Thursday, 13 October 2011

Summer nights and my Radio

I appreciate summer ended a while ago (even longer ago if you are Scotland rather than Canada, as I understand it) but I'm still going to write a brief account of mine exploits before commencing our road trip.  The tales of Which I shall save for another day.

So, the running theme was ice cream.  Partially cause the presidents choice line of ice cream includes flavours like almond-bark-mocca-brownie, but mainly because I got a job driving an ice cream truck. This was because Andy was working as one, his bosses needed more drivers, I needed a job, so it goes.  We had separate trucks, but took a lot of ice cream chat home.  Did you know in Canada you can get frozen flavoured ice in  the shape of sponge bob square pants on a stick?  Kids go proper mad for them.  I tried one once, I thought it was pretty rubbish.  Driving an ice cream truck is kind of annoying, kids wave you down then don't have any money, or have very, very angry parents.  An old man came up once to ask the name of the tune the truck was playing.  It is labelled '1' on my music control box, and when I told him this I thought he was going to kill me  "You don't... know?" I know lots of things.  Do you know exact date of the council of Nicaea, old man?  He didn't even buy a bubble gum swirl.

Then there were the ice cream bosses.  Who about a week after I started decided that I wasn't trained well enough by Andy and this was clearly why I was only taking $350 a day while everyone else was taking $400 (not because I was being sent to neighbourhoods where there are no kids) so both put someone in the truck to instruct me and then followed me around in her car watching what I did.  In a mortifying embarrassing sort of a way.  She also told me a few weeks later that her buddy's sister was on a boat out on the lake when I was selling ice cream on a campsite by the shore and she couldn't hear my music from there (The lake is a pretty big lake, the Okanagan lake, if you wish to look it up) so I wasn't playing it loud enough and people wouldn't be able to hear and they wouldn't come and buy ice cream!  My bosses' buddy's sister also thought I was a guy.  I would argue that her sensory perception isn't exactly top notch.  Yes, I am still bitter.

Anyway.  We got a second job picking fruit and general farm work at a place with a really laid back boss who let us drive multi terrain buggies,  another chap who fed us freeze pops all the time , (apparently no one really knew what his job title was, there was a rumour he had naked pictures of the farm owners.)  I was a really great place to work.  And now I know all sorts of things about pollination that I never used to.

What with working 2 jobs we mainly worked 12 hour days so social times were limited to seeing the last Harry Potter, and the occasional pint at the 'Grateful Fed' (yes really.)  EXCEPT from when Chris came to Vancouver and we went to meet up.  The Aquarium is awesome, Stanly Park is very pretty, Chris and I both failed to land a simulated rocket, we learned that all the Japanese Canadians were chucked out of BC after WWII, and met a brilliant and very small parrot called Nelson.  AND the hostel we stayed at was built on a street that was used in the filming of a never ending story.  It was a whirlwind.

The two weeks working on the fringe were brilliant.  I was billeted with a lovely lady who has had many great adventures thus many great stories.  She also made lots of great cake.  The other guys working on the festival were all incredible, really friendly as were all the performers who were in my venue.  And I really enjoyed being in Victoria too, thought it was a very pretty city.  No bad words essentially.  Which after 2 months of crazy ice cream time was beyond fantastic.

That's where the facebook album of the same title ends, and so shall this part of the story.
Next up, following the only road...

Friday, 30 September 2011

The 2 best lisence plates of the road trip thus far

OBI TWO - outside 'The wee scottish inn' in Jasper.

UR LUVED - On a yellow sports car that was tailgating me over the Rockies.

Full (ish) details of THE ENTIRE SUMMER to follow.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Land of the Silver birch

Well.  Here I am once again.
I don't think Canada is that keen on me though.  I got a paper cut from my landing card and the plane Andy and I got on in Toronto proptly broke.  You can call me paranoid if you wish, but I think it knew I was aboard and didn't like it.  We arrived in Vancouver just in time to hear the final call for passangers to Kelowna, which is turn then saw myself and Andy sprinting through the departure lounge at high speed. Well played, Canada, hilarious.
In better news passport control and immigration took less than half and hour AND getting my social insurace number took even less than that.  Hooray for fully fledged temporary immigrant status.  So far I have TWO WHOLE WEEKS of work at the end of August on the Victoria Fringe which I think will be fun, though perhaps not the most lucrative. 
As such, I'm am off to do a CV drop.  By which i mean resume drop.
There's no Canada like French Canada.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Blame Canada

I'm going back to Canada next week, via the Hyde park Music festival.

After so many months it comes to this...

Friday, 10 June 2011

I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve

DAY ONE: Trip from Chaing Rai to Lamphun.  After spending a not inconsequential amount of time on the hunt for the Chiang Rai Post office.  It's not my fault it looks like a bank...  In Chiang Mai decide to get a bus to Lampang instead, as buses to Lamphun are not sign posted and veryone seems to think I am asking for Lampang anyway... Hey ! THIS bus stops in Lamphun.  Oh well, paid almost one pound for this ticket, I'm going to get my moneys worth! That Australian on the bus who said it would be easy to find a guest house wasn't telling the truth... Fried Rice!  Bedtime.

