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Monday, August 13, 2001.

Hey gang

We are doing some slight changes to our news page. We are going to be making it a bit more dynamic by throwing some php at you. Don't worry - it's painless! Just update your bookmarks to here:

http://www.melbatoast.com/scotland/news.php3

Monday, August 13, 2001.

If your option is to be in the Human Be-In or be out! BE OUT! This is possibly the worst place in Edinburgh for service. Jano and I aren't difficult customers and we like to give places more than one chance, but the Human Be-In failed the two times we've been there. The first time we were there, there were only 5 table occupied and 4 servers. The servers felt they were getting paid to stand in the corner and chat about nail polish and the like. This time, when we did get there, it wasn't busy, and it did get busier, I will say that. We arrived and sat out on the patio - why a restaurant would put a patio in if they didn't intend to service it is beyond me. Jano went into and asked for drinks and menus. While were waiting for the beer to ferment or something, one of the servers came out to bring drinks to the table next to us and ask another table if they needed anything, completely ignoring us. Hmmmm. We waited another 5 minutes for the drinks to come and then we ordered some starters. We enjoyed the day and ate our chips and tempura veggies. We felt that we'd help out a bit by ordering another round of drinks while we still have 1/4 of a drink left. We figured, they'd finally get drinks to us a bit after we finished ours and it'd be just right. Didn't happen folks! We ordered another round, we finished our drinks, we waited about 5 minutes, then I got irritated and went to the bar and ordered and waited for another round myself. I brought the drinks to our table and we continued our Sunday afternoon relaxation day. 15 minutes later, the server started wandering around the place with two pints of beer. And they weren't for us. I don't understand why anyone would open a restaurant only to have the service be so surprisingly bad. I mean - Human Be-In doesn't just have poor service - it has BAD BAD BAD service. It got to the point that I wanted to start telling people who were checking out the menu to go up the street to Mao Mao. When we asked for the bill (which came in quite a jiffy), it was WRONG! They had charged us for the round of drinks that never got to us. I said to the waitress "excuse me but there are two extra drinks on our bill that we never got." She just looked at me and said "but you ordered them." I didn't lose my paitence gang - I was very nice about it and said "well, you are right, I did order them, but I never got them, so I'm not going to be paying for them." She went away and brought a new bill, this time one drink short. I should have kept my mouth shut, but I don't like to be like that so I pointed out that she needed to add a 1/2 pint of beer to the bill. She added a full pint of beer! Ok gang - this is the 3rd bill to come to us and it still IS WRONG! I finally said "no problem - we just owe you 13.90." She said "oh - ok." And went and got a 4th, finally right, bill. ARGHGHGHGH! She hovered over us as Jano paid and didn't leave a tip (I'm sorry, but I'm not going to leave a tip when the only thing the waitress brings to my table is 1 plate of chips and 1 plate of veggies and then give us 4 different bills). Boy did we get stink eye. Now how long do you suppose we were there gang? 1 hour? Nope. 1.5 hours? Nope. We were there over 2 hours for 2 rounds of drinks!!!! Like I said Get out of the Human Be In. If you are visiting Edinburgh, e-mail me and I'll be able to suggest some really lovely places to see and be seen without you having to serve yourself at the Human Be-In.

Otherwise, this weekend was Jano and my nothing weekend. We did absolutely nothing but rested and relaxed all weekend long and it was very very good!
posted by melanie baird 10:23:56 AM

Thursday, August 09, 2001.

Tonight Jano and I are going to see Opera Galactica at the Gateway on Elm Row with Christy and her room mates - if you are in town (and get this in time) - come see it with us! It's star wars set to opera - very funny! :) Jano get's 2 for 1 tickets so if you have someone you'd like to bring along...

I'm thinking of organizing a ride to Ratho for a picnic! I discovered this really cool fun sandwich recipe and I'm dying to try it out. How silly huh? I figure Ratho isn't too far for novice riders and the tow path is flat and pretty the whole way out there. I'm thinking the 18th. I'll probably end up posing the sandwich recipe and any pics here on the site.
posted by melanie baird 12:03:56 PM

Wednesday, August 08, 2001.

So, I've created a more personal, mel-specific blog - ...email me if you want the link. That doesn't mean I won't be updating stuff here. I'll still be doing that, but I just wanted to give only the fun Scotland related stuff here.
posted by melanie baird 12:39:04 PM

Tuesday, August 07, 2001.

