brrrrr... thday! (2004-11-19 - 6:18 p.m.)

brrrrr... Winter has finally arrived in Edinburgh. Actually, it's only a few degrees below zero, but I have become acclimatized to this mild weather. There's even some ice (though snow appears to be a foreign concept here). I may have to splash out on a winter coat! It's actually quite nice out, very brisk and bracing. The only trouble is due to the STUPID single-glazed windows and the lack of insulation (and the flatmate who won't turn the heater on till after 7:30 pm) the inside of the house is only about six degrees warmer than the outside. I'm surprised I couldn't see my breath when I woke up this morning. Drastic measures are obviously needed... I will have to see what I can do.

However, I'm much warmer than I otherwise would have been, because I have some new clothes!! (I was going to say birthday clothes, but that sounds like "birthday suit", which could be confusing... difficult to get a new one of those).

I had a great time on my birthday. It started with cards from Pia and Craig and a cake from Pia (awwww... very nice of them). So I had birthday cake and pizza for breakfast. Always a good start to the day.

Then I opened some cards (YES, I did save a few of them till my actual birthday!) Some of these contained birthday money, which meant I got to spend the entire day shopping. It was great. I don't think you realize the joy of being able to shop until you've spent months wearing the same six shirts and not allowing yourself to buy anything that's not absolutely necessary. I managed to make 70 last the whole day, by going from shop to shop trying everything on, making lists and doing sums to see what I could afford... It's much more fun shopping when you can actually buy some of the things you try on!

I ended up getting: a sage-green hooded jumper with a zipper on the front (what I would call a sweater, but anyway), a gorgeous black sleek-looking sweater that is office-appropriate and makes me look all streamlined, and a ridiculous burgundy hemp-like skirt. That last was not absolutely necessary, perhaps, but I really loved it. It's asymmetrical and interesting and makes my butt look great (so therefore impossible to pass up).

In the evening I had the Canucks (Keri, Shannon and Lysianne) over for cake and stuffed mushrooms. Later we went out to Finnegan's Wake, the local Irish pub. I'd never been there before, but really liked it - bizarrely, it completely reminded me of the Atlantic Trap and Gill in Edmonton. Same music (Newfie/Irish!), similar vaguely corny decor, same laid-back vibe. There was live music as well - a one-man band who was pretty good. Shannon, of course, got him to announce my birthday, but I managed to get her to stop short of asking the cute bartender for a birthday kiss for me.

We shut'er down early because of work the next day, but I had fun. I got home and got a phone call from my dad and one from my brother Tim. Both of them said the same thing: "What are you doing home??? Shouldn't you be out at the pub?" OBVIOUSLY some people have some strange ideas about how much time I spend at the pub!

It was a really great day, though. It was so nice to let myself do all those things I usually can't, because of the time and/or money involved... Also, I think I got a record number of birthday cards this year. Twelve (Pia was amazed) plus assorted e-cards and phone calls. Thanks so much to everyone who made me feel like I'm not quite so isolated! I was worried it would be a depressing birthday, so far away, but it was quite the opposite.

And true to form, I've managed to stretch it out for weeks and weeks. In fact, the fun may not be over, as I got another card this morning... and we might go out for what Shannon terms a "PROPER birthday celebration" tomorrow night.

I managed to get most of my Christmas parcels sent off today. Ridiculously expensive, is airmail. Never mind, though, I'll do what I usually do and spend some of my birthday money on Christmas! Steph had the sensible idea of doing all her shopping online and just getting it shipped home... but I have to say that I really love Christmas shopping and would miss picking things out and wrapping them. Even putting the parcels together was fun.

Anyway, guess I'll get home. The heaters will hopefully be on soon...

Ps. Got a note from my former Honours supervisor. The paper that came out of my undergrad thesis is one step closer to publication! Apparently it is "accepted pending revision", which is a definite step in the right direction. It's weird that it will be published so far after I've had anything to do with the lab, but I'll be happy just to have my name on something.

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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