DAY TWO: Lampang (not Lamphun).  Wandering round town... Stop beeping at me tuk tuk, I'm not going any where in particular.  Ooh, thats an nice Burmese influenced temple.  Thats an enormous Burmese influencd temple...  Hello monk, oh you are from Burma, really? Is it your plan to take over Lampang.  That is a rude question to ask a monk, I shall move on. Now that I am looking for a ceramics market where have all the tuk tuk drivers gone? Thats a strong smell of incense... Shrine to three pillers of the city.  It is pretty.  I suspect this ceramics market never really existed.  Still seen most of Lampang in my hunt for it, so not so bothered that I have missed the last pony ride sight seeing tour of the day.  I shall go for a walk round a park instead.  Wait a minute... This park is a gym!  There pathways are all marked up with running training distances and they have treadmills that are frames with cylinders as the base for you to run on.  Amazing.  Oh rain.   Damn you monsoon season.  Noodles!  Bedtime.

DAY THREE: Trip from Lampang to Phitsanulok. After being impressed that the minute I got out of the tuk tuk I was asked where I was going, and ushered onto the right bus strsight away, surely this is not right! What if I am on a bus Sanhulok?  My pronunciation is not amazing.  Oh, I am on the right bus.  And the lady next to me is getting off at Phitsanulok too, she will kep me right.  Thank you kind Thai people and non verbal communication.  Driving through Sukothai, it looks nice.  Phitsanulok is not so nice, though wikipedia says  "It is probably best known as the birthplace of King Naresuan, who freed the country from Burmese domination in the late 16th century."  He should go to Lampang.  But everyone says hello, and helps me find things.  I can get a train to Ayutthaya tomorrow at nine, hurrah!  Red Curry. Talking to Andy on the internet.. At half three the place fills with people in school uniform playing internet games.  This is a theme through the rest of the trip...  Take a wander along the Nan river to Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahatat, it is a temple believd to have curative properties.  There are a lot of people praying and monks chants bing pumped out through speakers outside.  On the way back to the hostel I see another one of the gym parks, this one has a Rosmary Connelly- esque figure on a stage by the river bank leading an exercise class for anyone that wants to join in.  Dammit Monsoon season, I wanted to go to the night market.  Oh well, Bed time.  Bloody hell, those are some big spider webs on the ceiling...  Do not sleep well...

DAY FOUR: Trip to Ayutthaya.  Was told to go to platform two.  But platform two is over there, where is the bridge?  Oh I see, we just cross the train tracks in Thailand.  Ok.  Hello nice Dutch Lady, you dont particuarly enjoy Phitsanulok either?  Fair enough.  You are in 2nd class?  I am in third.  Thak you for helping me get on th right train, safe home!  Sitting next to an open window on a fast train for, four and a half hours.  So windswept and interesting right now.  It is a nice way to see the counryside though. Lots of temples, and buddhas and farming and palm trees.  That power line has fallen down into a submerged paddy field... Is that safe..?  Thank you kind lady, but I do not really want a meat ball on a stick.  They are yours.  Sort of wish I was making a stop at Lopburi.  There are monkeys in the streets and everyone made a Wai at one of the temples as the train went by. Thank you again kind lady for helping me to get off at the right stop.  Having a wonder before bed and a man on a bike stops for a chat as he is cycling to work.  Further wandering, man on bike appears at the gate of the university building (where he works) and gives me a much more comprehensive map than the one at th hostel.  Thank you kind bike man!  Bedtime in my non cobwebby dwelling.

DAY FIVE: Ayutthaya.  I don't agree with the non believers, I suspect they are people who do not enjoy wandering around ruins.  I, on the other hand, LOVE wandering around ruins.  Spent a good few hours just on 2 temples.  Be glad my camera has broken, people at home or you would be subject to many photos of crumbling bricks and half built buddhas.  39 exposure disposible cameras are limiting.  Went to see this first.   Then nipped across the road to a temple where two princes once duelled to both their deaths on elephant back.  Spent the afternoon at the Ancient palace complex and wandered over to the Historic Studies centre. Historically Ayutthaya was powerful.  Lots of trade with the whole world, and a strong base for the capital, as it is surrounded by a river on all four sides. Then the Burmese sacked it and the ruins have been left as they are ver since apart from th odd excavation here and there to remove precious artifacts and relics of Lord Buddha.  It's a really interesting place.

DAY SIX. Going home today, but not untill the wee small hours or the morning so  a temple out of town is on the cards.  And probably buying an insane amount of incense.  Then last bus to Bangkok.  I haven't even spent one night there.  There goes that blog entry title...

It's been aces.  But I am looking forward to coming home.  Cause there is aces too.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Chaing Rai : A Retrospective.

