When we finally landed in Edinburgh, and we were rather excited to stay in one place for a while. It was really easy to move in – we dropped the backpacks, took a sigh, looked around . . . and that was pretty much it. Quickly, we started exploring our surroundings and began our quest for work. We were moved in, but we weren’t quite settled. Over the coming weeks, something just didn’t feel right. Christine had a wonderfully insightful conversation with Lacey one night and it soon became apparent . . . our home was gunked up. Our visually inviting, welcoming, light and airy flat was emotionally dark. It was a spiritually stunted location that silently creaked and moaned under its own extra-dimentional essence. The path to a proper solution was evident, we needed to cleanse our home.
Honestly . . . our flat was infested with bad mojo!
Lacey was brilliant and offered us a multi-pronged solution.
Continue reading 'Ganesha, The Remover of Obstacles'»
So, this weekend is a big holiday across Scotland, yep – you guessed it – St. Andrews Day. A day when everyone celebrates by bagpipe competitions, wee Scottie Dog races, Haggis eating contests, eating deep fried Mars bars, stone throwing competitions, bushiest beard contests, and fireworks. Celebrating St Andrews, this is a day when bakeries create “little blue St Andrews day gingerbread men” and children of all ages go door to door giving little bags of sticks and pebbles to elderly people.
Well, OK – most of that is made up. Actually, I guess it’s all made up.
There has been a whole weekend of festivities marking the occasion, all across Scotland. From ceilidhs (kay-lees, traditional Scottish dancing), to food festivals, free music and even fireworks. Sorry, no Scottie dog races but it was your chance to hear The Red Hot Chilli Pipers!
St Andrews Day is celebrated on 30 November, but there is a whole weekend of events. It marks the feast day of Saint Andrew, the patron Saint of Scotland. No one is really sure how it happened, there are legends and stories from every part of Scotland, but what is known is that St Andrew was crucified on a cross that was in the form of an “X” – a Saltire.
Continue reading 'St Andrews Day in Edinburgh'»
Let’s say you were rather wealthy. Let’s say you lived in Britain the 1700′s. Let’s go so far to say you lived in Edinburgh at the time, and enjoyed a residence in the city that was close to your office in the bank, the your medical practice, or other place of employment for person of stature and cunning, such as yourself.
Back in the day, there was no “Brinks”, no “ADT” no home security. No motion lights, no CCTV, not even a webcam to watch over you in your slumber or when your away.
So, how did you keep all your cool stuff safe from threat of theft?
Continue reading 'An Ingenious Medievil Burglar Alarm'»
I don’t think that any other American has had so much to do with shaping British History and folklore than a man from New York (then just York) named Guy Fawkes. At 35 years of age, Guy Fawkes would do one of the most unimaginable things at the time. He was discovered leaving the a room in a cellar beneath the House of Lords and he gave a fictitious name to the agent who discovered him (no, I agree, that’s not a big deal). You see, the next day, the House of Lords – also known as the upper house of Parliament – was scheduled to open and it was to packed full of Lords, MP’s, and the presence of King James himself (becoming more intrigued?). Well, the room was stuffed with firewood, and underneath the firewood? . . . 36 barrels of gunpowder! Enough gunpowder to not only blow up the House of Lords above it and kill everyone in the room, but more than that, it would have almost certainly decimated the entire Palace of Westminster. It also turns out that when Guy Fawkes was caught leaving the cellar, he had a pocket full of fuses as well.
King James had been tipped off to one of the biggest terrorist plots of its time, and had dispatched men to search the building for who and what could cause such impending destruction – and as it turns out – he was just in time.
Continue reading 'Remember, Remember the Fifth of November'»
There is a saying throughout Asia that we became intimately familiar with: “same same, but different”. It’s similar to saying “six in one hand, half dozen in another”, but it’s just has a better catch to it. It’s what you would say when something is encountered that seems like what you know, but has a distinct twist or even a subtle variance to it. The shortened version is simply “same same”. This has been our mantra as we acclimate to life over the pond and deeply submerged in new surroundings and a new culture.
Everything is new for us. Most surprisingly is what you don’t expect, the currency . . . same same but different – way different.
Continue reading 'Shake Your Money Maker'»
Fill the air with confetti thrown from the rooftops, cue the fireworks lighting up the night sky and let the trumpets from the castle towers fill the surrounding countryside with music!
WE’RE HERE ! ! !
We’re finally in Edinburgh. The last leg of our journey was no less exciting or event filled than any other portion of this adventure. We flew from Belfast to Glasgow on Ryan Air (which brings to mind other misfortunes by flying the discount carriers), and from the airport came straight to Edinburgh. This final day of travel, though only a few hours, consisted of a bus, a plane and two trains.
We now have a beautiful flat, in walking distance to the Royal Mile and Princes Street, and are spending our days not only as tourists, but as something we haven’t done in over a year – assimilating into daily life and becoming members of a community.
The last month has been rather eventful that we haven’t been able to keep up to date. We have yet to write about escaping a third strike in Greece, our time in Belgium with good friends, touring Irish countryside by car, our first attempts at couchsurfing and our time spent in Northern Ireland with family.
It has really been an amazing time, and there is a swirl of emotions as we begin our new lives, so stay in touch and we’ll tell you all about it.