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NotJustAHatStand

People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading*
 

A Very Boring Update

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hm, the holiday pictures I promised last time may be some time. I've lost my camera. The camera that broke 2 days into my holiday. So when I eventually find it there's a good chance that there aren't actually any pictures on it. And if that's the case then I'll have to steal pictures from my mum. And she has lost HER camera.

So, yeah... Don't hold your breath waiting for the snaps.

In other news, I've been pretty much stressed out the entire time since I got back. There was the wood pigeon incident of course (I have a horrible suspicion it may be back as well, I heard cooing coming from the chimney last night), and then some wedding related stress which I can't go into (suffice to say that I'm maad).

Ack.

I've also become dangerously addicted to Bebo. I've been in contact with a few people that I've lost touch with. My productivity at work has taken a serious dent, but more importantly I've still not caught up with all the my blog reading.

It's hard you know, juggling this many balls.

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Karma

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thanks for all your comments on my last post. We only got back earlier this evening (so I'm still to catch up on all your blogs) but I had a lovely holiday, and a fab birthday on Tuesday. To celebrate my being one step closer to thirty* we went to the Three Chimneys for lunch, which was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

*I didn't think turning 27 was necessarily something to celebrate but I wasn't given a choice in the matter.

To start I had breast of wood pigeon with crispy tattie scones, and a port and red lentil gravy. Then for my main course I had grilled loin of lamb with spring vegetables and a rosemary jus. I enjoyed my first two courses so much I had to have dessert too, so I had the Three Chimneys Famous Hot Marmalade Pudding with Drambuie Custard. It was all absolutely delicious, and I would thoroughly recommend the Three Chimneys if you're ever on Skye. It's not cheap, but the food is out of this world, the service is impeccable, and the location is unbelievable.

However.

I regret eating that starter.

We got home about 8.15 this evening, intending to get straight into our jammies, and eat pizza in front of the TV. The cats were pleased(ish) to see us - Coco sulked and wouldn't cuddle me until I gave her a KitBit - and the house was fine. We unpacked the car, and I went into the living room to make sure everything was ok. I noticed that our fireguard had been moved. I then saw something white in the fireplace. I went to have a closer look and saw a pile of soot, debris and feathers sitting on the coals of the fire, and more of the same all over the fireplace, and the floor just in front. I then looked a bit further up, to the beginning of the chimney, and saw a pair of feet.

A pair of birdy-looking feet. Attached to something that looked distinctly bird-like.

I nearly crapped my pants of course, and I shouted for the Boy to come and have a look. He agreed that it looked a bit birdy, but was of the opinion that it was dead (he was unable to explain how on earth a dead bird would manage to perch in our chimney however). He went for something with which to poke the bird, for that is what it was. Now I should be precise here, it wasn't just a bird, it was a pigeon.

A WOOD PIGEON. One of these. One of THESE. In MY LIVING ROOM.

The Boy poked the pigeon with the end of a broom. It was most definitely NOT dead. The poor thing got a terrible fright - it squawked and flapped its wings so hard trying to escape from the nasty poking man that it dislodged yet more of the crap that was in our chimney, and did another enormous shit on our lovely living flame gas fire.

The Boy agreed that the bird was not dead and suggested, most unhelpfully, that we turn the fire on. It was at this moment, when he suggested roast wood pigeon instead of pizza for dinner, that I realised this was karma. I ate one of this bird's cousins. Possibly even more than one (I don't know how much meat you get on a pigeon, but I'm guessing not much).

I was in a bit of a state. I didn't know what to do - I kept saying to the Boy 'but what do we DO?', while he stood with his hands in his pockets looking at the fireplace, much like a plumber who looks at your boiler whilst trying to figure out how to break the bad news. In the end, we did what we always do - we phoned our mums ('But what do we DO?!').

However, neither of them were any help, so I phoned the SSPCA. We were lucky that the only animal inspector in Edinburgh and the Lothians was able to pop in on her way to another job - she dove straight in without a moment's hesitation, and after much flapping and flying of sooty feathers, the inspector pulled Priscilla the Pigeon from our chimney. She looked a bit bedraggled and indignant, and her tail feathers were in a sorry state, but she was otherwise ok (hurrah!). The SSPCA lady said she'd take Priscilla into the wildlife centre for a few days, to let her recover from her ordeal, and make sure her missing tail feathers would grow back ok, and off she went.

I took some pictures before I cleaned away all the mess the damned pigeon made, you can look at them here. It's nearly midnight and only now am I starting to calm down and relax after a long journey home from Skye, and an unexpected welcome from a wild creature in my living room. I think I need another glass of wine.

I'll put some of my holiday pictures up in the next couple of days.

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Intermission

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tomorrow morning me, the Boy, both our Mums, and Boris The Dog are leaving for the bonny Isle of Skye. I'm praying for sunshine, or at the very least an absence of driving rain and howling wind, which is what I remember from my last trip to the island about 13 years ago. However, this being Scotland, I'm packing my waterproofs. And remembering that at least it looks atmospheric when the mist comes down:

Coco and Roo are staying here to hold the fort, and our friendly catsitter is coming every day to make sure they're not having any wild parties in my absence (also to water my carrots, which are going great guns by the way).