Well.  Chaing Rai is a rather pleasant wee city to spend time.  A pocket guide to Thailand cites it as a place best to base yourself to take trips out an about.  The Middle weekend of our time teaching the School headmaster donned his tour guide persona (literally, he used to moonlight as a tour guide...) and we all bundled into the back of his car to see what we could see.  He took us to what he calls the 'Black Temple'.  It's not actually a temple, though it is built to look like one.  It is an art gallery and meeting space built by eccentric artist Thawan Duchanee Aside from the temple, which does actually feel like an evil wizards castle, there are an assortment of meeting houses and guest rooms decorated with dark wood and animal skins/skulls.  Its a bit like an evil wizards commune, really.

After that we went up to Doi Tung gardens.  Its a sustainability project initiated by the monarchy to get folks growing something that isn't opium.  That being illegal and all.  There is a beautiful garden there now, and they grow lots of coffee.  One of their major suppliers is Thai Airlines.  Good economy points. 

We spent the afternoon at the Golden Triangle.  Golden because of its past days of lucrative opium sales (as we learned at the opium museum) and triangle because it is where the boundaries of Laos, Burma and Thailand meet.  They have a number of enormous Buddha and elephant statues on the Thai side and on the Burma/Laos side there are huge casinos.  Cause Gambling is illegal in Thailand (apart from the lottery) so people drive up to the border, get a boat across for a few hours, gamble to their hearts content then boat/drive home again.

We had a wee drive through the ancient city (which is now quite a modern city with a fair few ruins in it) of Chiang Saen and Mae Sai, were I don't think you really go much unless you are doing a border run to extend your visa or looking for fake versions of expensive sunglasses.

The next day we went looking for some hill tribes.  Now hill tribes don't always wear their traditional dress any more (and why should they)  But they live in bamboo huts in the hills, speak their own dialect and see to mostly be Christian.  We ended up in one that has a home stay program with the tourist bored of Thailand, where a lady in traditional garb and a kid strapped to her back brought us into her house for tea in a bamboo cup and a banana before whipping out her handicrafts to sell.  Naturally.

Spent most of the time in Chiang Rai after that just chilling.  Temples and Markets.  And a Reggie bar.  Good times.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

School Daze and Village People

Leaving the school was a sad time.  One of the kids made little note with sad faces saying 'I love you, and they all followed us back to our bed/class room saying home.  Apart from the little ones who didn't really notice what was going on... They never even learned out names actually, just called us all 'Khu Falang'.  Khu for teacher and Falang as in, the first people to travel to the area where cheese eating surrender monkeys French, and the way the villagers said France was 'Falang.'  So Khu Falang = foreign teacher.  DO YOU SEE.  I will miss singing songs and playing games at great length.  Especially 'What time is it Mr Tiger.'  They never did grasp the concept of 'Dinner time' though.

I wont miss the bugs though.  Christy. Got a couple of scorpions on the go by the end of the week.  And I set my dress on fire on a mosquito coil.  Not my most suave moment.

We inadvertently got adopted the last few days we were there!  Just having a wonder through the village, and were called over by a group of elderly ladies that spoke no English... Then another woman rushed across the road and said "5 minutes!  5 minutes!"  We smiled ... for about 5 minutes straight actually... At which point a Thai girl with striking blue eyes made a dramatic entrance on a scooter, her name was Bee and she spoke fluent English.  We were invited for dinner there 2 days running and Bee took us round the town pointing out papaya and banana trees and another kind of fruit tree that she didn't know the name of in English but people wrap paper round the fruits so they look like little paper lampshades round fruity bulbs.  It was nice, sitting watching the sun set over the paddy field and having conversation with people through the medium of arm gestures.

Back in Chaning Rai now, notionally heading to Lamphun tomorrow.  But I may change my mind at the last minute BECAUSE I CAN.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Cause back in school, we are the leaders of it all...

This school is amazing.  There are 55 students and they are all so adorable (apart from when they bring enormous insects into the classroom with them...) and generally seem to enjoy learning English...  Or maybe they just enjoy shouting A B C D as loud as possible.  Maybe it's the same thing.  I don't know I'm not qualified.

We sleep in a disused classroom, huddled under mosquito nets to try and avoid a variety of terrifying bugs, many of which are literally the size of sheep*  We use the school kitchen to cook our meals, and the staff room to updated our travel blogs.  Right now it's just me and a bloody loud geko.

The town is really small, and we were told that no one speaks any English, though upon going for a stroll one evening we were invited onto the porch of an ex monk who had very good English indeed, and the next day Dinana met a fella from Sheffield.  It wasn't Sean Bean.

The kids are at school from about 7am, sweeping up the place and weeding then they come back after school to play in the playing field.  Mad for it.  Also doesn't lend to much privacy, and a lot of conversations consisting of "Hello teacher", "Hello!  How are you?" , "I am happy!"

This evening the grade 1 teacher took us to a Thai massage place then taught us how to cook green curry back at her house (which is also a computer shop and has a stall that sells pizzas in the front garden. naturally) Not being one for having a strangers hands all over me I opted instead for a foot massage.  Having a Thai massage after some medium being a large touristy box just ripe for the ticking.

