Edin-bra (2004-11-15 - 5:30 p.m.)
It's cold and dark here in Edinburgh. (I was thinking about this today - I've heard Edinburgh pronounced "Edin-boro", "Edin-burra", and "Edin-bra". But never "Edin-burg", which is what you'd think by looking at it. The locals mostly seem to say Edinbra, though I seem to have slipped into Edin-burra by default...) Anyway, yeah, was almost completely dark by the time I left work at 4 pm. However, I hope to alleviate the cold part to some extent at least, by figuring out how to weatherproof the windows in the flat. Pia and I (especially Pia) are always freezing, but the heating doesn't come on till 7:30 pm and is off by 11. This is very foreign to someone who grew up with a furnace attached to a thermostat! But I think if I can cut down on the window draughts, life will be much more pleasant (and Pia much less whiny!)
Had a good weekend, as Aga (aka Agnieszka) was over from Belfast. She only stayed Saturday night, but we had a wee pint in the New Town and then went to a Girls Night at the flat of Shannon, one of the PEI girls. It was a good time.
Sunday we went down to see the new Scottish Parliament. This was quite interesting, particularly as Aga's an architect. The buildings were designed by a Catalan architect who died before they were completed, and have not gone over particularly well with the Scots (though I think that had a lot to do with the cost, which was exhorbitant and well over the estimate.) It's a weird-looking building, very new-fangled and not very Scottish. I didn't think much of it, and neither did Aga (who gave her professional opinion!) To me, it had far too many sharp angles and acres of polished wood, and weird things that looked like giant hairdryers stuck to the outside... Though the actual chamber thing was quite nice, being constructed so there are no pillars in the way. It also has cutouts in the wall that look like whisky bottles! Was that deliberate, I wonder...?
Anyway, there was a lot of propaganda about how it was meant to look like a tree from above, with the buildings being the leaves. So we climbed Salisbury Crag to have a wee look. I have to say it looks much better from far away and above... not much of a compliment, though, since most people will see it from ground level! A bonus was that we had an amazing view of the city, and I got a few good pictures despite the mist.
Then we went for tea and chocolate. A good day, all in all!
I almost made it to a ceilidh yesterday, too. Pia and some uni friends were going... but Aga needed help finding the bus back to the airport, and poor Pia got an ear infection and ended up coming home early anyway. I want to go to one as soon as possible, though. A ceilidh (pronounced "cay-lee") is a dance. It's apparently something like a square dance, in that there's a caller and they teach you the steps. People who've been say that everyone dances, and I have to say it sounds like a great time! There are always fundraising ceilidhs being advertised, so I'm sure I'll make it to one sooner or later.
Birthday tomorrow! I have been roundly mocked all my life for getting so excited about it, but come on... as far as I'm concerned, why not? It's a celebration that I was born, that I'm still alive... and that I'm still happy to be alive (which is more than I can say for some people). So there you go, worth celebrating for weeks on end! Probably not much will go on, but I think I will go down the pub with Craig, Pia and the Canucks - good enough for me!
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