Well gang, Sunday Jano and I were surprised to find out that we were hosting a bbq so our planned picnic bike ride to Ratho was cancelled. What we did do though, was pretty darn cool. August is the month of festivals here in Edinburgh, which means, besides thousands of show (theatre, dance, singing, etc.) to see, thousands of tourists. And I thought San Francisco had it bad. Well, there is this art installation on Lothian Road called Arcazaar put on by the Architects of Air. It is so cool! It is hard to explain, but basically, it's a building made of plastic that is like a balloon. You can walk into it and look around and sit around and dance around if you want. Jano and I found ourselves pretending it was a space station where all of the crew had been given sleeping sickness or something - as we walked through, the only people we saw were people just sorta laying around, some sleeping, some talking quietly and some reading. It was very cool. Jano and I plan on visiting again and again while it's here.

A friend of ours planned a bbq for the evening and somehow it ended up being at our place. I'm not complaining, I'm just not sure how it ended up at ours, but that's ok. We bbq'd and talked and laughed and played uno. I think a fun time was had by all.

Monday, I took the day off as a holiday so that I could take care of some errands and then see some shows with Christy, who was working with us as an intern, but now has to return to the states. Well, my day started off ok but then I had to hit the passport office (I've misplaced my passport and need to get a new one). Well gang - my maiden name is Yslas, but if you all remember, my mum decided to use Gray without legally changing it. I can't even begin to tell you the trouble that is going to cause me getting a new passport! Just suffice it to say - I'm in passport identity hell.

After the episode at the passport office, I met up with Christy finally! We were able to go see 3 shows together, starting with Sherlock Holmes put on by Frantic Redhead Productions. Yesterday was a 2 for 1 day at most of the shows. We arrived and the "frantic redhead" tried to charge us both full price! When we mentioned the 2 for 1 offer, she said it was a mistake in the brochure, but went ahead and let us in for 2 for 1. It started with tea and cake in this little cafe at the French Institute overlooking the Waters of Leith and then the actors and the play begins moving through Deans Village. The walk was so pretty! We were able to go through some of the private gardens and into one of the buildings of Deans Village. The play was ok. I wouldn't pay full price for it, but some of the actors are really wonderful and the scenery just can't be beat! I think it's a great show to see if you are visiting Edinburgh.

We then went on to see Little Voice put on by the Harland Hamstrings Theatre Company. They are based in the high school so it was performed by teenagers. It was really good! The girl who played Little Voice has such a sweet voice. Granted, it was a young and inexperienced voice, but it was done really well. The girl playing the mum was fantastic and she stole the show! I thought the production was better than the Frantic Redhead Production.

After that, we stopped to figure out where we'd head next and ended up across the way at the Underbelly Theatre just to look around. Turns out, Cabaret is being done there by Double Edge Drama. It was sold out, but Christy asked if any of the tickets were cancelled or no shows and surprise surprise! 2 turned up for us! It was so great! Since it was 2 for 1, we each got in for 4. This was my favorite this year so far. The production was just as good as the one we saw in San Francisco, and just as tear jerking! Sally Bowles was played by a young guy - and although at first I wasn't sure about it - it ended up working so well! He did a lovely job of showing how vulnerable and just pathetic she is really. If there is one show you get the chance to see - let it be Cabaret!

This week, we are planning on seeing Opera Galactic again with a group of friends. It's this Thursday so if you wanna join us...you know the drill!
posted by melanie baird 10:52:52 AM

Sunday, August 05, 2001.

I'll probably be creating a new blog for melanie specific stuff, so e-mail me if you want the link.

This week was fairly busy. I met with my friend Heleen for drinks at PopRokit on Wednesday and then met with Jano's work mates for drinks on Thursday. It was really fun. I enjoy Heleen's company. Jano's work mates were interesting. They all have to dress up for work in ties and nice shirts. Hehe. I get to do the jeans or fairly relaxed clothes and he has to dress up like a granddad every day. Friday, my work mates went out because Christy is heading back to the states now that her internship is over. We started out at Timberbush and then tried Yo Sushi, which was "full" at 9:00. Full my butt! 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night - when all of the other pubs and bars on Rose St. are crying out for customers and Yo Sushi is "full"! Ha! I won't be going to Yo Below again. Stupid Edinburgh door men. Then we headed out for Bam Bou. That's a really cool little bar over on South Bridge St. The music was cool and the environment was very tiki.

