27th-28th of February, 1st of March: The Beast from the East

Tuesday, 27th of February

Thar’s a storm blowin’ round yonder fields. It’s even got a name: the Beast from the East! I’m not even making this stuff up y’all. Scotrail has cancelled trains preemptively for tomorrow when the worst of it is expected, leaving me happy as a clam with my day off plans (ie: nothing) and curious as to whether or not Haitham will make it in to work. We shall see!!

It’s okay though, because a whole host of gritters are traversing the motorways of the U.K. as we speak. And some of them have absolutely hilarious names. One of my favourites is obviously Gritty Gritty Bang Bang.

Here’s a selfie I got after running back under cover as the madness began at work. Scarf on the head as you do, goofy ass look on the face for scale.

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Wednesday, 28th of February

How fortunate for me that my day off happened to land at the exact same time as the Beast from the East decided to unleash holy snowy terror on the U.K.? Super fucking fortunate! (Especially based on my coworker’s instagram story of him shoveling snow in the car park. Thanks, but no.)

What a rollercoaster the day was. I did some housekeeping before suiting up to battle my way into Linlithgow to meet fellow adventurer Krista for some snowy wanders. However, her train was cancelled, more were abandoning ship around us, and my face and hands were going numb before I even walked more than a few yards from the house. Even the poor gulls normally winging their way above the canal were hunkered down, either floating in the water or trying to avoid the wind on the ice. Needless to say it was a short phone call between us where we came to the mutual decision to take a wee rain check.

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Quite a lot of my entertainment through the day was watching outside the windows… I fed the birds about four times during the day, bless their wee hearts! The blackbirds in particular are about 500x their normal size to keep warm with feathers floofed, making them look particularly rotund. And from another window I could watch cars attempting the run up to cross the bridge over the canal. There’s a traffic light there on an incline, so if you catch it at red, well, you’re gonna have a bad time. Watching cars reverse/slide back down the hill, eventually giving up to park alongside the canal–free entertainment at its best! (Although I can’t say much, having slid off the road on that particular stretch myself in better weather!!)

Here’s the ones that had already given up, parked below the bridge.

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What a holy glory mess.

Here’s what it looked like the vast majority of the day into the night.

Thursday, 1st of March

Work was cancelled today!!! CAN YA SAY ‘OH HELL YES’ WITH ME??? Also, can you say, “Are you fucking kidding me is this actually March?” So much like coming in like a lamb, eh?

I didn’t accomplish much on this snow day. However I did make the trek to the nearby Tesco to try and get some essentials (more than Haitham can say as he refuses to go tromping). Along the way I was joined by a throng of others also trudging down the canal path to fetch their goods. Nothing like a snow storm to bring folks together eh??

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The best bit was the state of Tesco that I witnessed inside.

No bread, onto the last jugs of milk, and the queues were practically out the door! Shoo wee. As I snuck in to grab one of the last four 2L jugs of milk, two guys were standing in front of the leftovers shaking their heads. “Dire times, guys,” I said as I grabbed a milk.

“Oh aye,” said one of the lads, “I suppose it’ll do for a cuppa.”

Oh, how I love the Scots. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Here’s a nice B&W Google photos edit of the backyard. Complete with all the blackbirds that have taken over. It was only this year that I realised that it was the U.K. blackbird that the Beatles were singing about. Shameful, I know. When I told this to Haitham he said, “What bird did you think that was singing in the song?”

D’oh!!!

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24th-26th of February, 2018: Holyrood, Falkirk Side Cycles

Saturday, 24th of February

Today I went into Edinburgh for the third time in one week, and I’ve realised something. Once, maybe twice a week is fine for commuting back into Edinburgh, but three times? It does start to drag! Funny how quickly I got used to not commuting when I was doing it every day for work just last year.

Maybe also it was that guy at the roundabout in Edinburgh nearly beaning me that did me in. (Dude.)

Lucky for me, seeing my two ladies obviously made up for all that in an instant. Krista fixed me lunch (bless her), we had coffee, we met with Oa, and then proceeded to have an amazing wander through Holyrood Park with the evening light coming down.

