February 25, 2006

RUGBY

Scotland won!
Scotland won!
Scotland won!

filles at 7:48 pm

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February 24, 2006

Koshkemeer: Glasgow

It was Dave’s birthday yesterday so we went out to try the only Kurdish Restaurant in Glasgow, Koshkemeer. It was on the south shore (we’ve been spending a lot of time over there lately) and we pass it most weekends when we go to the Farmers Market in Queens Park. We’ve been meaning to get there for awhile, and we’ve had it in our plans for weeks – one of Michelle’s requests. It was good. And being BYO, it was even better. Very meaty. Very tasty. The staff were very kind, they kept bringing out special dishes for us to try over and above what we had ordered… considering the portions were huge anyway, we all rolled out of the restaurant after closing, very satisfied indeed.

Tonight we’re off to see Marie Chouinard, then bright and early tomorrow morning we’re off to visit Barry & Michelle in Leeds. It will probably be the last time we see them before we move to Paris, and probably the last time we see them before their baby is born in June… so we’re going to put on a brave face, get up at the crack of dawn and pick up Andy in Moffat at 7.45am – aiming to make Leeds around 11ish tomorrow morning. Since we are so broke this month, counting our pennies, it won’t be a huge night out on the town, but more of a mature session at home. I’ve offered to cook and Barry’s offered to go to the chippy for dinner – I guess it will depend on how much Guinness is consumed during the afternoon which way we’ll go. Michelle’s preparing herself for a long weekend and since Rugby is on tomorrow night, England vs Scotland – it should be a hoot!

Other than that we’ve had no requests for the apartment in Montreal just yet, a couple of people considering it and a real estate agent we’ve found who has offered to let it for us for a commission. Chances are we’ll have to go to Montreal sometime in April for our immigration papers for France so we’ll finalise then I guess. Paris flat hunting is underway. We’re expected in Paris on the 6th & 7th of April to view a selection of apartments that have been found using our preferences… (how do you explain you would like a courtyard or garden, but would also prefer being on the top floor?) hopefully we’ll find something big enough to fit us all in.

So everything is coming along nicely, and picking up speed everyday…

filles at 12:41 pm

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February 22, 2006

If it doesn’t rain, it pours…

If you know anyone looking to rent a beautiful, airy, sunny apartment in Montreal with two bedrooms and a private roof terrace, please contact us urgently. We have one soon to be available…

filles at 1:17 am

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February 20, 2006

Inverary

See that dam in the distance?

That’s where Maddie & I got to on our hillwalk…. 400 metres high & over 12 miles in distance! Not bad considering we usually walk around the hill to avoid any incline at all. Michelle and Dave bagged the munro. Of course (hence the picture…).

Mad & I are like the walking wounded, sore hips, sore shins – even the bottoms of my feet are sore. Only natural really. We were walking on hard compacted ground (a road!) they were walking in lovely soft snow!

More pictures here….

filles at 5:30 pm

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February 17, 2006

Stuff happens

I’ve had a nasty cold the last few days and it’s now reaching the messy end. I’d be happy to spend the whole day in bed, except that it’s not the same when you have to get up to bring yourself a cup of tea… may as well be up anyway and I’ve got a few chores to complete before the weekend hillwalking. Yep I know, it comes around fast doesn’t it, hillwalking again this Saturday. Yippee!

I’m being patient about it though because I don’t think we have many left. March hillwalk we’ll be in Pakistan, April hillwalk we may be too busy moving(?) and May hillwalking weekend away we’ve already cancelled because Michelle has a party on the Friday before…. and then that’s us. Paris here we come. Michelle’s threatening to come back once a month for the hill walk, but I’ll deal with that when it happens… if it happens….

Tonight we have a party to attend on the south shore although one of us will have to remain sober to get us home, prepare the lunches for tomorrow, and to make sure we have the first aid kit and all the rest of the paraphernalia associated with hillwalking ready. I’m guessing that will be me. Sunday should be a quiet affair since we can’t usually walk anyway. I’m hoping to get to a yoga class, and Michelle is planning on going to the driving range.

It’s all happening here! Have a nice weekend.

p.s. Next week we’re off to see Marie Chouinard at the Tramway

filles at 10:08 am

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February 16, 2006

Time for a clean-up!

I was going to start getting rid of things today. I started with the kitchen closet, emptied it, cleaned it, repacked it and throughout, decided that we pretty well need/use all of it. So my donation bag sits empty. Next stop, saucepans. I’ve been complaining for months that I have crappy saucepans and I’d kill for a set of copper pots and Le Creuset – so there I was on the floor with the entire contents spread out in front of me, and you know what? again, I can’t really do without any of them…. at least until we move. Right next door to the saucepan cupboard is the oven, and from this close, ‘what a mess!’. Time to clean the oven. I’ve been elbows deep in grease and muck but my oven is now shiny and clean. My donation bag however still sits empty….

filles at 1:34 pm

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February 13, 2006

Cravings

I saw Jarhead today at the cinema with Maddie. Wow! The cinematography is fantastic and I loved that it wasn’t the usual war style flic. Very impressed. Stuff is happening, but not particularly exciting stuff. We’re counting our beans this week because I seem to have made a slight error on this months budget and we’ve not only cleared our budget, but we’ve also emptied the kitty…

I’m limping along in my French class. Soooooo much homework, and sooooo difficult! I can barely remember English grammar and now I’m expected to know French grammar? I’m not used to having to work so hard. It can only be a good thing I guess. Same thing happening with yoga. It’s been a little over 2 years since I did any regular yoga, and I started back last week… I’m hobbling about at the moment, but am determined to keep it up and loosen these limbs. Maybe next week I’ll be able to stand up straight again!