Yesterday, Jano and I got up and were full of energy and decided a ride up into the Pentlands was in order. We geared up with sandwiches, water, snacks - we were ready for a good 4 hour hard ride. I told him I'd be coming home muddy and sweaty! Well - we got out to Currie on the Waters of Leith path and turned left up into the hills. It was straight up the 9 mile burn. It wasn't 9 miles and burn means hill (I think) not the feeling in your legs cycling straight up. It was a killer that's for sure. We got to close to the top and the path goes into and through a sheep pasture. We checked with the foot and mouth sign and it said it was a-ok just don't touch the sheep (huh?). So we continued on up the hill. We finally get to the top of the hill and are just going over the stone wall to head down into this little glen with a loch and what happens to our lovely day? It rains! Just a little rain so Jano and I decided to head for the trees directly in front of us. We start off and the rain gets heavier and heavier. Little creeks of water start running past us down to the trees we were heading for! Yikes! So I looked back to see how big the cloud was - maybe it'd blow over! NOOOOOO - it was huge! We decided it'd be better to turn back since the one thing we forgot was our waterproofs! What happened as we were running BACK up the hill, but it started to HAIL!!! Shees! We get to the top and our clothes are soaked! I tried wringing my long sleeve out, but no use! We begin going back down the 9 mile burn - and as we get into the sheep enclosure - the sheep are now on either side of the path - and THEY LOOK HUNGRY! I mean - really hungry - and they suddenly seem very carnivorous. One of them was making this growling sound to my right, one making this really ominous baaaa to my left and Jano says he saw a couple in the back sharpening their knives! Hehe. Jano decided it was every man (or woman) for themselves and booked on down the hill leaving me to find myself suddenly closed in by the "pack"! I just turned tail and ran down the hill too! It was funny! We found an enclosure of trees and got under it quickly. We tried wringing out our clothes again and what happens! The rain/hail becomes even harder bigger rain! Since it was getting cold we decided to try out luck and just get the heck home! We were about 1 hour away from the house and we just kicked it up and raced home. We made it back in less than 40 minutes! So - all in all - we were soaked, tired, muddy, and had done 18 miles in no time at all. When I got into the shower, I literally had little rivers of mud coming off of me. It was pretty funny. But I did say I'd come home dirty and sweaty and I sure did! :)

Afterwards we hit the cinema to see Rush Hour 2. Funny. Not super high brow entertainment, but it was fun.

Then we met up with Katrina and her friends at the Traverse bar for drinks for her birthday. We all headed over to the Spider's Web for a northern soul do. Jano and I danced all night long. It was so fun.

So, today, when I should be resting and cleaning house, we are heading out into the wilds of festival Edinburgh for a wander and then we have to be home to host a bbq for a friend, who originally invited us to his house for a bbq but it somehow ended up here. I'm not sure how that happened, but since I was the one he was talking to, I only have myself to blame.

See you guys later!
posted by melanie baird 1:36:42 PM

Tuesday, July 31, 2001.

Things at work are going well. I've got a new boss and he's a winner. Well for now at least. He's very pleasant, actually wants suggestions and implements them! Imagine that! And as of right now, he seems very good at letting credit remain where credit is due. How novel. We'll see if he keeps it up. :)
posted by melanie baird 4:22:08 PM

Monday, July 30, 2001.

Ok gang, I'm feeling much better now. :) The doc was super nice and I like him. I swear - I'm not dying and I'm 98% better - the 2% being just tired.

Yesterday (Sunday), I was wanting to get out a bit but couldn't do much wandering around with being so tired and Jano (he's the best ever) went and rented a car! He's so wonderful! What would I ever do without him? So, we went for a ride all over the South of Scotland (and North of England). We went South to Galashiels and then East from there through Kelso and on to Berwick upon Tweed. From there, we went North along the coast through St. Abbs and Dunbar and then North Berwick. It was just the best time ever. We took only little single track roads so that we could really get lost and see the countryside. We ended up taking 200 miles. We saw a bit of everything. We've decided we are going to do this once a month. I can't wait for the next trip!
posted by melanie baird 9:13:11 PM

Friday, July 27, 2001.

Well gang, I'm sick. Pretty darn sick. I won't go into the details, I'll just say that it's fairly scary and I'm off work. My sister is worried and wants me to go back to the states to see a doctor. I'm trying to reassure her that the doctors here are just fine and are on top of the problem, but she's my big sis and you just can't stop her from worrying that easily.

I did end up going to the Yo Sushi launch party although I had started to feel ill before I went. I just couldn't miss it. It was pretty cool. We got an eyeful of the Edinburgh Glitterati. That was pretty cool. They weren't that different from the various groups of them in other cities. I'll have to update you all more on the launch party when I'm feeling better.
posted by melanie baird 10:07:55 AM

Wednesday, July 25, 2001.

