Monday, 31 October 2011

Holiday-ing in Mallaig (Part One)

As Бабушка Larissa helpfully pointed out last night, I've rather been neglecting to annoy everyone for the past while. This is a horrific oversight and one which I intend to remedy as of now.

I proceed to recount the following tale, the only way it really can be told. EPICALLY.

So! Well in order to celebrate a temporary freedom -a.k.a., the October holls- two(?) weeks ago last sunday Lyovka and I dragged P&S, much abused, off to Mallaig (they screamed the entire way. Odd looks galore on the train) for four days. This is approximately here;

N.B. Liking how the font compares to Inverness.
Come sunday evening and Lyov and I hopped into Edinburgh, hugely overequipped for our great adventure. The remaining few hours were naturally spent eating, unpacking, eating, repacking but better... probably more eating but so knackered by all the hard eating I'd already been doing that at this point I really don't remember.


Monday consisted mostly of rail travel. We rose reasonably early and -finding Princes Street rather more damp than when we had left it- swam hastily on to Waverly station where we proceeded to catch the train to Glasgow by the skin of our teeth.
We found we had had a couple of minutes spare before the next train to Mallaig so I accompanied Papa and Lyov to the nearby Apple store, Papa's IPhone being desperately in need of some protection (a cover). Still, we were in a bit of a hurry to get back- we had left Sylwia stuck in the station, valiantly defending our bags.

I had generously offered Papa some of my own socks, nevertheless he inexpicably decided to buy some from Apple instead.

One advantage to this approach however is that I then scrounged the orange one for my own mobile. It looks considerably grubbier now.


It must have been about 6 o'clock that chilly Monday night when the train finally pulled up at that deserted platform. Glasgow lay behind, ahead, Mallaig awaited us.

We staggered into our toasty rooms in a B&B facing out onto the bay. Lyov immediately dumped his mess in a pile before the sink. I ordered him to clear it up, he picked it up and dumped it somewhere marginally less offensive.
Outside the sky grew ominously dark and we each looked, individually quailed, and promptly made the unanimous decision to courageously watch a film.

First though, it had to be done. We braved the outdoors to get some fish and chips.

Now more on this. If, like me, you don't happen to be a massive fan of fish, coming to Mallaig it strikes me you may have a problem. Allow me to demonstrate.

... I have more.

It's important to remember that this is at best a small town, with maybe two main, quite squat streets. So it amazes me that by the time it had sprouted say, it's fifth fishy establishment, someone didn't go;
"Hmmm... you know what, I realise this is a fishing village, but maybe this market is already pretty much taken. (Here's an idea, I'll start an Indian!)".

In fact, I don't think there's even one food-related venue without some marine connection.

So yeah, fish and chips; I shared a takeaway (second sign down) with Sylwia, which amounted to stealing a significant portion of her chips. Mmmm chips...

On the way back I took the opportunity of releasing some of the nervous energy I had been storing up that entire day, and ran flapping (wearing Papa's oversized sailing coat/jacket) all the way home. (Or rather, ran in circles all the way home, round and round an increasingly seasick P&S and Lyov).
When Sylwia(?) asked what I was doing, I replied that it was a metaphor for the intellectual circles I run around them. Lyov then suggested it could alternately be a metaphor for my going round in circles. I prefer my explination.

I think I'm going to have to write this in installments. For now, ta-ta!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Obese Buddha says 'Hi'.

Jogging and All Things Fluorescent

Started running on wednesday nights with Jog Scotland, which is run by Joe Forte (local sportshop owner) and I must say, I'm getting really quite into it! Usually quite useless at running by myself- just not motivated enough. It starts out allright but then as soon as I allow myself a break, the distances I run steadily decrease and my inbetween walks lengthen. It's so much easier running with a group, and somehow I find the pace is a lot better for me- going by myself I tend to start out far too fast and only realise my mistake by the time I'm a mile or so from home.