I'll be back next Saturday, hopefully tanned and relaxed, but more than likely knackered and midge-bitten.

Keep an eye on the place, won't you.

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Abnormally Funny People

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I got on the bus today, a bit weary and headachey after a busy day, and realised with dismay that I'd sat down in the middle of a telephone exchange. The posh girl in the seat next to me, the drunk girl behind me, and the woman in the seat across the way who was clearly still working, were all talking on their mobiles. Loudly. I attempted to read my book (The Three Musketeers, if anyone's interested - it's great!), but after half a page I realised it was pointless trying to read with the din they were making, and just as entertaining to listen to the three conversations going on around me:

Posh Girl: 'So Bunny's moving in with Avril, and Tibbs told me that Miranda is going to be HOMELESS after term finishes because she can't find a flatmate and her parents can't even afford to buy her a flat' Oh, shut up.

Drunk Girl: 'I've just necked five pints but I'm cone-stold sober' Riiight.

Working Girl: 'I think you and I need to get together to hash this out, because the project timescale is slipping and we need to refocus' Isn't this what offices are for? The whole bus doesn't need to hear abour your slippage. Also, your perfume is rank.

Then a young mother of about 18 got on the (already packed) bus with her buggy. Now, Lothian Buses have a space for one buggy/pram/wheelchair, and a sign saying that other passengers must vacate the space for people that need it. There was someone sitting in the space, so this girl approached him and asked him if he would mind moving to another seat, so that she could get on with her buggy.

There's nothing noteworthy about that really, and you're probably thinking 'what a polite young woman', except that the man in the disabled space was blind.

He had a guide dog. He gets on the bus regularly, and always sits in the same seat, and even without his cute canine assistant, it's immediately clear that he's blind. He obviously didn't want to move, because he took ages answering the girl (I suspect he was trying to think of a more polite way to get rid of her than telling her to piss off, which I was hoping he would do). She asked if he'd prefer to stay where he was (well, durr!), and he said that actually, yes it would be easier for him. She then made a big show of saying 'well, ok, I'll just get off then', and starting to turn her pram round. So of course the poor man had no choice but to say that he would move.

Another passenger then had to help him move to another seat (with the whole bus watching by now of course), where he and his dog looked very uncomfortable and squished. The girl made herself comfy in his seat, eyeballed all the people that were staring at her incredulously, and didn't bat an eyelid.

I was horrified. So was Posh Girl next to me, as she gave a running commentary of what was going on to Bunny ('Oh my god, some awful girl is forcing a blind man out of his seat on the bus').

Of course people with buggies and prams should be able to use public transport, and it's good that it's made as easy as possible for them, but surely disabled people should take priority over able bodied people, even those with children?

Shouldn't they?

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A Little Bit Of History

Monday, May 14, 2007

I had a bit of a shit weekend. What was supposed to be a relaxing couple of days spent with the Boy, ended up being a stressful, rubbishy, wet weekend. None of it is really worth talking about, just irritable wee things that all combined to make it, well, just a bit shit.

Maybe I've got PMT. I definitely feel narky, which is a sure sign. I bumped into a colleague at lunchtime, who asked how my weekend had been. I snarled that it had been shite, and launched into a rant about something or other. He looked a bit scared, and started backing away slowly from me, much as you might carefully retreat from a rabid dog.

The highlight of my weekend was seeing my grandad on Saturday afternoon. His wee face lit up when he saw me coming in, and he told me lots of stories about his exploits during the war. Some of the stories I've heard many times, but he treated us to a couple of new ones, and showed me an old black and white picture of himself that I'd never seen before. It was taken while he was in Saudi, wearing traditional Saudi headgear and looking for all the world like Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia. Except without the mascara.

His favourite story of the day (by this I mean the one he repeated more often than any other) was of being on the bus going down to Malvern to be inducted into the Navy, when the news came through that the war had ended. My grandad, 18 at the time, thought he'd get there, get his kit, and be sent straight 'back up the road again'. It wasn't to be though, and he served aboard the HMS Volage for 3 years before coming back up the road.

He realised he'd been talking about the war for a while, and he actually apologised for it - I had to reassure him that I was interested, and that I liked hearing about his experiences. It saddened me that he thought I wouldn't be interested. He risked his life in the Navy - he was on board when the Volage was shelled during an engagement alongside HMS Saumarez. Three crew were killed, and five wounded, and they got off quite lightly compared to the Saumarez. But one of those three could easily have been my lovely, cheeky, funny grandad, and I wouldn't have been sitting here now typing this.

My grandad thinks no-one wants to hear his memories of the war, but I'm fascinated by them. I suppose I'm trying to store up all this information because I know he's not going be here to tell his stories forever. And no-one tells em like he does.

