to Mom that read "Fur Trees for Sale". Seriously. Um..yes I'll have a fox fur tree please. I suppose it could have been could have been "Fur Trees for Sail". One fox fur tree setting sail for the Land of Poor Spelling please.

Anywho, about midway through the afternoon I began to feel a bit queasy and then a bit tired. Now I have a headache and absolutely no energy. I am taking echinecea and going to sleep copious amounts tonight. I refuse to give in to any virus that tries to tie me down!

On that note, will return to blogging when better able to write and think. In the meantime check out the Liberal campaign website, where the PM's speechwriter, Scott Feschuk is delivering hilarious, light entertainment via his Blackberry Blog. I'm sorry Becky R, but you have to admit it, the Tory blogger has nuttin on the Grits'. But I digress, I shouldn't be talking's not my bag, it's just that I am now part of that world. And, I supopse as a Canadian citizen I have to right to express my opinion - namely that, above all, I fear the leadership of a man who resembles the Grinch, thinks every problem in Canada can be solved by tax cuts, and who believes decisions regarding things like Same Sex Marriage should be decided by Parliament and NOT the courts of law. Um, yeah, well if that's the case we might as just dissolve the courts of law, get rid of our public broadcaster, do away with a bunch of our freedoms & rights as citizens, and call ourselves the 51st State.

Yes, I am completely aware of how biased and over the top that previous paragraph was. I apologise, blame it on the echinecea.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I just learned a very valuable and rather expensive lesson about complacency when it comes to one's finances. Since returning to PEI, I've been using my CIBC bank card to do all my transactinos, sice my wages are going into this account.

Well, today I checked my transactions on-line and discovered that I've racked up more than $90.00 in service fees since September!!! Just for withdrawing my money at bank machines and using Interac. It's ridiculous. Anyways, the guy offered to reverse some of the fees and told me I should switch to a better service account. Um, yeah no kidding.

The short and long of it, however, is that I will now be giong back to using my President's Choice bank card ALL the time since it has NO SERVICE FEES! Yep, that's right- not a one! I used to use it but it's been empty since I got home. From here on in I will transferring my spending money to that account.

In other news..I have lost 6.5 lbs in two weeks! I've also convinced Mom we should get the Christmas treet this weekend, not Dec 17th and sister Sara has confiremd she will be in attendance for Christ's birthday celebrations!

Reading My Ishmael at the moment - more insights from Daniel Quinn

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Happy Saturday! It’s mid-afternoon and I am finally home after a rather hectic morning of working out, spending money, parking far away from the doors of evil (aka shopping malls) and, well, spending more money I guess!

Anywho, it’s December and it’s something like 5 degree Celsius and while I am inclined to agree with the general public that this is lovely weather compared to the blustery windchill-filled, flurry filled Decembers we usually have to endure, I am also slightly concerned. Ummm, hello, is this due to global warming??? There’s a certain irony in the idea that our destructive gas-guzzling and oil-burning ways have possibly impacted the weather to such an extent that we now don’t have to use as much oil to heat our homes, because we’ve essentially heated the entire world up with our consumptive-filled lives.

OK, enough of that, on to bigger and better things! Yesterday was one of the most productive/interesting days I have had since returning to PEI. A quick synopsis of main reasons I would term it as such:

  1. Lunch with Rob P, one of my favorite people and one of the reasons I have not gone mad with boredom here on PEI…yet. He’s got me thinking, he did have me working and, well, we’ll say ke sera sera for the future now, but I anticipate more thinking, doing and working in ways that are challenging, fruitful and meaningful I joined the Queen Street Commons – this is a local entity/community, namely made up of members who are transient, free-lancing, creative individuals in need of office space and opportunities to interact with like-minded people. In other words, it’s a funky place where thinking is encouraged and towing the line is not!! Given that I already have an office, and a very nice one at that, I’m not sure how often I’ll be popping into the QSC but, hey, if there’s a storm and I can’t get home I know I have a place to stay J
  2. I met the owners of a local fitness club/group/community…anyways the long and short of it is that I may have yet another opportunity to freelance my writing skills! Yah!
  3. I went to Culturama in the evening with Natasha and met more people in one night that I knew, than I have on any other day or week for that matter, since returning home. It was a great night, especially for the two reasons that follow (5 & 6)
  4. I made $50. No, I didn’t win it in a raffle or anything, actually I ended up sitting at the same table as the guy who sold me my laptop last Christmas. I had returned to Scotland by the time I was able to contact him and tell him the laptop did not have a CD burner as he had indicated. He promised to mail me $50 in compensation, but it never arrived in the mail. I didn’t really mind since I’d gotten a good deal anyways. Anywho, he didn’t recognize me at first, but thanks to my loud voice he finally heard me say Scotland and made the connection. Five minutes later $50 was plopped onto the table. Woohoo!!
  5. A guy asked me for my number. OK, this isn’t really something new, it happened quite often in Scotland and Ireland, but that’s Europe where guys are and where everyone has mobiles and where my freaky hair doesn’t scare every single lad away. So, history was made last night in that this is the FIRST TIME a guy has ever asked for my number on PEI. So much for my thinking that PEI was some sort of safe haven, that I wouldn’t have to worry about stupid things like men because, well, there aren’t any here. I guess I was wrong. And who am I kidding?? even in the absence of geographically available males, I still find myself thinking/worrying about general and specific ways.

In other good news, random notes and observations

  • I am going to take a Creative Writing course next semester! It was only because of yet another lunch-time run-in that’ I lucked into this opportunity. I ran into my former professor, Lesley-Anne, and mentioned that I wanted to take another writing course but had taken all the ones being offered at UPEI. She said she would see if she can get me into her Advanced Creative Writing class, since I took this one with a different professor last time! I AM SO SO EXCITED!!!! I miss writing, I have been trying to do some as of late…
  • I have a partner in crime for upcoming Disney Caper! Ms Natasha McKinnon has agreed to join me on a journey that will surely result in much Mouseketeering, revelry and maybe some wild out-of-this-world rides!
  • Checked out flights to Australia for the first time yesterday. Can’t decided whether to get a one-way ticket or round-trip, but suppose if I am thinking of doing NZ afterwards, there’s no sense in getting a round-trip right? Anyways, it turns out it’s just as cheap to fly from here to the UK, then the UK to Australia, so I think that is what I will do and maybe I’ll just take a wee bit of a detour to Edinburgh for a week or so!
  • Today, as I was coming out of the Charlottetown Shopping Mall, I was greeted by a rather chunky, ruddy middle-aged man with thick-rimmed glasses (like the ones from the eighties, not the cool ones that Joe McGuire wears these days). He had a cigarette dangling out of his mouth (I suspect he was trying to keep his precious hands warm in pockets.even though it was like a bloody warm spring day out). Anyways, this character was wearing a Santa hat. Nice. Geez..all the kids coming out of the mall are going to think Santa’s a middle-aged smoker with two-day growth and no taste in frameware. So many disillusionments for the little ones these days. Sigh.
  • I am starting to think I should NEVER change my hairstyle , or make-up routine for that matter. The number of compliments I’ve received on both since coming back to PEI is indicative of two things 1) My hair DOES stand out here, literally and figuratively 2) I could easily open a hair salon here and pretend I am a hair stylist because so many people have asked me if am one. Of course, once I started trying to style other people’s hair, the jig would be up. But wouldn’t it be FUN in the meantime???

