post Escape from Edinburgh

January 28th, 2008

Filed under: Scotland — mat @ 1:56 pm

Like Escape from New York (with Orla playing Kurt Russell and myself as Ernest Borgnine), but with rather more plot and better special effects. (more…)

post Major Financial Opportunity

January 28th, 2008

Filed under: Scotland — mat @ 11:34 am

As we search for a more permanent place to call our home (a search which has suddenly moved to the front burner — more on that sometime soon) our eagle eyes have spotted an egregious oversight in the working habits of every letting agent in Edinburgh. This is not a minor gosh-that-might-streamline-our-operation error, but a major what-on-God’s-green-Earth-were-we-thinking?! kind of error. (more…)

post Silflay by the Hrududil

January 24th, 2008

Filed under: General,Scotland — mat @ 12:04 pm

Every weekday morning I walk from our New Town flat to Prince’s Street and catch one of three bus routes out to Ratho Station. The journey typically takes 45 minutes (walk and bus inclusive) and I use the time to read. In the evening I stumble up the footbridge which traverses the A8, a four-lane thoroughfare just incrementally shy of a motorway, and stumble down the other side in the shadow of airplanes taking off and landing at Edinburgh airport. (more…)

post It started with a sore throat…

January 23rd, 2008

Filed under: Scotland — mat @ 11:39 am

The headline is simply an in-joke between my wife and myself, but it does accurately reflect the state of affairs. Late on Monday I began to be the proud owner of a brand-spankin’-new Scottish cold. For those wondering, it turns out that the Scottish variety is much the same as the Californian, except that here they don’t look surprised or even particularly concerned when you inform them of your new acquisition. The iconic reaction was the same as the current national PR slogan: “Welcome to Scotland!”


January 23rd, 2008

Filed under: Actionscript,Flash,General,Scotland — mat @ 11:34 am

Those of you among my vast readership (currently numbering about one if my mother happens to drop by) who have an interest in Flash and Actionscript might perhaps have noticed the complete absence of anything Flash or AS-related on my blog lately. (more…)

post Climbing with the Alien redux

January 17th, 2008

Filed under: Rock Climbing,Scotland — mat @ 1:49 pm

I returned to Alien Rock last night, but not to the church. After my harrowing near-death experience last week (never mind that it was somebody else’s death I was near), I decided to dodge anything belay-related. Alien has a second gym in a non-descript warehouse completely given over to bouldering, which suited me just fine under the circumstances. (more…)

post Tales of the Puppy

January 17th, 2008

Filed under: General,Scotland — mat @ 1:37 pm

As I’ve previously mentioned, my sister breeds Labradoodles. When I phoned her this evening, she informed me that she’d just finished meeting with Armistead Maupin! who was purchasing a ‘doodle puppy. Maupin, author of Tales of the City, had a literary recommendation for us. Seems that the last time he was in Edinburgh, he met Alexander McCall Smith; Smith told Maupin that he’d based his 44 Scotland Street series on Tales, which makes a lot of sense really. I happen to have finished reading the third volume in that series this very morning.

post 11 January, 2008 — Home! (for now)

January 11th, 2008

Filed under: Scotland — mat @ 3:02 pm

This morning we “came through” — as the Scots put it — from Glasgow to Edinburgh. Our bags loaded into a rented Vauxhall, we braved the M8 and the far more frightening maze of twisty little passages, all alike, that is central Edinburgh. It was chilly, but the sky was clear and snow dappled the nearby mountains. And after a few mis-directions, we found the office of our friendly letting agent, and thence on to our new flat in the well-to-do neighborhood known as Stockbridge. (more…)

post 8 January 2008 – Climb in a church…you might need to pray!

January 8th, 2008

Filed under: Rock Climbing,Scotland — mat @ 3:39 pm

Orla, three of the other Picsies and I went to the Glasgow Climbing Centre tonight. Like Alien Rock in Edinburgh, this is a rock gym built into a church. This one might arguably be rather nicer, as they’ve preserved many of the building’s original features, including rafters, stone walls (some still used as climbing features) and windows. (more…)

post January 7, 2008 – First Day of the New Deal

January 7th, 2008

Filed under: Rock Climbing,Scotland — mat @ 3:17 pm

Started at Picsel today with a training session. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only was I not the only person starting with the company, I wasn’t even the only foreigner. My “freshman class” included representatives from Scotland, England, Wales, Spain, Korea, South Africa, and India. The best laugh of the day had to be when the last fellow to introduce himself drew a gasp from the Scots, as he declared that he had come all the way down from Thurso: on Scotland’s North coast. Obviously this was way more impressive than Seoul, Johannesburg or San Francisco. (more…)

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