Friday, 30 September 2011

Ending September

The Best Month of the year.

T'was my 16th yesterday. A very nice way to finish up, if you ask me. I had a beautiful day, mostly due to the efforts of Dodie, Percy and Lyovka, the presence of Papa and Sylwia, and birthday wishes from all my friends.

Thanks all for the load of great cards! I opened half a dozen in the morning, then they accumulated steadily throughout the day....

Ailish (a.k.a. 'Lish-babes') gave me fridge magnets (as well as a notepad I'd been practically drooling over in Kesleys, though she wasn't to know this, so good call!)! I promptly thanked her using the only truly appropriate method:

I am also try desperately to transfer from my phone the the computer a photo of my very first Lottery Ticket, courtesy of Angie, on which I won five pounds. I hope this is a good omen, at any rate I'm reasonably impressed! The bizarre thing was going into the newsagents, and having them give money to me. Felt a bit like a hold-up.

And the cake!... Oooh the cake....

Infact, TWO cakes: Chocolate is always necessary, but also lemon as Percy is on a strictly non-chocolate diet. Can't say I'm complaining.
I had been asking after a specific CD, but Lyovka had the bright idea to give me instead an iTunes card, and having also collected one from P&S (thanks!) I'm now busy clearing out the iTunes store... including -and I'm not usually into this sort of music, but...- a song Lyovka just made me listen to:

And before I'm entirely off the subject of chocolate, we bought some for after-dinner.

Let me just say that there aren't that many of these left!

So now I'm really looking forward to Sunday. Going into Edinburgh for an eye test at 4ish, but meeting up with P&S before that, and hopefully raiding the shops armed with some 'Birthday-Money'! And cafes, of course.

Another upside to finally becoming sixteen is that at last I can join the running club. I checked today and it's supposed to be wednesday nights, so we'll see how that goes...

(Durm, Durm, DURM).

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Sky and PC Gone Mad

For some reason getting up this morning was even worse than the usual torture. I woke and it was warm and I was dozy and vaguely thought there was something burning outside as the whole room glowed yellow.

On a morning like this it takes a superhuman effort of will to drag myself upstairs and then out, in the cold all the way to the school.

Numerous immensely long pairs of stripey socks really help.

That's the first thing done in such an emergency situation, pulling on two huge multicoloured socks. Also at times like these bacon sandwiches for breakfast aren't really the thing- too substantial-, so in come the cornflakes. And coffee. Of course.

Tuesday is 'Double English Day' - YAY! True to form the second period sparks intense debate when discussing ideas for a discursive essays- and particular outrage at the extent of political correctness in programs for young children.

Fig. 1

'Tinky Winky' from the 'Teletubbies' carrying a red handbag and therefore considered by some people to be a gay icon.

Fig. 2

'Big Ears' from 'Noddy' being renamed 'White Beard' so as to avoid causing offence and then, even better than that, 'Noddy' being cancelled because apparently Noddy and Big Ears sharing the same bed means that their relationship was "implicitly homosexual".

WHAT?! Oh come on! They're television programmes for toddlers for crying out loud! Are these really the things they're going to notice? And why the sudden problem?  I'm reasonably sure that watching these and similar programmes, and even worse, singing 'Baa-baa Black Sheep' - along with my Dominican friend; has not left me scarred for life or even marginally racist, homophobic or anything at all similar!
And ironically through noticing these things and making them issues, whoever was so overeager not to offend anyone have themselves made the distinctions between various factions within society where before perhaps no one saw any. Genius.

Now quite het up, but Rant Over.

As for all things new:

I got my first experience of after school basketball- about the only team sport I can really enjoy doing. Lots of other fifth-year regulars were off but there was still a decent crowd. I must say though having just had gym straight before and so two and a half hours of running nonstop in one direction and another I was feeling really quite knackered.

And I might have mentioned that I'm doing a Theatre Art Course so I spent another hour and a half being thoroughly remade as a grumpy old man- with sideburns! In all honesty it was probably an improvement.

To Finish

Here's the equivalent sky-from-window photo for the evening:

Oh, and I think I've just found the my next article to write about for our weekly homework disecting opinion pieces.

Why Black Sheep are Barred and Humpty Can't be Cracked

Sunday, 25 September 2011

I should possibly be doing homework.

So yeah, again about a week late seems to be the right time to write about things.

Firstly, I have located Duckula! He had been hijacked and hidden by the Opposition (Percy and Lyovka, users of the Other Bathroom), but now I've stolen him back!

And this time... he's staying.

Last sunday I moseyed over to Edinburgh, as per, to annoy P&S. Thanks to Sylwia, having visited half a dozen cafes (and sucessfully cleaned most of them out), we located the most amazing second hand book store...

