The Non-Alcoholic Propaganda Missed Its Target (2005-12-01 - 5:15 p.m.)

Today is Non-Alcoholic Propaganda Day at the Forestry Commission. (I liked Veg Day better, to be honest). We are being bombarded with information about how many units of alcohol are in a pint of cider and given free non-alcoholic drinks – as if they would really be handing out free alcoholic drinks at noon on a Thursday, but anyway. They have a big poster up with helpful advice like, “Don’t Go Home Skint” and “Don’t Get Blootered”.

Speaking of veg: I was a good girl today and ate roasted potatoes and veg for lunch – but they were so drowned in oil that I now feel a bit ill. There was a puddle of it remaining on the plate when I was done. I think someone should explain to the cafeteria staff that two cups of oil per vegetable dish is perhaps not consistent with this whole “healthy eating” drive.

So happy belated St Andrew’s Day to the world at large. And the world at large is mostly who celebrates it, as it’s certainly not the Scots. Hands up who believes it’s been a whole year since my last St Andrew’s post? Not me – so odd, never thought I’d still be here a year later. Last year it was whisky and haggis with the international students, and this year it was a free ceilidh at the Hub on the Royal Mile. Roughly one out of every six voices I heard had a Scottish accent of some variety, and there was a lot more Spanish being spoken around me than English or Gaelic.

However, they are trying (now) and the Scottish Executive put on a big do last night. Besides the ceilidh in the Hub there was a big free outdoor concert on the Lawnmarket. We had to queue to get into the ceilidh and I didn’t stay long once we were in, because it was absolutely packed. It was free and the town was taking full advantage. However, despite the crowds it was worth going just to see the inside of the Hub building. It’s a disused church and has a gorgeous sweeping staircase inside.

After I ditched on the ceilidh I went to watch the live music. I saw all of Dougie MacLean’s set. I do believe I’ve seen him at Folk Fest and he was quite good (though I have to say a little too heavy on the indulgent and somewhat boring message-heavy singer-songwritery folk. But perhaps that’s just me). However, he did play a song about Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (!) so I was pleased. A little taste of Alberta on St Andrew’s Day.

While watching the show I wormed my way closer to the front and ended up next to an Italian guy who wanted to know what the party was about. VERY difficult to explain the concept of the patron saint of Scotland in words of two syllables or less! In the end I wrote stuff down for him because he was having real trouble with my accent. This prompted the two Scots in front of me to jump in to the conversation – and if he had trouble with my accent, theirs was incomprehensible. However, this got them into conversation with me meaning we were immediately best friends. They passed around the bottle that one of them had in his jacket pocket and they must have pressed two or three drams on me at least. They fed some to the Italian guy as well and you should have seen the look on his face – I get the impression he does not normally drink his whisky straight! (He then texted his friend about it and had to ask me how to spell whisky.)

It did occur to me after the fact that perhaps sharing a bottle with three random guys is not the best way to avoid more disease. I will have to hope the alcohol killed all the germs.

Ended the night in proper style with a hot whisky at the Last Drop with Brad, his sister and two random Canadians.

In other news, the girl who I am training to take over my job was previously a physiotherapist in Oz. In her opinion, I may have torn the cartilage in my knee. This would explain the tight feeling and the stabbing but intermittent pains. I asked what I could do to fix it and she said, “Either it will sort itself out… or you’ll have to have surgery”. Yikes!

However, my finger has mostly returned to its normal colour/size and only the nail is still purple. Small steps in the right direction…

backwards ~ onwards

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