13/2/17 – Stellar Stirling

I had my first interview today folks! The night before I sat with Haitham and he grilled me on some interview questions–this coming after I’d spent some time nosing through a book he also owns about tough interview questions and the best answers you can give. I felt pretty good after our practice; unsurprising considering that’s part of his actual job!

However, what I’ve discovered in my interviews for horti positions is that they are in a league of their own. H may have to grill and pick apart poor, innocent supsects, but horti people are chill. My first “interview” for a beloved job back in Tennessee started off with a written questionnaire. My interview here at Pentland was short, sweet, and ended with “Oh, thank god! We’ve gotten so many numpties up till now.”

My interview in Stirling was no different. Haitham was boggled when he discovered that it lasted about 20 minutes and even that involved some chat about how I liked living in Edinburgh. But to me, this is the norm. Maybe when you’re in the big leagues like H is, then you really need to dissect the nuances of a person’s delicately phrased answer looking for the hidden traps and secrets within. But in horti? Nahhh.

Anyway I think the interview went pretty well! And considering how short it was, I had loads of time to spend nosing about Stirling, lucky for me considering it was my first time in the area. First up though was finding some lunch. As I had the trusty Panda express with me, I shuttled off into what I hoped was the high street area to find a bistro or pub.

Lesson about Stirling #1: Old Cities = Confusing Roads

I’ve driven round several old Scottish towns since moving here, but Stirling nearly had the last laugh from me. I think I confused many a pedestrian as I tootled along the winding high street–but suddenly, seeing a different type of stone lying ahead, I pulled off to the side where cars were parked. I peered ahead uncertainly. The path ahead honestly looked like the bits of old cities that had once been a road but had been converted to pedestrian-only. As I stopped, butt of the Panda half-in, half-out of traffic, I saw a walker passing by peer at me quizzically. A few seconds later some cars slipped past me on the one way. Pshew! I hadn’t just driven into the heart of the city and made my own road in a pedi-only zone.

Eventually I gave up on my winding through the main streets as I also was perplexed by where exactly I could park (there sure were a lot of permit holders only zones!). When I discovered the museum I had wanted to see was (mainly for the resident museum cat to be found inside) I decided to head for the next best thing: the William Wallace monument.

And why not? I’d seen it looming over the hillsides many times while passing Stirling. Here’s what it looks like on a good day:

wallace-monument

Here’s what I got:

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Either my photography skills are lacking or it was a properly miserable day in Scotland. (Or more honestly perhaps a bit of both!)

Anywho I shelled out my pennies to walk up the numerous spiraling steps of the monument. (For those curious it costs a tenner, which I’d say is a little steeper than I’d like considering the Scott monument in Edi is half that!) Still, the long spiral is broken up on each floor to present a little museum to explain who the hell William Wallace even was, when the monument was built, yadda yadda.

However, I kinda blew past most of that (except the bit that said how he was ripped to shreds and had his balls cut off in the end), as to be honest I was more interested in the view than ol’ Wally.

I know. I’m a disgrace to my adopted country.

The view was worth it, even if the wind was absolutely screaming through the open columns at the very top.

IMG_7791.JPG

Not bad, Stirling… not bad!

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