While we were chatting the teacher was telling us about where the snakes live in the school, and how they come out at night.  I'm comically huddled on an office chair which slides around every time I jump.  Which is often, and at the slightest sound.  Ridiculous.

Think it might be time to escape to the relative safety of my mosquito net and watch fire flies til I fall aspleeps.

Sweet dreams all.

*not literally

Sunday, 22 May 2011

This is Africa

This isn't Africa, it's defiantly still Thailand.  But that is the name of a song that the 140 kids at English camp enjoyed jumping up and down and screaming to.  Whats that you say?  You thought I was teaching in a small school just outside Chaing Rai, not a large summer camp in Chaing Mai? I may have told you that, and at the time that was certainly the plan.  However the minute we got out the car at the school we got a phone call asking us to get back into town to get a bus over to Chaing Mai to help at a 2 day English camp.

I'm not too sure English camp is what I would have called it.  Enforced dancing camp might have been better.  And I don't know that after 2 days being able to say Hello, my name is ____, my teacher is Bee/Simon/Diana/Louise/Toni/Matthew/Sarah is terribly productive.  But they can all do the YMCA, so will fit right into the social scene at Butlins. 

The school we stayed at there was not so great, the previous volunteers that stayed there moved out after engaging in epic battle with a scorpion.  We actually had a nice night there, going to a nice we local restaurant-y hut type affair down the road for rice and some Sangsom, before heading back for some cards.  Just got bitten to near death by mosquitoes and freaked out by numerous bug carcasses in the shower...

Spent the Weekend in Chaing Mai with the other volunteers and scorpion conquerers.  Went out of the evening to a Thai reggie bar (yes). Next day was pretty chilled, kicked about looked at some more temples ate some noodles.  We went to the Night Baazar, which has many beautiful things.  Not least an enormous blue LED Christmas tree in the food court. 

Today we went in a tourist tour tm.  We started at an orchid farm.  Which didnt have an amazing amount of orchids I thought.  The pocket guide to Thiland would have you believe that Chaing Mai is bursting with them.. I  must have come at the wrong time of year.  Luckily for fools like me, they laqure fresh ones and sell them as jewelry, to love and admire all year round.  Of course.
Then we has a wee trip down the river on a bamboo raft.
Bamboo rafts are surprisingly robust.
Conviniently located next to the rafting was elephant riding.  Which was a pretty wobbly experaince.
We went up to a villiage, which we were lead to believe was a tribal hill villge, but was more a few huts and some elderly ladies trying to sell woven handbags by shouting HELLO at us at great length.
We went white water rafting after that though, that was good.  As was swimming by a waterfall.

Suitably touristed out (I have so many pictures of elephants and orchids) we are heading back to our wee rural school tomorrow, to give more children the gift of YMCA know how....

Wish us luck.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

So, Thailand, huh?

Well after a flight with no drama (apart from the drama of Voldemort getting the elder wand at the end of harry potter during the in flight film) I got to Bangkok and went to meet the volunteer pick up person.  Turns out they didn't know I was arriving that day, good news.  So got a taxi over to the volunteer house where th in country coordinator told me I had been ripped off.  Maybe next time I go to a far away country I will go with a volunteer company that will pick me up at the airport and help me get my bearing a bit... Wait...

So after a bottle of water and a little sleepy we all piled into a van to the bus station for a 12 hour bus journey to Chaing Rai, were we will be teaching.  We stopped for food at the bus station, were I bought something that I was told was chicken but looked like somethings insides... or possibly genetials...  Not for me.  Was presented with a box of cake a short while into the journey so all was well.  Apart from perhaps the film that was on (Bruce Willis and Tracy Jordon being policemen, dubbed into Thai, anyone?  No.)  Huge bus with huge seats, defiantly better than a mega bus and cost roughly the same. Woke up to watch early morning rural Thailand passing by in a misty haze.  Lots of street side selling or ornamental garden alters and saw some monks leading pray just on the side of the road.

The School diector picked us up from the bus station at the other end and we squinted through the rain at Chaing Rai (thinking that he had an amzing mix cd on in his car - turns out it was just my MP3 player, on in my bag...) Went up to visit the school, were the kids were all in sweeping up.  Classes start back on Wednesday, so they were making it ready for then.  Imagine asking a p3 from home to go in to school 2 days early to clean...

Cause we aren't starting classes until Wednesday the director and in country co-ordinator took us out and about a bit. We went to a called 'The White Temple' Which is made of lots of bits of glass cemented together so shimmers in the sunlight.  Next to it is what looks like a smaller golden temple... but is actually a toilet...

The bottom had lots of creepy statues, illustrating EVIL, the idea is that you walk up the hill into the temple itself traveling away from sin and getting closer to enlightenment.  Everything got whiter and more ornate until you went inside to a massive gold Buddha statue.  And a mural depicting why wars happen - which had Buddha at the top looking enlightened while underneath him were all the things that cause wars - including a demon which had a portrait of Osama Bin Laden in one eye and George Bush in the other.  And bat man and super man a bit further down.

