Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Holy Bananas - it's all happening so bloody fast I can't get my head around it. In less than two weeks my Scotland Adventure will be but a bunch of wonderful memories and I will be basking in the last of PEI's summer sun (I hope).

Today I said goodbye to Kelly & Lindsay who are off to tackle Europe on a two-month adventure. I'll put a link to their blog up asap. Anyways, it was sad, because now all my flatmate (who have also become really fab freinds) have leftm, and now its just me, the bathroom scales, some veggie hotdogs and my new Scissor Sisters CD left.

In the not-so-sad department - only three full days of work left!! Then a whole week off and visitors from Canada :)

I had another long weekend, which was fabulous. That is definitely one thing I will miss about Europe -the holiday allottment over here is so generous.

Anyways, Thursday night I went to see Tommy Tiernan with my workmates. He was, as expected, hilarious. Definitely worth the £13 ticket price. I also discovered a new favorite bar, The Wash (pronuonced The Waarrsh if you are from Ireland or PEI!). Very classy, but with cheese music so you knew the classy decor was just a front...Kind of like the NOodle House in Charlotteown is probably a front for something else :)

Friday I franticallya dn unsuccessfully tried to get some emailing done - including the payment of my credit card bill. Unfortunately it's been so long since I used on-line baking that I can't remember my password. I hope I don't get a bad credit rating. That might kind of bite. I also tried to do some emailng, bt was late meeting Brandon so didn't get anywhere with that.

Anyways, Brandon & I met up midday to see if there were any festival shows at half price that we might want to see. There weren't, so we did what any normal person would do under these circumstances and decided to get a bite to eat. Well, I got a bite and Brandon got a main meal, That boy likes to eat.

Following on our meal, or rather Brandon's meal and my side order of potatoes and veggies, we went in search of a hoste for my friends to stay at next week. I checked out three hostels and highly recommend Castle Rock Hostel to anyone coming to Edinburgh - prices are decent, location fab and rooms super nice/clean.

Brandon & I then went to book tickets for a show on Monday. I've decided to spend money like it is going out of style... By this time it was 3 o'clock in teh afternoon - awhole two hours since Brandon had eaten. He suggested we find another place to eat. I obliged. He ordered another main meal while I cursed my metabolism and watched enviabley as he enjoyed his stir fry with nae a worry that he would gain a clove or a stone or whatever. Gads - anyway, mental note for future - avoid eating with people like Brandon & Ailbhe. One cannot help but become slightly jealous/paranoid/crazy....

Saturday Alibhe & I hopped on a bus to Inverness early in the am. WE arrived in teh capital of the higlands midday to wet & windy weather. We proceeded to eat and shop the afternoon away. I *may* have spent way too much money ona black velvet blazer which I will now have to live in, in order to make it worth the money invested.

IN the evening we went out on the town. It was a rather hilarious evening, which can only be compared to night out in Charlottetown but with more kilts and no cover charges. Oh my, it was rather interesting. The last place we ended up had a very skewed demographic- about 70% men - but as I quickly realised - quality is much more important than quantity.

Sunday we puttered around Inverness, ate more and waited to get the bus back to civilisation. I don't know why, but I decided that I best spend Sunday evening out on the town. Lindsay, Beth, Kelly, Grand & Anne were all present at some point or another. Lindsay & Beth pprovided much amusement following their consumption of liquor. I had never seen wither properly inebriated before and it was quite the sight!

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon watching a Fringe show, MacHomer, with Brandon. It was a guy impersonating all these Simpsons chracters doing MacBeth - it was actually very impressive - he'd integrated so many things into the script and the show, he also had a film screen behind him to assist with setting the scenes. He did an encore of the top 20 annoying voices in music doing Bohemiam Rahpsody. And then, predictably, Brandon wanted to grab a bite to eat after the show. I ordered a starter of haggis which was morethe size of a main. Now onder I've gained a clove!

Last night we went to Anne's for dinner and farewells. It was delicious (dinner) and sad (the farewells for Kely & Lins).

K - back to 'work' .