I even managed to put together this cheeky pano of my two gals perched atop Salisbury Craigs  (left). I tried to put it here, but I think being able to zoom adds a bit more appreciation to just what a stunning place Holyrood is. Edinburgh–damn you pretty! How many other cities can you appreciate from a vantage point that’s literally smack dab in the middle of town? On an ancient volcano no less?

Here’s a photo of the castle from where we stood. Seriously.

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Sunday, 25th of February

Today I geared myself up, and……… rode my bike to work again.

Okay, okay. It’s been months since I dusted off the old bike. One, it’s winter, two, I’m lazy, three, do you need any more excuses? I thought Sunday would be a great time for it as we go in to work an hour later–and yet somehow I was still about 5 minutes late. (It takes time to stop and blow your nose en route!)

The highlight, besides being proud for finally doing some form of exercise for the first time all year basically, was seeing the light on the hills as I left work at around 5:30 PM. The downside, however, was that one of my canal towpaths that I cycle through was closed, therefore it took me about twice as long to get home.  (Booo.)

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Monday, 26th of February

I didn’t actually take any photos today so… how about a photo of some weird Banksy-esque graffiti I spotted on my cycle home the day prior? I think it’s supposed to be two chillens looking at a mushroom  cloud. The cloud could be a bit better though admittedly. Also, who is graffiti-ing out in the middle of nowhere on the Union Canal?

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I somehow doubt Banksy would find the canal an appropriate venue for his type of message. But who knows?

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21st-23rd of February, 2018: Senses, Black Panther, Office Space

Wednesday, 21st of February

Day offfffffff. And for once, I didn’t just waffle all about! (Although waffling, as we all know, is a therapeutic and enjoyable way of spending one’s days off, according to science and my own personal opinion.)

At about 3 PM I drove through to nearby Camelon to check out the Forth Valley Sensory Centre. I met with a volunteer coordinator there and we discussed volunteering opportunities. The VC and I sat down in the cafe where it was heaving–there were people signing to one another, people with their guide dogs, and then us tucked into the corner. I honestly loved being a part of such a welcoming atmosphere.

We were discussing what I wanted to do with them when she asked me what I actually did for a job. When I mentioned that I worked in a garden centre, her eyes lit up. Turns out I had breezed right past the enclosed sensory garden outside–hey-o!

Needless to say I am very interested! I just wish I knew British Sign Language. (How do you think it differs from American? I’m curious!) But maybe I could learn!!

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After my meeting I rendezvous’ed into Edinburgh to meet my gal-pal Krista for some climbing. So enjoyable, even if I was a bit frazzled by my drive in to Edinburgh and making a few route mistakes on the way. Seems as though I have a very strong penchant for wanting to drive the opposite way on the motorway in the direction of my work, instead of the right way into Edinburgh, which slaps on an added 10 minutes to an already lengthy drive. I’ve done it several times now, and it never fails to get less frustrating! Thanks a lot, brain!

Here’s a photo I snapped just as the place was clearing out at about 10PM. Late hours for late climbers!

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Thursday, 22nd of February

After work I scuttled, yet again, back into Edinburgh for a rendezvous with my friends. First up I managed to coerce them into dining at my favourite little Italian joint in the whole of Edinburgh–Piatto Verde. Which not only has amazing food, but has only two staff members, who sing and shout at each other in Italian the entire time. It’s the best.

You know what else was the best though? Black Panther, the film we saw after dinner. I thought it was a good film while watching it, but honestly it was only the following day when I was mulling it over that I decided I really liked it. There’s a shit ton to appreciate… the fact that it’s an amazing film featuring an almost completely black cast, awesome. The fact that it portrayed a fascinating (if fictional) and complex African nation, awesome. The fact that it had a relatable villain who you actually felt some kinship for with regards to his struggle and the way it can be tied into modern society… Fuck yeah.

Also, the badass female warriors of Wakanda? Ugh!! YES QUEENS.

Totally worth a watch y’all, even if you’re just in it for some good, old-school action and not for, perhaps, the messages on society and culture.

Friday, 23rd of February

Tonight was our movie night of the week. We’ve done excellently so far with our movie nights–have yet to miss a single film! This one was Haitham’s pick… technically. So I filled up my listings ages ago and had some extras I chucked in down at the bottom, just in case. This one happened to be one of them to fill up one of Haitham’s empties, and it’s one you may not have heard of.

