singing Jolene at a karaoke bar
meeting friends for a big-screen viewing of the recent Bourne update
watching *!@"f! adolescents spray silly-string on shoulder-slumping loners in the Princes Street Gardens (i hate kids)
watching eager youngsters run down the aisle to their 'Sunday's Cool' lessons while the choir sings 'Alleluia' (i love kids)
watching an episode of 'Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction' in Flatmate Jess's room (i... uh....)
defrosting Angela's fridge
sipping a pot of tea in Kilimanjaro - for the last time?
maneuvering tourists, trying not to dream of Toby Stephens, planning my future, organising my inbox...


I sort of jumped the gun in the comments of recent posts with this most fabulous of announcements:

I have finished and turned in my dissertation for an MSc in English Literature: Nation, Writing and Culture from Edinburgh University (which noble institution I am presently advertising upon the soft navy hues of my first ever hoodie!!).

My bags are mostly packed for the return home - even though I will not actually be leaving for another week. I needed to see if I would have to mail things or pay an overweight fee. One or the other will be necessary, since it seems that I have an inordinate number of books in my possession. Bother.

Tomorrow, I will be meeting friends for post-dissertation drinks in the evening. Saturday, I am planning a trip to Newcastle and/or Durham with flatmate Jess. and Sunday boasts a most thrilling venture to the cinema for a showing of the Bourne Ultimatum - a film that I have been anticipating with unparalleled eagerness.

Beyond that, my schedule is bare. I will be pulling together last minute necessities, buying unnecessary tourist crap on High Street, and arranging the return of my accomodation deposit. I will be farewelling friends and swiping music off of the internet with mischievous abandon. I will bake lemon bars.

My flight leaves the Edinburgh airport in the early morning of the 30th, a Thursday, and I will be travelling for nearly 24 hours total in order to arrive the same evening in Palm Springs. If anything noteworthy happens between now and then, I will certain post of it. Now that the dissertation is through, 'interesting' just might happen. I am no longer a boring academic sod. er... snob. I am an Everylass.


I like the phrase 'sired of Vikings'; I'm glad I managed to use it in recent blogging.


The dissertation is more or less through and I am trying to figure out what to do with the next ten days. Any suggestions?


It has been a week since my sister hopped on her plane back to California, taking the sun and shine back with her, and yet I still have not provided an update of our time together. She has been much better than me, in fact, posting pictures and anecdotes on her photoblog of each day here. I don't think I will be as thorough, mainly because she is one of my two best blog-fans and I will be stealing all the pictures from her anyway. Unless the photograph is of my sister, it is taken by her - all credit unto her. Commentary to come:

Satisfying eight months of pent-up desire to see a 'hairy coo', our tour bus made its first stop at the well-touristed home of Hamish the Highland Cow. And what a Cow he is. Check out the emo-hair. Could there be anything more spectacular? Take a moment to gaze before scrolling down.

Keens on the lawn outside of Dunkeld Cathedral!

This particular loch is named for Scotland due to its remarkable likeness to the shape of that great nation.

and from this now crumbled turret once stood the bold and saucy princess Mary, sired of Vikings, wed to an absent Highland warrior. Here she boldly bared her breasts to the fishermen of Skye - for good fortune in their seafaring or to appease their anger at the absurd toll she placed upon their use of harbour? Both, most likely. Anyone care for a reenactment?

Skye Bridge in the distance, Emily in the foreground, and me behind the camera. Though, from the general blurriness of the image, I suppose that last bit goes without saying.

The tagline for our tour is, as you see, splashed across the side of our gently tinted stagecoach. I had no trouble at all fitting in with the general theme, though I suppose that also goes without saying.

There was something important about this bridge. A story about Elfin, King of the Faeries and a Highland princess who lost her eye in a gruesome way and then got all put back together again. Thankfully, Emily has no need of Elfin's fairy dust, still milling about in the cold stream.

Now, the point of this photograph was to show how all the signs are in both English and Gaelic, but since the Gaelic is too small and obscured in the background, all you really see is a wee Emily propped in front of one of the most common banks in Scotland. Whatever.
hee hee hee!!

There is no expressing my love of marinas and boats and bays, particularly on isles, particularly on the Isle of Skye. Couple that with Emily, a cup of coffee, and my new green bag, and this is simply a fantastic photo. (You see how I ignore all aesthetic criteria in order to justify my inclusion of the image in this slideshow.)

Making a wish at Fairy Falls. I should have wished that I would make it down the bog hill without disgracing myself. I can't quite recall what I was pining for at this most critical moment. The event was rather overwhelmed by later events, involving slippery ground, a momentary lapse in the brilliance of the Keens, and grave dampness from my bum all the way down the back of one leg. Three cheers for bogs.

Am I dancing here? What is this? I'm not falling again, am I? anyway, behind me and to your right, there are some distant rocks called the Old Man and Old Woman of Storr. There's a story to go with them, of course. The old woman would tell stories up on the rock while the old man pretended to listen but really slept. This happens every Sunday for the whole of their lives... then the fairies show up... all is grand, then all is conflicted, and suddenly the old man and woman have been turned to stone. There are some other details which I can provide in person if you're interested. Otherwise, just enjoy the view.

Happy sisters!!!!!!
Fairy falls and the Bog of Death.

Do not be deceived by Emily's casual demeanor. This landscape is treacherous and requires great care in traversing.

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