Monday, 15th of May

Ben, my workmate, called me over to witness this cheeky infiltration that seemingly happened overnight nestled amongst our lavender plants. Said he found out the hard way it was there–by mum flying off in a blast of feathers when she was discovered! Said it scared the bajeesus out of him.


Look how sweet they are. Little tiny pink orbs–after a quick google, I think they’re probably robin eggs. Hopefully we haven’t scared away mom altogether, but at the same time, having worked in a garden centre where little fledglings are sitting like bumps on a log in the middle of the path, looking like dustballs, unaware of the danger of belligerent trolleys being pushed by oblivious pensioners–I kind of hope she abandons ship! I can’t take the stress of chasing after babies again!!!

Tuesday, 16th of May

I only took one photo today–and it’s of a lupin blooming at work. One of my favorite flowers, but one that I feel loathe to post because eventually my own lupin will be blooming! It’s already got four buds on it, and I’m so excited. So I refuse to post a terrible photo of a garden centre lupin. I mean, it’s like cheating isn’t it?

Have y’all heard of Playing for Change? I first heard of it when a fantastic music video went viral a few years back of musicians performing Stand By Me–all from different places all over the world! It starts with one guy, singing his heart out, in California. Bit by bit other musicians, from New Orleans, Brazil, France, and then some–are shot from their respective locations, each adding another instrument or voice to layers of the song. Even though none of these people are actually together, with the help of technology, a dash of editing, and some video cameras–you’ve got this amazing, multi-national, multi-cultural song.

Since then Playing for Change has still been going at it, and they just released this song not too long ago. Haitham is totally smitten with PFC, and we’ve had several nights where he starts playing one song that’s been rattling around in his noggin, and before you know it we’ve listened to them all “accidentally.” Not that I mind! They’re so good. And this song in particular has such a catchy, kinda mesmerising quality to it.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 17th of May

Wednesday! Day off! Time to do all the things!

First up was hopping on the bike to a follow up on my doctor’s referral regarding my ol’ crusty knee. She had suggested a particular hospital because it was less busy than the rest, so I agreed without thinking about it too much. Turns out I knew the location, having passed it trillions of times on my way to work back in my Pentland days, mainly because of its gargantuan “BLOOD DONATION” sign outside. Having never been inside, I was surprised to find that it was quite large, and also incredibly creepy on the inside. Like, this would be the perfect place for a zombie outbreak in a film, for sure. (But maybe one that happened in the ’80s.)


The appointment itself was a quick and painless affair. I was called within minutes of sitting down, and my radiologist was a very sweet lady who apologized for the loud grumble of the protesting machinery as she swiveled it into place to get both knees in the shot. After that and a crooked-knee pose, she checked them on the computer screen. There they were! Proof of my own spooky skeleton. I wish I could’ve taken a photo of it. Then again, it just looked like two bony knees. No disintegration or swiss cheesey bits that I could see to my uneducated eye. “Lovely,” she said cheerfully, and sent me on my way before I could break down and beg her to tell me what she saw with her special radiology eyes! Ah well, it’s now up to me to speak to my GP once more to find out what happens next.

Afterwards I treated myself to a coffee from my favorite canal boat cafe. For some reason I felt the impulse to take a selfie while I was there. Maybe it was the sunshine addling my brain, maybe it was my colorful nail polish that I bothered to apply for the first time in months, maybe it was the fact that I wasn’t wearing a jacket for the first time this year. Or maybe I just wanted to capture all of these things in one fell swoop, with a dumb selfie, with a coffee in hand.


Yep, dat me.

Afterwards it was off to get my fingerprints filed and sorted away for government use! Where else to do that but at the trustworthy post office? This was one of the caveats my visa renewal process failed to mention until after the whole shebang was sent off via the post. It was only around a week later when a parcel arrived that they explained how to get my biometric information taken, and also… asked for more money.

Yeah. Go figure. Somehow the few weeks between my downloading the form for completion and then sending off said form, they upped the cost of the renewal by 200 quid. But that didn’t include the cost of the biometrics. AND they went ahead and took the original amount out beforehand, before asking for more.


YET, I can’t complain. I’ve heard the American visa process is twice as difficult, unsurprisingly. And at the very least this renewal process was a lot easier than it was the first time around. And it’s supposed to be shorter to finalize! The first one took 6 months to get sorted, whereas the paperwork says 6-8 weeks this time around. Still, that leaves me landlocked without a passport while they make their decision.

Fingers crossed we didn’t goof something up, eh?!

Thursday, 18th of May

Work, work, work. What can I say? It was a particularly hot day here–it may well have been the hottest day so far of year, at a whopping 17 degrees (62 F). Boy oh boy, folks.

Came home, had a very quick dinner with Haitham who has to be up early in the morn for a meeting in England. That gives me time to catch up, edit some photos, and listen to some tunes. Do you guys know who Billy Connolly is, by chance? I’ll tell ya about him. The man’s a national treasure. You probably know him without even realizing it! He started off as a proper working class guy, doing ship-building in the Glasgow docks. Eventually he stumbled into folk music, and from there transitioned into comedy. He’s not only super, super Scottish, but hilarious. And he can sing!

It’s a bittersweet sort of feeling when you start to feel some warmth towards famous figures, especially as they age. Billy not only underwent treatment for cancer a few years back, but also has the beginning stages of Parkinson’s. This vibrant character who pops up in the strangest places–the voice of a guy in Disney’s Pocahontas, one of the new Hobbit films, and more understandably, Disney’s Brave, not to mention various shows and performances that just happen to be on the telly. It’s saddening to see him so still and sort of quietly contained in his more recent interviews, but the amount of recognition he gets even now is honestly amazing. He’s just such a great guy–totally deserves it.

Friday, 19th of May

What better way to ring in the end of the work-week than with some cheeky drinkies with your gal pal? There’s a joint on the other end of town from me called The Abbey, a proper old-man pub, that has a staggering list of whiskeys on hand (and they’re cheap, too!). This has become a favorite joint for my friend Emma and I, and we braved the old-man throng of a Friday night in Edinburgh to get our dram (and dinner) on.

I had a Speyside tasting, which was honestly delicious.


The Strathisla was particularly delicious! And we only got hassled by one genial old man, but luckily we couldn’t understand a word he said on any of his multiple approaches, so all’s well!

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