sharks and dancing and Pia (2004-11-22 - 5:36 p.m.)
The weather has turned! But now it doesn't matter so much, because Pia and I had a little conversation with Craig about how ridiculous it is that she can't even work in her room because it's too cold. We have (I think) agreed to turn the heat off when nobody's home but on when we're all around, to save on energy where possible but also not freeze to death. I spent all of last night sitting in my room reading and working on Christmassy stuff and being very happy to feel warm!
I have also taped up the edges of my windows, on Steph's advice. She pointed out that a masking-tape barrier is better than no barrier, which is undeniably true. I could feel the draught whistling through a few cracks, and I think the tape has cut it down. I've also put foil behind the radiator to reflect heat into the room. It might help!
Had a really good weekend (even though I always work Saturday, so my weekends are necessarily curtailed). Went out for a drawn-out pint with Keri from PEI on Friday at a cool pub called Maggie Dickson's. Maggie was a woman who had a prematurely born illegitimate child. It died and she left its body by the river, and when it was traced back to her she was sentenced to hanging for "concealing a pregnancy". She was duly hanged, pulled down, and put in the coffin... but on the way to the graveyard, the men carrying the coffin heard a noise. It was Maggie, who had woken up and wanted to be let out! From then on she was called "Half-Hangit Maggie". The pub's decor is heavy on the skulls and deathmasks.
On Saturday night I went out with Pia and her friend, Angela. It was pretty entertaining, because Pia and Angela are crazy. We ended up at an Irish pub with a live Irish band, which was amazing. I'd been having a fairly boring time till then (though watching the old men hit on Pia was fairly entertaining!), but the last pub was great fun. There was a bit of a dance floor up by the band. I was standing just in front of it but facing away, sort of tapping my feet to the music, when an arm reached out and grabbed me around the waist and I was whirled into the dance. There was about six Irish guys and one girl, all doing proper Irish step-dancing. They tried to teach me, but that wasn't going to happen at 2 am - so I just hopped about sort of in time to the music. It worked just as well and was hugely fun!
Going out with Pia was a good idea. We get along well but hadn't hung out much outside the flat. I think it's hilarious how much male attention she attracts, particularly the over-40 guys for some reason. (She just tells them to go away in her German accent!) She's got the classic sort of Aryan look to her - blonde hair, blue eyes & fair skin. She tells me, though, that when she was in England she would tell people that she was German and they would start attacking her - about the war and the atrocities done by the Germans. All of which is true, but she was born 30 years afterwards and had NOTHING to do with it. I think it's pretty horrible to do that to someone, just based on where they're from. The ironic part is that Pia's family is originally from Poland...
On Sunday I went with Pia and some international students to Deep Sea World, "Scotland's Shark Capital"! It was actually pretty entertaining, as I took a lot of zoology in university and actually had to dissect a little dogfish shark at one point. They have a huge aquarium with a tunnel running right through it, so you can walk through and watch the fish swimming overhead! I was fairly impressed. They do have some huge sharks, and also some nine-foot eels that were pretty impressive. We got to watch the eels being fed. They would lunge forward and snap the food out of the diver's hand - quite scary actually! Hopefully I can go on more outings with the international students - they seem to be making an effort to see as much as they can while they're here, which I certainly applaud.
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