it's a bit freezing (2005-11-21 - 3:36 p.m.)

Was going to post this last week but did not for a variety of reasons. So here is the News From Last Thursday:

As my French co-worker said this morning, “It’s a bit freezing out.”

It is indeed a bit freezing. In fact, it’s proper Canadian weather – impressive for this country. No snow but you can see your breath, and I am thinking seriously about investing in a hat because my ears are getting very cold. (Not going to go quite so far as a winter coat – I’ve managed this long – although I rather want a duffle coat and I’ve never seen one in Alberta). (Who wouldn’t want to look like Paddington Bear?) It’s nice, though, to have these cold clear days, because I’d much rather have the sunshine than the never-ending grey.

So thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. As far as birthdays go it far exceeded expectations. Besides some cheques (yay! Relief of financial pressure!) I was given
- two excellent CDs: Funeral by the Arcade Fire and Takk by Sigur Ros (not pronounced as it looks). Have been curious about the Arcade Fire for ages, ever since Matt started raving about them, and I heard Takk earlier this month and was impressed. Crazy Icelandic music!
- Genuine Kelowna fruit leather
- The Stockbridge Calendar, which I had been meaning to buy and would not have got around to – ever, most likely. Stockbridge is such a cool area and I like that it has its own personal 2006 calendar.
- and a kilt, which I will be wearing next weekend as we will be hitting a ceilidh to celebrate Brandon’s birthday.

So yes. Two days of dinners out, tons of post and phone calls from home. Doesn’t get much better. Ooh, and I got a giant extremely chocolatey cake topped with strawberries from Brad, which I had for breakfast this morning. Do not be surprised if I’m two stone heavier by the time I make it back to Canada. He made it himself in the absence of any actual measuring cups or spoons. I believe he used a combination of pint glasses and teaspoons to measure out the ingredients and then just threw a lot of extra chocolate in for good measure. I certainly can’t argue with that philosophy, and it turned out lovely.

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Since then nothing of major note has happened. Had a rubbish Friday and a very pleasant Friday-night birthday party of sorts. We managed to polish off the chocolate cake plus piles of assorted party food. Also, Brandon and I went on a beer-finding mission to Peckhams and came back with a huge assortment of beer (and cider) from all over the world. We picked most of them based on how much we liked the labels and/or names (my favorite was Kwak- which, being Belgian, tasted nice as well as having a duck-like name).

Saturday was not very exciting, involving not much more than an aborted attempt to get out to Rosslyn Chapel. In fact, Saturday was just one of those days where everything refused to quite go to plan. Decided not to join the expedition to Rosslyn because we got a late start and I wasn’t sure I’d be back in time to get to Glasgow for the Kathleen Edwards gig that night. As it turned out, they were back by 4.30 and there would have been loads of time. Besides which the friend who I was meant to be meeting in Glasgow was an hour late anyway due to roadworks in Livingston, so if I’d been late it would only have spared me 45 minutes of pacing around Buchanan Bus Station.

But I spent the afternoon scraping mould off my bedroom wall (disgusting but necessary – I want my deposit back!) (the landlord really needs to do something about the coldness and dampness of that room, but it will be Someone Else's Problem in about three weeks so I really don’t care) and at least accomplished something.

The Glasgow trip, despite travel problems, was actually a great success. I used to work with Kevin at the Hotel of Horrors, so there is much fodder for conversation when we get together. We went for a quick dinner before the show and were there in lots of time for the opener, Joel Plaskett the great self-promoter. He was actually excellent – projects his voice impressively well and loads of confidence on-stage. He’s from Halifax and well worth checking out if you like singer-songwritery stuff. Besides, he mentioned Edmonton, Alberta twice in his first song and therefore deserves a plug.

Kathleen herself was good as well. I had not seen her or heard her albums, but had heard many positive things about her. All warranted, as far as I could tell. She’s got an amazing voice although she kind of got drowned out by her band. They were an excellent band, mind you, but overpowering. Of course if I had any idea of her lyrics (which I do not, except for the excellent song that includes the phrase “I am so tired of playing defense/ I don't even have hockey skates”, which I like very much) it would probably have been much easier.

Speaking of gigs, apparently I missed the Decemberists last week. Grrrr.

I missed the last train home from Glasgow and had to take the bus. There was a nice coach at the bus stand when we arrived, but it drove off just as we approached it because it was full. The bus they brought in to replace it was an extremely rickety-looking old double-decker that appeared to predate me by about twenty years. I didn’t think it would be able to reach highway speeds without disintegrating, but lo and behold we were back in Edinburgh within the hour.

Oh, and in case you were curious, the latest news from the hotel is that pretty much everyone has quit, including the three people who have had my job in the last six months. They now have a new girl doing reservations and it looks like she might stick it out, if only because the rotten manager has now left to become a “management consultant” (ha!)

I feel more vindicated about walking out of that one by the day.

I found a skirt that fits perfectly in the "Vintage" section of the charity shop yesterday. It's swirly and old-fashioned and I like it. Never fails to amuse me that there is such a thing as a vintage section of the charity shop. As opposed to all that NEW old stuff, I suppose.

backwards ~ onwards

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Missed anything?
moved! - 2008-05-12
Sunday = time to ramble on - 2008-05-11
apparently I'm doing monthly updates these days. Sorry. - 2008-05-04
watershed - 2008-04-06
end of trip - 2008-03-31

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