I think I've died and gone to heaven. I'm going to live in this place.
Could barely be dragged away. And I assure you I kicked and screamed.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Flowers n' Stuff

I've found a great alternative to tescos' where obtaining nice flowers is concerned.

Just next to our friendly neighbourhood toilets. I've walked past it just about every school lunchtime for the past two years, and hadn't noticed it until about a month ago. The main reaction was, 'WHOA, when did that get there?'... people roll their eyes. There's another one on the other side of the car park entrance way (*loud whisper*; THIS IS A CAR PARK ENTRANCE WAY).

Some stuff I've found there.

I nabbed a couple for a) Beth and b) on my way back, the dining room table. I'm sure it appreciated the gesture.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Tea and Jawbones

All this work is making me very sleepy. This morning I had such a long lie-in, sleeping through everything whilst an entire Pipe Band paraded right under my window (or so I'm told).

Anyhow, i figure that as it's been an entire week, and I'm hopping (metaphorically- thank God) back into Edinburgh Tomorrow morning to see the P&S, it might just be time for me to write something briefly about last week with them and Monica. Heregoes.

Having all congregated, we migrated from the Tea Tree to a relatively new cafe P&S had mentioned, The Institute. Oh the tea....

My tea, the cold lemon one, and the other is green, I think... The co-owner who was in had an exhibition of his own up from a circus in which he used to work as resident photographer. The chap with whom he co-owns The Institute, I think I was told is a friend from that circus. Apparently he is tattoed head to foot, has teeth resembling those of 'Jaws' from 'The Spy Who Loved Me'- James Bond... and enjoys performing the tea ceremonies. Well, good for him.
Cakewise there were only two remaining brownies by the time we materialised, but oh, what brownies.

We must have spent a good couple of hours there, 'cos it was already threatening sunset by the time we extricated ourselves from FOOD.

On a related topic, I never realised that the Meadows had a couple of resident whale jawbones. Not sure how I missed that, they're not exactly titchy.

I like this photo, because my shadow looks tall. I don't have any of the jawbones- although I did photograph the plaque which Papa helpfully pointed out, informing us this was called 'Jawbone Walk' or path or something.

All day I had been coming across various sizable animals looking rather of of context/place with the rest of Edinburgh. I made it my mission to find these! (but at some point someone must have run out of ideas, cos I spotted at least two elephants! =O )

Thus concludes my trip into the Burgher -and also the time I have left to spend on this computer- so, "Ta ta for now!" and more fascinating updates on tomorrow... possibly a week late. Again.

Thursday, 15 September 2011


At some point soon, I have to write about my (Saturday?) with Papa, Sylwia and Monica.
Currently, too much homework, coupled with an R.M.P.S. Assessment tomorrow. In other words, fun stuff.

Just to say that I've started a Theatrical Art course (i.e., decorating actors) which runs 4-5.30(pm...) on a Monday, so that should be interesting... and had a great time catching up with Emma (Campbell) for a couple of hours after piano- which I busted a gut trying to get to in time after being rung by Dodie (in class- I was staying late to hear about the Theatrical course) saying Lyovik wasn't well enough to have his lesson and wouold I come home in time for it? Ten minutes before it was about to start.

So I'll leave you lot with this.

I spent hours looking up 'The Editors- Butterfly' and wondering why nothing relevant appeared. Moron.

Monday, 12 September 2011

At the same time as all these significant developements at home, I continue to attend school (What? School and jisgaw, at the same time?!).

It's all pretty amazing, lots of work but far more interesting than before... but I think that English has to be leading on sheer comedic value.

The large silver box is infact Mr Edwards' hat, as we discovered whilst being called up one by one to set our target grades... There are a relatively few number of things I have observed as bizzare as watching a shiny box chat airily to a pupil about their highers.
Sadly I didn't get any pictures of grading-in-action. Imcidentally just to verify; that is a lollipop.

Also, the Buddha in the R.M.P.S. department:

I'm checking if that Ritz cracker is still there on monday. I think its been languishing on poor Siddhartha's lap since about tuesday. I don't think Mrs Montgomery's noticed yet...


Our R.M.P.S classes meanwhile have involved listening to numerous youtube song on the subject of spinning... (this is claiming to relate to samsara. To be honest, it's just nice.)

Saturday, 10 September 2011


So yes, I think I'll start with THE PUZZLE.

For the past few days, Jigsaw Mania has had the entire household firmly in its grip. This is a normal occurrence whenever a jigsaw is produced, but not normally on this sort of scale- I'm not happy with whichever genius selected this particular puzzle; over the past six days it has deprived me of sleep, food and valuable time otherwise spent studying.


