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16 October 2002

Location: Home

Yeah, g'day...

So I got up the other morning, and went to the bathroom to take a shower, as you do. I got undressed, and was surprised to hear the sound of two marbles bouncing on the bathroom floor. On closer inspection, I realised that they weren't marbles after all - they were my testicles. It's getting so cold here that they gave up any hope of ever again being used, and promptly committed suicide.

And it's only just the very start of the winter weather.

I've spent a stupid amount of money over the last couple of weeks buying items of clothing that I've never before owned in my life. Big overcoat, scarf, and leather gloves for work, and a ski jacket, woolly hat and gloves for casual occasions. Whenever you want to go anywhere, you always have to allow at least 5 minutes at each end to get yourself in/out of the layers required not to die of cold.

But...

Still loving it. Yes, it's cold as buggery, but you get these days where the fog gets burnt off leaving the air really crisp and sweet. Building companies also don't seem to work through the winter, which is understandable, and all construction related material, scaffolding etc, comes down, leaving the city looking amazing. Despite all it's charm, Sydney has ALWAYS got construction going, and just as one thing gets finished, another thing starts up. It's nice to be in a city where, for about four months a year, it doesn't look like a "work in progress", and instead just looks like what it is - a really great city to live in.

I've spent the last month living out of a suitcase in a hotel room in York, for work. It's alright, but I miss being "home" in Edinburgh in the comfort of my flat with my new mates not far away. But I've tried to make the most of it - went to see the castle, which is not that impressive as far as castles go, but still interesting. Took a walk around the top of the castle wall, where they would defend the castle against the hoards of invading Scots. I was quite proud of myself - anyone who knows me knows that I'm not great at heights, but I managed to go around it, despite it being quite high and the walkway being only about a metre wide. Doesn't mean I didn't brick myself (a great term that I was introduced to by this wonderful lass called Gillian that I work with), but still I felt a sense of achievement once I did it...

I also went on a ghost walk, which was not nearly as crap as I thought it was going to be. To be fair, it wasn't actually crap at all, it was actually pretty good. Lots of eerie stories, which, being a bit of a cynic, didn't do much for me, but you get to see all these interesting nooks and crannies of the city that you don't know exist otherwise. I'm very keen now to do the Edinburgh dungeon tour, it apparently makes the York one look very Mickey Mouse.

It's getting dark in Edinburgh at about 4 o'clock. Quite a shock. Although York is only about 2 1/2 hours south by train, it get dark there around 5-6. But I was back in the office on Thursday and Friday of this week, and it's really strange to look out the window, see it's dark, and think it must be knock off time, only to discover that you still have another couple of hours to go. I had the same problem when I first arrived - I inadventently worked some late nights simply because there was light streaming through the office windows.

I've managed to weasel myself into a position where I can present the Christmas party speech, which I'm quite chuffed about. For the first time in four years though, it will be a little different, in that I will be presenting it as a co-host. I've been fortunate enough to get to know a bloke from the Glasgow office, Andrew, who is one of the funniest and likeable chaps I've ever met. We'll be doing the sledge fest together, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Hope you're all keeping well. While there will probably be another update before Christmas, there may not be one before everyones respective Christmas parties, so have a great time, and sink a VB for me. Cheers,

Clayton.