So Monday night, Jano and I went with Rhiannon to the new Yo Sushi on Rose St. We ate in the Yo Below place. It was so cool! They fed us for free and we got to use the beer tap at our table. They showed cool anime movies and had a dj. The sushi was yummy and fresh and the bento boxes were perfect. Once it opens for real, they are serving edamame as a starter and green tea ice cream as a desert. I'm so excited and I couldn't be happier. We won passes to the launch party tonight, but still haven't received them. Arghgh!

Last night, after my rant, Jano took me out to see a movie and we met up with my friend Vanessa. We saw Ginger Snaps. What a great movie! Full of bloody good fun! Mimi Rogers as the mom was so great. Of course, the end left us all screaming for more. The gore was fairly low budget, but the script and concept were great!

Jano just messaged me and said the passes for tonight have arrived! Hurray and happy days! :)
posted by melanie baird 8:48:05 AM

Tuesday, July 24, 2001.

Ok gang - can I rant here for a minute? I'm sure I'll delete the entry, but I just need to air some grievances.

So this "friend" of mine has decided to give me severe grief over the fact that I've been "distant" and "not around much." Well gang - I know it's terribly selfish of me, but I've been busy. Pretty darn busy. I've been pretty darn stressed to go with it, so if any of you is feeling slighted and consider me an "ice queen" well - I'm sorry. So, if you all are asking what do I have to be stressed about and getting ready to give me grief about it... Oh, just a few little things like, um, living in a country without your family? Or how about taking an amazingly huge cut in pay because you thought it was worth it? Or how about the one where your hubby is having trouble finding work and is fairly sad about that? Oh wait - did I tell you all that my company laid off 4 people in my department recently? Hmmm... How about the work permit thing and being worried about job security? Oh - there IS the audit of our 1998 taxes that has been weighing fairly heaviliy on my mind. What about being transfered into a new department and answering to a new (really cool and nice) boss? Oh this one is good - how about the anxiety attacks I've been getting recently that are causing me to have trouble breathing - no i don't have asthma - no i don't have bronchitis - i'm stressed - that's STRESS! I'm sure I can go on and on about it but I think you all have the point. So - I am sorry if I haven't burdened you all with my petty problems - they really aren't all that important and I have no doubt I'll get over them very soon, but if you think that your life is more difficult than mine or more stressful or whatever - be ready to get an earful and a ration of sh*t. AND if you are someone who considers yourself a friend, please take a breath and count to 10 BEFORE you give me crap because I didn't ask you how your day went! If you would like further Mel stress updates - email me - i'll give 'em all to you - just stand in line, but DO NOT think that you will be able to give me grief over it.
posted by melanie baird 8:41:46 PM

Monday, July 23, 2001.

So, this weekend we did a whole lotta nothing. :) It was pleasant. We got caught up on some cleaning and some shopping. It's been forever since we were able to actually shop. It was nice.

There is a new restaurant opening up on Rose St. called Yo Sushi. It's an offshoot of the Yo Sushi we've been to in London. Rhiannon made reservations for the 3 of us tonight. I guess we are beta testing the restaurant so it's free! :) Then on Wednesday, we got tickets to the launch party. I'm pretty darn jazzed. If I could, I'd be there for lunch and dinner daily. Well, maybe not daily but...

Things are pretty darn stressful right now.
posted by melanie baird 1:38:07 PM

Wednesday, July 18, 2001.

Camping. In the rain. In Scotland.

Does life get any better? Jano and I went on our first camping trip together. How funny that after 7 years, we've finally gone camping. We headed out to Blair Atholl which is about 6 miles north of Pitlochry. We packed up our bikes with all of our equipment and took the train to Pitlochry Saturday morning. I got new panniers for my bike and I'm so much happier! It's so easy to pack my bike and all the stuff with it now! The night before we made snacks for the trip. It took us quite a while to make the 6 miles because it was raining, we weren't rushing, and geez- that stuff is heavy! hehe. We stopped off in Killicrankie for a toilet break and snacks. We got to read about the Soldier's Leap over 18 ft. of river to get away from the Highlanders. I think you would have too - I mean - it's cold and wet and you've got guns and then this group of crazy mad men come running you down in kilts and leather soled shoes. What are you going to do? Boy it was amazing!

