31 January 2008

The royal mile

Now, if you like, walk the royal mile with me from Edinburgh Castle. We'll just walk straight out of the gate...

Then have to turn left into the alley to look at this flowerclad house, of course - Ramsay garden - before we continue.

You lazy pig! Just lying around all day...

Poor thing, I guess he couldn't take it anymore... "Pinocchio's now a boy who wants to turn back into a toy..."

How can we resist puns like these! Off the royal mile to the right, a little further down...

There's that piper again, Tony something. We go way back...

Closing in on the Scottish Parliament - and walking past it ...

... now looking back up at it

Another alleyway! Must go and have a look :)
Pretty!And it's stopped raining - that's nice.. (spot the rainbow!)

Queen's gallery, outside the Holyrood Palace (where the queen stays when she's in Edinburgh.) (In the palace, that is, not in the gallery) (I suppose, at least that's what they say. I don't actually know for a fact where the Queen spends her nights.) (Or days, for that matter.)
The gates ...

... and the palace itself.

Look! It's the bagpipe shape of Dynamic Earth! Means we've made it down the mile and more. Great exercise and good fun!

And here we are, looking up at the Salisbury Crags. Thanks for keeping me company!

Incidentally, if you felt this post was a mile long, that was intentional...

Once upon a time

There was a time when this would cause panic attacks, and I'd instantly google "PST" to find out how much time I'd got...

For many months, now, I haven't even shrugged.

But today... I just noticed this message and found myself googling "PST" again (I never learn, do I).
Could it be I'm back into blogging?
And in case you've mislaid your monocle or pincenez - here's what it says: "Scheduled outage at 4:30PM PST" ...

30 January 2008

Writers' museum courtyard

I didn't actually go into the Writers' museum, it was closing as I got there, but I tried to capture a little of the courtyard feeling. (In fact thinking of my dear bloglings as I did so...)

At the very end of this snippet you can spot this pub. Owned and run by Sean Connery's brother. Apparently he's the spitting image of his more famous sibling, but he wasn't around when I was there, so you'll have to go there yourselves to find proof!

Random facts that you always wanted to know

About mememe. I was tagged by DevilMood and how could I turn down such an offer...

The Rules:
- Link to the person that tagged you. Check
- Post the rules on your blog. Check
- Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. Ok, I'll get to it
- Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. We'll see about that...
- Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

So I get to pick 6 random facts that I think you may not know about me, but don't come running back complaining if you're not shocked or repelled by any of these facts - I promise no such thing!

1) I had one doll as a child, a boy doll, named [same as hubby]. Sadly, the doll was very much neglected for my cars...

2) I sometimes get as far as the lift at work before looking at myself in a mirror (it's inevitable in that lift, they're all around!). Some days I don't look too bad, this morning I had to laugh...3) I have roamed around campus (uni. of Surrey...), pushing my friend in a trolley, while we were both screaming and / or trying to laugh like Eddie Murphy does in that film. (You may have done this too -- but we were sober, and this was in broad daylight. And we weren't even slightly embarrassed. Our friends were, though...)

4) Hubby is my first and only Norwegian boyfriend. And my last :) Before there was a Kenyan, a Dane, a South African, a Greek - and a few English. Very international, me ;) Got a very soft spot for Brits, though - and hubby's a gentleman as good as any of them!

5) I'm not interested in politics. Domestic politics. At all. I vote, but I don't read about it, and I certainly don't read detailed news. I read the sports section..

6) I always finished early on every exam, mock exam etc. I ever had. My university exam in English (in Oslo) was 8 hours, I was finished after 4. (I stayed on another hour and a half not to discourage my friend who would even be writing as she handed the stuff in, but I simply drew stickmen and wrote little poems that I threw away afterwards.) The trick is not to know too much. After 4 hours my brain was drained. I may not have passed with distinction, but I passed with enjoyment...

- And now I'll randomly choose not to tag anyone, except if you really want to, then you're it!

Famous whisky

Perhaps "cheating" a little, this isn't actually from Edinburgh, but we started out in Edinburgh... And our busride took us within sight of the Highlands! Then turned right and set us off by the Famous Grouse distillery at Glenturret. (Where it turned out they're not actually making Famous Grouse at all, but Glenturret malt whisky, but you could have fooled me...)
(See? Rufus was there with me...)
Loved, loved, loved these little explanatory cartoons...
Note to self: Don't try whisky chocolate mousse and whisky ice cream unless you've started to like whisky. Urggh.. But it did look nice :)

Edinburgh castle II

The main gate The most spellbinding guide ever to be found! He also took time to enlist some small soldiers...

