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Aberdeen to Glasgow

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On Saturday, Lola and I had a daytrip to Glasgow. Our train left Aberdeen at half past six in the morning and my plan was to take pictures out of the window as the sky changed from black to blue; I didn’t realise I would also be watching the world change from green to white. We were stunned when snow suddenly appeared on the ground just past Dundee – it was so cold down south/out west, but incredibly pretty. Anyway, here you go… Scotland, from dark to light:

And reaching Glasgow Queen Street at nine o’clock:

(note: I love some of these pictures and I hope that you do, too, but I’d like to take this chance to talk about copyright. Namely, that I hold it. If you’re using any of these images IN YOUR BLOG please ensure I’m properly credited, that this post/ is linked to and that you make me aware that you have done so; if you would like to use them FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE, please ask my permission first – I’m very approachable, really! Thanks!)

Snowy Afternoon

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So, the snow’s back and we all got sent home from work this afternoon because of it. Even me. And I live less than five minutes walk away.

I took the meandering route back home…

The Week (of Birthdays) I’ve Had (12th Dec 2010)

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A random snap from Monday lunchtime.

This week, both my boyfriend, Steve, and I had birthdays. Steve’s was first and started with drinks in the Brewdog pub on Monday evening. Brewdog are a local artisan brewery producing some incredibly strong drinks; we were not the prettiest of sights by the time we stumbled home! Good thing we had both booked Tuesday – his actual birthday – off work!

How great is this vintage wrapping paper? I found it on Etsy about five months ago and have been hiding it away ever since. His birthday card was written in invisible ink (idea stolen from here) with the decoder pen wrapped up and buried in amongst his presents.

I felt like I should be spending the day making a fuss of him, but he seemed quite content to muck about on his Xbox instead! In the evening, we went out for dinner and then to a one off showing of Lemmy at the arthouse cinema. Steve’s a big Motorhead fan so the timing could not have been better!

Another random – this one from my walk to the dentist’s on Thursday.

And one from my walk home from work on Friday.

On Friday evening, we went to see Pendulum in concert. I was one of the few people paranoid enough to obey the No Cameras rule, but I did get a shot of Condensation Steve enjoying the bus journey home.

And today is my birthday!!! One of the downsides of having a birthday in December is that it’s almost impossible to get everybody together at one time to help you celebrate. One of the upsides of having a birthday in December is that you end up needing to have multiple celebrations so that everyone can be included!

Last night, a bunch of us were supposed to be going to a castle in the country to see a festive lightshow and magicians; alas, it was snowed off so we had a party at Steve’s and my flat instead, complete with regal attire and sparkly crowns. It gave me a good excuse to do some baking, too – Mars Bar crispies and Earl Grey cupcakes – yum!

And tonight, a few of us are going to the panto, which this year is Sleeping Beauty.

All in all, a wonderful week!


The Week I’ve Had (5 Dec 2010)

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Good ways to start the week do not include getting a paper cut on your tongue! That’ll teach me to buy cheap ass envelopes instead of those ones that self seal.

Except it probably won’t.

On the bright side, the envelope licking was the result of throwing together a new home card for my cousin and her husband as I rushed out the door on Monday morning, which made me feel nicely productive.

The weather hadn’t improved any since last week, so we all ended up getting sent home about three o’clock on Monday. This was welcome news as we were getting quite distressed watching the poor starlings (? I think? It was hard to tell in the snow!) flying about, trying to find somewhere warm to roost.

Tuesday was the last day of Movember; Steve’s quite pleased with his ‘tache so is planning to keep if for a little while. We took a commemorative picture anyway.

Never one to leave myself out when pictures are being taken, I demanded Steve take a snap of me, too.

On Wednesday, one of my all time favourite bands was playing in town: The Wedding Present. Some friends and I spent a fretful day tracking their progress across a snowbound Scotland online, but they were determined and no mere Forth Road Bridge closures could keep them from the show! Hurrah!