We arrived at the camp grounds on the castle grounds of Blair Castle and began setting up camp. Before we knew it, we were relaxing all dry and snug as bugs in a rug in our new really cool, easy to assemble, little tent. I wanted to be able to set up camp on my own and I was successfu! We headed off to the little shop for some eats having exhausted most of our snacks. While at the shop, we found out that there was a wedding going on with one of the "local girls" in the church. This town is tiny tiny and the church probably holds 50 people. It was so sweet! Jano and I stood and watched and I remembered our wedding day. It was like magic. I remember that I didn't see any other person that day but Jano and I figured if the bride and groom were as lucky as Jano and I, they would be the same and wouldn't mind that we watched. :)

After that, we just sorta wandered about and made some soup. After the rain cleared out (it wasn't raining like crazy, it was just light showers), we headed out on our bikes. We found this nice little path along the river and had the best time. We made it all the way back to Killicrankie and turned about and came back. Of course, I ended up with another fist full of nettles! Arghghgh! Of course, I really got it this time and it was still numb the next day! George at work just HAD to tell me that I probably am becoming allergic to the stinging nettles and before long, I'll end up in anaphalactic (sp?) shock! Great, just great! I told him he had Jano to answer to! :)

We had a nice night in the tent, not the slightest bit cold. Our new sleeping bags were great! The next morning, we took a nice ride through and up to the castle and after parking the bikes, we wandered through the grounds. It was so nice! Oh Jano and I just had the best darn time! I'm glad the rain was there because it made us relax and not do much of anything! It was really what I needed. It's kinda sad that I need rain to stop and smell the roses but it happens. We took the back route back through to Pitlochry. Boy were we bushed. We asked to get on the train and were told "you shoulda made reservations yesterday!" Argh! That really stressed me out. The train came along and it was a train that would split in Perth. We barely got on the Glasgow side. When we arrived in Perth, we got off and I ended up having to turn on the waterworks to get on! The conductors finally let us on (to stand) with our bikes. Phew! I just kept picturing having to call work and say "oh - we are stuck in Pitlochry and we'll be home when we get home."

We got home, ordered take away from my favorite Chinese restaurant, Taste Good and just relaxed with a nice beer and some good food! I really have to say it again - does life get better?
posted by melanie baird 4:54:30 PM

Tuesday, July 10, 2001.

Well gang - got my first fistful of stinging nettles yesterday on my way home. People, if you are a pedestrian walking two abreast on a path that's two abreast wide, it's a nice thing for one of you to step aside for the cyclist that has stopped for you rather than making them RUN INTO A STINGING NETTLE BUSH! Geez! This couple wouldn't move to save their lives. The path is shared for goodness sakes and I stopped for them! oh well - I'm glad it happened cuz now I know it's not so bad. Why, I think I'm gonna go out and bath in stinging nettles today!
posted by melanie baird 9:19:49 AM

Sunday, July 08, 2001.

Hey gang - Friday night's party was a success. Jano and I had a "4th of July American Independence Day/5th of July Thank F**k they're gone" party. Here's the invite that Jano designed for it. My punch started out being more than nasty and slowly was worked on and changed until it was palatable (and strong enough to curl hair). The gang from work brought more aftershock and it wasn't long before the punch started to have this cinnamon flavour to it. Here's the rundown: It seemed like everywhere George was, a large group of people were nearby. Andy McMorris was helping Jano be DJ. Bronwin and Gareth were busy showing Jano Salsa dancing in the front room. Simon and Neve showed up and it was good to see Simon's neck wasn't quite so stiff - I'm sure having Neve in town helped. I think David was responsible for the cinnamon in the punch. I know he was responsible for that shot of Aftershock I ended up imbibing. Heather was sweet enough to drink the punch and not make a nasty face. Katrina brought a carrot cake to the party iced like an American flag. I'm not sure when the states gained 10 states, but it was pretty cool! I was able to light sparklers with Vanessa, Ursula, Maria and Andy. That was definitely just like back home. We all kept on lighting more and more as they each slowly went out. Andrew McIntosh made an appearance and his shining personality made the party a bit more exciting. I was really glad that Heleen and Grant showed up seeing that they just moved to Edinburgh. The party went on until about 3:30 a.m. Although I didn't see anyone eating the snacks, they were all gone by the end of the party. The clean up wasn't a problem at all either.
Saturday, Jano and I went to see Tomb Raider. I liked it. Yeah, it was predictable and yeah, her lips were a bit outta control, but all in all, it was good fun. Afterwards, we stopped and watched the swans and their babies wandering about by the canal. The babies were so cute and fuzzy and the parents were so protective! Let me tell you, I wouldn't want to go head to head with a mother swan! We'll have pictures of them soon!
After a nice nap, I got up and met with Katrina at the Spider's Web for a northern soul dance. I really had a good time with that. I met some of her friends and we talked about San Francisco and Palo Alto. I danced the night away and ended up walking home and Jano had some yummy pasta waiting for me.
I think we might be biking to Linlithgow or Falkirk today. Next week were are off to Carnoustie for a camping trip.
posted by melanie baird 9:40:20 AM

Tuesday, July 03, 2001.