'Cos we're running sort of from 6.45 to 7.45pm, it's already dark by the time it finishes and so in the interest of remaining roughly the same shape (retaining all limbs etc.), I've been encouraged to invest in a running jacket.

I would never normally condone any general purpose fluorescent clothing, but for this I might make an exception.

Me vs. Nature

It was terrifying- when I tried to leave my room this morning I found I had the mother of all spiders sat down on the floor, right in front of the doorway. I don't think my window opens very far, so short of breaking the glass there was no escape. In any case it may have been an emergency but I really didn't want anyone calling the police, just yet.
Fortunately for once my mobile actually had some credit on it, so when at last I remembered it I was able to call for help. I then lay on the bed and quivered whilst the cavalry arrived and all danger forcibly removed. Honestly, I don't know how I'll manage living by myself.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, SPY!

Like many of the other things on here, I'm making myself write about this incredibly late. On the friday a week after my birthday, Bethie, Louise, Rosie and I headed up into Edinburgh and were fortunate enough to catch a viewing of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy -which I've been wanting to see for a while.
I thought the film was absolutely brilliant. It's probably a good thing that I went to see that first before watching the series (a birthday present from Louise =D ) as apparently it's been quite condensed, but still I think it must now be one of my favourite films to-date. I don't find myself welling up at films except for on the incredibly rare occasion, during the final scene though I probably came really quite close.

And I spent the next entire week listening for hours to the song they played in that last sequence.

I had actually just moved onto a 'Beach Boys' fixation, but now listening to this again, I think it might survive at least another week. ;)

P.S. Meet Obese Buddha

He says 'Hi'.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Worry, People.

An R.M.P.S Thing

I might have mentioned before that- being a lovely, conscientious student ;) - I hop along to Amnesty International in Mrs Montgomery's R.M.P.S. classroom on Thursday lunchtimes. Anyhoo, we're reading over an assembly on Human Rights at the moment (watch out first years!) and Matthew was saying his bit, but then when he went to move he tripped and went sprawling, so his speech ended up going something a bit like this;

"I stand for Human Rights!"

*falls down*

Human Rights fail.


I've accumulated quite a lot of new Stuff over the past couple of days. At the selfsame Amnesty meet, Bethie took the opportunity to give me a birthday present (aww thanks =D ), part of which were these 'Worry People'.

From the top down, they are now called Berry, Caramel, Stripe, Mustard and Jelly. So far they have been very accommodating and listen to me complain every night prior to 'Lights Out'.

I definitely have already mentioned the wonderful Craft Fair, which has now sadly left Haddington :'( . However today being the last day of their visit, I seized the opportunity and bought myself a new schoolbag! Having had my current one since halfway through Primary Six, I feel this was well justified- particularly as every single time I go to pick it up, it promptly seizes the opportunity and splits open on me at the zip.
But revenge is sweet, and when I return to the drudgery of early morning starts *shudder*, I shall have one less item to scream at.

New Bag =D (you might have guessed)
It has elephants on it! And is therefore officially everything I ask of a bag.

Friday, 14 October 2011

I'll get this out of the way before I have holidays things to write about =D

First and Foremost, it's now finally the October break!

The official notice in my homework diary:

Okay, so technically the circle should include next Monday. Call it artistic license.
Anyhow, though it has been but a few short days (I find this so hard to believe!) since my last post, I feel though I have been neglecting this blog *sad face*. Yes... it may only have been mere days and yet it feels as though it were a lifetime! ;)

I suppose it is in order to underline the child-friendliness and general overall benevolence of the school that for the last three years on the Friday before we spilt for 'holls sweet holls', the pupils of Knox Academy are rewarded with an entire half-day free of lessons! On paper this is known as Faculty Challenge however more commonly amongst many pupils it's known simply as "Uuuurgh!".