Monday, November 28, 2005

Random thoughts of the day:

  • Why, oh why, is it so hard for people to accept that change can be a good thing?? Why are people so stubborn and stuck in their ways that they cannot see the benefits of trying sometihng different..or at least talking a bit more about doing something different? Well, unfortunately, the NO vote won in PEI's plebiscite today so they'll be no more big debate over whether Mixed Member Proportional representation is a better system of election than First past the Post. I think it's disappointing - time after time PEI has the chance to show some leadership, to do something out of the ordinary and we always seem to fall short by our own choice.
  • The Liberal government (federal) will be disolved tomorrow. Election time, here we come! A shout out to my American friend Emily for her great knowledge of Canadian politics - she knew we had MPS and Senators - good job Pittsburgh :)
  • Spending money on nutritionist was very good investment! 7 days= 4.25 pounds lost!!!
  • On-line shopping rules, especially at . I only wish that more Canadian retailers had such well-developed on-line stores. I especially wish had a Canadian equivalent that sold as broad a product selection.
  • I bought Christmas cards today - I like musical ones!
  • Someone is renting space in my head. The only problem is, they aren't paying any rent, they might not even know they are a tenant and I am not very good at evicting people from my head. Damn squatters!!
  • I have to go to sleep, long day of work, gym, Hip Hop then meal prep for tomorrow....zzzzz....zzzzzz

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What a Harry, Hairy weekend it has been! And it's not even over yet!

OK, so Friday evening I had a date with Harry Potter, who insisted on brining along his Goblet of Fire. For the most part he was enjoyable company. . . aside from when he turned into a fish with gills and all. That was just bit weird! It certainly was a PG night though . . .

Saturday was super busy day where I actually got things done!! Woohoo! After an especially sweaty workout, Mom & I went to the library where I picked up, amongst other things, My Ishmael (sequel to Ishmael by Daniel Quinn) and a book on Understanding Psychology. Evidently I miss learning! Anywho, after a quick jaunt around town, we headed home. I spent the afternoon making food for the week and doing my taxes - both Scottish and Canadian. I finished them both!! THe exclamation marks indicate I did NOT have a balance owing.

In the evening, as is becoming all too usual for me here on PEI, I had no hot date (yeah, cause of course they were a dime a dozen in Scotland!) I went to a birthday party..with Mom & Jim. I was the youngest there by 23 years. Unless you count the dogs...

ANd that brings us to today. Kind of. Except one of the best/worst things about this weekend is that I have been having these really vivid dreams and it seems like they last forever. It's actually quite horrible really - I am dreaming about people and things that I wish I were not. Gads, my subconcious is trying to tell me something..... I just can't handle it!

Sigh - today = lots of eating (on my meal plan of course!), shopping and the gym. I might even get a chance to do some more fiction writing...

Oh right - about the hairy....My hair then and now.... if i can upload these photos properly!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Ho Hum Ho's off to work we go! And what a week at work it has been - oh to be employed in a politician's office during pre-election fever. . . My eyes are being opened every day to a world I'd never really paid much (if any) attention to before. ANd, to be honest, it's actually pretty fun. I can honestly say, for probably the first time ever, that I really really like my job. OK, so I am still feeling slightly like a freshman amongst seniors, but time will change that, I am sure! In any case, I must say I never imagined my return to PEI would result in challenging and fun work!

In other notes from the Life of Shan, I've started a nutrition plan with the help of a professional this time (a holistic nutritionist). It involvse eating the right foods, in the right amount at teh right time of the day. I'm eating 6 times a day, and food that is pretty much as unpreocessed as possible. Bread has disappeared, replaced by homemade bran falx muffnis which are scrumptious. I also have a shake every morning that is made up of blueberries, banana, soy milk and flax oil. I am not allowed any sugar!! So, yahn it's kindo f strict, but it's not a diet - it's all about the Canada food guide. And how am I doing, you might ask (or not!)? Well, to be honest better than I expected! I haven't had ANY moments of weakness and am not craving sugar at all. It takes moer time to plan out my food for the next day now, but having a plan in place makes it really easy to just eat what I am supposed to. I don't even have to question whether i should pick up some yogurt raisins. I know I can't.

In other news of random note:

  • An event with concert, food and dance is being held at the Basillica next Friday,Dec 2, called Cultarama - celebrating other cultures. I think everyone who is on PEI should go (that includes Rana and her boyfriend!)
  • Read Ishmael, go see The Corporation and check out this company. Now ask yourself - what s going on and what can I do to change things?
  • Did anyone hear? There may be a federal eletion called next week
  • A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE ONE, THE ONLY MR. BRANDON!!!! Wish I could be there to celebrate with you all - one last ceilidh would be nice!
  • I miss Edinburgh, I even miss Dublin sometimes. I guess, at the end of the day, I just miss Europe in general. Such style (the continent, not me), such class (as before..), such fun!!! Sigh, well at least I haven't resorted to BINGO on PEI. . . yet
  • I've made an executive decision to go to Australia in 2006, followed up by New Zealand in 2007, if I am loving it down there, which I anticipate I will!! Endeavor to do many of my 101 THings TO Do Before I Die while there..or on my way there in the airplane :)

I have to go eat now...this is the thing - I am spending so much time eating now! Never hungry!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ah yes, me and my haggis accompanied by a fair amount of neeps and tatties. Fond memories of the Conan Doyle in Edinburgh - sheep's stomach and all! First attempt at uploading a pic! Thanks for the help Jim!
 Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 12, 2005

In another strange twist o life - I am home again on a Saturday night. I think that in the last two months I've stayed home more Saturday nights than I did the entire 16 months i lived in Scotland!! I could say it sucks, but to be honest I think I am dealing quite well with lack of social life here on PEI - given my tendency to enjoy socialising. Anyways, I am just killing time until my bread comes out of the breadmaker and then I will go watch a movie.

This is the second time I've made bread today - the first time I screwed it up majorly. Ididn't forget any ingredients, but I forgot to put a piece of the breadmaker into the machine, which resulted in it never getting stirred together at all. Whoops.

On a more positive note - I made the most scrumptious curry dish tonight! My first attempt at an Indian curry - it was from Eat, Shrink & Be Merry, and I must say it was extremely well-recieved - seconds all around!

Lately I've ben doing more cooking, writing and reading. Oh and torturing myself with lots of exercise. Solitary pursuits that I've been thoroughly enjoying. The three books I have on the go at the moment:

No Logo (Naomi Klein) - satisifies my 'anti-corporation' beliefs and encourages me to pursue a writing career (Klein was only 27 when she wrote this mammoth book that's become a bestseller)

10 Stupid Mistakes Smart People Make - OK - there's an obvious lack of humbleness required to read this book (deeming oneseld smart could, initslef, be a dumb mistake - best ask for a second opinion!) Anyways - it s avery enlightening book . I've made a lot of stupid mistakes in the past which have been to my detriment. Tthe most obvious mistake - Being a Mind-Reader. I am the Queen of Assumptions -the only problem is, I am extremely inept at making accurate assumptions when it comes to interrelations with other people.

How to Be A Canadian (Will & Ian Ferguson) - This is HILARIOUS. I can think of at least five fellow Canadians who would consider this the gospel of all that makes this land of ours Canadia! Honestly, I don't laugh out loud too much when reading a book - everyone gets edgy at such action, but I can't help myself with this one!

OK - so aside from all that, it's been a rather hectic week here on PEI (never thought I'd say that!). Here are the hihglights of my week for anyone who is super bored or actually interested in what I've been up to (Will not do the numbers on this possibility - too infinitely small!)

Monday: Second hip hop class. Improved funkability and flexibilty! Copious amounts of practice ensue to the music of Pink's Get This Party Started. Wish I'd done this earlier in life...

Tuesday: Set up a weight training program with Gineen, personal trainer and masochistic aerobics instructor. I swear she enjoys torturing us - the bubbly persona is just a front! ANyways - 4 days a week I'll be inflicting pain on myself - two days on my upper body, two on my lower. All in the name of being fit and strong.

Wednesday: Attend a commuity forum hosted by my boss and the PEI Bioalliance. PEI is developing a bioscience cluster - how exciting! I am fast becoming a believer that small is better, that PEI's size is actually an advanatage in many way. Better to be a big fish in a small pond that vice versa.