It was so amazing.  And nearby there is a gallery of work of the guy who designed the temple, he lives in a flat above it.  We didn't see him though.

So a day in Chaing Rai and then off up the Hills to School.  Hopefully it will stop raining soon.  Not convinced by this 'pre Monsoon season' stuff.  Seems rather full on monsoon-y to me...

Saturday, 14 May 2011

It was always going to be.

There are 2 Songs I want played at my funeral.  Though at the moment I can't link to either of them cause the sever keeps timing out.  So I'm taking it as a sign, reverting back to the original point of this blog  (... What do you mean you can't remeber what that is, it's so family and friends can know what I'm doing when I'm galavanting wantonly around the world...) until such a time as I come back from Thailand.  Where I am going to go TODAY.  Even if it is snowing in Chicago. Shazam.

This is a conversation I had with the gentleman at the post office while picking up some Thai Baht.
Me - " Hi there I'm just here to pick up some forgin currancey I ordered earlier in the week"
Kindly Post Office Official - "Ooooh, Thailand!  Lucky you,  Thailand is very beautiful!"
Me - "Fantastic, have you got any 'must- see's'?"
Kindly Post Office Official - "Peru"

Means I miss Eurovision though.  Gutted.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Rather one sided

What song would I like played at my wedding?
Probably this.
It's mainly about how AWESOME it is for the gentleman to be with the lady.  Which I guess is a bit rude, as weddings are a two sided endeavor.   Although I do like to think there might be some measure of awesomosity in marrying me, so maybe it's ok.  This version has an added string section.  I also like to think there might be a rock style string section at my wedding, after a fashion.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


I'm tempted to repost 'Rock and Roll Dreams' cause it really is my all encompassing negative down times song, it generally perks me up.  Or, you know, reminds me that Meat Loaf has a song that engages me on every conceivable emotional level.  Which is ENTIRELY AWESOME.
But I'll pot this instead.  Since there isn't a very good video available of 'Fistful of fivers' by 'Wooden-box and a fistful of fivers'  Which I currently tend to listen to when feeling a bit sadanated.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

You can't loose 'em all.

I like to listen to this song when I am happy.
It reminds me of my brother and sister who are both Aquabats fans (and have both incorporated this into their song challenge times)  and of summer road trips and festivals. These things, too, make me happy.  And one time I won some coffee on that 'roll up the rim' competition at Timmy Ho's.

Sunday, 24 April 2011


When I am angry, I listen to this.  It basically got me through being a hormonal teenage type.  I'm less angry these days, but hey.  The beat is still yours forever.

Friday, 22 April 2011


Now then, now then.  For the past few weeks I have had consuption (probably) and been doing all sorts of things from working to procrastinating to running to drinking heavily, so have not has one iota of time to inform THE WORLD of my musical habits.

Never fear.  I am back. With a song (the title track no less) from my favorite album. That makes it sound like I am playing it live for you.  Which I am, on the spoons.  But there isn't a youtube link to that so have this instead.

You know how certain songs can remind you of certain times of your life?  This song reminds me of all things and all times because it has been my favorite album since I was 7.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Total Darkness.

What song do I wish I heard on the radio?

Come aaaaaaan.

Monday, 4 April 2011

You bet.

I didn't realise that I really love The Who before I started listening to absolute radio.  They play a lot of their songs that aren't Pinball Wizard or My Generation.  This is one of them.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Hate is a strong word.

I understand the concept of liking a song, then growing bored of it, though anything more extreme than that seems pretty rare... So  I guess the closest thing I got for a song I used to LOVE but now HATE is this...

For unsubstantiated and silly reasons.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


I started doing this yesterday and stopped, cause I couldn't think of a song that describes me.  And I still can't really.  So I'm going to go with this, as secretly I want to be serenaded with it by a man who loves me.  Cause cliches are cliches for a reason.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

A song no one would expect me to love?

I don't love this song... But I used to.  And a whole group of people once simultaneously expressed surprise at this fact, so I reckons it's the best I got...

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Moar Catch up

I say catch up.
The 30 day song challenge doesn't actually specify that the 30 days have to be consecutive.  ANYWAY, I shan't drag this on.  Cause I know you are DESPERATE to know who my least favourite band are and what my guilty pleasure song is...

A song from a band I hate.  Well I had thought Cold Play, but then I was reminded of these fellas.  Perhaps strap on a pair, stop all that winey nasal singing and whoever this strumpet of which you speak will be more interested.  Just saying.

And I list this as a guilty pleasure.  Though, while I'm not proud, I certainly wouldn't say guilty is the term to describe it...

I used to own 86 Hanson posters.  Now I only own one.

Friday, 25 March 2011

At the risk of being repetitive...