Day 3
Day 4
Day 6
Despite what these photos may suggest, Lyovka -or, as I now like to refer to him, LevPod on account of Lev/Ipod; I haven't caught him kissing it yet but its only a matter of time... sorry sidetracked- has not been the only, or indeed most obsessive person completing it (I can't photograph myself  ;) ).

And now for today.... (Yesterday is a whole separate post.)

Venessa has paid a visit, bringing with her a whole pile of TASTY STUFF (be jealous, be very jealous) including jam, and not including a bread making machine- which she did bring, but I don't expect it to be particularly tasty.

I have finally found the time to watch Inception. Meaning to do this for over a week already but somehow the evenings have always ended up being too full with (often last-minute) homework and revision and whatnot. Absolutely brilliant -if somewhat confusing- film, at last I understand what everyone was going on about!

I had been mentioning it periodically throughout most of yesterday, so here -papa- is the trailer.

And we (Percy, Dodie, Lyovka and I) journeyed to Gifford for dinner.
I just wanted to show this photograph:

I call it 'Dinner with LevPod' - note the headphones, I can vouch for the fact he's playing on it (at this specific moment, under the table). Sociable sort of chap =L .

But overall a very nice time. Thanks all.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Percy's 83rd! =D

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you...!

(I really love that photo)
Well, he's eighty-three, and still insists on having a Birthday every year. Wanton extravagance! In all honesty though, Birthdays mean cake, and cake is always welcome... <-- my irrefutable argument as to how Birthdays are -without exception- a Good Thing.

The traditional Present-Opening Ceremony takes place in the pre-school morning;

So many cards... one even has his portrait on it. Such devotion.

New toys (courtesy of Belinda, Honor, Sarah and Michael).

And later on (when I hand finally wrapped it, only to be immediately unwrapped) I give him a -seriously- mini alarm clock. Its flat on its face already.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

and at school....

Which is the main focus of my activities, for the moment;

It was Mr Dempster's (our long-suffering registration teacher, I might have mentioned) birthday last Friday... we only found out about four days after the event as he omitted to tell us -but we have our sources-. In desperation we resorted to making a card...
The frog is significant- somewhat awesomely, Mr Dempster collects frogs... though not the live variety, as far as we're aware. Hence people give him frogs. This froggy mania extends to such an extent that pupils have taken to drawing many and varied frogs on the whiteboard behind his desk, and Mr Dempster to scanning them into his computer and adding them to his wallpaper when finally forced to rub the multitudes of them out.

Headmistress Relations

I now find myself jumping at the slightest provocation whenever I exit the school. Mrs Craig (headmistress) is officially the root cause of this. She seems to have taken to lurking at whichever exit I choose, and bizarrely cultivates a severe dislike of my -merely light brown, entirely necessary and totally inoffensive- undershirt. I was first accosted last tuesday, whilst stepping unsuspectingly out of the school. Preoccupied in relishing my first sweet breath of freedom, I noticed nothing as she crept towards me.

The exchange went something like this;

"Oi! You!"
I freeze. Not me?
I look about. 
A ferocious glare singles me out from the mob.
Oh dear.

"Why are you wearing that?"

An awkward way to refer to my iPod- definitely illegal and clipped very conspicuously in all its orange glory on the edge of my pocket.
Also not really relevant to my badge, which, two weeks into the term really should have been stuck to my jacket- but most certainly wasn't.

I profess myself confused.

"That brown thing! Why are you wearing it?"

Brown... brown... ummm... Oh!
"My undershirt? I have to, the shirt's transluscent."
"Well perhaps you should buy them somewhere they sell proper shirts."

I refrain from pointing out that mine were standard ordered through her school...

"Don't let me catch you wearing that thing again."

I 'Okay' and tiptoe demurely away. She stares me to the end of the road.

To quote the immortal Ronald Weasley; "I won't... let you catch me."

Exciting stuff...

Otherwise, events proceed relatively smoothly. Heading of on an overnight trip to the Buddhist temple, Samye Ling with the R.M.P.S. department sometime in November! Very much looking forward to meditating, eating veggie stuff, more mediating and above all... TEA!

More on this once it's actually happened.

That's all for tonight, folks. Cheerio.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Dendrochronology (I can say it right too!)

... or as they explained at the session, 'ology'- the study of something, 'chronos'- time, and 'Dendro'- tree runks/rings... except the other way round.

I went to a class on Saturday, unsure of what to expect. It was such a lovely walk there along the river by golf course- the day was nigh on perfect, sunny and toasty with it.

It's due to my camera clicking compulsion that by the time I finally reached Amisfield (the walled garden was to be the setting for our education), my already depleted camera battery gave up the ghost and declared itself caput. Hence I'm now awaiting photos actually relevant to event itself to be mailed me by the lady who organised the whole thing (thankyou!).