Thursday: Have a session with nutritionist, discover my body fat is at highest percentage ever (OK, maybe not, but higher than last time I got test done!) She seems to think I can lose the weight I need to in about ten weeks through proper nutrition. I am still debating whether to shell out the money for a meal plan and support and am leanign towards sayign yes.

Thursday - about 5 hours after seeing nutritionist: Enjoy a lovely meal of Chicken & broccoli crepes & fries with Rana at the Pilot House & sneak afew bites of her pecan pie. Oops. On a better note - I saw Sherilyn!!!

Friday: Attend Remembrance Day ceremony. WE ahve much to be thankful for and I think that we ought to take greater care of that which men before us have dies for. Who are we to let politicians dissolve our civil rights? Who are we to let the world become more polluted, more corrupt and more dangerous than it was a generation ago?

We are here today because a generation of young men & women sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Perhaps we should start thinking about what sacrifices we need to be making so our children and our children's children can enjoy the bounty of our Earth as much as we do today. I suggest, as a first step, we choose to live more modestly - with smaller houses and fewer cars, better food and fewer trips to the shopping mall.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I have come to the conclusion that it is very near impossible to have contentment in all areas of life at the same time. For instance - in Scotland I loved the social life and the great friend, but hated work (not my workmates though!). In PEI I actually really like my job and have no social life to speak of thus, nothing to like or dislike about it!

I also find my weekdays super busy and my weekends super quiet, which is kind of the opposite of Scotland. I only watch TV one hour a week and spend about 8 hours a week at the gym, which is pretty much opposite of what I did in Scotland for much of my time there! And of course I am drinking absolutely no alcohol now, whereas in Scotland..well there are a few that can atest to my indulgences in two things: wine and candy. Oh, OK, there was a third - it was the male species, but believe me it was rarely an indulgence! it was a pretty quiet weekend . I was home alone. Well, it was actually me a Smudgie but cats don't count in my books. Anyways, the highlights of the weekend were going to the movies on Saturday night with my hot movie date (aka Dad/Daddy). We went to see North Country - I highly recommend it, although it is rather disturbing to be quite honest. On Sunday night I made dinner from the new cookbook - Eat Shrink & be Merry. It was amexican lasagna with tortillas instead of noodles and salsa and beans, etc. It was sooooooo goooooood!!!!!

Today I worked out three times - this morning I did some leg work. After a super busy day I went to Myrtle's Step/Suicide with Weights class and then I went to Hip Hop class where we bopped along to Pink's 'Get the Party Started' Suffice to say I am now a bit sore!

It was great fun though, and I am so glad I decided to take a dance class - now where to show off my moves??? oh right...I forgot it's PEI!

In other news - the Governor General is on PEI - she is really pretty and seems so down-to-earth and friendlly. I had to go to a citizenship swearing in ceremony that she was presiding over. It was pretty neat and made me feel very grateful to be a Canadian.

In other othew news - who knows - looks like there might be an election this winter after all. I hope not!

That's all she wrote for now -super busy week ahead but no plans for the weekend as per usual!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Well, I did it. I wrapped a cardboard box in pretty purple paper, cut a circle out for my waist and hung it off my shoulders with ribbon. I attached some nice bows and a gift tag that read:
To: Men From: God.

There were many jokes about my box throughout the evening. Someone called me gifted adn a number of guys informed me that they were 'men'. I replied that men is a plural, thus representing more than one. I could not be gifted to just one man. So I stayed wrapped up, enjoyed flirting wit a doctor(hey, it's been awhile, I've been on PEI after all!) , spilled some wine, drank some more and then proceeded to, well, use Rae's bathroom for its unintended purpose.

Suffice to say that the trip home the next day was rather unenjoyable and slightly hard on the stomach. I did make it though, and in one piece thank goodness. I was starting to wonder when I boarded the propellor driven plane from Halifax to Charlottetown. I guess I was spoiled by jets over in Europe.

Anyways, yesterday it was back to work. It was also Hallowe'en! I avoided candy all day longa and only indulged at the end of my workout class with Gineen, who had dressed up in a kimono as aJapanses girl. She is so very full of energy!

After workout class I quickly changed into something more appropriate for my Hip Hop class. not that I have any attire that is really hip hop style, but I wasn't going to wear my sweatyh sports bra and tank top.

Hip Hop Class was a blast and a laugh. I think I was cocky, since I'd been doing pretty well at Scottish danicng, but Hip Hop = totally foreign. I laughed at myself a lot last night.

Today was kind of stressful - work does that to ya. It was a big day for Canadian politics what with the release of the Gomery report. I can't believe I am watching and listening to CBC all thetime now..

Saturday, October 29, 2005

It's 11.43 a.m EST and I am sitting in Rae's apartment (i.e. The Sauna). Holy shyte it's hot in here. A good thing she doesn't pay for heat. Anyway, Rae is off getting something done to her jaw by a chiropractor. Now, last time I checked chiropractor were 'back' specialists, but whatever. I am not going to question Rae's many methods of mending her jaw. She's got a load of pills to take every morning (just calcium and the sort, nothing hard...) , so many so that she has one of those little pill boxes for the week. It would suck to have TNJ. Or maybe it would crack. She's wearing a retainer type thing now too, which means she's got a bit of a lisp.

Anyways, I just had the most glorious in-bed experience one could possibly have aside f rom... wel you know... I slept for ten hours straight. And oh how I needed it! What a wearing week I've had, meeting so many people, running all around downtown Ottawa, from one big skyscraper to the enxt, discovering along the way that the government spares no expense in outfitting and furnishing its offices well.

Some highlights from the past week:

  • Visiting Sugar Mountain. I left $8 poorer, with 300 grams of the good stuff in all the best forms (ie cola bottles, bubblegum, gummies, etc.)
  • Meeting two very influential men from PEI, who were up here to speak at a conference on economic transformation in Atlantic Canada. It's amazing what they have accomplished in their respective areas of expertise.
  • Working with the two women in our Ottawa office - they are both so wonderful and down-to-earth and on the ball.
  • Meeting A LOT of nice looking men, passing a load of nice looking men on the street, being reassured that there is still a pool of young, single men out there. OK, so the pool isn't in my backyard, it's a bit of trek to go for a swim, but, hey I'm up for the hike!
  • Going to Hillowe'en on Wednesday - a Hallowe'en party on the hill (West block) for Hill staff and their families. All sorts of kids dressed up in costume and adults standing around pretneding they aren't ecstatic that they've been given a HUGE bag full of yummy candy. No crap bags of chips or boxes of raisins -just chocolate bars and gummies and rockets and the such. And yes, I was lucky enough to get my hands on one..or unlucky enough. Oh dear me. Suffice to say I haven't been a 'good' girl this week. They were also serving free beer and wine, as well as mini quiches, bruschetta, deli meats, etc. So I had sugar and fat for dinner. Just as we were leaving a load of MPs showed up for their treat bag. Funny how easy it is to please some people.
  • Thai dinner with the original group of gals I hung around with when I first lived in Ottawa: Becky, Rae and Renee. Dinner was very good, company was great.
  • Friday the Hill staff are allowed to go to the Parliament Dining Room for lunch. Mary, Laura, Mary's husband and I decided to take the opportunity to enjoy first-class dining at decent prices. The dining room was huge and the ceilings at least three stories tall, with many domes. As the meal carreid on I thought I was going crazy. I'd be listening to Mary tell a story, but I could hardly hear her..all I heard was a strange male voice speaking very loudly. It was as if some other diner had decided to wear a microphone to lunch. But when I asked the rest of the table whether they could hear this loud voice, they all said 'no'. I honestly thought I was going mad. But then it awas deduced that the domed ceiling must be amplifying the voices in certain areas. So I ate my Atlatic salmon and enjoyed a dessert buffet and tried to forget about the voices in my head.
  • Well, this isn't really a highlight, more like a lowlight. Yesterday afternoon as I was walking back to my hotel I ran into my old boss from DOJ. It's been over three years since I worked there but I still harbour ill-feelings towards that man. He was absolutely horrible to all his female staff. Mostly with me he was a bully and made inappropriate comments about my weight and personal life. With another one of the younger staff he definitely crossed the line and should haev been taken to HR. Sigh. I really really really wanted to give him a piece of mind and tell him how much misery he had cuased me and my co-workers. He doesn't deserve to be in a management position. BUt, of course, I didn't say anything nasty. I just told him all I'd been up to and when he asked why I'd not kept in touch I just shrugged my shoulders and said I'd been busy. In a moment of inappropriateness he asked if I was married. Phhpppt. Fat chance.