To realise exactly why this is, you really have to sit through one hour repeatedly rolling die (occasionally getting a three and being permitted to draw yet another antenna onto your ladybird), followed by another doing nothing but tapping 'up' 'down' 'left' right' 'SPACE-SPACE-SPACE WORK DAMN YOU!' attempting to negotiate at least one half decent game of Tetris with a computer seemingly determined to lag.

By this point I could truly begin to see why I had woken up and dragged myself out of lovely, comfy, warm bed at 7.20 that morning...

"Today the school is alive with the Faculty Inter-House Challenges. Each faculty is offering activities to challenge mixed age groups of pupils. Challenges range from quizzes to origami to fun maths to sports. Points are awarded for participation and highest scores and will contribute to the overall House winner of the session. Congratulations to all pupils for their enthusiastic participation and thank you to all staff involved and, in particular, Ms Duff for organising the morning."

I shall tackle each point in turn.

Challenge. If -and only if- this is refers to maintaining the necessary control to keep from running screaming from the school gates, do I conceed the point.
Second: Fun Maths. No. Maths can be tolerable, 'okay', even interesting (depending upon exactly how well you're keeping up with the course), but when 'fun' is used to describe maths which is age/ability-appropriate for the entire school and is forced upon one for a full sixty minutes, it becomes synonomous with 'hefty dull'.
... and finally Pupils for their Enthusiastic.... I have not met these pupils.

I think though the rest of the day did a pretty good job of making up for a wasted morning.

I haven't ever seen it here before, but there was a Craft Fair set up nearby the Corn Exchange, in the same place the Farmer's Market usually is when it comes by Haddington. We think it's come from Aubigny- at any rate it's quite something. A tad like the German Market in Edinburgh each Christmas, albeit on a smaller scale, or some sort of Russian bazaar. After we spotted it yesterday Louise suggested we go there post FC today for crepes! I wasn't entirely sure exactly who was coming along, but it ended up being Louise, Claudia, Rosie, Sam and myself.

I acquired an obese miniture (Chinese) Buddha and Louise, Claudia and I feasted on crepes and some delicious Pick 'n Mix. The plan is to go down again tomorrow after our (Louise's, Beth's and mine) traditional coffee at 'The Golden Grain' (it would appear we are intiating Claudia into the cult- she only joined Knox in August), then head down to the fair and introduce Claudia to yet another new friend; Turkish Delight.

Possibly more on how that goes tomorrow. Depending on my degree of laziness.

I can't say anything much else interesting happened when I got home; tescos for food shopping then skedaddling to the library. However I rounded off the day quite spectacularly by ceremoniously mutilating my first mango.

By the time I had finished with it, it was quite a mess.

Before I meander wholly from the subject of school (it's too late isn't it? =S ) I quite wanted to mention that wednesday, you will be jealous to know, was largely cake-based. Dodie had just made cake at home. Anya brought her mum's homemade Brownies in for double Latin. Claudia bought four (small) cakelets on the way back from school -I must have been feeling uncommonly insane as I ended up giving mine to Lyovka- and in the Home Ec. department everyone had made lovely big chocolate cakes.

These -as it tends to be with most cakes- were to eat.

Only it seems that Paul, decided instead to decorate his face with one.

Taken post-wash.

I almost forgot =S

Oh, oh, and last but not least, today was Reace's Birthday. This means:
a) Happy Birthday too you...!
b) He's finally able to move into the Beth & Co. household so everything is GOOD. =D

All that... I'm sleepy. Cheerio!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Too busy to write much but wanted to fit this in...

The irony of my situation has just struck me; I'm watching the war film 'Pacific' about fighting between Americans and Japanese during WW2  in the background whilst doing homework (because it's homework, and that is what you do), which happens happens to be RM.P.S., two eight-mark questions on the importance of compassion within Buddhism. Ouch.

(P.S. It would appear that I'm posting more each month. For this I apologise and can only promise it won't continue indefinitely, only indefinitely for the present.)

Monday, 3 October 2011

My Stomach Hurts =(

Waddling around with several hot waterbottles buttoned in under my school blazer. It's quite a look.