I have decided that since Meat loaf isn't a band I shall post ;

I listened to this a lot when I was going nothing short of crazy when I was taking the pill.  Lots of confused love and hate flying around in this song.  Then when we went to see them Tony announced that it was about completing the payment plan on his first car... A blue toyota corolla which had it's sunroof smashed in by a bulldozer but still live in his back garden, because I know you were wondering.
Comic sans in the video too.  Lovely.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Catch up!

I have not been doing this the past few days cause I was here.  And if you weren't shame on you, it was super.

So THREE IN ONE, are you ready?  Of course you are.

I suspect the Loaf factor may become tiresome in my list, but then again - he is the reason I listen to music. So, of the many songs of Mister Loaf I know all the words to I am going to go with THIS ONE for today

I'm not much of a dancer, so I have unfortunately had to reinterpret this as 'the song you inevitably jump up to with great enthusiasm and sway/jump/skank to whilst displaying to everyone else in the room just how uncoordinated and rhythmically challenged you are'.  Though I suspect a few people who have been compiling this list have stumbled upon a similar problem, so I shan't dwell on it.  I give you;
Also good for hairbrush/mirror moments.  Or bopping in the car moments that Chris mentioned.  Love it.

This doesn't send me to sleep without fail.  Which is good cause I quite often listen to it while I am driving, but it is a song I associate with sleepy times because when I first discovered Sonata Arctica I never wanted to turn off the music, so would leave it on through the night.  The song I associate most strongly with that time is this one.  Love it.

See you in the morrow, sleep well.

Sunday, 20 March 2011


Excitement abounds.  But for now, a song that reminds me of a certain event.

Driving to Edinburgh to get the Mega bus down to Londondonia, Caroline is jetting off homeward.  This song comes on the Cd and she looks for her phone, I look for mine too.  The problem of the matching ringtone.  Get outs have not been the same since her departure either.

The video is puntastic, you should watch it.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Where else?

A song that reminds me of a certain place?

Yes, I am 24.

Friday, 18 March 2011


This reminds me of Andrew Farmer, due to his tendencies to say 'YEAH' (often with the following keyboard plinky bit) in the way they do in this song and watch CSI Miami.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

My broken chant

Today is a song that makes me sad.  This was in a dance show I sort of lit once by Fragments theatre.  I find it delightfully melancholy.  And you know what, sometimes I DO need a revelation.  Don't we all?

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

This ain't no Roxy Music

Today has been a much better day.  And coincidentally it is time for a song that makes me happy.
This song is good to listen to when your boyfriend is in Canada and you aren't.  And I should imagine in other situations too, when you would rather time would fast forward a bit.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Today has been not a very good day at all.  So for a blackened and rotting cherry on top, I offer you this, my least favourite song.  It's not lyrical genius it is reminiscent of five year old children writing poetry about world peace as a class room project.
Given how well John Lennon can write and sing when he wants to, I don't know what inspired the melancholy, drawling vocal stylings of this.  And it's only paved the way for whiney fuckers like 'The Script'

Thanks John.  Thanks.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Stories never truly end, but our part in them will come and go.

Canada, ay?

I had a lovely time in Canada.  Obviously a great deal of that was to do with not being 5000 miles away from Andy, which was always going to put a positive spin on things.

As I sat in the departure lounge in Kelowna airport weeping quietly to myself an announcement was made "HEY GUYS WHO HERE IS GONG TO CANCUN TODAY!?"  Most of the departure lounge cheered.  As I sat in Gatwick airport, with a very small group of people who were all going up to Edinburgh, we watched with quiet interest as the lady read the script word for word the baggage policy and queuing procedures. The lady who checked my passport to let me back into the country literally didn't say a word.  The fella on the way into Canada wished me and my boyfriend ("Wow, having a chef for a boyfriend must be pretty swell, huh") a great time.  Maybe in these cases its PR.  But the reputations Canadians have for being happy and friendly in abundance does not go un-earned, in my experience.

Of course all the usual 'not being at home' things applied. Oh yes, people are meant to be driving on that side of the road...   I could really just do with a nice cup of tea...  The attitude to smoking and drinking still seems odd too me.  I suspect strong government crack down (hide the expensive, expensive cigarettes in opaque locked cabinets, make people feel shame) is actually pretty good if these drugs are so bad for you that everyone including secondary smokers will die of cancer.  But cracking down on nicotine while the smell of weed protrudes so strongly from cars, houses and passers by seems so perverse.  And the number of poorer people who can be seen picking up cigarette butts from the streets trying to get one final use out of them is actually a little distressing.  And I liked coming home and going for a pub lunch, where three pints of cider doesn't cost three hours wages.

Though Andy's flatmate maintins BC is strictest with these rules, one way to find out.  ROADTRIP.  Which is just as well.  Coming home and hearing all about the state of play for my place of work uncompromisingly hammers all the chat about funding cuts into horribly real perspective.
Now seems like a good time to pull out the travel plans that have been talking amongst themselves on the back burner for the past few years.  If I can get together enough temp jobs to cover the airfare...

In the meantime I am going to copy mine sister and do the 30 day song challenge on here rather than book of the face.  As since I ain't travelling no more, there isn't too much else to say.  Plus it looks fun.