Anywho, that's the work week summed up. Today is gorgeous and we are going to go to the Aviation museum and check out Rae's new house, have a bite at Oh SO Good then get some props for our Hallowe-en costumes. Tonight I will be drunk and in disguise - a dangerous mix! I think I may dress up like a present with a gift tag that says: From God, To Men. That would be a laugh, but possibly too egotistical (excpet forhte fact hta I know I am not) But I have nuttin else. No other ideas....

Friday, October 28, 2005

My work week in Ottawa is over and it's been a memorable one. No time to recollect all the happenings of the past five days, but just wanted say: Don't forget to fall back this weekend and make it a scary one :)

Will post re: Ottawa times asap!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Well, I made it here in one piece. Not so sure I'll make it through a week of meet and greet completely unscathed, but one must always cross one's fingers and hope for the best!

So, yeah - my new shiny black boots look great, but they're not the best apparel for traipsing around O'town. And I can't believe I forgot to bring an umbrella - I learned nothing in Scotland!

The week so far can be summed up as such: hectic. Anotherwards, I'm not in Kansas anymore...or Charlottetown for that matter. It's a whole different ball game up here...I guess it's kind of like the difference between the minors and the majors. A lot of talent, everyone knows their job and teamwork is essential. Also, there's a lot of running from base to base, because I am here to meet people - put faces to names.

I've only been here for two work days and already I've met a number of influential people including one of the Ministers, the best person to happen to UPEI ever, and the most successful businessman to hail from the Island. I've also met some fabulous Hill staffers and basically walked a lot. And I mean A LOT!!

Condelleza Rice was in town last night. The PM had her over for dinner at 24 Sussex Drive, meanwhile I invited Rae to join me for supper and we dined at the Blue Cactus. I guarnatee my compnay for dinner was more enjoyable.

Of course I also had to make a quick visit to Sugar Mountain where I loaded up on hard-to-find candy and ended up spending a mint. Sigh - the Bulk Barn is where it's at. And no, I haven't given up my weight loss plans - I still have lots of the candy I bought left and I have been to the gym twice already.

Anyways, it is sooo strange being back here in Ottawa. I didn't think about it before I came up, but whoa.. a lot of memories came flooding back as I walked down Sparks Street, popped into the Rideau Centre and then headed over to the happening part of town - the Byward Market. I was reminded of how much I enjoy Ottawa - it's a wonderful place to live (although I wouldn't recommend it as the first stop for tourists to Canada) and maybe, just maybe, I'll have to come back for a longer stay at some point in the future...

Ke sera sera
Whatever will be will be
The future's not ours to see
Ke sera sera
Well, I made it here in one piece. Not so sure I'll make it through a week of meet and greet completely unscathed, but one must always cross one's fingers and hope for the best!

So, yeah - my new shiny black boots look great, but they're not the best apparel for traipsing around O'town. And I can't believe I forgot to bring an umbrella - I learned nothing in Scotland!

The week so far can be summed up as such: hectic. Anotherwards, I'm not in Kansas anymore...or Charlottetown for that matter. It's a whole different ball game up here...I guess it's kind of like the difference between the minors and the majors. A lot of talent, everyone knows their job and teamwork is essential. Also, there's a lot of running from base to base, because I am here to meet people - put faces to names.

I've only been here for two work days and already I've met a number of influential people including one of the Ministers, the best person to happen to UPEI ever, and the most successful businessman to hail from the Island. I've also met some fabulous Hill staffers and basically walked a lot. And I mean A LOT!!

Condelleza Rice was in town last night. The PM had her over for dinner at 24 Sussex Drive, meanwhile I invited Rae to join me for supper and we dined at the Blue Cactus. I guarnatee my compnay for dinner was more enjoyable.

Of course I also had to make a quick visit to Sugar Mountain where I loaded up on hard-to-find candy and ended up spending a mint. Sigh - the Bulk Barn is where it's at. And no, I haven't given up my weight loss plans - I still have lots of the candy I bought left and I have been to the gym twice already.

Anyways, it is sooo strange being back here in Ottawa. I didn't think about it before I came up, but whoa.. a lot of memories came flooding back as I walked down Sparks Street, popped into the Rideau Centre and then headed over to the happening part of town - the Byward Market. I was reminded of how much I enjoy Ottawa - it's a wonderful place to live (although I wouldn't recommend it as the first stop for tourists to Canada) and maybe, just maybe, I'll have to come back for a longer stay at some point in the future...

Ke sera sera
Whatever will be will be
The future's not ours to see
Ke sera sera

Saturday, October 22, 2005

And so it is . . . I am going to Ottawa. It's funny because I told Raeanne back at the first of September that I would come visit her in Ottawa sometime during the fall (this was while I was still in Edinburgh and facing unemployment upon return to the Island). And now I am going for 'business'. My first business related travel!

So I'm staying at the Delta Ottawa , which is fine with me. They have a gym but, and this boggles my mind, they only have complimentary high speed internet access in the business suites! It's carzy how much Internet access costs in some places In Edinburgh I could only find two places that had free wireless internet access, in Charlottetown I am aware of at least six places. There's something to be said for the small town I guess - it's cheaper!

Last night I went on a shopping spree - one of those sprees where you just run through the store picking out clothes that might look good until yhou have a pile in your arms that is so high you can't see in front of you. That's what I did. I went to one store, picked out fourteen items and proceeded to spend $367 without trying a single thing on. That's just how I like to do my clothes shopping. Suffice to say, the only stores that get my business are ones with a return policy that includes refunds. Today I am bringing back about half the clothes I bought last night, but I am keeping the rest so I think I faired quite well.

I've been trying to avoid buying clothes as I am losing weight and don't plan to stop this trend any time soon. Ah, but work calls and one must look presentable when the workplace is Parliament Hill.

So off I go for some more shopping. It's a good thing I got that loan for my Echo, since I haven't actually been paid yet...

Mental note - make next post funny or at least attempt this feat! Too early in the morning for such craziness!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

There are so many things I just don't get -especially about human nature, about people's motivations and reasoning for actions or non-actions. Here are a few of those things which confuse me most:

  • Why do people not communicate when there is something bothering them? Why? I mean we all know, logically, that the only way to resolve something is to have a discussion about it. People are not mind-readers, they can't intuitively guess what someone else is thinking or feeling. And what's up with giving up? What's up with saying 'well, there's no sense in talking about it things won't change'? Gez, that's a self-fulfilling prophecy if I ever heard one!! Of course things can't change if you don't talk about them so you'll prove yourself right but what's the point in that? If you care about someone, you should give them the benefit of the doubt, give them a chance to hear your concerns and voice their own. Then see if there isn't some solution for the problem at hand. Because otherwise, you're just going to be miserable, the other person is going to be oblivious and things will only get worse. If you truly care about someone, realise that they care a lot about you too.

  • What's up with cutting someone out of your life, without an obvious reason such as an argument, etc.? This has happened to me now on four occassions, three times it was with friends that I considered to be very important in my life. ANd then just like that, in the snap of a finger, and with no explanation , communication became one-way. Eventually I gave up on each of them, but not before I invested a lot of time trying to salvage things. And to this day I still don't understand why two of these friends chose to discontinue our friendship. I can only conclude that it was not a particularly personal decision, because i was not the only one ousted. But, just for the record - it hurts a hell of a lot when someone cuts you out without a reasonable explanation, with no warning..... I wish I did not dwell on such thoughts, but I do. I covet human relationships, so when they go awry it upsets me to no end. Most of the time I blame myself, most of the time I shouldn't be so hard on myself.