The castle seems to grow out of rock!

I met my childhood!

If anyone was watching, they may have found the following scenario slightly peculiar. It happened the other day. I was walking down the pavement towards my boat. A woman came up the pavement. Neither of us spoke, but as we got closer, we both opened our arms wide, and gave eachother a great, big hug. And another. As we hug, there is suddenly summer all around, and I'm about ten years old.

(Do you remember that scene from The Fisher King, where all the people at Grand Central station suddenly started waltzing together, for a brief moment, as our hero was watching his loved one walk past? It was just like that. Only without the music.)

No, I haven't completely lost it...

The woman was a vital part of my childhood summers. Every year until I was twelve, we'd spend summer at this island off the Swedish west coast. Every summer I'd play with this woman's sons and their cousins. I haven't seen her since then, but it was just like we'd never been apart.

And then winter returned, and I had to swish off to catch the boat and get the kids from school.

But we've got a lunch "date". Summer will return!

23 January 2008

Media meme

My week in media - tagged by Sam, who does it so eloquently you should really go over and read his instead. But in case you're still here...

What I read
Hmm. Off to a difficult start, I fear... Well, I did read a few chapters more in Wintersmith - a book I really enjoy, but still haven't got enough time to... And I browse the local paper every day to see if there's anyone I know there. (There usually is. It's that local.) Other? Yes, I've read about half of a book about hiking in Crete (it's in Norwegian - what did you expect of the link? ...) - preparing for the summer! I have serious plans of making the kids walk with me at least to the bay of paradise...

What I watched
TV. Oh, you mean more specifically? Well, I'm sure there were a few football games, but this last week I've actually been watching handball a lot. Really! And I've learnt that it's χάντμπολ in Greek, which is just the same word only with a Greek accent... (The Greeks I asked couldn't remember if there was an actual Greek word for it!)

What I listened to
No, no - I have listened to other music than Rufus too, honest! But yes, quite a lot of Rufus... And quite a lot of de Lillos too - as well as Verdi, Sting, Jamie Cullum -- and some others that just randomly appear when I shuffle - I love it!

What I surfed
The usual - which isn't that much lately, but I stop by the odd blog every now and then. That is - I stop by my friend Børge's blog every day. And Josh & Josh every week... The rest of you? Whenever I can... And I stop by Rufus' message board quite a lot, it's the most friendly place to be! (He's been nominated to the Brit Awards, best male singer, it's not just me...) And how could I forget - Slap Upside The Head - it's priceless! Love the cartoons...

What I’ve played
Playstation! The kids got PS2 for Christmas from granddad and we've been playing FIFA '08 ever since... Filip's the most eager one - the others still well into their nintendos - so I sometimes play with him. He beats me to a pulp every time, of course... And just to keep him on the right track we've decided that if he wants to be Arsenal (he was doing that too much...) he can play for 10 minutes, but if he's Liverpool he can play for a full 40 minutes. Kids need guidance, right?

15 January 2008

Edinburgh castle

1 - from Princes street, 2 - from Princes street garden, 3 - me and Mons Meg, 4 - the view towards Salisbury crags, 5 - up close

If you want to know more something about Edinburgh castle, look up this or this...

13 January 2008

Edinburgh - at long last

A tad late, I'm afraid - I visited Edinburgh in September! But Edinburgh's always worth a visit... And we start off with the accompaniment of a bagpiper outside St. Giles!

Update - more wonders of the internet: After uploading this to youtube somebody found and commented on it. His best friend, it turned out, so now I know this bagpiper is called Tony, and he's now with the House of Edgar Shotts and Dykehead...

04 January 2008

The sound of winter

The day before Christmas (over here that means 23rd) there was still no snow, but frost had settled everywhere, making for a beautiful landscape. And trudging around in our garden the characteristic (to me) sound of winter appeared. You'll hear it too ... shhhh...

02 January 2008

End of year meme

I stole this meme (from devilmood) to get myself started in 2008 (despite this wretched flu).

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?

Most importantly, I met a cyber friend in real life. Two, actually. And a lot less importantly, I decided to lose weight and did.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't have any, and haven't made any for this year either.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not that they told me of!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nope, luckily!

5. What countries did you visit? USA (San Francisco), Sweden (Gothenburg), Scotland (Edinburgh) and Germany (Berlin). Which reminds me the two latter ones I still haven't posted photos from. Shame on me! I may do something about that...

