Sunday, July 29, 2007


Only 2 more sleeps.... :o

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Leaving do

If you are in Edinburgh and did not get an evite for our leaving do, my apologies. We would like you to come to our place so we can see our friends before we leave. It will be next Saturday, 28 July 10am-4pm. Email me if you can come or need more details.

Also, take a look (or another one if you already have) at our sale: We still have so much to sell! I will be willing to ship most items, but will have to add shipping to the total price. Some things have been reduced and I will consider any offers (we just need to get rid of this stuff!).

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Orange really mucked up our internet service...

Josh called them Wednesday to ask them for whatever postage thing it is we need to send back our broadband box thingie. They thought we wanted to break our contract, incurring a £190 fee for breaking early (contract ends 4 Sept). Josh could not get it through to them that he fully intended on paying through to the end of the contract, but that we were moving and needed to send the box back early.

He finally gets a supervisor online. This guy says, "Ok, no problem. We will send you what you need, no fees charged, and since we cannot charge you for usage you did not use we will be sending you a cheque for that last month." YAY! Even better than we thought!

Yesterday I am using the internet in the morning, but cannot connect all afternoon. When Josh gets home from work it is still not working. He debates calling, wondering if there is just a server problem that will get fixed soon. I talked him into calling since he will be working all day the next day and I need the internet for planning and such.

So he calls after tea. He is told that our service has been canceled. OOO! I very rarely see Josh as hot as he was last night! And on top of all of the frustration it seems that the call centre is in another country, so he is trying to explain to this non-native english speaking person that there was a miscommunication problem and how vital it is that we have internet NOW for our upcoming move.

He asks for a supervisor. After some investigation it seems that the person Josh spoke to the day before was not allowed to do what he did and the system knew it. The system just shut us down completely. They say it will take 10 days to get service back to us. Uh, and we leave in HOW many days?! Josh explains again that we leave on the 31st and it is vital for us to have internet. So this lady offers us a free month of dial up. WOO-HOO!

We have been spoilt by broadband the last 2 years that dial up just seems DREADFULLY slow. So this means we have to limit our internet usage. We are not clear on if the "free" means that all calls are free as well. Calls are charged per minute here, even for local. And since it take about 4 minutes just to get into my inbox, well...This means no uploading of photos as well. :( I had so much that I needed to catch up on, too. Who knows when I will be able to share our photos of our most recent excursions. And our upcoming holiday to Mull.

Well, I really ought not to be updating my blog now. It is morning and calls are a bit cheaper at night. But I type quickly...

I just had another thought! I can't visit other blogs!! Especially ones with lots of photos.

Ah, poor me. I sure do lay it on thick, don't I? ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Return to Glencoe

The week after we went to the borders with Michelle and Paul, Sam and Peter took us to Glencoe. Let me just say we have been spoilt by our friends! We have been to Glecoe twice. I fell in love with it the first time. But our visits were just to one spot, the same one, and just for a few minutes for photos. I had been wanting to return to spend a bit more time there.

We first stopped at the Visitor Centre where there was a nice lookout point and a big natural display of Glencoe as well as the history and a video about the massacre.

Our picnic spot at the visitor centre

When we were done with lunch we inteded to head out for a wee hike. But nature had another plan. We were hit with a downpour of rain. At least we were still in the car. So we decided to sit out the rain (hmmm...this sounds familiar).

The rain stopped and we started up to the waterfall. I didn't realise the walk was going to be straight up the entire way! I puffed on my inhailer, but I was still so out of shape and embarrassed that I was slowing everyone down. In the end we didn't make it all the way up to the waterfall, though we got a good way there. We weren't even sure if there was a path to the waterfall. The midgies were eating at Peter and me and it was starting to rain again.

After our walk we headed to the King's House Hotel for tea. This is one of the stops for folks doing the West Highland Way, so we saw some tired walkers there.

Thanks, Sam and Peter for that adventure!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Borders

I am having a hard time keeping up with this blog now. I am trying keep up with another blog to sell our things here: I am also enjoying the warmer weather we have been having. I just can't attach myself to the computer when it is nice out. Especially here when the weather can change in a second. Just recently we were going to go out for a walk but for some reason Josh wanted to wait a bit, can't remember why. He said something about how nice and sunny it will be when we go out. I said, "Josh, we are in Scotland!" He knew that what I meant was "It may be sunny and warm now, but in just 5 minutes it could be cold, windy, and rainy." I am seriously now exaggerating by how quickly the weather changes. So everyone that lives here knows that if it is now out, you better get out there NOW to enjoy it. :)

So, speaking of weather, we had a nice wet day for our trip out to the border abbeys a couple of weeks ago. Our friends Paul and Michelle wanted to take us to a part of Scotland that we hadn't seen yet. The border abbeys are, obviously, on the borders (of Scotland and England, for those who may not know). I don't know much of the history of them, but I do know that being on the borders they were prime target to be ransacked by the English. I am sure I will provide a few links here and there, so if you are so inclined you can read up on the history.

Jedburgh Abbey was the one that I had seen a lot of pictures of and really wanted to see, so that was our first stop. I didn't really get many pictures because the audio tour thingie was handheld, making it difficult to keep up with everyone else and snap some shots.

After being drizzled on throughout the tour we decided it was time to eat lunch. We found a dry spot (under a pavilion) and spread out our picnic. I guess Paul is like me and goes a bit overboard with the food planning, so we definately did not starve!