OK, well, that's all I've got for the mo - I am obviously thinking too much for my own good. That's what ya get for listening to Norah Jones and reminiscing. Love & peace to you all.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"There are two doors; one marked security and one marked freedom. The second you walk through the door marked security, you give up both."

Because really, how secure is a 'job'? You have one employer, you have one source of income, you put your time in, play politics and try not to step on anyone's toes by expressing an original thought. And if, by some misfortune, you become redundant or your employer decides you are no longer necessary, well where does that leave you? Actually, best not to dwell on these questions for too long as illusions are delicate littel things that are easily broken by those who go looking for evidence of smokescreens and faulty logic.

I can't help but be overwhelmed with thoughts these days, it's like a reawakening of my mind after and extended absence of optional thinking. Not that I would take back my time in Scotland for anything, it was in it's own right a fabulous experience, but an integral part of my being kind of went into hibernation while I was there and now this part of me has reawoken with a burning hunger to learn more, to see the world in ways that are fuzzy & unclear but altogether more conducive to a life of happiness and freedom.

In some ways I consider myself lucky to be the idealist I am. I am not driven by money, I am not driven by security, I tend to resist the norm if the norm doesn't make sense and I spend a lot of my time questioning what other people seem to take for granted. Now, admittedly this gets me in hot water sometimes, especially when I vocalize my rather different thoughts. And that kind of sucks because just as much as I am an idealist, I also need affrimation from others and harmony. I don't like being at odds with anyone, but I will speak up for myself and for others who have chosen silence.

Anyways, so the above quote is the reason I am still wandering around, trying to figure things out and being careful not ot commit. Yes, I do have a job now but that is a contract position and one I can walk away from after seven months with more skills, less debt and the chance to take a leap of faith in myself and my abilities. It will be an interesting time! In the interim I do apologise for more philisophical tones to my posts.

Here's the none philisophical portion of my blog post:

1. INXS has a new hit song out that I think is awesome. It's call Dirty Vegas I think or something Vegas. Check it out!

2. I still haven't eaten any of my chocolate from Europe- something is seriously wrong with me!

3. I am going to Ottawa next Monday and will be there until the following Sunday. So much time to enjoy the nation's capital and all its best sites like Oh So Good Desserts and Sugar Mountain and the Heart & Crown.

4. I have to go, my bedtime is in half an hour. I am getting old - going to bed at ten and listening to CBC radio in the morning (in my defense is only for my job)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

'...we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the centre of our existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.' Joseph Campbell

I love quote, they provide inspiration & insight that stretches across the ages and cultures. Thank you to Rob for passing these words of wisdom on.

So what is it all about? It's about change - it's about entering that most fearsome thing called the unknown. It's about finding your freedom and altering your future. Change is such a constant thing now. yet we continue to resist it, both as individuals and as societies, with such ferocity. What are we afraid of? Why is change so hard for us?

Well, having just entered the work world again- I can atest to the uneasiness one feels when out of their element. It's unnerving and somewhat stressful. The only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that soon enough these feelings will subside as the unknow becomes the familiar and I adapt to the new environment that exists.

But I digress and apologise for the seriousness of this post - I've been roped into thinking a lot more as of late - the great side effect of being within Rob Paterson's world of thought again! And now I am taking the intiative myself and reading as much as I can about things that will give me insight and a greater understanding of myself and the world around me.

Ok - end of this topic, I spent a good chunk of time today posting on Earth to Shannon. If you want more of the philosophy I recommend heading over there :)

So, yeah it's been a hectic week. My first week of work. Phew. I am exhausted. OK, so I don't want to say too mcuh about work - I don't think a blog is the place to discuss such matters, but just aquick run-down. I am working the area of Communications & Marketing for a local politician. This week I attended a local community forum he was hosting in the evening, and went to New London to be a part of the announcement regarding a number of investmetns in infrastructure that will see communities across PEI benefit. Amongst these: Summerside has been approved for a wind farm which will provide 40% of its energy!

Anyways, I've spent most of my time at work just trying to get my head around the issues, adjusting to a new workplace climate and trying to see where/how I can be of value. It turns out I want to work with the communcations technology. Go figure - I am a proponent of the blog!

Aside from work, this week I have done the following: enjoyed the company of my relatives from Alberta, gone to the gym numerous times, thought about doing some creative writing but procrastinated & bought a few new clothes for work. Oh, I also bought the first Christmas present of the season and talked to Rae on the phone. All very exciting. To top it off I made bread in the breadmaker today. Try not to be too jealous of my exciting life outside work :)

Well, that's about it. I decided a need to find a friend (well, more than one but th's a different kettle of fish), who likes going to thte movies as much as I. I mean we don't even have to have much in common - it could jsut be a relationship of viewing convenience. Because while I am not opposed to going to the theatre alone in a big city like Edinburgh or Ottawa, I am entirely opposed to it on PEI, where I am bound to run into people I know who would feel sorry for me being solo. Hmm, come to think of it - if friend of movie convenience was a good-looking male that would be looked upon favorably too... OK, so that's wishful thinking I know, but hey I bought a lottery ticket today which is a rarity too! You never know, that's all I'm saying....

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Long Weekend Review

In short it was all turkey, turkey and more turkey. Oh and some Chinese and maybe crashing a wedding too.

Friday was loooonnnngggg. After a couple of early hours on the Internet, we were on our way to Summerside (via North Granville and the old homestead). Lunch with Nanny & Daddy was on the agenda. As fmaily ouotings on the Courtney side go it was pretty noneventful actually. We went to Brothers Two and I discovered that all sweet potato fries are not equal and, in fact, some are downright not yummy (yet still somehow addictive!). Anyways, after a drive through Summerside (oh the joy) and a wee visit at my Dad's, we headed back to Long Creek.

Homemade pizza was on the menu. Adam joined's nice to have at least one friend that is within driving distance (rather than flying distance!). Afer a quick editing job on his paper, we headed to the new Roadhouse in Cornwall. No, seriously, that's what it's called. It is the old Bonnie Brae, but apparently it was meant to be renovated and a really happening spot. Not so. Adam and I were in a demographic of our own. The rest of the patrons were 40 plus or underage and hoping the servers at the Roadhouse wouldn't care. The menu was not inspiring. I didn't eat anything, but wondered what Roadhouse Gourge would consist of.

Saturday was Myrtle's step class in the morning. Saturday afternoon was dedicated to helping out with the webcourse and making a blueberry pie for Sunday's feast. When Mom suggested the unthinkable -dinner at the Chinese Restaurant in Cornwall, I was surprisingly unenthusiastic. I mean really I should have jumped at the offer of a free meal at this restaurant which she and Jim had conveniently been frequenting on every occassion that I was out of the house. I had never stepped foot inside and was more than curious. ANywho, although surprisingly not ecstatic I was still easily convinced that this was the way forward minus the agony of making another homemade meal. It turned out to be alright, but I suspect I was spoiled by better Chinese food in Edinburgh- yes that's right, Saigon Saigon is better :) Actually, I'm a lover of Thai cuisine...

Saturday night I went out on the town in my new Echo! Rana had invited me to her boyfriend's place - a bunch of people were going out to celebrate her birthday. And, lo & behold, Becky Coffin of Ottawa was home for the weekend!! Anyways, I had a great time and enoyed meeting some fab new people. After a while at Daniel's Becky & her sister headed down to the Confed Centre for a wedding dance. In a moment of stupidity I decided to join them.