Just kiddin’, you’ve totally heard of it. That’s right, it was the 1999 bombastic classic, Office Space.

What can I say? I think I’ve seen bits and pieces of the film over time–who hasn’t? But I hardly remember any of it, and I doubt I was of the age to appreciate a film about the horrors of working an office job. I struggled even to describe it to the young lad at work who may not have even been born by 1999 (jesus christ what a thought). I asked boss-lady to describe it, and she said, “It’s got a sort of Clerks feeling to it, ya know?” When she got a blank stare in response, it further brought home the fact that youth of today know literally nothing.

Anyway, the film was obviously better than I remember. It’s a classic for a reason. Or maybe I’ve just gotten old enough to appreciate the laughs generated by people who also hate their jobs. Okay, now I’m just depressed. Thanks a lot, Office Space!

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I think we can all relate to that one.

 

18th-20th of February, 2018: Ramen, Rabid Knitted Rabbits, and Rufus

Sunday, 18th of February

A busy day at work due to the arrival of 15 dutch trolleys of plants from Holland. Sorting and labelling certainly took up the day, so before I knew it, it was home-time. Or rather Edinburgh time! H had headed in town before me to meet up with our pals. One lives in London now, so it was off to play board games. I think it’s safe to say I can mostly blame my interest in board games on this chap–he’s really into them. Like, a lot. But, the upside is we always know the best games with very little effort thanks to him!

I missed out on the games due to being at work, bummer. But I did get to join them afterwards for some ramen at Maki & Ramen in town. And, best of all, I got to see my friend Amy’s baby bump! AHH! Is there anything more exciting than seeing a baby bump?

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Monday, 19th of February

Finished All Quiet on the Western Front today–a book that I started listening to last year… yeah. It was a bit of a slog to get through, but I found it finally hooked me about midway through. It’s a sad story, being about young German kids fighting in WWI and the way the war ruined them. I never really appreciate just how good I’ve got it until I’m forced into a perspective like this, which is one of the many reason I treasure books so much, I suppose.

I didn’t take many photos today but I did manage to snap one at work. I got to chatting with the cleaning lady the other day. She’s only there part-time, so I was asking her what else she does in her spare time, and I was surprised to hear her busy schedule. Volunteering with this, knitting that, lots to keep her busy! Needless to say I put the conversation out of my mind almost immediately, but she remembered my asking about her knitting and brought in two examples to show me today. Which is awfully sweet of her! It seems her mum knits little squares, and she trundles them up to look like little rabbits. Pop a cadbury egg inside, and voila! You’ve got yourself a little knitted treat right in time for Easter–and all the proceeds go to charity.

I was actually really touched she went to the trouble to show me some, and I asked her to set aside two for me and the ol’ boy later. At the same time… do you find the face of the little pink one just… ya know… a little bit sinister? No? Just me???

Bless.

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Tuesday, 20th of February

Today was a bit of a wash. Ever feel like your days are just sort of blurring together with monotonous repetition? You know–wake up, shower, work, home, fart around, sleep, rinse, repeat. Yeah, that was me today.

At least this little tiger decided to grace us with his noisy kitty rumbles that evening. Yeah. I sometimes think that Rufus is the cement that holds me and Haitham’s relationship together………. and he’s not even ours!!!!!! WHAT WILL HE DO IF HE LEAVES US?

Divorce, probably.

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15th-17th of February: Sci-Fi Madness, Snowdrops

Thursday, 15th of February

Rescued a bird from the maw of our work cat. Aaaghh!! I looked up when I heard an insistent but muffled yowling from several yards away from me, and there was the culprit with a mouthful of feathers. She just stood there meowing as I approached her–maybe she wanted to show me her prize? I grabbed her, she opened her mouth, and the poor wee bird flew away.  Poor wee thing. I think  it was a coal tit–which looks basically identical to a chickadee. (Although let’s be honest. Chickadees have a vastly superior name, amirite?) I do hope it was okay!

Had to scuttle across town to get some blood drawn for the doctor during my lunch break–great success, I did not pass out or hyperventilate or anything!

And then after work it was movie nightWhich I had totally forgotten about. Clever  me, I had already plotted my movie well in advance (actually, I’ve filled out every single slot well in advance… not gonna lie!).