Thursday, August 25, 2005

OK, on I am just tempting the weight Gods. YEs, yes..of course I've given up teh whole 30 day hiatus from candy - I have done it [before people, but that was in a controlled enviroment (i.e. home), where temptations were minimal in comparison and I was DRIVEN by teh memory of not being able to get up on a horse when I was in Austria.Anywho, I'm off the band wagon and boy did I fall off. It's almost as if I want ot see just how much weight I can gainbefore i go home jsut so I have more to lose./ Or maybe I am getting back at Zoom Airlines for thier strict baggae allowances. Why don't they take a passenger's weight into account when specifying restrictions? Surely that's not fair!

Anyways, thanks for the two pieces of cake Grand! Must say, Black Forest does quite wel as a breakfast replacement!

Raeanne - I am sooo excited to see you too!!! I don't know which email to contact you at so best ask you here and now - do you want me to find/book a hostel for you? Also, can you email Chris and ask him the same question. I will im to find value for money but ensure the place is clean and quiet enough and in a good location. I am to please :) Just let me know what you want, I will try to deliver! Please email me at my hotmail address...I will be checking tomorrow morning and then going to look at hostels in the afternoon.

As for the big news - may I presume it involves a BIG purchase, perhaps of a permanent dwelling. Yes, I suppose that would make you a REAL adult (although, personally I think you are alreadya real adult, but anywho) I, on the other hand, have decided to be a FAKE adult for a wee bit longer. Me thinks I am enjoying the limbo period between adolescence and adulthood a bit too much :)

Hmm...OK, well not much new since yesterday. I have a nice long weekend to enjoy now..will start in approximately 3 hours and terminate Tuesday at 8.30 am. Until then I am chillaxing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hmm..so as of late life'ss been a bit like the Good, the Bad & the Ugly, except not really. More like The NOt So Good, the Good and the Really Good - an optimist's dreamworld really. Yeah, life has been pretty shantastic I must say..the only downside is that time has absolutely been flying by and it is starting to hit me that after 16 months or one and a quarter years I am nearing the end of an adventure that has exceeded all my expectations. I am leaving a place I now consider home and it is permanent. Sad. Very Sad.

So here is a list of the things that have been happening as of late or are going to happen in near future. I've categorised them for those readres who enjoy categorical postings :) The rest of you can suffer..sorry!

The Not-So-Good

  • Miss Jen MacPhail has now departed Edinburgh to go hang out with Mickey & Goofy in Disney World. She's the second of the original 3 to leave and it was all I could do to not cry when she got on the bus last night. Instead I went home and broke my candy hiatus and ate half a bar of chocolate. Jen is one of, if not THE, most awesome & hilarious people I know and I am so glad she is my friend. The fact that she will have free Disney World passes for her friends over the next year, has nothing to do with the praise I am heaping upon her ... none whatsoever. Once you've been doused with MacPhail energy & wit it is hard to imagine living without :(
  • Shannon has gained a half a stone. They measure weight in stones over here and it sounds better to state my weight gain in a measure that most of you won't be able to figure out unless you are ambitious enough to google the term. Rest assured it is a LOT of poundage to gain in two months..although it is also the total amount I have gained over my entire time here in Edinburgh, so from that perspective its about on par with what most Canadian girls seem to gain whilst living in Scotland. I just happened to save all the gaining until the last
  • Shannon is not going to have one last fling with the Emerald Isle as mentioned previously. Bus tickets to Belfast were sold out. Instead Shannon is going on a min-trip to Inverness and spending the money she saved by not going to Belfast on a Fringe Show (see Good Things)
  • Shannon is leaving Edinburgh in 18 days. Wahwah.
  • Shannon is returning to PEI unemployed and heftier than when she left (see above). Most of Shannon's friends have left the Island, thus social life will be near non-existent. Sigh. At least she will have plenty of time for the gym.