So I give you THIS - Day 1 my favorite song.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

And.. powder junkie is a good thing...?

I had a breakthrough in Snowboarding!  To the extent that I can actually control the board...
Which, given the number of twelve year olds who can practically breakdance with their boards on el slopes here, could be more impressive.  But I am pleased, a new skill!  I'm sure it will be useful to me in the future.
Also, Meat Loaf was playing when we arrived on the hill that morning.

I think not.

Feeling, then, that enough Canadian culture had been absorbed for now (though I have still to see a moose OR a mountie) we paid a trip to the Japanese Gardens in town and went out for sushi.  Which, actually isn't that far a cry from Canadian culture, I guess.  What with the not insubstantial Asian community living here.  I suspect due to the fact Vancouver is one of the first places you get to if you get on a plane in Nippon and fly East.  My standard 'I am going to go to Japan next January' mantra has been reinstated, after taking a year off (to be replaced with ' I'm going to Canada in January'.)  Imagine.  Anyway, the gardens are very sweet.  Small and covered in snow, but perfectly manicured.  Suspect the coy carp might have been frightened away by ducks though...

Paid a trip to the local art Gallery, which I wasn't bowled over by I must admit.  The exhibition of videos about Indian culture were all pretty badly made, but made interesting and important points.  The exhibition of John Kissick, was very much one where time and energy had gone into the painting but were not the kind I was terribly enamoured by.  WHICH OF THESE IS 'ART'?  I think David Hume knows.

I am going home soon.  Which both delights and saddens me.  Luckily things like this exist to help me through the darker moments. 

Friday, 25 February 2011

Monday, 21 February 2011

Not Much

I just put a biscuit down on the work top, perhaps a faux pas.  Having picked it up to eat again the tip of my tounge and my lips have gone numb.  I wonder what else was living there...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

A winters tale.

So, since I am in Canada in winter I decided to attempt either snowboarding or skiing cause, to be honest, there isn't that much else to do.*  I opted for snowboarding, as the majority I have spoken to here deem it to the way forward.  Verena says I will break my wrists.  Turns out I am not one of life's natural boarders, I spend a lot of time falling over, if I ever manage to stand up at all.  Which is much trickier when both your feet are strapped to a bit of slippy plastic...
In other news, I watched 'Black Swan' and am very angry about it.  I sat right through to the end waiting for the twist because I heard it was trippy and would mess with your mind. Turns out it's just a rather mediocre depiction of someone dissolving into madness, with a lot of unnecessary imagery to guide you on your way and destroy all subtlety. And Natalie Portman touching herself.
Go and see True Grit, it's much better.

*Although Andy's Austrian flatmate often points out - we are in Canada, we have no reputation to uphold - WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE WANT.  We decided against pooing in the street, though.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The sands of time dissolve with every breath you take

Ok, so it turns out I was never really that fussed about Paraguay.  The flight being cancelled has not really phased me in the slightest (of course there is the small matter of what to do with the glitter glue, pipe cleaners, coloured pencils and 453.6 grams of plastic beads I bought to donate to the project.)  But when it came down to it, the only reason I could think of for wanting to going further south than I currently am was because I had told people I was going to. 
Cue a string of texts from my rather super family telling me to follow my heart.  Which was great, and not just because it reminded me of this song.
So I spent a week looking into how much it would cost to go to Japan, Antigua, Jamaica, Barbados or Mexico.  And I tried to join up to WWOOF Mexico as I thought - 3 weeks working on a sunshiny farm?  Yes I can do that, what larks.  But apparently the 1 to 5 days the organization claims it will take to approve a person's membership (so you can actively start pursuing such sunshiny dreams) is more like 7 days and counting.  I'm rapidly running out of weeks, and flight costs are climbing.  Stupid Mexicans.  And I can say that because I don't work for the BBC.
So I'm fairly settled on staying put.  Canada has Andy, after all.  And I can learn to ski  (or snowboard) here.  The next time Chicago gets snowed under I SHALL SKI TO PARAGUAY.

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Long story short
Chicago + snow = no connections to Paraguay for Bee.

Not untill the 7th, apparently.  Due to the cost of the flight, for three weeks I am disinclined to bother...
Not when you can fly to Mexico or Jamaica for 300 pounds.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

There's no Canada like French Canada (not a statement I am qualified to comment on)

Text (paraphrased) to Ali 7.11 am British time 11.11pm Canada time: I'm in a cowboy bar with lots of old people.  It's horrific. (I'm not sure if I thought to mention the red spandex trousers)
Response from Ali "A cowboy bar?  Is that code?  Do you need us to get you out of there?! I will send the chopper.xx"
Apparently there are quite a lot of cowboy types, if not so much here in BC, in Alberta.  I was surprised to learn this (having thought cowboys were largly restricted to the more southern states of America, and that Alberta was mainly full of lumberjacks.)  What a closed mind I evidently had... 
A right royal night oot here differs from one in the motherland.  Mainly in that drinking seems frowned upon.  Buying a drink is tres expensive...  You can't really do it apart from in specialist shops... Bars seem full of sober people, and all close pretty early.  Walking around though, it's not at all uncommon to catch the scent of weed drifting through the air, any time of the day or night.  I am reminded of the Bill hicks chat (  Maybe that's why everyone in Canada is so nice.