It was Ex Machina, which was released in 2014. It fits my major sci-fi kick I’ve been on lately, what with listening to a book about robots and also watching Star Trek Discovery.  What can I say about Ex Machina? Well,  I thought it was frikkin’ brilliant. It’s a story about this coding chap winning a competition to work exclusively on a secretive project with his boss. He is whisked away by helicopter to some remote location to a futurist bunker coded with locks to the nines. He meets his boss, a strange man not much older than himself but fond of the drink, who takes him to see the top secret project he’ll be working  on.

That’s performing a Turing test on his boss’s creation: a robot with artificial intelligence.

This was a great film. I thought it felt like a milder, movie-formatted episode of Black Mirror, so obviously I dug it! I liked all the characters–bossman played by Oscar Isaac (of the new Star Wars fame), and poor confused sod played by Domhnall Gleeson, an Irish lad who’s been in all sorts of stuff I absolutely adored: Brooklyn, About Time, and oh yeah, that one episode of Black Mirror where the ending scars you emotionally. (Isn’t that all the episodes though?)

Needless to say this film ticked all my boxes for an excellent sci-fi film–and that ending though. Shoo-wee! Give ‘er a whirl and see if you feel the same.

Friday, 16th of February

Worked in a jungle of artificial plants today. As you can see, it was thrilling.

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After work Haitham and I started up a new show that we’ve seen popping up in our suggestions. It’s called Altered Carbon, and so far it’s retained our interest. It’s like… sci-fi future whodunnit. It may not have reeled me in all the way just yet, but you gotta admit–it looks slick!

Saturday, 17th of February

Me and H’s day off! And–AND–I managed to drag him out of the house, ladies and gentleman. SCORE!

Our destination after much research on my end was Gargunnock House, just outside Stirling. (Gargunnock–it rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?) I’d done quite a lot of internet searches to try and find a likely place to view the first flush of spring snowdrops that wasn’t ages away–like Cambo Estate in Perth, famous for its snowdrop festival, but also over an hour’s drive away.

Gargunnock ticked all our boxes nicely! Less than 30 minutes away, an easy drive, the weather was great and the sun was shining. I know, wild times for a normal Scottish day. As we pulled in and parked, we were greeted with the sight of swathes of snowdrops all along the walk in. Nailed it!!!

Needless to say we wandered the grounds and snapped countless photos of snowdrops. So many snowdrops and yet I still want more!

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12th-14th of February, 2018: Snowy Star Trekking, Aconites, and Couches

Monday, 12th of February

A surprisingly good day considering I woke up, again, to a snowy scene. No snow man or sledging (IDK why Brits call it sledging, but hey ho) for this girl. Instead an early morning of shoveling the carpark at work awaits!

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Still, all things considered it was an okay day. We have a new girl on trial who seems quite nice. However, when she was placed in my care for a while she pinned me with the dreaded, “So, are you happy here?”

To which I responded eloquently: “Ummmmmmmmmmm.”

How does one answer something like that? I said I had been working in the same industry for a while blah blah blah. Either way my answer must not have fazed her much because by the end of the day when she was offered the role she seemed quite excited. Good on ‘er!!

That night me and H watched the season finale of Star Trek Discovery. It was… okay. The series was fun & interesting, but it did get a bit wild there at the end, and maybe I still have some questions about how things panned out. But it was fun enough!

Tuesday, 13th of February

Okay folks, so I’ve got bad news. It’s now been two days since I’ve seen my little feathered friend at work.  If I’m being honest, I’m a bit gutted about it–I keep finding myself peering all around in hopes of seeing a sudden appearance, and I’ve even strolled around the outside bit a few times to see if she would show up.  Nada. I can’t help but wonder what became of her: has she been eaten by the cat? Is she dead? Or is she off building an earlybird nest somewhere with her new boyfriend?

I do hope it’s the latter. Either way, I miss the tiny little thing! I didn’t realise just how much she cheered me up by hanging about!

In other, less depressing news, spring is gradually rearing its long-awaited head. At least work is filling up with early spring colour. Ugh–do you know what I hate? How I get a red squiggle when I spell things the American way. Hence why I just spelled “color” as “colour” cause I can’t handle it. Do I have UK autocorrect or something??

Anyway, here’s some lovely winter aconites.

