Mad Hatter Tea(quila) Party

As our time in Edinburgh was drawing near to an end I thought it fitting to plan yet another farewell party. Mad Hatter Tea(quila) Party was the theme…although in the end there was probably more tequila than mad hats!

Had a really good turn out from all the great people I’ve met through couchsurfing which made for a fabulous fun night! The pics speak for themselves so I will leave it at that…

and yes Pam, you were right, Tequila = hangover…why couldn’t I stop after just 1 or 2!!!!

Visit from Busabout Pals

Mandy & Az, whom we met on our BusaBout trip last year, came up from London on 16-17 Feb for a wee visit before they went on the Highland tour we had just done.

Was so great to see them again, we get on so well, they are such a laugh! We forgive them for being Australian =)

The bussed it up from London and told us all the horrendous tales - we just can't wait until 29 Feb when it's our turn to bus it down to London (9.5 hours!). They arrived at 7.30ish and we went out for a yummy italian meal on Saturday night - probably the first time we have eaten at a restaurant in 6 months so it tasted extra good! The next morning we sent them on the free walking tour (I'm the biggest ambassador for the "neweurope" free tours - they rock!). We met up after lunch and found a random old graveyard which we had walked by many times but never been in, we then went up Carlton Hill which is unmistakable with its Athenian acropolis poking above the skyline - it gives you gorgeous panoramic views of Edinburgh and is surprisingly a peaceful place to be. We'd only been up at night so it was a good touristy afternoon for us as well.

We decided to have dinner and drinks at home that night and later Mandy, Aaron and Niki went out on a ghost tour. Edinburgh is well known for these and I have heard freaky stories - there was no way I was going on it! Niki and Aaron said it was really stink though apart from going down into some cellars. Luckily dear Mandy got really scared and upset so it made it a bit more real and entertianing for the boys! meanies!
Monday morning we farewelled them but will see them again very soon as they have kindly offered to store our excess luggage and given us a place to stay overnight before flying to Egypt! YAY

3 day Isle of Skye Tour

On Fri the 8th of Feb we departed on our Highland trip with Haggis Tours. It was a full bus – 1 guide/driver and 29 passengers (20 of which were American students!) Haha but they were actually pretty nice kids – only one stereotypical loud annoying 1! There was a couple from China and 4 ppl from Aus as well. The Guide, Tony, was fantastic! He absolutely made the tour with his fabulous story telling ability, good natured, relaxed and had time to talk to everyone, always making jokes and so passionate about his “sexy” country (that’s Haggis’ tours drop phrase!)

The first day we drove up via Pitlochry, Dunkeld, Perth and Inverness, arriving at Fort Augustus, near Loch Ness just after 6pm. We stopped off for lunch and other photo ops during the day (and already I struggle to remember all the places we went!), there was a bit of snow around on the hills but nothing more – apparently the week before the road had been closed! For dinner we had haggis & chilli baked potato! Very interesting!!! We headed to a local man’s show and heard about the bloody history of the clans and got to see their weapons and he explained how they were used (horrific stuff), and Hayley volunteered to try on traditional Highland dress (ugly!!) After that we headed across the road to a pub where 6 locals sat jamming together playing Scottish music. Was fantastic!

Next morning we were on the bus by 08:30am and headed down to Loch Ness to see it in the daylight – Tony was well prepared with plenty of props so we could take our token cheesy pics - Love the ginger look =) Love it! We then drove by some heilan coo’oos (one lot of oo’s are silent!) which are so cute – I know they’re just hairy cows! But they are cool =) We headed up to Isle of Skye, where we saw ruined castles, fortresses and awesome scenery. We hopped off the bus to look over the edge of cliffs and also went to a beach but unfortunately there was a misty rain so we all got pretty wet – was worth it though! It was too foggy to see Ben Nevis (tallest Mountain in UK) which was a shame. Tony pointed towards the Hebridian Islands where the Morrison clan came from, which is my Mum’s family, so that was cool. But he said he thinks McGechie is originally Irish so I’m all over the place!

That night we stayed in a different Hostel (Saucy Marys) and they had a local musician doing covers so that was fun. All the Americans partied all night long but us oldies went to bed at midnight =) Needless to say there was a lot of sleeping going on, on the bus the next day!

On Sunday we headed towards Glencoe which was magnificent. The story behind it is so sad! And if you’re last name is Campbell I’d stay away from the Highlands – they hold a grudge! We stopped for lunch and had Cullen Skink which is smoked fish soup – delicious! We headed to Stirling which is home to the William Wallace Monument before arriving back in Edinburgh at 17:30. There are about 100 pics in a web albums for this trip if u want to see more scenery etc.

11 more sleeps until we leave Edinburgh!!!!!!!!!

Waitangi - Wai Not?

I helped to organise a Edinburgh Couchsurfing meet for Waitangi. Tuesday night Kim & I missioned out to Asda (cheap supo open 24 hours) to get the mega bargains. 10 shopping bags full and an hour later we stumbled out of the shop and on to a bus back into town. Poor Kim had to struggle with bags and bags of groceries - including a tray of 30 eggs - as we live in different parts of the city. We arranged the meet for Wednesday 6 Feb and that we were having kiwi burgers at Kim's house and had a huge response - 25 ppl showed up! bit of a squeeze but good fun had by all. Tarns came along too and ended up being the bestest kitchen bitch the world has even seen (THANKS!!). The night was filled with a little poi action, sticks, bit of singing and 'haka' posing and watched some Flight of the Conchords (legendary NZ comedy!!). We had 6 true blue kiwis there which was wicked. I wasn't drinking and instead spent lots of time cooking & cleaning etc and had everyone commenting on me being sober and that they weren't used to it (and didn't like it!)... obviously have a bad rep to work on!