... aaanyhoo, there were seven of us in all I think- including the Dendrochronologist and organiser, and it was quite a relaxed atmosphere, pleasant to be with people who were there because of a genuine interest in the subject. Following on this train of thought, apparently there are only around ten Archeodendrochronologists in the entire country (there are different branches of Dendrochronology, we were informed, but I would hesitate to try and specify the distinctions). I must say I'm quite surprised- I would have thought working in this way with trees would have appealed to rather more people... but there you go, perhaps they haven't heard of it? I certainly hadn't.

Coralie took us through quite a number of (as she pointed out, lamenated) sheets of a ex-powerpoint. These talked about everything from the structure of the trunk, to how Dendrochronology can be put to use in a number of situations, to her and her partner's work in the field.

We were sitting outside on a lawn amongst some smallish trees, but to take a sample we exited to garden and headed around the wall to a sizable sicamore. Here Coralie brought out some sharpish contraptions and began manually boring a hole in the tree. The idea is that the middle of the hole travels up the keen-edged tube which she was rotating into the trunk, and then this sample could be retrieved, mounted and examined. The hole in the tree eventually closes up because of the tree's own weight.

And then it was over...

I ambled home into Haddington with fellow now-slightly-more-informed-person Jim, who was heading the same way, and effectively collapsed and was lazy for the remainder of the day- excepting a few minor incidents where my compulsive tidying habit forced me to leap up and briefly knock something (or someone; yes Lyovka, I'm looking at you) into place or shape.

But that is nothing out of the ordinary.

There, I think at last I have been able to write something pretty much entirely relevant to the Blog title. I am pleased.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Exploits in Edinburgh

I return home following an eventful day on the town with Papa and Sylwia.

Catching a (relatively) early bus in I skedaddled over to The Tea Tree Cafe (a regular haunt) where P&S were lying in wait... a cup or so of green tea and a chat (mostly verbal diarrhoea on my part- should I be saying that?) later and we head off for Princes Street through the graveyard/park. No sooner have we stepped onto the graveyard path, than we are accosted by this wee guy:

Depending on how well you can make that out, you may or may not be able to see the bread he's munching on. My bread. Effectively it was a stick-up. My feet were circled until I dug out some food and I felt under constant threat of having him run up my leg.
He then decided that apparently my bread wasn't good enough for him, and scurried off, leaving it lying on the ground.

On my way to contact lens fluid (was running short), Sylwia took us round to the top floor of some shop to inspect the herbal and fruit teas after I'd mentioned some apple tea which Mr Dempster -my registration class teacher- had recommended to me after I had walked to school drinking the green tea which I hadn't finished and was loathe to leave at home. I have been drinking compious amounts of the stuff since Sylwia introduced us kick-starting my addiction. That aside, there were some other more, well... unusual items on sale...

Witness: Tequila lolipop containing (real) worm.

Thanks, papa, for bringing that to my attention.

We scooted round the Ingleby ('of the Interesting Exhibitions') and then took the most direct -and there was some debate as to this- route possible to the Fruitmarket Gallery cafe.
Continuing on the theme of animals we found there an unusual sort of cake...




Immediately christened 'Kermit Cake' by Sylwia, I think our requests somewhat confused the waitress.

The resemblance is striking.

What else what else what else.... ooooh the best exhibition, in my opinion definitely John Byrne's work in the Open Eye Gallery. It was incredibly quirky, especially the smaller paintings appealed enormously to me (there was a book full of his illustrations which I absolutely loved, particularly as the separate pictures were also hanging above the copy of the book all over the wall.

I have been trying to explain to various people exactly where the Open Eye Gallery is. This has been made more difficult by the fact I couldn't remember it's name. To that end, I have filched a map!

It is THERE.

And finally... I have a new book!

Travels with Herodotus, courtesy of papa. Already part way through and finding it very readable -a 'Good Thing', if you happen to be a book-, also think Mrs Adam, our long suffering Latin teacher might take an interest....

Thursday, 1 September 2011


And whilst on the subject of feet, I thought I would mark the first day of the September (the most awesomest month of the year!) with a number of feet photos which I managed to salvage despite my lovely computer having deleted all my files (grrrr)...

I like photographing feet, there are so many different colours and designs of shoe and people stand in such odd ways- also feet have always struck me as looking slightly ridiculous.

My wee cousin's foot.

The toes sticking out of the bright orange trousers make me laugh.

Flora feet on bus.

Quite a cool pose footwise. In Venice I think.

And finally: A rather effeminate stance from a hardcore football fan. Thank you.