Good Things

  • With the money Shanon is saving by not going ot BElfast, she is going to see hilarious Irish comedian, Tommy Tiernan
  • Following resolution of the bus strike in Edinburgh, teh bus company is offering refunds/one week of travel to bus pass holders. This will bring Shannon's card to 11 September which is perfect, since this is the day she leaves!
  • Raeanne & Chris & Wendy are all coming to visit during Shannon's last week of work here.
  • Shannon's landlord is letting her stay three extra days atthe flat so she can move on the weekend instead of midweek
  • Shannon's friend, Ailbhe, has graciously offered to put Shannon up during her last week in Edinburgh. Shannon will try to repay kindness in meals and will not be rude to her hostess (as Shannon recently experienced this behaviour from a guest staying over at her flat and was very offended by rudeness and disrespect)

The Great

  • Shannon's head and heart are both finally/mostly sorted out. It's been a long and arduous journey to contentment, but done & dusted for the moment. Shannon has resolved not to let her heart get broken again (because its just that easy), since she realises she sucks at repairing things like vital organs.
  • Shannon is looking forward to exploring options and adventures for the future. A new beginning!!
  • Shannon is going on a road trip with Emily. Yah!!!!!!!!!!!! Pittsburgh to Orlando. Hello United States of America!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Phew. So I finally gave my notice at work today. Wow, didn't think it would be that difficult but it kind of is when you like your manager and co-workers....I will not speak of the actual work itself. Anyways, I am now free to talk about my departure from Scotland openly on my blog and in emails.

So....um yeah....going home to PEI. Don't know what I am doing when I get there. Don't konw how long I will be there. Don't know if I am going anywhere else in the nearish future. Think I will have to see what fate has in store for me..although last time fate stepped in she kind of tricked me by throwing something in front of me and then taking it away just as quickly. So I am kind of skeptical about Fate, but there have been times it has intervened and life has takena fabulous turn..so I suppose I will put my faith in Fate as her track record is pretty decent.

K - have to go look at flights to Ottawa and various places in the United States because I have people to see and Disney Worlds to be done!! Lalalalalalalala

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

OK - I've been back to desk sitting at lunch since last week. This is why you may (or may not) have recieved an email from me :) Helene is off on holidays, leaving me with an excuse ot sit on my behind and surf rather than go for a walk..

Anyways, this is why, yesterday, I decided to google my name. Anyways, it turns out there is another Shannon COurtney (go figure) and she has been ambitious enough to by OUR domain name. I checked out her site and her blog and was rather miffed to find it could very easily have been me writing the entries she'd made..from the weakness for a boy who had broken her heart to the leftist tendencies/disgust with the right wing. Maybe there is something in a name after all Mr Shakespeare. Hmm?

(SIDENOTE: you may notice some really loose and nonsensical linkages between occurences in this blog, I am trying to find a reason for everything and am coming up with nothing!)

I am going to Belfast in less than two weeks! A last minute plan that Ailbhe and I concocted over drinks. One last fling with the Irish necessary to rid myself of all future desires. Oh, who amI kidding..I am SO over the whole Irish affliction. Have moved on to the 'Decent, Intelligent, Creative and Kind Male from Whatever Nation' affliction and am currently very afflicted. More afflicted than I have been in a very, very, very long time. And yes, my age does justify those many verys!

Here's your laugh for the day: I have given up all sweets, candies, chocolate, baked goods, etc. for ONE WHOLE month. I know, I know - you are thinking 'Impossible'. Well, to be honest, so am I, but I have done it before so I know I am capable. Its just with all the leaving dos and visitors and parties I am going to have a hard time of it I think. In an attempt to lessen my cravings I absolutely stuffed myself with chocolate over the the last week and went into OD on the weekend. And it kind of worked because even the thought of a piece of chocolate turns me off right now. Unfortunately the thought of gummi cola bottles does not turn me off :( OK must stop writing and thinking about candy or will begin drooling.

This weekend past is kind of a blur. I know we did a lot of bus riding on Saturday and only ended up stopping at ASDA (yuck!) for some food and pizza. I bought two CDs - the Moulin Rouge soundtrack and Frank Sinatra (?????). Saturday night was my big Birthday night out - a crew of Canadians joined forces with Helene and a few Scottish to celebrate. I can't recall the highlight of the night, but I do know I broke a record 3 wine glasses (luckily only one was filled with wine and that was kind of/partialyl KElly's fault..but not really). The night ended at the Walkie and with my lsat chance to talk to Old Guy and show Jen I have some guts....well I blew it. Ah well, what can ya do?