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Coincidentally

Thursday, May 10, 2007

My first job was in the food court of a shopping centre, picking up people's dirty dishes and cleaning up their mess (and before I go on, I must say this: The Public are DISGUSTING).

There was a couple who used to come in on a fairly regular basis, and Gay Best Friend at the time would comment on them every time they did - neither of them ever looked particularly happy but the woman in particular had a seriously soor face, which seemed to bother GBF for some reason. I (inexplicably) stayed in that job for a few years, and was in my first year at uni by the time I left. The miserable couple had continued to come in every so often the whole time I worked there.

When I started seeing them in the canteen at uni, I didn't think anything of it. Uni wasn't far from the shopping centre where I used to see them, so it made sense to see them in the same part of town. It was just a coincidence that we ended up at the same campus of the same university. If they were students attending that university, the shopping centre was a convenient place to go for lunch, so this was all this perfectly normal and not without the realm of possibility. However I continued to see this couple every so often, always together, even after I'd left uni.

I still do. A few times per year.

I now work in a completely different part of the city, and I saw the man when I was out at lunchtime today. He was without his soor faced companion (maybe he dumped her in favour of someone who cracks a smile occasionally). I've also seen them in various places across Edinburgh, and once in a completely different town.

I don't speak to them. They don't know me. And they don't know that I know them. At least, I don't think they do. But I see them, regularly. There was a period of a few months when I started to think maybe they were following me, that I was a pawn in some Orwellian kind of game, and that somebody somewhere was having a laugh at my expense. But now I think maybe I was just smoking too much weed.*

I know Edinburgh is only a wee small city, and it stands to reason that you're going to bump into people - why, just the other day the Boy and I bumped into Petifilou and her Pol in Tesco (thankfully there was no farting controversy or toilet brush related fallings-out for them to witness). I'm beginning to wonder if this couple and I have some kind of cosmic connection. If it wasn't guaranteed to sound totally absurd I might go and ask them if they agree the next time our paths cross. But there's just no good way to ask that question without coming across as a weirdo stalker who's been watching a random couple for the last 6 years (4 months and 17 days).

So; is it just me? Does anyone else have random strangers that turn up like this? Am I really a crazy stalker?

*Luckily, however, I gave that up a long time ago.

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Weekend Update

Monday, May 07, 2007

Gah. I thought of a stonkin' post topic earlier, but I didn't have a notebook/back of envelope/shirt cuff to write on, and now I've forgotten what it was. I think it may have had something to do with pavement sweepers.

Maybe it's best forgotten.

Anyway, I had a nice weekend - drinks after work on Friday, shopping for Mother of the Bride outfits on Saturday (including lunch at Valvona and Crolla courtesy of my sister who had a bit of a windfall) then dinner with the Boy at our favourite Mexican restaurant, and finally, a nice walk in Roslin Glen on Sunday.

I've left it a bit late to write this (hence it being a bit shit), because I've been watching the final of the Snooker World Championships tonight - I'm cheering for John Higgins. I like snooker, it's nice and peaceful (there's no screaming like there is with football) so I can keep an eye on it and still be able to concentrate on a book. But it's getting late, and I'm up early for the gym tomorrow so I'm off to bed.

Night night, internets.

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God I'm SO Attractive

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I've made it to the gym the past two mornings. As I said before it's difficult for me being organised at 6am in the morning (it's difficult for me to be anything other than asleep at that time, mind you) and this morning I had a nagging feeling that I'd forgotten to do something. I wash my hair, pack my gym bag with undies, towel, clothes for work, make up etc before I go to bed, so that in the morning all I have to go is stick my joggies and vest on, and go.

However.

I was happily doing my warm up exercises this morning, and I happened to look down during the course of a tricep stretchy thing. It was at this moment, that I realised what I had forgotten to do.

I had forgotten to shave my oxters.

Now, being a brunette and a bit on the peely wally side, I cannot get away with this. I was hardly doing a Julia but oh god I was mortified. I snapped my arms back to my sides, and surreptitiously looked around to see if anyone was within oxter-stubble-viewing-distance. Thankfully they weren't, but I was unable to finish my arm stretches, and I spent most of my time in the weights section casually lounging on the machine, trying to look as if I was just taking a break, until the current passerby had moved on. Sigh.

Anyway, I also went to the dentist today for a preliminary check up before I get my teeth crowned. He said I can go ahead with the crowns, and booked me in for two appointments - the first is an hour and a half long. That's the equivalent of a feature length movie (Benny and Joon is 1 hour 34 minutes!), in the dentist chair. Ack.

Plus, because the tooth that I've had all the trouble with is essentially dead tissue (isn't that a lovely thought?) he's going to have to insert a steel post into the root, to strengthen it. Which means I'm already shitting myself at the prospect of more horrible dental work. And I'll probably set off the metal detectors at the airport.

But, hopefully my new wallies will be worth it. I'll be able to smile again! Woot!

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*Logan Pearsall Smith



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