It was only then that I discovered exactly where all the goodlooking, young men on PEI can be found. Yes, the answer is most definitely at wedding dances! It doesn't hurt that their dressed in tuxes! What does hurt is that all the girls are also dressed up..unless you happen to be part of an unplanned wedding crash and are dressed (for once) in jeans and clunky boots. Sigh. We left before I could snag myself anything besides a free sandwich.

Next we headed over to St James Gate to meet up with Rana & her crew. by this time it wsa getting on one o'clock and Becky was plastered. We arrived only to find a line of people waiting in the rain -waiting to pay $5 to get inside St James Gate for the remaining hour! Oh dear me. Anyways, Becky decided she didn't want to wait so somehow she managed to sneak us into the line about a quarter of the way back and within ten minutes we were in. How did she do that??? I felt bad, but I wasn't in a position to argue, being cold & wet and too sober for my own good. The rest of the night was spent amongst throngs of old people and even older people bopping to songs such as The Night That Paddy Murphy Died and Sweet Home Alabama.

Sunday was the big Tom Turkey day. I tried to play it low key during the day by going to the gym & cleaning my room. OH but the feast was still to wipe me of all my remaining energy. Tehre is no point listing all the items on the menu. It will only depress me. It was magical, it wasmy first taste of pure sweetness in a month and I*may* have overindulged.

Monday meant more overindulgence and more gym time. Then a bit of stressing about the first day of work and then some more overindulgence and then a bit of relaxation.

Tuesday. Hmm, well that was today. It went alright. I have A LOT to learn, I have a lot to do. Uncle Dave, Betty, Sarah & her German friend, Sabina are visitng now. I think I must go join the laughter.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

This is my last day of freedom. I've become quite accustomed to the flexibily that comes with not having a job - I can get up when I please, go to the gym when I wish and do my errands any time of the day or night. I can eat when I am hungry, and not when the clock tells me to. This will all change come Tuesday, when I'll start the ole 9-5 Monday to Friday regime again. And this routine may, at the end of the day, cost me more than it pays me.

OK, I am jumping ahaed of myself. As the result of assisting with the delivery of the Natural Step webcourse and reading a futurist's (Frank Gould -The Last Book You'll Ever Read) take on the 21st century, I am thoroughly discouraged to be entering the System again. The system traps us - it takes away our freedom, it eats up our time and it often results in a loss of energy and joy. Now don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to working in a position that will challenge me mentally and am grateful for the opportunity to be in a position where I am likely to interact with some inspirational people. What I am not looking forward to is the car payments, fuel costs, half hour commute to and from work, rigid work schedule, etc. I suspect that the job I am going to be doing from an office in Charlottetown could, for the most part, be done from home. How often do us office workers actually have a need to interact physically (mind out of gutter!). When you are emailing coworkers that sit 15 feet away - that's when you konw something is wrong with the System.

You see, every time I log on to the webcourse I am helping with, I never consider it work. I enjoy the interaction with my peers, I love being engaged in a two way communication forum that is give and take, and I love being able to accomplish all this from the comfort of my own home. This weekend past a friend of mine asked me to review auniversity paper for him - basically he was looking for an editor. I love helping peple out with this type of stuff and since I didn't have to go anywhere to do it I was mmore than happy to help. My sister has also asked me to help her revise her resume. I am starting to think there is something to the idea of being a freelancer. Not that I am charging anyone yet, I don't think I have the credentials to do that! But it's nice to know that I have some skills that other people value - it makes me feel worthwhile. And, hey I really do love helping people with anything that involves writing -especially family & friends! SO, yeah that's an invitation - take it on board if you wish!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I did it- I made the ultimate commitment.. I bought a car. And a pre-owned one at that!

It had to be done, the alternatives were not enticing. Alternative 1 - Move into Charlottetown, find a decnet apratment and decnet roommate(s) and be without wheels or Alternative 2 - Walk to work from Long Creek. It would be the end of the day before i even sat down at my desk.

So the stats: Its a super sporty, sleek silver ditty, better known as a Toyota Echo. He's 5 years old and still has a wee bit of spunk left in him. His name is Rin Tin Tin (or RT2), as I'vebeen informed that driving the Echo is a bit like driving a tin can. RT2 has four doors and comes equipped with, well, pretty much the bare essentials.Not to worry I will soon be spoiling my ne wbaby with winter tires and a decent CD/stereo system. Of course, CIBC is going to have to help me on this front, but I trust they will have no problemo forking over dough, what with my spotless financial record!

Anyway, I discovered that when buying a used vehicle you have to assess the owner/driver as much as you do the vehicle itself. I first went to look at a a little number called SIR - as in a 1999 Honda Civic SIR . This car had it all: VTech engine, rear loaded stereo system, sunroof, power everything and leather steering wheel. SIR also had noise issues - as in he made a lot of it and his Engine light was on and the trunk was a bit out of alignment. The owner- a guy about my age who seemed to be a bit less than upfront about the car's history. Basically I figure he drove that beaut of a car hard and fast and was now trying to load it off to someone else. I wans't biting, although i may have been drooling slightly at all the standard features on this little black number. Sigh.

So then I went to look at Rin Tin Tin and the owner was this wonderful, friendly woman who had put a bumper sticker on the back to the Echo that read 'Peace through Equality. Eliminate Racism and Sexism." And she had volunteered with the UN in Botswana for 3 years and now worked with Community Legal Aid. She & her husband were downgrading toone vehilce. I just got these great vibes from her and then the car ran smoothly and she gave me a breakdown of its history with no vagueness. So I am pretty sure I made a wise choice in buying from her.

Aside from that my only other big news is that my sister is visiting. Yesterday she spent a lot of time reading from my books '101 Things to Do Before You Die' and "Practical Jokes for Adults." Did I mention she was reading out loud? Lalala.... Anyways, it should be an enjoyable and busy week what with the numerous errands I have to run and the quality time I have to spend with my Sis and the rest of my family before I start a real job.

So - um yeah. I guess that's about it from the farm. No really it smells like a pig farm here in Long Creek. The field just behind us is owned by a farmer who has taken to spraying pig shite all over it during the past few days. WE can no longer enjoy the back deck or sunshine without inhaling what could be the most disgusting smell ever...

Friday, September 30, 2005

OK - I just found this site and it is AWESOME and HILARIOUS and TOTTALLY USEFUL for anyone who wants to do something/anything! Seriously, you've gotta check it's go tevrything form So You Wanna Teach Overseas to So You Wanna Donate to a Charity to So You Wanna HAve A Sex Change. I eman it's got everything and instructions to help you on your way! Bloody ingenious :)

Here's a link to So You Wanna...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Holy Cow! I can't believe it, I am actually busy! Who would have guessed? OK so here's a Top Ten List (I love top tens) of the exciting, interesting and slightly crappy things that have happened to me in the past week:

1. OK, so I am about to rejoin the world of the employed! I've been offered a position with an employer in Charlottetown who *may* have some influence up in Ottawa. I'll be working in a Communications & Marketing capacity, which is right up my alley! Anywho, I best not say any more until I actually start working, but YAH!!! I am employed and it will, I am positive, be a challenging position with great opportunities! Kudos to PEI's hidden job market. A combination of luck/timing, who you know and a decent reputation - that's what you apparently need on PEI!(the last of those being an optional quality)

2. I got a belated birthday card! I love it when birthdays are dragged out well into the next month. Fondly recollect the year that I had four birthday cakes over the span of a month and a half!

3. I was working out at the gym when I was hit (not literally) by a business idea that I truly think would succeed in Charlttetown. And then, lo & behold, I got a telephone call from a long lost friend (OK, so it wasn't that long - we hadn't relly corresponded since I left PEI) and that made things even more interesting because he is looking to go entrepreneurial now. I am excited, for now I will leave it at that.

4. I made granola. And then I got really ballsy and made bagels. I am slowly transforming into Bohemiam Girl. Sidenote: Don't bother trying to make bagels- they take ages to make, best to just buy them at the store! Granola, on the other hand, is super easy and yummy !