I have been a bit at odds with myself over the past week.  Kelowna is not big, and as a non skiier/snowboarder at this time of year there's not a massive amount to be done.  There's the highway - a big neon strip of retail that zooms right past the town centre without stopping to say hello.  Andy took me along it, to 'VALUE VILLAGE'.  Sadly not literally a village, it's an odd mash up - TK max size/layout but the shelves brim with second hand items.  Like the biggest charity shop in the world.  Expet not for charity, just for the pure, unadulterated VALUE. 
More town centrically, we went to the museum of natural heretige, which seemed to encompass the natural heretige of not only Okanagan, but had displays for the WHOLE WORLD.  Which I had not anticipated.  One Canadian specific thing I did learn about was the 'OokPik'  Innuit word for Snowy owl, apparently a popular souvineer that I have yet to see apart from in this museum...

We also went on a windy walk up a hill full of sleeping bears. Kelowna is still pretty when viewed from above, You can't see too far and wide though.  Lots of hills in the way.  But then they are, probably, why the skiing here is so popular..

Paraguay in but 2 days.  I think I would be exited now, if it didn't take so very long to get there...

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Sound Canadian Advice

"Spread the word, not herpes.  Learned that at my Grandaddy's knee."

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Catch a magic moment, do it. Right here and now.

Good news!  I have been inoculated up to the nines and an April 2010 disclosure does count as recent enough to let me into the country to partake in arts and craft activities with children.  Hooray!  The nurse at the surgery was terribly nice about how horrifically late I had left everything, too.  A far cry from my last visit, when the doctor informed me that I should not gain any weight because while I am not quite borderline overweight for my height, I am BORDERLINE-borderline overweight.  And to watch "what went in"  at which point she kindly mimed eating for me.  Presumably in case I had let myself get into such a tragically enormous state by not being familiar with the basic processes of weight gain.  Anyway, past bitterness aside - To Paraguay!  Via Canada to see Andy!  :)

I think there might be scope for writing a rom com about flying through time zones to see ones boyfriend.  You're counting down months, counting down weeks, counting down days, then the departure date finally arrives and BAM it's 32 sodding hours long!  And things keeps happening to make it longer, like Canada being so cold the doors of the plane freeze shut and no-one can get out.  Hilarity ensues.  And if my mp3 player shuffle function were in charge, largely to the sound track of Meat Loaf and Mumford and Sons.  Delicious.

Having said that the my trip over was without trauma, apart from the shop at Calgary airport which has huge mooses dressed as mounties.  Which I just can't get over.  Before coming here I was probably just a little bit too convinced that Scotland and Canada were preeety similar (...they've even got the queen on the money...) Though first impressions would suggest that Canada is substantially more perky, as a rule.  Everything is bigger too, and more spread out.  No cautiously cramming everything into high rises and grid iron patterns.  Which makes sense of course, what with all the space.  Everything is pretty big to be fair, from bottles of shampoo the buckets of peabutter... Nutfree peanut butter that I suspect at home exists only in 'special shops', readily available in supermarkets here.  Yeah.

Had a lovely few days wondering round Kelowna with Andy.  It's a very pretty wee city, hills and lakes everywhere you look.  We attempted to visit a cheese farm, though it was somewhat further out than the signpost let on and successfully visited a 'wine museum'.  Though that was basically just a wine shop with an enormous barrel for maturing wine in sitting up the back.  We speculated there may be funding available for museums.  Activities aside, seeing Andy again makes things all aces.  He is back twisting at the tomato today, so I shall offski to see what is to be done of a Saturday afternoon when your a non-working type in Kelowna town.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A bit of a worry

Trebuchet, thats what this font is called.  I should be interested to know the roots of the decision to name a relatively inoffensive font after a middle ages siege machine.

Thats not the worry though, the worry is that I appear to have cast all my organizational skills out to sea.
I'm going to Paraguay on the 1st of February, and haven't even had any jabs.  Actually I haven't even had the consultation appointment with the nurse about what jabs you need to get.  Although the internet has made some suggestions.  And it looks like as long as I don't drink any dirty water I should be OK.  And I'll be honest, that was kind of my plan anyway.
On a similar note, I didn't send away to get a letter of good conduct from the police because I've got a recent disclosure Scotland Form.  Can't find that, found lots of weight watchers biscuits which I bought a while ago in an effort to beat my snacking habit...  Got one from April (a disclosure not a biscuit) and I've only been pulled over by the police once since then for driving 20mph in a 30mph limit when it was icey.  (0 on the breathalyser, I might add.)

Oh my God I'm going to be shut out of Paraguay because of my appalling ineptitude.