What have we been up to lately? Well...lots...

Last week, I rode home in the rain. It rocked. The route was empty so no pedestrian traffic at all. I got home all muddy cuz I HAD to aim at every puddle right? I mean, it's not worth riding in the rain if you don't get muddy huh? My bike hated it and I almost bit sand when the front derailleur locked up but no harm done.

Friday night, I started the evening with the guys from work. We had the killer bitch session and then for some reason, David and George got up to devilish tricks and decided to see if the Americans (Christy was with us) could hand Aftershock shots. Eh. It wasn't bad. It wasn't good either though. It was like drinking a big ol' shot o' cinnamon Scope or something. Hehe. It was pretty fun though and it was cool that George got the shots for us. I had to leave early to meet up with Jano and Katrina for a Northern Soul do at Marcos. Marcos is this gym on Grove St., and it was pretty cool. The music was good, but I couldn't lose the feeling of high school stag dance honestly. There weren't tons of people at the do, but people danced and that was cool. Jano and I are still pretty amazed at the subculture the shows attract.

Sunday we went back to Tiso and bought our camping gear. That was pretty darn cool. When we got home, we set up the tent in the back garden and had a bbq. We are certain the neighbors think we are insane or something. Jano doesn't like the tent we got so we have to take it back. I don't know. A tent is a tent is a tent - isn't it? :)

We went to see Evolution and Shrek recently. I loved Evolution. I was laughing my butt off and jumping around when the scary things would jump out. Jano was enjoying the movie (or it's affect on me). Shrek. Well - it was a movie. No just kidding. I don't see what the big deal is about though. Yeah, it was cute, and pulled at your heart strings, but come on. It was way too short. Oh well.

This Friday we are having our "4th of July American Independence Day/5th of July Thank F***k they are gone!" compromise party. Hehe. I'm excited. I've invited some of my friends from work, and some from Uni last summer and then some from Digital Eve. All in all, it should be very entertaining. I'm a tad nervous though. I get all worried when I have to be responsible for dozens of peoples' entertaininment. Thursday night, I'm going to be busy making punch, vodka jellies (that's jello shots for your people in the states), and little snack trays. We may or may not have a bbq to start the event. We'll see how my nerves are holding up.

So - that's it gang! I'm busy taking photos of my ride home so you all can see what sorta traffic heck I contend with on the way home (oh no - there's a bird on the route). hehe.
posted by melanie baird 1:09:53 PM

Saturday, June 23, 2001.

Today Jano and I got up and went for a nice ride to the Tiso store by my work in Leith. We took the National Cycle Network. Here is a shot from the bike path towards where I work. The restaurant called The Oyster Bar has been changed over to the Waterline which is where we all go to eat on Friday. It's awful, but you know how boys can be. Once again, these photos are from Dave Henniker. If you get a chance, check out his Edinburgh photos and get a better feel for where Jano and I live.

So anyway, Jano and I spent the morning pricing out some camping gear at Tiso. We are gonna gear up for some camping trips this summer. We checked out tents and sleeping bags. They are certainly not cheap! But now that Jano's working, we can breath a bit better. Afterwards, we went out for lunch at Bar Java. This is where Jano and I had coffee while I was interviewing for my job. They are also the ones that threw the company bbq. for us Thursday. I really like this place, I just wish is was closer to where we live. Afterwards, I took Jano on my commute home. We meandered along and I pointed out all my favorite parts of the ride - the houses I want to live in, the places I just like to stop and sit for a couple of minutes. It was a nice day for my husband and I.
posted by melanie baird 9:44:02 PM

Friday, June 22, 2001.