5. I registered for Hip Hop/Club Dance classes - they start at the end of October. Monday nights for one hour, I'll be grooving and moving. I can only hope the pounds start to slide off at a faster rate than they are now. I'll probably be the oldest person there, I don't want to have title of 'Oldest & Biggest'! Oh, but I guess I won't be the only quarter centuarian since Rana is joining me! There's comfort in numbers (the 2 of us, not the 25 years of age)

6. I had a hair appointment with my regular hairdresser. I was sooo looking forward to getting my mop cut and highlighted. My appointment was yesterday, at 10.00 am so after the gym I didn't bother styling it, I just blow dried it into a mass of coarse hair. And then I go to get my cut, only to discover my hairdresser had bogged off to Halifax for the day. To say I was slightly annoyed would be an understatement. I had to wake up at 6.45 am to go into town with Jim (I am using his car at the moment) and ad no other real reason to be in town. After I left the hairdressers rather harried and decided I needed to shop to alleviate my bad mood and also because I have no work clothes to wear to my new job and going naked is not an option (hey, I'm no Jamie Oliver). Of course then I was self concious of my mop while walking past every mirror in the clothes stores. Sigh.

7. Anyways, I bought some clothes. I bought a skirt that was supposed to be $30, but rang up for $20 at the register. I also scooped a Buy1 Get 2 free deal(yes, that's right, buy 1 get 2 free!!!) at Bluenots and got a colol Canadian tee and two black, ribbed tanks that are flattering to my current figure! My mood was significantly improved by ths point so I then proceeded to buy a new toaster for the house. We need one and this one is good for bagels!

8. I came to the conclusion that I am a very lucky person. I already knew it, but this knowledge has been reinforced as of late. I think I'll have to save further comments on that at the moment - I will post moreabout that in my upcoming Reflections post!

9. I went to the Organic Harvest Dinner and proceeded to stuff myself full of good, wholesome food. The dinner was delicious - absolutely diving - especially the carrot soup and nice juicy, free range chicken. It was graet to see such a large turn out in support of the Island's organic farmers. But let's face it, us Islanders also like to eat and a buffet is pretty hard to pass up! The only problem was really logistical - there were at least 160 people there and the buffet food was only set up in two areas. This resulted in super long lines, plus you had to take your rolll, salads, cup of soup, sides and mains all at the same time.

10. Did I mention I have a job? Er, yes I guess I did! Did I mention I now need to buy a car? No, I am pretty sure I didn't! So if anyone out there is selling their car or knows of someone selling a car, please email me. OK - we're talking about people with cars on PEI here... Also, I am going to be picky and only consider Hondas, Toyotas and (maybe) VWs. No American cars for me thanks very much, I've discovered they aren't particulary trustworthy

That's your top ten count up for the week. I am now going to go for a jog!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Friday already! End of the work week, well for those of us that are employed anyway. In which case I guess I am one of 'Them" (unemployed), since I am most certainly not on of 'us' (the employed). Nonetheless time has flown by at light speed this week, due namely to the fact that being unemplyed is a tough and underpaid job. I've been relatively busy on the prowl and this time it isn't for a boy, it's for a challenging job paycheque to boot.

And how successful has my 'prowling' been? Well, given that this is PEI and given my assumption that I would probably end up working at a restaurant or Wal-Mart for the interim time I am on PEI, I'd have to say my expectations have been exceedd a hundred times over. Possibly to the point where I may have to consider a more permanent stay than initially planned. Not that anything has really happened yet, but there seem to be plenty of great opportunities out there and I''ve only been home for a week and a half. Yes, it turns out that spending 6 years at UPEI was a worthwhile investment in ways I didn't count on until my return to the Island's employment marketplace.

Anywho, aside from the job-hunting, I've been filling my days with lots of other exciting things like emailing, blogging, exercising and reading. OK, OK, maybe they don't sound so interesting to most of you, but when you've been deprived of free Internet access for over a year, being able to email at free will is a luxury. Of course constant access is also proving slightly hazardous to my,er, complex (for wantof a better word). I have emailed almost every single person on my Contacts list at some time over the past week and half and have only heard back from 1 single person (Thanks Gary!). The other three people I've heard from are Kelly, who had time to write even whilst travelling around Europe (to be fair she had a question about money), Jane (who wrote from the cruise ship she is working on) and Rana! Anyways, I know I am impatient and so I keep slapping myself on the wrist (figuratively speakign) and reminding myself that I took ages to write friends back while in Scotland due to lack of Internet access, not because I was trying to dismiss them (ever!)

As for the exercising. Oh how happy I am to be back at the AFC! THe gym at ScotEq was adequate but not entirely appealing and the classes, aside from Boxercise, hed no appeal to me whatsoever. There was no Myrtle-equivalent to realy get you into the workout andmake you sweat until you starting fearing a total meltdown. Yah! Exercising is fun again!

And reading - oh how I have missed reading. What with the constant social goings-on in Edinburgh and the ever constant presence of the TV in th livingroom, I didn't indulge in reading much over the past six months or so. Now I have loads of time and no interest whatsoever is trekking down to the basement to watch a television program, which is almost half adverts/half mediocre entertainment these days. My one exception willbe Desperate Housewives, which premieres on Sunday. Anywho, hello to reading and nurturing the mind. For now Harry's got me hooked at Hogwart's, but am looking for some heavier, more insightful reading in the near future and have a few recommendations to follow up on.

So, aside from those exciting activities, my days and evenings have been pretty quiet. And I am just fine with that - paece and quiet is what PEI is all about. I am still doing the Scottish dancing on Wednesday nights and now looking into adding Latin or Hip-Hop dance classes to my weekly schedule. I'm also spending a bit of time writing for myself. I am loving it.

Last night was an exception to the quiet evenings rule. I went out with my friend, Adam, who I hadn't seen in ages and has apparently discovered the secret weight loss. And I quote:

Adam: yeah, I didn't lose the weight the way I wanted to'

Shannon: Oh rally, well ohw did you lose it? (variety of disturbign thoughts/possibilites fly through shannon's head)

Adam: wel, basically I've just been eating better. I haven't been snacking, I cut out white carbs and I just eat when I am hungry.

Hmmm. I did not pursue this conversation any further. I am not sure what tee correct way to lose weight would be for Adam, but I was impressed with his 'not the right way', so kuds to him!

Anyways, we went for a quick drink at the Pilot House then headed to a house party where I knew basicaly no one. But it was fun nonetheless as everyone was friendly and I discovered I am not the only girl with crazy spiky haircut. Eventually we made our way to The Wave to watch/hear Sloan and to remember that,a t 25, I am getting OLD. Anyways, it was a great evening which included a free drink from the bartender becuase he ran out of Diet Pepsi for my drink and also included run-ins with some of my fav Island peple - Natasha, Sheena and Candace plus some folks I hadn't seen since uni days -Fred MacPhail and Lisa Duffy! The night ended with a cab ride home to Long Creek - total cost $32. Lalala

My litte thought of the moment: it's only been a week and a half, but already my mind, body and soul are starting to rejuvinate. I needed something that I simply couldn't get in Edinburgh. I don't konw exactly what it was, but I can feel it starting to seep back into me since I've returned home. It's a brilliant feeling. Maybe theere is just an Essence of the Island which can't be bottled and exported, it can only be experienced by being here.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I've been home for one week now. One whole week of rest & relaxation, one whole week of peace & quiet, one whole week of unemployment and non-income.

Don't get me wrong, I have been busy...spending money and emailing everyone under the sun! Oh, how wonderful it is to have unrestricted access to email and Messenger again. I have found a new addiction to replce my candyaholism!

OK, well it hasn't all been about purchasing Asics sneakers that I can't afford and writing novel-length emails to friends I haven't seen in ages - I have been slightly, er, productive... The Atlantic Fitness Centre and I have become fast friends again. It's such an enjoyable gym to go to, because people know each other so it's quite social and of course Myrtle's step class is always good for an early morning laugh as she tends to single out some of the men for a bit of teasing (i.e. taking the piss in UK terms).