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
I suppose I should say that I'd like to be more grown-up and sensible, but I really don't want to!

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 1st - first ever Rufus Wainwright-concert!! And the day my iPod was stolen (not by him, he only took my heart) (I know, that was lame...). October 5th, another Rufus concert and I got to meet him afterwards! And December 3rd, third Rufus concert and 2nd meeting. Obsessed? Possibly a little...

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I don't know that I've achieved a lot. I haven't been looking to either.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not even wanting to try a mature approach to life... Kidding! Doesn't feel like a failure ;)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing worse than this flu. Well, there was sinusitis for a while, but no big deal!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new iPod :) (Insurance company paid for it, but I bought it...) Oh, and tickets!! Tickets to go away, tickets to go to concerts... Escapist? Undeniably so...

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Liverpool (for everything they do!), Ronnie O'Sullivan, Rufus Wainwright. Me? Nah...

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
I'm not easily appalled and depressed, although I must say Liverpool has tried a couple of times this year...

14. Where did most of your money go?
My money - tickets, iTunes (somewhere there's a moral streak, yes, I download legally). But our money is going mostly to this extension we're building!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Rufus! RUFUS! RUFUS! As you will all have heard by now ;)

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
"Between my legs" by Rufus (who else...) - not just because it's a good song (he's got so many!) but because I know somebody who went on stage with him to perform this song! (And no, it wasn't me..)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
(a) I'm always pretty happy, despite this flu...
(b) thinner, actually, bit of a surprise, that
(c) pretty much the same I guess, I'm not good at keeping count...

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
nothing comes to mind at the moment, well, I could probably have lived with even more travelling...

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
procrastinate? although that's pretty pleasurable pastime...

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Family, tons of presents (not for me!), more family, lots of cookies etc. etc. -- i.e. the traditional way

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
I've felt that heart fluttering a few times, yes, especially around July 1st, October 5th and December 3rd... I'm not forgetting my hubby, I get that for him too still! But not on specific dates...

22. What was your favourite TV programme?
Should I say the one about us? But no, it'll have to be Champions League :)

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't hate anyone. ManUre supporters come close, but that's nothing special for 2007 ;)

24. What was the best book you read?
I didn't read that many to be honest, but was impressed by Steven Gerrard's autobiography!

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hmm, now who could that be? ;) I didn't actually discover Rufus in 2007, but I have discovered friends through his fan base, real friends, although I fear I'm a little off topic here? Oh - I did sort of discover Martha Wainwright (yes, his sister...) she's amazing!

26. What did you want and get?
For Christmas? I had a hard time making a list, actually, but I got a lot of stuff that would have been on the list had I remembered to put it there :)

27. What did you want and not get?
as I said, I didn't even know what to wish for... But what did I get without having wished for? Two complete seasons of
Nanny - we're laughing & reminiscing every night!

28. What was your favourite film of this year?
Don't think I saw any really good ones, I'm sorry...

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
In theory I was 39, though going on 17 measured by maturity... My hubby'd made plans that didn't turn out, so we stayed home and had a grand Friday night in instead. (Fridays are our favourite to stay home. Ok, maybe I am 39 after all!)

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
a ton of money so I could have quit work and followed Rufus around?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, oh, ok, sorry, well, I've got quite a few garments off the Rufus collection now, that must surely account for something? Oh - and with my liverbird tattoo I'm properly dressed for every occasion!

32. What kept you sane?
Music. In every aspect.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Now, this is a tough one...

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
erh, I know I should say global warming or something, but that still doesn't stir me as much as does discrimination of people who look or think or act differently than whoever makes up the "rules and regulations". Sigh... They should listen to my kids (read below)!

35. Who did you miss?
I miss my bloglings! I've been such a lousy blogger this year. I mean last year...

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Simon :) We met through Rufus' site and we've visited each other. He's adorable and fun and we're both 17 (mentally) and deeply in love with Rufus, so what's not to love? The kids loved him too - and not simply because he brought gifts from the official Liverpool shop (although that was very popular!)

-- as Filip said; "his English is very good, and he's nice, and he's awfully cool..." Incidentally, this has lead to my kids saying that gay people are just like the rest of us, only a lot cooler. We can live with that concept :)

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
valuable life lesson? At 17? I don't think so...

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"there's a river running underground, underneath the town towards the sea,
That only I know all about
On which from this city we can flee"

- So you see, I can take you away from here! Let's escape again...