April 21st, 2008
The writerâ€™s strike being over, I guess I can get back to some serious blogging. Mind you, I donâ€™t really understand striking writers. Who draws up the picket signs?
The last few weeks have kept us busy with mundane bits of just plain living, but there have been a few notable events worth a mention. The most important of these has doubtless been Orlaâ€™s overdue transition into the world of employment. I say â€œoverdueâ€ only to emphasize Scotlandâ€™s highly belated recognition of her prodigious employability. Orla â€” for those of you not acquainted with her professionally â€” is a very able image retoucher â€¦ a Photoshop expert. The term used here is â€œartworker,â€ which I think is a clue to the long delay. â€˜A rose may be a rose by any other nameâ€™ but to borrow a quote from Anne of Green Gables, â€˜it just couldnâ€™t smell as sweet if it were called a skunk cabbage.â€ Artworker sounds to my ear like â€œgroundskeeperâ€ or â€œphotostatic technician.â€ Respectable professions, to be sure, but suggesting nothing of any artistry behind them. (In fairness to the groundskeeping profession, I should concede that many groundskeepers are doubtless highly talented gardeners. I can think of no such concession I might reasonably make to photostaticians.)
Orla spent most of our month locating our flat (sheâ€™s not very good with maps), but has since spent many days and weeks on the prowl for work. The lucky winner of her services is an advertising firm in Leith. Leith, though technically its own city (ask any Leither or Proclaimers fan) is for practical purposes Edinburghâ€™s SOMA neighborhood, a rough part of town busily being gentrified and in many places given over to hi-tech firms and classy restaurants. Orlaâ€™s company is right on the docks, with views of the Firth of Forth and he invading hordes of sailors from around the world. Other advantages of her new position: health club membership, accessibility via dedicated cycle paths, and more vacation time than many an American CEO!
Also big for us have been a few visits by friends and family. Orlaâ€™s crowd have made up the lionâ€™s share, with visitors aplenty from Ireland (the most recent was here on Wednesday last; the next arrives this Thursday). Weâ€™ve also had a lovely visit from Mothy & Elaine, friends from the UK who lived in the Bay Area for a decade and now reside in Zurich.
I havenâ€™t yet tried surfing here (and was informed yesterday that my wetsuit might be too thin anyway) but intend to give it a go whenever I can get the stars to align properly. Iâ€™ve taken up playing soccer (known here as football, of course) once a week with the lads at work. And I also did some lead climbing at Ratho, which was six types of terrifying, but fifteen types of fun!
The last weekend, we took a train to Leuchars, then bicycled the remaining five miles to St. Andrews. Neither Orla nor I plays golf, but I think a few of our friends would care to know that we took a glance over the Old Course.
Well, thatâ€™s us more-or-less caught up. Iâ€™ll try to be less flighty about posting. Do good work, be well, and keep in touch!