Sunday was free Fringe shows on the Meadows! It was awesome to go out and see some showcases of the talent in Ediburgh this month. I also enjoyed my last gorge of chocolate/candy. It was fun, but also kind of sickening.

Hmm..OK, that's all the news I can recall at the moment. This week involves a haggis meal, cleaning the flat, last drinks with Jen, the CUmmunity BBQ (YUM!!!!!!!) and Grand's 27th birthday! Gah - too much too fast. Jen leaves in a week :(

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Thank you so much to everyone for the birthday wishes, presents and cards.

Dear Sister Sahra - I am glad you are of the same mind as I - never too old to drag one's birthday out for months on end :)

Schemida - I plan to put your gift to pracitcal use in the very enar future - be warned! ALso, I am SO sorry I haven't been as, er, punctual about sending a parcel your way. I swear it's been sitting here for ages.. Gah, I suck, I am sorry :(

Father/Daddy -I have decided that indeed I do like the colour pink very much when it is in certain forms. Next time I call you, I'll try not to mistake Greg for you..whoops! Anyways, I gave him a wee update about life over here. .. hope you are enjoying Halifax!

Rana - Thanks so much! I hope your summer is going well..keep me updated and we'll catch up when I get home :)

Hmm..so that's that. I am now officially 25 years of age. I am a quarter of a century. Wow. I like ot imagine that the next 25 years of my life will pass by at a slower pace and be filled with more adventures and experiences than I can even fathom at the moment. I mean really, when you think about it, its not as though the past 25 years have been 25 ADULT years. Here's my crazy Shannon Logic:

The first 5 years of my life were namely involved with learning how to talk and walk (it should be noted that I still haven't mastered the art of walking and am quite sure I will sprain my ankle one of these days as a result. I need REmedial Walking 101 classes please!)

Then the next 12 years of my life I was thrown, quite against my will, into the public school system where I learned some things, but can't remember most of them. I do receall spending most of my spare time reading, biking around N Granville, abhorring Barbie Dolls and collecting My Little Ponies. These were, evidently, development years.

So really, I've only been living the adult life for the past 7 years. For some reason I felt it necessary to spend a further 5 of these years developing my mind (and, unfortunately, expanding my body). So - yeah it's been a long journey to the 'freedom' of adulthood. Phew. I'm tired just thinking of it!!

Given this mathematically unchallengable logic, I'd say I am only about 7 years old, which really means I have about 3x over this until I am half a century.

Some goals & aspirations for the next two and a half decades:

- Stay Alive & Healthy
- Find and Hang Onto the Love of my Life
- Discover my True Calling and Be Brave Enough to Follow It
- Wear Clothes that I Fit into When I was 20. Ahem. ANything is possible!
- See 3 or 4 more continents
- Find out how they get the caramel in the Caramilk Bar (OK, sorry I already know this)
- Write and Publish something that Informs & Inspires Change
-Wear Orange & Purple together and Look Good Doing It!

OK, think I'd better stop there. That's enough for now. Note the rather haphazard use of Capitals :)

Tonight I am gorging...again. We are going out for dinner in celebration of my aging. Dinner for 8 at Bar Italia. Funnily enough, I've only been to this restaurant once before and it was when I lived in Dublin and came here on holiday. Pam & I had dinner while rather inebriated so I can't really recall whether it was good, but the Italian waiters were entertaining to say the least.

Last night I went to see two musicals - Aida & Footloose, performed by American high school students. I much preferred Footloose but the acting was superb in Aida. How wonderful to be able to showcase one's talents at such a young age!