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Wednesday, 14th of February

Happy Valentine’s Day to meeeee. I was still snug in the covers preparing for my day off when Haitham pranced in, getting ready for work, with a small ginger gentleman at his heels. Mr. Rufus then accompanied me for the rest of the day in various snoozing modes: under the covers, in the living room, and as shown below, at my feet in the dining room on the corner of the electric blanket. ❤️

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And then… finally… our couches landed. Would you look at that? Just look at ’em. We’ve still obviously got a lot to do before the house is just like we want it–but shoo wee the couches really nudges that right along! (Adding a cat to the mix helps too!)

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9th-11th of February, 2018: Bruges, Back Alleys, Bobbins

Friday, 9th of February

It’s pizza-and-movie night! This week was Haitham’s pick: In Bruges. I’ll admit I went into this one thinking it would be a bit of a grimfest. But actually, by the end I was pleasantly surprised.

So In Bruges is the story of two Irish hitmen who’ve been told to hole up in Bruge for a time–no explanation is really given for why. While one of the hitmen is obviously pleased with the gorgeous medieval scenery to be found in their new hideaway, the other (well-played by Colin Farrel) spends most of his time sulking and talking about what a shithole the place is. His expressions the entire film: hilariously on point.

The story progresses naturally with characters revealing more about themselves and what lead them to this predicament. It’s full of gorgeous Belgium scenery, dark humor, and a surprisingly excellent finale. All in all, I dug it! If you fancy watching two Irishmen trying to survive hijinks in Bruges, well, this is the movie for you.

I totally want to go to Bruges now.

Saturday, 10th of February

A fun-filled day of crawling about in the loft doing some loft-scaping–okay, no, that wasn’t me, it was actually H. Do you honestly think I’d know what the heck I was doing in a loft??

When evening rolled around I headed for the train into Edinburgh. One of my main gals is back from a two-month return to her home in Spain, and it also happened to be her birthday, so a gathering took place in Brass Monkey down in Leith. As I left the lesser-used Calton exit of Waverley Station, I took a moment to appreciate the architecture I rarely got to see whilst living in the west end of town. In the evening light it looks particularly gothic, mainly just due to the shadows draping across the old stones–I liked seeing these two buildings narrowing into a spooky alleyway.

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After it was G&T time to celebrate Oa’s return! What a lovely time we all had. So much so that I had to drag myself away for the last train at 11:30–which,  as we all know is full of the drunks. This time I managed to seat myself in a carriage full of drunk white girls, who decided that singing along to Scrubs was the thing to do.

Does this transport you back to the late ’90s early noughties? It sure does me. Maybe I would have found it amusing in normal circumstances… nahhhhh. I’m too old for noise on trains. I wish this was like Japan, where they shush you even if you’re having a quiet conversation on the phone!

Sunday, 11th of February

A relatively uneventful day at work–mostly left to get on gettin’ on, which is fine by me. I’ve finally gotten to the point in my audiobook where I’m quite interested–that’s Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin. I will hand it to Atwood though, despite my relatively mediocre feelings so far towards this tale, I will tip the hat to her writing ability.  She knows how to lay some gorgeous thoughts down.

When you’re young, you think everything you do is disposable. You move from now to now, crumpling time up in your hands, tossing it away. You’re your own speeding car. You think you can get rid of things, and people too—leave them behind. You don’t yet know about the habit they have, of coming back.

Time in dreams is frozen. You can never get away from where you’ve been.

It’s pretty overwhelmingly a somber, ponderous sort of story. Have you guys ever read an Atwood story? I think she’s gotten a bit more claim to fame these days with the addition of The Handmaid’s Tale to Netflix recently. Although I haven’t seen it myself.

Anyway,  enough rambling. Here’s a photo of a bobbin on some hellebores. Isn’t that what you really came for? 😉 Too bad she’s a little out of focus here–she only hovered a moment on the wee stem of the flower before away she went.

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6th-8th of February, 2018: Snow, Falcons are Heavy, Pictionary

Tuesday, 6th of February

I woke up to, yet again, a sneaky snowy scene. Seems as though my wee town likes to chuck it down during the night with no one the wiser. I’ll admit I love seeing the wee birdy footprints, especially around the feeder hot spots!