On the travel front, I’ve been handing out links, recommendations and advice over the last couple of days to friends travelling to Morocco and to the US and I’m starting to get itchy feet. Morocco was so cool I’d go back anytime, and New York is still one of my favourite places. NY is a craving, and until you satisfy it, it won’t ever just go away…. roll on Pakistan – give me something to counter it!

filles at 6:30 pm

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February 10, 2006

Getting ready

Our plans are coming together for Pakistan. We’ve had a fun week getting the formalities out of the way. The Pakistani embassy is on the southside in Glasgow. We turned up there expecting to go in, request the visa, receive it and be on our way within about 45 minutes…. what was I thinking?? Instead we waited about 3 hours with hundreds of others before having an interview and then told to come back later that afternoon to pick up our visa if we were successful. Thankfully all the nationals that were queuing up with us were kind and extremely curious as to what we were doing there. We told our story over and over, learnt a little ‘urdu’ and generally had a good time. It was nice introduction to Pakistan. Next stop was the nurse to confirm what shots were required. Luckily for us, since we’ve been poked so often recently, travelling to Morocco and Kenya, we didn’t need any additional jabs, just a new script for malaria pills and we’re set.

Yesterday I went shopping for a Shalwar Kameez or three…. the material is so beautiful it was difficult to decide. Here in Glasgow they don’t tend to sell them off the rack (except for kids sizes) so I’m having one made to fit. Michelle’s turn will be Saturday…

Sunday is a huge day here. Football Rangers vs Celtics at 12.30pm. Rugby Scotland vs Wales at 3pm. We’re going to watch the games at the Observatory I think. Have a little brunch, drink a few beers and then no doubt wander somewhere else for dinner… so much for saving some cash!

Next week. Soup all week.

filles at 11:49 am

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Mull Pictures

Here

filles at 9:31 am

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February 7, 2006

Isle of Mull: Salen Hotel

We had a great weekend away in Mull. The Salen Hotel was the perfect choice for a group. The rooms were lovely, the food was fine and the staff were extremely friendly. There was a pool table, a juke box and two bars – what more could one ask for? If that was not enough, they even organised a cab in the form of a mini-bus to take us all into Tobermory for dinner one night. We were dropped off at one pub for dinner, and picked up at another after (a few!) drinks. Perfect.

I understand the hillwalking went fine. There are a variety of graphs and charts available for those of you who want to reduce the lovely walk up a hill on a sunny day to a series of numbers and figures and percentages, but for the rest, suffice to say it didn’t rain, no-one got injured, the champagne at the top of the hill was quaffable and the whisky was a brilliant idea! Robert has officially completed all 284 Munros in Scotland, and Karen & Colin have now completed their first. We’re all extremely lucky to have had such dry weather on Mull in February, and even luckier that there was no snow or worse, ice, at the top of Ben More.

Even Maddie & I had an enjoyable day, albeit at the bottom of the hill. We were heading for a walk to the Carsaig Arches, but were delayed en-route to spend some time with a local farmer who was supplementing his animals food by stopping and giving food to all his sheep, cows and highland ponies. I’ve never seen sheep gunning it down the road at the sound of a car horn tooting. Most disconcerting! We did however, manage a little walking. We headed off to see Mackinnons Cave, although had we managed to make it past all the deep, thick mud on the farm before reaching the cliffs, we would have found out that the tide was too high for us to enter the cave anyway…. never mind, we used our wits to get around the mud, and we had a short walk along the cliff with wonderful views out to the Island of Staffa before heading back to Craignure to pick up Dave who was on the 12.45pm ferry. Being 3 Aussies alone on Mull in the afternoon, we ventured off to visit Macquarie’s Mausoleum where we were advised quite specifically that Macquarie had earnt the title ‘Father of Australia’ from his 12 years in Sydney as Governor. Imagine finding out that Mr Macquarie, after whom the bank, the university, the street and a variety of other spots & businesses were named, was actually born on Mull. Small world huh?

(pictures will follow, probably tomorrow…)

That done. We’re back in Glasgow and looking forward to 6 full weeks before heading away again, this time to Pakistan. There may be the odd few days now and again when Michelle will zip off to France for business, but all in all we’re grounded here in an attempt to save some cash to cover our trip to Pakistan. I’m quite happy about it, if only I could stop reading the travel sections of the Saturday & Sunday papers!

Netball this afternoon, oh joy! Pakistan embassy tomorrow…

filles at 4:31 pm

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February 3, 2006

Off again

It’s sunny, we’re taking the boat to Mull!
Have a nice weekend…

filles at 11:37 am

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February 1, 2006

Paris. Pubs. Mull. Ice Picks….

Michelle is still in Paris. Supposed to be home tonight, but extended to stay for another meeting tomorrow…

Things are fine here. I had my evaluation at the Alliance Francaise today to determine which class I need to go in. The very kind, but not particularly politically-correct course co-ordinator told me in not so many words, that I should go into the Advanced Class, but that I would also require private tuition as my grammar sucks! It all starts next Tuesday – the crash course to pick up the tatters of my very feeble french…

I’m out to have dinner with Julie at Chinaskis – a new bar on North St, tonight. Run by the same guy who runs our favorite bar on Sauchiehall Street, The Variety Bar – it’s going to be a great hangout in the summer as they’re in the process of adding a large terrace out the back. Shame we won’t be here to enjoy it!

Nothing else new. Getting ready for a weekend away hillwalking in Mull which should be a laugh. 12 hillwalkers (allright… 11 hillwalkers + me) are going to accompany Michelles buddy doing his 284th Munro. Pray for sunshine and no ice on the top (Michelle has no crampons nor an ice pick!)…

filles at 6:43 pm

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