Work it...

and just in case you're wondering whether Niki has disappeared off the planet - here's a pic with him and a couple of his workmates...

Triple tequilas and all things nasty

Saturday night, after my productive day of saving the world, Tarns came over for a couple of hours so we had a good catch-up and watched a girly movie - while I got ready and had a few drinks at home. I'm all about saving the ££'s. Sounds like we've got similar travel plans and are getting excited!
I got into the pub at about 10 just in time to head on to the next bar. Was great to see everyone again, there were about 20 ppl there, the Edinburgh Couchsurfing group really gets into stuff which is wicked! Things got a bit silly very quickly with me shouting Kim a birthday tequila (as you do) then of course getting myself one and one for Philip too as I owed him drinks from last time but since he's a rich doctor he never accepts! Anyway that was fun ...although sometime later it turned nasty with Philip betting that I couldn't shot a triple vodka shot (in a cup) what was a girl to do? it was actually fine, no salt or lemon in this bar but like the hard core kiwi girl i am I wowed and impressed everyone with my awesome drinking ability ... why I feel the need to crank out tequila every time I go to a pub is beyond me! And then I always start drunk texting, Lisa was the lucky recipient this time (and then I wander why my credit runs out so quickly - texting NZ will do that!) At about 2 I headed to see Niki as he had just finished work and walked home with him (sensing a Saturday night pattern forming) - apparently filling him in on all the happenings over and over again. I had my first Edinburgh hangover and it wasn't nice...I forget how awful it is. Luckily i was fine by 2ish and managed to drag my butt down to the hairdresser for a much needed trim!

HAPPY 6TH BIRTHDAY CALEB!! xo The present is on it's way!

Beach Clean

On Saturday 2 Feb I headed to work to join a group of fellow environmentalists (ahem) to clean up Yellowcraigs Beach (about 50mins drive from Edinburgh city). About 20 of us turned up, including a few keen kids. It was a really good day for it, especially considering we'd had high winds and snow the previous 2 days. I did have 5 layers on, including thermal leggings though! We were provided with rubbish pickers and gloves and for the first bit had to also survey what rubbish we were picking up on a form so that they can see what types of stuff is being left. The beach didn't look that messy but on closer inspection we actually filled quite a lot of rubbish bags ...mostly plastic pieces, junk food wrappers and surprisingly plastic doggy doo bags - used! You think if u go through the effort to clean up after your dog - why you'd then just leave it there in a plastic bag (of all things)! It was really satisfying picking up rubbish and filling up the rubbish bags - like the feeling you get when you've vacuumed a room! (or maybe that's just me!) After two hours of cleaning we took off to a local pub for a well deserved pint and lunch. Was a nice day, bit of warm fuzzies doing my bit for the enviro, as well as the opportunity to hae seen more of this beautiful country...for free!


Sorry for being slack - time is flying by and I haven't updated for a few weeks! By tomorrow you will have a million and one new updates to read in one go =) We are having lots of fun and really enjoying Edinburgh but are also ready to move on - which we are doing in less than 4 weeks on 29 February! we have paid for our flights to Egypt and our 2 week tour and sent off our passports to get Egypt visas yesterday - Our new pasport pics are awful!!!!! like I know people say that all the time but seriously we both got the worst photos ever...
My current temp job is continuing right up until we leave so that's such a relief and I'm quite enjoying working there so double bonus!
We have booked our Haggis tour which departs on Friday 8 Feb, so that should be a great weekend - only 5 sleeps YAY!
Happy Waitangi Day to all the New Zealanders - I've got something on with couchsufers on Wednesday. Think the plan is to have kiwi burgers and other NZ treats incl maggi onion dip (YuM) and just lax out to kiwi music and entertain/teach all the non-kiwis with a bit of poi action =) Unfortunately Niki is working... someone's gotta fund all this partying and travel plans I guess!

Burns Night / Australia Day

January 25th is Burns Night - A celebration of the life of Scotland's famous poet Robert Burns. The tradition is to have a burns supper - haggis, neeps (turnip) and tatties (potatoe), and recite some of his poems. Niki's workmate Emma hosted a burns supper - my first time ever trying haggis and it was really surprisingly YUM! Just like a favoursome mince thing. I imagined it coming out in a stomach (I don't know why as if you think about it a sheep's stomach would be massive so u wouldn't get one each...anyways blonde moment) you just scoop the haggis out of the "stomach" - these days usually plastic -and the haggis is crumbly and mince-like. Emma did an awesome reading in her cool Scottish accent.

The next day was Australia Day and I caught up with couchsurfers who had arranged a meet to celebrate both Burns and Aussie day. There were 23 of us at Florian's flat, ppl from all over the world and ironically enough, only 2 Scottish people and no australians! We still had a great time celebrating anyway with me wearing my bright yellow skirt to support the golden cause for Aus. We had haggis, neeps & tatties again - really delicious and I also tried the vegetarian version. Wouldn't eat it often but glad i tried it! Jamie purchased a bottle of whisky to share - YUCK! I had the tiniest sip and was so grossed out so added the rest (tiny amount) to my vodka and it still managed to taint the whole drink! I also learnt that Scottish whisky isn't spelt with an 'e'! and they're very particular about this =)

Tabi had organised a pass-the-parcel game with Kylie's Locomotion and other random aussie music setting the theme with people having to recite scottish/aus national anthems, poems, etc when they had the parcel when the music stopped. Was gorgeous coming from all these people who's first language isn't even english!

Later we went out to a pub and partied the night away - many photos and drunken text messages to Pam&Kev later i stmbled across Niki's pub and he had the pleasure of walking me home =)

my pastey arm next to Stefanie's who has just been holidaying in NZ! grrrrr