So this week I had the wonderful opportunity to bike to/from work each day. It's so wonderful. My morning commute takes 20 minutes instead of 40+ and it's all street. For some reason it's not very hectic at that time. The commute home is heaven! I stay off the street completely and take the Waters of Leith all the way home. I start out at my office in Leith. I always start off with a pb&j sandwich to power my ride and as long as I have the American pb and the Scottish j - I'm just fine. I'm going to be posting a photo essay of the ride home so you all can see how magical it is. Although it's 6 miles and takes me about 45 minutes - it's worth it! The only traffic I have to deal with is the little old men and women with their dogs. I get to listen to the water babbling and the bird singing. At one point, I go through the middle of Dean Village. These pictures are from Dave Henniker and they are amazing! Go to his site and check out his others.

Last night, my company threw a bbq for all of us. It was pretty fun, but I was tired and just wanted to go home. More on that later.
posted by melanie baird 4:57:45 PM

Wednesday, June 20, 2001.

Emode.Com: Tests, Tests, Tests I just had to send this out to you guys.

I had a wonderful ride into work this morning. The weather was perfect and the commute is so darn fast for me! It's really nice to blow by the bus that I normally ride on!
posted by melanie baird 5:25:58 PM

Tuesday, June 19, 2001.

Oh I didn't give you all the big news! Jano got a temp job with Scottish Widows! I'm so excited and relieved. :) It's a contract job until December, but he'll be able to look for other work.

Hurray! I'm busy planning our first weekend away! Hehe! Send him congrats e-mail at janobaird@melbatoast.com.
posted by melanie baird 9:47:28 PM

So - you wanna know what's been up lately? well let's see...

Friday was a quiet night for Jano and I. I was just tired from a long week's work - I'd just spent a couple hours staying late at work finishing a project with my team mates and wasn't up for much. It's amazing to me what one person considers completed and another considers completely broken, but oh well, I'm not the project manager. Enough said on that.

Saturday I went out with my friend Christy. She's working in our marketing department for the summer and is over here from North Carolina. We had such a great day! We went up and down George St. checking out all the pukka (think shi-shi) shops. They even have an Escada store. How cool! So we wandered in and out all day trying on this and that. I found some really darling cotton shirts and I intend on going back to get two of them next pay day. Hurray!

That night, we were joined by Vanessa and headed on over to a birthday party for Ursula. She's the secretary for the summer sessions at University of Edinburgh. We had a great time! It was so pleasant. The food was fantastic and I don't think they were ever going to run out of wine! I had a couple of the tutors teaching me Scots language which was pretty fun. By the end of the night we were having a rip roaring time in the back yard playing the "This person....or die!" game. It's basically - "so Susy, would you have sex with Tony Blair...OR DIE!" It was pretty funny. At about 12:30, we all crammed into a cab and headed on over to Medina - a very cool bar across from Bistro Square. It's like a night in Arabian Nights or something! There are no tables and chairs - it's all pillows and bean bags and oriental rugs thrown about. The music rocked. Vanessa and I were pestered a bit by this guy who kept trying to buy us drinks. It was pretty funny because I had to introduce him to Jano AND show him our rings to get him to believe we were married and back off! Poor Vanessa - no such luck for her. :) We ended up walking home at about 3:30 a.m. through the meadows. It was so cool because the sun was just starting to come up so the sky wasn't all black, it was just starting to turn a really pretty blue. It was perfect. I felt like we were coming home from an all night club in L.A. at 7:30 a.m. or something. When we got home, I hastily drank 2 pints of water and had a banana and was perfectly fine! No such luck for Jano (was this the night of "no such luck" or what?). He really was hurting the next day. I think it was the wine or something. Hehe. I tried to be sympathetic. I wasn't very successful.

Sunday, of course, was pretty much out. Oh well - there's nothing I like better than a long restful day.

Since we finished that project last Friday (I don't know if finished is quite the right word, but as far as anyone seems to care it's finished), our team leader took Simon, Steven and myself out for lunch. I picked Wok Wok since it is still my favorite (soon to be changed to YoSushi when it opens on Rose St.). It was so cute. I guess I'm just spoiled or something, because I assumed everyone had been there and knew was asian fusion cuisine was like and how to use chop sticks. Well, I was wrong. Simon and Steven had never used chopsticks before. It was so funny trying to teach them to use them. Steven was so proud of himself when he ate his starter only with chopsticks. Simon gave up and went to the fork (which was probably more efficient. I have to admit I didn't get quite as much rice in my mouth as on my lap today).

So that was it for us so far. I'm gonna try to start up dating this whenever something fun happens rather than weekly. Now that we are using blogger. :)

See you guys!
posted by melanie baird 4:56:40 PM

Wednesday, June 13, 2001.