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Oh and then this happened. Did you guys watch the Falcon Heavy launch? Sure that was cool, but this synchronised landing of two of its rocket boosters returning was incredible. Mad props to Mr. Musk. He’s like, a cross between a mad scientist and a freaking rock star.

Wednesday, 7th of February

Hey-oooo, lookit who’s got a new phone! And much like story of modern-day Little Red Riding Hood, it’s all the better to take shameless photos of cats with, my dear.

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In other news, I was boring and did boring adulting stuff like visit the GP today for general complaints. Boooooooo. BOO I SAY! After checking my blood pressure (which was a bit low), she asked if I was fatigued, and I said “yes, but just… as a person, every day.” No big deal, right? Either way, at least it’s not diabetes or a brain cancer like my coworker suggested!

Thursday, 8th of February

Although midway through work today I had a bit of a headache and felt just generally pooped, I caffeinated and Ibuprofen’d myself and by the end of work had mustered up enough energy to drive through to Edinburgh. Worth it, cause I got to see these goofy guys, as well as some of my lady pals (not pictured). We snacked hard, pizza’d hard, pictionary’d hard… and (some of us) put on mermaid crowns.

Oh yeah,  and I dropped my phone in the toilet. #wordup #itsfinetho #samsung8plug #youcandropitinthetoiletitllbefine #thefutureisnow #natkeepsacleantoilet

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3rd-5th of January, 2018: Weddings, Tartan Days, Birds on Bikes

Saturday, 3rd of February

It’s WEDDING TIME.

At a little after 3 PM, Haitham’s brother and my new sister-in-law were wedded in  matrimonial bliss! It was a lovely, short, sweet service performed by a humanist.  Have y’all ever seen a humanist-lead wedding? It seems the main three options here are either religious, civil (very to the point about fulfilling law requirements), and humanist.

According to one website humanism can be summarised as such:  “Throughout recorded history there have been non-religious people who have believed that this life is the only life we have, that the universe is a natural phenomenon with no supernatural side, and that we can live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. They have trusted to the scientific method, evidence, and reason to discover truths about the universe and have placed human welfare and happiness at the centre of their ethical decision making.”

Sounds pretty good to me! I’ve never seen humanists in anything other than wedding ceremonies, but they’ve always done a lovely job in keeping it short, yet refreshingly (and simply) sweet. Sometimes they add special services to the mix. Today I witnessed ring-warming: the wedding rings were tied together with ribbon and passed among all the people attending, each holding it between their hands while thinking warm thoughts about the future of the new couple.

Charming, I think!

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The rest of the wedding celebration was a blur of drinks, buffet-style dining (and desserts made by Sammy, my BIL!), chatting with the entire mixed family, taking oh so many photos, and having our camera(s) stolen by James & Paul, cousins of the family. It was a good laugh and a great time–I even danced two songs in my first ever successful ceilidh–man was that fun!

Here’s how to do Strip the Willow–which was a whole massive mess with like  20+ couples lined up, and a girl who weaved unsteadily on her feet next to me. She made a “hup” noise and puffed her cheeks while staring blearily at me–“Are you okay? Do you want to sit down?” I asked her while shuffling nervously a little further away. She mumbled something, then said, “I’ve got the hiccups,” and that’s when Haitham and I moved away from her to the end of the line!! Not today Satan, with your puke-shoes!!

Sunday, 4th of February

Woke up in a tartan dream. That is the fantastically lush Sherbrooke Castle Hotel. UGH yes please… can I just live here?

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Because we spent the night in Glasgow, we were able to RSVP “yes” to a cheeky lunch with the post-wedding family. We had a few hours to kill before then, so spent it having a fantastic wander through the sunny Glasgow Botanics, hurling suet pellets at blue tits…

(um that sounds inappropriate without context here’s a blue tit)

…feeding bits of granola to gray squirrels, and wandering through the greenhouses.

After a very brief wander through Glasgow University (which looks like Harry Potter), we rendezvoused for lunch at the surprisingly veggie-friendly Burger Meats Bread. They even have veggie poutine, which is like my dream to try poutine at least once in my life. Priorities. We all got ’em.

Monday, 5th of February

Annnnnnnnnd that’s back to reality. Fortunately for me my friend was waiting at work to cheer me up. Birds on bikes anyone?