Um..ok one month from tomorrow. is DE day (Depart Edinburgh). The countdown begins. I am excited and just a little bit apprehensive. I mean - what am I doing next?? I don't know! COuld I ask a favour? Could people avoid asking me this question unitl I have a light bulb burning brightly over my head. I need some time to sort through it all - my head and heart are all confuzzled at the moment and I really hate answering a question with 'I don't know', it makes me feel kind of stupid! Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding :)

Monday, August 08, 2005

Mesmerizing, spectacular, entrancing, brilliant, fascinating, inspirational. Nope, sorry, none of these words is quite enough to describe last night. I spent it with Kelly... Ahem. We went to see Tao - Martial Art of the Drum. I'd been advised that it was a spectacular show but nothing could have prepared me for the visual and audial extravagnaza we were treatd to. The choreography, the physicality and the power. I do believe I witnessed the best show at the Fringe. Its a rare thing to leave a show feeling inspired, but that was exactly how I felt after an hour watching these Japanese drummers/athletes performing. Not that I want to be the next Starr or anything - but it reinforced my belief that if one follows one's heart and does something that makes them feel alive, then they can only succeed. There is no failure where passion rests.

A compilation of dos & don'ts from the weekend.

Do not waste your time watching 'White Noise'.
Do take a Sunday every once and awhile and just veg. Don't leave the house before dinnertime.
Do go see Craig Hill's Got the Ballroom if you want to hear some risque comdey from a man in a leather kilt.
Don't take every flyer you get handed during the Festival. Its a waste of paper & ink. You already know what you want to see.
Don't try to give directions via text - evidently texts are skimmed and misread on a disproportionately high rate
Do spend Sunday night out on the town - it makes the weekend seem much, much longer.

Well, back to work again :) Fun fun fun. That's 'Fun Cubed' for the mathematics fans out there

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I am still here, still alive and having a fabulouso time. Sorry I haven't posted in a wee bit - I've just had one of the most fantastic weeks I can recall having in a very long time. Blogging, unfortunately, has been put on the back burner as a result! OK and now I have to go again because I am already late meeting Kelly for our show - Japanese martial art drumming - promises to be spectactular...I will try to post asap, but can't promise anything because this week is going to be CRAZY!

I smell like vanilla becuase I just made macaroons. Yum! Bye for now..

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Pink cotton candy, pink shaggy sheep and pink flamingos. Those are my favorite pink things. Oh, plus my pinkie, really couldn't do without it.

My birthday is in 8 days. I have neglected to do the whole 'Broadcast Friends' Birthdays' as of late, so here goes...better late than never:

Happy Birthday to Miss Schemida Bourgeois of various locations across Canada including Calgary, Fort McMurray, Halifax and Margate. Where in the world is she now? I supose if I checked my email I might have an inkling to the answer, but that's another thing I've been neglecting as of late - the whole keep in touch with peple by email and telephone ..it's a bit too 'bougie' for me. Ahem.

Oh, and my name is Shannon Courtney. Just a wee aside there.

OK, back to keeping y'all updated on life in Etown. Hmmm..so yes, last week on was on holiday. Trained, Ferried and Bussed it to the Isle of Arran with Beth and Ailbhe (Alva). Had a magnificent time being in the midst of nature, walking on roads with no shoulders and contemplating my chances of being hit by one of the crazy Island drivers (recollections from last visst to Arran in 2003). We hiked up a mountain. Almost. 20 minutes fomrthe top and we kind of called it a day...certain parties were really hungry, certain other parties wanted to keep on climbiung and I was rather indifferent. PLayed mini-golf without keeping score or following any rules. The first (and last) tiem I will ever play min golf ona course made out of cement.

Thursday night we were back from our mini trip and I headed out to the Walk About which was a rather interesting experience since it resulted in my running into a reminder of my Filthy McNasty days. Ah, but it was a good laugh.

Friday I met up with Beth and two very random and very awesome American guys (i know, who would have guesssed American & cool!), and we had some food & drink. Then I took the blokes to the Cumberland where we proceeded to enjoy the local atmosphere, I double fisted white wine and a rather crazy character with missing teeth and crutches provided much entertainment at our table.

OK, that's me for now - will get back to Weekend Review next time i have a few mins in my crazy/busy lunch schedule :)