Well, Jano and I have been very busy lately.

Thursday last week, Jano joined Jeremy for a trip to see Pearl Harbor. According to Jano - STINKER!! E-mail him and ask him about it. :)

Friday, I hung out with the gang from work - it was quite fun. We started out at the Waterline (is there any other place to go after work guys?). Callum was leaving the company to start his new venture Zoup - a soup restaurant in the West End. He is so nice! We hung out there for a few drinks (enough to get Jane a bit drunk) and then headed on over to the QBar. I don't get what the big idea is. I learned all sorts of nasty little stories about Simon from his roommates Steven and Jarleth (what kind of name is Jarleth?) - hehe. Then we all piled into another cab and headed to Frankensteins where we met up with Steven Flower (our DBA) and his wife. They are both so nice. I finally had to hoof it home when I could no longer take the drinks they kept forcing on me. :) Jano was out with Jeremy because it was Jeremy's last night in town. He's heading back to the states for the summer. Jano and I ended up making yummy pasta and pizza for a snack before retiring to bed.

Saturday we just slept in and lounged about.

Sunday was shopping day. I had to get a special coffee mug for work (are you happy Simon?) cuz the guys were very unhappy with the one I had (something about cup shape, slanty sides, hot tea, yada yada yada - I think it had something to do with the size of their cups or lack thereof). Now, coffee mugs for work are a tricky business and the only ones I could find were stupid flowery ones or others that would mark me as a tourist! yark! I seriously considered the implications of a completely blank white one before deciding on a Thunderbirds cup. Don't ask me why - I hate the Thunderbirds - they actually scare me with those vacant eyes and hard plastic bodies. Jano doesn't get the point though - he said 'you can tell they aren't real cuz of their strings.' Oh well. Jano and I then did some grocery shopping before having a bbq in the back garden. That was a little slice of heaven. We just sat in the long grass surrounded by flowers, and peace and quiet. It was lovely. Our Glaswegian friend, Rita, came by and we all sat out and talked and talked until about 9:30 (the sun was still up and so lovely).

My friend Andrew called from S.F. to update me on what's going on back there. It was so nice to talk to him after so long and we talked and talked forever! :) It made me happy. Jano's family called to chat. That was so nice. We never really hear about what's going on back home so both calls were welcome surprises.
posted by melanie baird 1:58:53 PM

Monday, June 04, 2001.

Just a quickie on what we did this past weekend. Jano and I had quite an entertaining time.

Friday - well, Friday was a really rough day at work. It was hectic and full of rage so by 5:30, the guys were raring to get something to drink (milk shakes of course). We all went out to the pub and although I told them Jano and I had plans and I would only be around for one pint, I ended up piling into a taxi with the guys and heading over to Siglos around 9:30. We called Jano and got him down to Siglos as well. It was very fun. We met up with Jano's friend Sean and after a bit, we headed on over to Modern Lovers at Ego. I was a bit under the weather so after a song or two, I had to catch a taxi home for some water, water and more water. I really didn't want to deal with a hangover the next day. Jano stayed out with Sean and his friends and came creeping in just as the sun started to come back up again at 3:30 a.m.! (Yes folks, we are back into the time of endless sunshine. The sun sets at 10:00 p.m. and comes back up again at 3:30 a.m. right now.)

Saturday was just a recovery day - neither of us were feeling particularly bad, just tired. We enjoyed the company of each other, had tea and read books. It was a perfect day!

Saturday night, well - we went to the Spider's Web near Haymarket for a Northern Soul do. I was hyper as heck and needed to get out and dance. The club was great! I had so much fun! It was what I expected at all. I was expecting a very young moddish crowd only to be treated to an older crowd of northern soulies! How different the scenes are here. It's so cool! I danced all night long with the biggest grin on my face. Jano, poor soul, was so tired, he was only able to get up for 2 dances. Next time we go, we plan on taking our video camera with us.

Sunday, we wandered over to the Meadows for the Japan 2001 festival along with the Meadows Fun Faire. It was a far cry from the harvest fest. in Japantown S.F., but it was fun nonetheless. We shared a yakitori rice bowl, saw the Scottish Bonsai Assoc. set up, checked out the taiko drums and ended up running into Jamie, Joe and Tim who we haven't seen ages! They were checking out the martial arts demonstration so we didn't get to chat for too long.

All in all, it was a fun fun weekend. I'm still quite happy here and the homesickness from last weekend has eased up immensely.
posted by melanie baird 1:53:56 PM

 

 
 
 

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