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After work, SIL and her husband came to see the house! They also came bearing a gift: whisky, which is delicious. Couple that with a wee bag she dragged back from America,  I’d say H and I are sorted to survive the rest of the winter with still more winter bulk (as if we needed help there!). Look at this though! Some of these candy bars I haven’t seen since long before I left stateside. Amazing. They’re good eggs, those two.

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31st January to 2nd of February, 2018: Climbing, Cloverfield, Collaborated Dinners

Wednesday, 31st of January

So I swapped my normal Wednesday off for a full weekend in preparation for Haitham’s brother’s wedding on Saturday (Sunday lie in? Yes please). It only hit me what I’d done when I got home Tuesday night though after exchanging revelries with my coworker Lewis, also off on a Wednesday–you know, “Thank goodness we’re almost there!” sort of stuff.

But I wasn’t almost there. (Weeping.)

The good news is my gal Krista and I had a climbing date lined up that evening! I shuttled straightaway from work into Edinburgh to our local Alien Rock haunt. Although I enjoy bouldering, it was obvious being back in a roping gym just how much I missed it! You can challenge yourself a lot more climbing, because when you have the security of the ropes and your partner you can stretch just a bit more, jump a bit further, that sort of thing. It’s honestly such good fun–I’m thankful Krista seems to enjoy it as much as I do!

Although there was quite a lot of chat in between our climbs, to be fair. And then some shenanigans at the end.

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First of all, no I’m not falling off the wall here!! We were doing some last-minute bouldering and stretches (and chatting) before we left, and what better way to stretch than to do… well… that? It reminded me of being a kid again.

Kudos to Krista for snapping my caffeinated hot mess in action!

Thursday, 1st of February

Boss-lady was all set up to stomp about the place today–but how unfortunate for her, she got dragged away to do a first aid course during the day. Which meant it was a nice, peachy, quiet day gettin’ on with things outside. Yus!

When I got home in the evening it was time to pop in our next movie of the year! This was a pick of mine called 10 Cloverfield Lane. Did y’all ever see Cloverfield when it came out ages ago? I loved it, even though the first-person-shaky-camera-shooting style had me feeling ready to toss my cookies in the theater. I remember even trying to place the blame on the Taco Bell I’d had before–haha!

10 Cloverfield Lane is another film produced by the now illustrious J.J. Abrams, who was only dipping his toe in the water at the time of Cloverfield. Now he’s not only done the new Star Trek film franchise, but also Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Honestly the guy can do no wrong in my humble fangirling opinion!

So Cloverfield Lane is the story of a girl who seems to be in the process of fleeing something at the beginning scenes of the film. It looks to be a lovers’ quarrel, but she’s certainly not sticking around to shed any light on the situation as she drives away into the countryside. She does cave and answer the phone to speak to her jilted lover while driving–and the next thing you know, she’s waking up from a horrific car crash, chained to the wall in a dark bunker.

At this point can ya guess who strolls in but good ol’ John Goodman? Turns out this is his bunker, he rescued her from the wreck, and there’s been a terrible “event” outside. No one seems to know what it was or who it was caused by. But needless to say, our clever heroine is not so easily convinced–especially as John Goodman himself in this role plays a fantastic rendition of an odd, paranoid man with his own secrets. So what’s the truth? Has there really been an event above ground? Is John Goodman telling the entire truth?

It was a good film, but perhaps not quite as strong as some of the others I’ve seen coming from the noggin of Abrams. Still, would recommend it, especially for that badass ending!

Friday, 2nd of February

Finally, it’s almost time for my whole weekend off! Yee-haw!

It was a pretty normal day at work. Moving plants about, getting things organised. And obviously pandering to my tiny friend!

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After work H and I headed into Glasgow for a pre-wedding meal with the family. This was a sort of duo celebration of not only the wedding, but also the return of my SIL and her husband from their new abode in Manhattan. Of course, when we showed up though SIL was nowhere to be seen–turns out she was the last person to be informed of the event, and so was midway through a spray tan application when they finally told her we were meeting! Bless her, hahaha. (She showed up looking marvelously bronzed though!)

Papa Bear did manage to get a photo of the whole crew thanks to the extremely nice staff. I gotta say, I normally don’t see much of a family resemblance between myself & the folks–but in this photo I think I look a lot like Mom!

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