I have also taken up dance classes at Beaconsfield Carriage House (7 - 9 on Wednesday nights if anyone is interested). Scottish & English Country Dancing for all ages and experiences - no partner required (phew, cause I think the last eligible male under 40 was claimed about two years ago....).

I kid you not, the first dance we learned was, and I quote ' The Canadian Barn Dance', which I presume must have been developed by some Canadian that migrated to the UK and decided that our nation should eternally be associated with barns. I'd actually done the dance before so was able to get through it without looking like a complete idiot. The English country dancing though - now that's quite a different story. It requires grace and timing - neither of which I was adequately supplied with upon birth. In any case, it was a brilliant evening and I met some wonderful, friendly faces, so I will be returning, no doot aboot it (that's Canadian speak spelled out phonetically for the amusement of all Americans and Europeans reading this blog) .

Thursday I caught up with Rana over a Baha Beachbum at 42nd Street Lounge. The chat and drink were equally enjoyable! Saturday evening I drove into Charlottetown, armed with a Yorkie bar and some German chocolate. I was on my way to a Scottish-themed night being held at Natasha's friend's place. Sarah is a Scottish girl who has been living & working in PEI for the last four months on a co-op work term. She had prepared mince and some sort of oat-based dish. Natasha had the haggis, neeps & tatties under control (it's a good thing the customs at Halifax airport are so lax, or it may have just been tatties and neeps). So I brought some European chocolate, which I could not and did not indulge in. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and edible evening with great company and delicious Scottish cuisine.

Other things have happened over the past week - some of which are significant, others of which are not significant. If you want to know more you can email me : )Yes, yes this is a desperate attempt to get moer that I have unrestricted access I am soliciting replies and mail from any and long as it is nice and in English!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Another day, another two blogs created. Evidently I hav too much time on my hands these days as illustraetd by the creation of two brand new blogs.

The first is entitled The Shan Weigh In, and as you may have guessed from the rather obvious title, it is a blog about my healthy living plan. OK, I know most people won't be interested in reading this, if any at all, but its namely a blog for me anyway - another incentive to stick to my regimen. After all, I don't want to go reporting that I've sipped up and gorged on the five ponuds of chocolate I hauled home from Europe! Furthermore, witha blog dedicated to this subject, I intend not to bore readers of All Shanadian with any more tales of woe about my weight and candy obsession. If you really want to know how I am doing in my endeavours you can just click on the link!

The second is entitled Earth to Shannon and I have to give my big sister, Sahra, all credit for the blog name! Thank you Sahra :) I hope this blog will be of interest to more readers. It's my first attempt to write publicly about something that isn't entirely personal, something that we all have avested interst in understanding more about: - the environment. This is something I have found myself becoming increasingly passionate about ove the past couple years. I wanted to create a diaolgue about this broad reaching topic in the hopes of keeping myself actively involved in learning more about various issues/concerns. I'm also hoping that it will generate more comments and ideas from readers.

So, that's it for the moment - please excuse the 'construction state' of these new blogs - I'll be working to develop them over the next few days.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

And so it is....just like I thought it would be. I am home sweet home - a bittersweet state of limbo between where I was and where I am going. Bitter because I've left a life, a home and some of the most fabulous people one could wish to know. Sweet because, well, PEI will always be home, familiarity is sometimes a comfort we take for granted and because my family is here and they are all such wonderful company. No really, they are. I actually like living at home. How crazy is that? But it's nice to be in a house again, its even nicer knowing that my respective elders pretty much take me as I am :)

Anyways, I've only been home for four days and, in some ways, it has been extremely easy to settle back into life on the Island.

For instance, my first full day back and I was already at the AFC signing up to reduce the size of my gut and butt! So far I have stayed clean - no candy, chocolate, fatty foods or eating. According to the scales this has already resulted in 2 pound weight loss! I have no intention of easing up on the workout sched or eating plan. I am in it for the long haul!

I also popped into the School of Business to catch up with some familiar faces. It was great seeing everyone again, especially the 2 Js - Joan & Janet :) Two very inspiring women !

Gettingback on the road was a piece of cake, although looking at the gas prices was not so enticing. They have gone up almost doublefold since I left. Holy shite. PEI dearly needs a public transit system. It seems ridiculous to me that they spent $1 Billion to build the Bridge, yet have no public transit system whatsoever.

Ah, but there are those tricky little things I have to get used to. In Edinburgh I trained myself to walk across the streets with the flow of traffic -s ometimes this meant standing in the middle of the street while traffic whizzed by in both directions. I tried the same trick on Queen street only to find a driver come to a dead stop to let me walk across. And I keep saying 'cheers' and 'falt'. I can't help it, it just comes out!

OH - and there is no one left. Everyone I ever really knew on PEI is gone - with the exception of Rana, Natasha and (maybe?) Adam. So, yeah - no trivia crew, no Kelley Building crew. So I am thinknig fast on my feet about how to keep myself entertained and avoid being completely lonely. AS a first attempt, I went to dance classes last night- Scottish & English Country dancing! It was SO fun and I met some really nice people of all ages. So I am definitely keeping that up.

OK - time for a list or two - I haven't done one of those in awhile!

Things I Miss About Edinburgh (or anticpate missing in the near future)
  • Friends to do things with - Brandon, Anne, Grand, Ailbhe, Margaret, Beth, Helene, Derek, Michelle, Gary & Rachel and, of course, all those who left before I did - you know who you are!
  • Things to do - Like quiz nights, ceilidhs, hot chocolate at Garfunkels, wandering the city until a candy shop appears at your feet, dancing until all hours, going to the park for lie down
  • Being able to walk everywhere or use public transit
  • Being a two minute walk from Tescos
  • Being able to add up the cost of a purchase in head without needing to remember to add on 17% tax
  • Having a steady income from a job (it should be noted I do not mis the job itself!)
  • My mobile and texting!
  • All the nice-looking youngish men
  • The anononimity of it all
  • The regulars - Walk About, Drop Kicks, maybe even Filthys!
  • The chocolate & candy & Woolworths pick n mix

Things I Will Not Miss About Edinburgh

  • The small washing machines and fridges
  • Our flat guest - Mr Mouse
  • Being a two minute walk from Tescos
  • The cobblestone streets - nice to look at, a killer on the feet
  • Texting rules that I never learned
  • My job - enough said
  • The long , dark winters

Things I Love About Canada/PEI

  • I get to drive!
  • Bigger washing machines, a clothes line & dryer if required
  • A normal-sized kitchen that is fully stocked
  • Cheap gym memberships
  • Going to town and knowing I will likely run into someone I know.
  • The chocolate is not as good, so less tempting to indulge
  • The green, open spaces & peacefulness
  • The friends & people that are still here are fabulouso and so welcoming of a returnee
  • The peanut butter and salad dressing
  • Mom's vegetable garden
  • Desperate Housewives new season is on TV now waiting until the new year!
  • Tim Hortons - not that I visit it, but I know it's there if I ever feel the urge
  • last but by no means least - NO SMOKING LAWS!

Things I Am not So Fond of about Canada/PEI

  • The Island accent. I am sorry but compared to the lovely, lilting accents of the Scottish & Irish it's just not that pleasing to the ear
  • Having to figure out GST & PST - what taxes are on what items and how much more is it going to cost me
  • The lack of temp agencies & jobs in general
  • The chocolate, which is not as good as European chocolate
  • The lack of friendliness at pubs/bars - people are just way more amiable over in Scotland - especially the males. Maybe its because they've conumed five pints by teh time five o'clock rolls around. Who knows?
  • Genetically Modified foods - banned in Europe

K, that's all I have time for at the moment, but I'll be back in a wee while to post final thoughts on Edinburgh experience. Hope you are all enjoying your lives, whever they may be taking you!