31 August 2002
So I was updating the site, and realised that I haven't done any journal for ages. So only start reading this one if you have some time on your hands, because it's a bit of an epic.
I have sent a few emails to people here and there, so if you see anything you recognise in here it's probably because I've done a cut and paste job.
Jeez, where to start? That's the problem with not doing this too often - you end up with a stupid amount to tell. I might start with the co-incidences, because they're doing my head in. To date, I've had five.
The lady who sits across from me in the office - I went to high school with her niece (lovely girl, very cute, every bloke in the school had a thing for her... but she's married now). During my first week, picked a random street to walk down and bumped into an ex-Sydney IRMite (Carol), who was in town for three days. Walking down the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Festival, I bumped into a girl I went to Uni with 7 years ago, who was in town directing a play. First big job, the girl I was working with is the sister of a bloke I went to college with. Went to the bar to buy a round of drinks at the pub. While I'm away, a mate introduces himself to two young ladies, one of which turns out to be my new next door neighbour here in Edinburgh.
The aforementioned lass that I went to uni with ended up crashing on my floor for a couple of nights at the end of the festival, finally giving me an excuse to finish unpacking my bags and get the place looking less like a complete sty. So photos of the pad should be up soon. I've taken a vid of the place as well to send to Mum and Dad, but at 32Meg I can't stick it up on the website, so the photos will have to do.
Had a brilliant weekend at the start of August. There's a few people I've met through Dean and Kel, and five of us went up north into the Scottish Highlands to a tiny little cottage in a tiny little village called Druimindarroch. The weather was amazing (I bet you thought I'd never say that!), and it got so hot that we all ended up going for a swim at a pebbly beach. Water was bloody freezing, but very refreshing.
And I saw my first hairy cow (or heary-coo as they say up here)!
On the way back we stopped at Fort William, a medium size town that sits at the bottom of Ben Nevis, a mountain which is the highest point in the UK. We sat on a pier on the banks of Loch Linnhe, eating barbecued salmon steaks and king prawns and enjoying the sun setting over the highland mountains opposite us. Bloody magic.
If you had told me before I departed that after just one month I would be having a weekend holiday in the Scottish Highlands, staying in a cosy cottage with four great people I'd only just met, swimming on a pebbly beach, and feeding grass to heary-coos, I would have said bollocks. Fan-bloody-tastic!
I've spent a fair amount of time in York with work. The late nights here during summer though allow me to do plenty of after-hours exploring. Very interesting town to explore. It used to be the northern stronghold, and the town centre is surrounded by a high Roman wall and other fortifications. I also called by the York Minster during one of my lunchtimes, incredible building. It's hundreds of years old (although that's pretty much the norm over here), but it has some amazing stain-glass work throughout. There's a dungeon area that I'm keen to explore, so when I'm next down I'll have a look.
It's a gorgeous sunny day, and I'm meeting up with the gang this afternoon for a bit of pitch and putt. At end of my street is a park called the Bruntsfield Links, and they have hundreds of greens set up for practice. There's a pub called The Golf which, for a £5 deposit, will give you a pitcher, a putter, and a ball. Sweet.
The Edinburgh Festival has just finished, and it's been an amazing few weeks. The city triples in population around this time of year, and the place was really buzzing. The office is just around the corner from the Royal Mile, which is the street running down from the Castle, and I have spent many a lunchtime wandering round, watching street performers (including a freak from Sydney who squeezed his body through a squash racquet!), and soaking up the ambiance. Went to see quite a few shows, although I missed out on the tattoo, as you need to buy tickets for it well in advance. Still, there's always next year.
The final event of the festival is the fireworks, which is this evening. I've been told that they rival the Sydney fireworks, so I'm pretty keen to see them. They're all done at the Castle, and apparently part of it involves these long burning numbers which they drop off the side of the northern wall, which fall down to the rocks below and continue falling into the gardens, about 100 metres drop. They just keep shoving these things over the edge, and the effect is like a waterfall made of fireworks. Sounds brilliant.
Will let you know the verdict.
1 September 2002
Rival Sydney my arse... I mean, they were okay, but topping the Bridge and the Opera House? Please...