After drying out a bit we got on our way toward home. On the way we decided to make a little detour to Dryburgh Abbey. It was anything BUT dry. We waited in the car for a few minutes for the downpour to let up a bit. When it was a little less wet we hopped out to take a look.

I am really suprised that I didn't find too much mention that this is the burial place of the beloved Sir Walter Scott.

You can see Josh is getting wet. We got so tired of WET. But you learn here that if it is raining, you just get on with it. If you wait for it to stop raining, life will pass you by!

Thanks, Paul and Michelle for taking us to see the borders!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Strawberry Shortcakes!

I have not posted about any of my baking fun in a while...well, because I haven't done much baking. I was so depressed and stressed from work and other things that I wasn't in much of a mood to do anything, even though baking can be very therapeudic for me.

We have finally be getting some really great weather, which puts me in the mood for summer foods. And what says summer better than strawberry shortcakes! Well, maybe not for your british folks, but we Americans get very excited about strawberry shortcake.

I baked my own shortcakes and whipped up my own whipped cream. I am a convert. I don't know if I will every buy Cool-Whip when I am back in the States.

I am looking forward to getting back to a summer of plentiful fruit. We haven't had much in the last 2 years because the fruit here is either pretty expensive or it just doesn't taste good. The nectarines, plums, and peaches are sold rock hard! I only recently discovered that they sell a small package of 'perfectly ripe' necartines and such for a more dearer price. I don't understand why they can't just sell them all 'perfectly ripe'! I will miss the british berries, though. They are so scrummy! (weird that I just used that word) I just bought a package of british raspberries and ate them all by myself! Not a single tart one in the bunch. And so sweet!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Last Day

My last day of work was on the 4th of July. It was very uneventful. No tears were shed, except for a customer or two, and Brett who was getting used to his free drinks. :)

Since no one planned a leaving do for me, Josh took me out to celebrate. It was a dual celebration for the 4th of July. We had Mexican! Yum, yum! Something you don't find too often here. And this place has been sitting under our noses all along! We went to the Blue Parrot just down the road from us. They have fun eclectic decor. From the outside it looks like something from Mexico with their colourful painted grates covering the windows. Their loo is located outside in a wee shed. Oh, and they have a fake blue parrot in a bird cage to greet you as you enter.

This was one of the rare times I felt full upon leaving a restaurant here in Scotland (the portions here are much more wee than we Americans are used to). Josh got a burrito and I got chicken fajitas. I can't really get used to the way they serve up their chicken for fajitas here, in large chunks rather than thin slivers. I still cut them small.

Oh, we had chips and salsa to begin with (not complimentary like many Mexican/Tex-Mex restaurants we are used to). The salsa was called spicy, but I had to ask because spicy by Scottish standards is kinda wimpy, even for me. But it really was spicy! And good!

Afterwards it was still so nice out (we are just now starting to enjoy a bit of summer here in Scotland, we get a bit of sun each day and sometimes the temps get up to 70!) that I just couldn't bear to go inside. Despite our full bellies we went for a bit of a walk on the River Leith. I will miss the river.

Monday, July 02, 2007

My Last Week

Today was the first day of my last week of work. Wednesday is my last day. Yes, my independence day is Independence Day. ;)

We had a bit of an adventure. I actually didn't serve any customers today. I would have been greatful for this in weeks past, but as all of my customers are morning regulars and I only have one more morning this week, I was quite sad to think that I may not see any customer if Wednesday happens to be their off day.

I don't know why I always get the pleasure of these early morning adventures...

We arrived to a burnt out door...oh, wait, that was January. Everything seemed fine when we arrived. We went to clock in but it seemed that the newish barista may have punched in the wrong code to the office door and locked us out. Ok, I will clock us in for the appropriate time. We go upstairs to do some opening duties. I am concerned that I may not get all of my duties done downstairs in time to open at the right time (these customers start beating down the door if we do not open at 6:50). I do down later to try again. Nope. Later. Nope. I was sure it had been the right amount of time for the lock to time out. I tried for 20 minutes to no avail. Everthing is in the office. We cannot open without getting in there. Everything including phone numbers.

We get our jackets back on and head on up to the nearest Starbucks. I used to work with the ASM on shift so we have a bit of a banter. Then he laughs at me when I can finally tell him that we are locked out of the office. So I call my manager and write down some other phone numbers.

Back at our store I try the door again just to see. No access. So I call maintainance and have a bit of a laugh with the guy because I was suprised at the cheery greeting he gave me (I had to ask him if I had the right number). I tell him my problem, tell him we can't open, and he says he will have a locksmith call me to see if he can talk me through an override for the code. While we wait, we clean.

My manager shows up. We clean...and we clean. Despite the sign on the door the customers still jiggle it, wondering why it does not open. Some beg us to just make us a drink anyways and they will give us 10 quid (tempting...I might have made out pretty big today if my boss wasnt' there!). We clean. They can't figure out why we can't open if we are all there in plain view.

After 2 1/2 hours we wonder what is up with the locksmith. A call like this would go on an emergency call, which requires a response within 2 hours. My manager calls maintainance. They say, "Oh, you aren't trading??" Uh, we said earlier that we could not open. "Oh, well we will have to send someone from Glasgow. It should be 2-3 hours." WHAH!!!! If they would have responded when we first called they could have been here by now! Ok, so we clean some more.

Our 11:00 barista comes in and we decide we should have lunch soon. At 11:30 my boss says I can go home. YAY!

So I will find out tomorrow when we were finally able to open. Unfortunately there was probably so much food that had to be thrown out because we would not have been able to sell it all without the morning rush.

I wonder if I will have any more adventures this week...