Support was from Ringo Deathstarr (right) who were new to all of us and awesome – a cross between The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine.

Here’s my friend Roddy, dressed for the snow in his Sonic Youth hat. So him.

And here’s The Wedding Present frontman David Gedge growling his way through Brassneck.  My friend Sue got her photo taken with him and couldn’t stop grinning!

In a fit of window-fitting-optimism, I took these pictures mid-week to remind me of why exactly I am spending/did spend So.Much.Money having the single glazing replaced. The view from out flat is lovely but completely blocked by condensation when it’s cold outside, and the windows which were in the flat when I bought it had almost rotted away on the outside. The replacements had to be wood-framed, slim-glazed sash and case (it’s a listed building) and cost an absolute fortune, but I’m hoping they’ll be worth every room-warming, view-enhancing penny!

Friday night was my staff Christmas do. Wine etc.

I had a fantastic Saturday, but that gets a post all to itself.

And today… there are an awful lot of windowfitters in the flat, making an awful lot of noise and carrying odd bits of rotten wood out the door… Ooh!

Bonus Sunday

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The original plan for today had been to sit in our flat, watching window fitters rip great big holes in it and feeling the icy gale force winds blast through it. But when that plan fell apart (see previous post), Steve and I decided to make the most of an unexpected day of freedom.

We slithered across the slush to Belmont Street:

This was the view from our table in the Wild Boar:

We got off quite lightly, having to postpone the window installation. We have friends who can’t get back to Aberdeen, can’t get out of Aberdeen, can’t get out of their homes in the country, in one case can’t get to their home in the country, and who are in the middle of trying to move house in this weather. The thick snow’s one thing, but the gale force winds are making it so much worse. It doesn’t look too bad in these pictures because this is the city centre and the worst of the snow has been trodden under foot, but (judging by our friends’ photos and stressed out Facebook updates) it’s properly deep a few streets over!

Luckily for us, we were in the warm pub enjoying lunch:

After lunch, we headed to Union Terrace to see if the International Market was actually on. We were not surprised to find that it was missing:

But that didn’t matter because we headed to the cinema instead and laughed our way through Megamind. Much more fun than noisy home improvements!

The Week I’ve Had (28 Nov 2010)

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Mother Nature does not take orders from asphalt.

Wednesday saw the first real snow of the winter. Lovely to look at, not so great to walk in… and ever so slightly alarming when you’re due to have new windows fitted in a matter of days. Scaffolding? Hazardous when icy? Are you sure…?

To distract myself from the bad weather, I started reading The Worst Date Ever by Jane Bussmann. It sounded like chick-lit but bore a recommendation from Jon Snow of all people (non-UK readers: he’s a silver fox newsreader with a fondness for lurid ties). He was not wrong! This is the first book in a long time that I haven’t felt the need to put down every other chapter so I could check whether anything more entertaining was happening on Facebook.

In between reading, I actually went in to work this week. These are some random snaps I took on my way back in on Thursday lunchtime – I think Marischal College (right) looks like a spaceship sticking out of the scaffolding like that, especially now that 500+ years’ worth of grime has been sandblasted off it and it’s back to its original silvery shades.

As for the orange berries, I just liked the vivid colours.

Thursday evening, I parcelled up a load of teabags and a tea cup photo for my partner in the Fancy Tea Swap 2010. I hope she likes them!

Friday was book group at Rhona’s flat (the location of these Starburst-coloured candles). This month we were reading This is Paradise!: My North Korean Childhood by Hyok Kang, the true story of a young boy growing up amidst and eventually escaping from poverty and famine in North Korea.

Today – much to my surprise given the gale force winds and thick layer of snow – six cheery window fitters arrived at 7am sharp. Unfortunately, the scaffolder who was supposed to be coming back to fit all the safety nets and handrails he forgot about last week (being beheaded by runaway roof slates could ruin somebody’s Christmas, apparently) did not show up, so at half past eight the cheery window fitters went away again and I was left with my condensation-soaked single glazing and rotten windowframes. *sigh*

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