Friday, 15 January 2010

New Decade

November, December, January...speeding along like the train I so often ride these days, blurring the landscape of my life into a melange of colour. Before it was a sea of greens and blues, now it has become a sea of white, shadowed with blue and grey since the entire United Kingdom has been snow-blanketed for weeks.

November wound down with an American style Thanksgiving, complete with an herb-roasted turkey and an international mix of friends. I was the only American present, surrounded by a Lebanese, Mexican, Canadian, Polish-Canadian, and a Kenyan. It was a lot of fun, and nice to share the tradition with non-Americans who had never experienced it before. And Thanksgiving also corresponded with the arrival of the Edinburgh Christmas carnival and Market! I love it!
Photobucket Panagia, Tim, Alicia, Yara, and Tanya at Thanksgiving
Photobucket Edinburgh at Christmas

The first weekend of December I headed down to London to see Adam's new life and to go see Regina Spektor in concert. She is AMAZING! It was a really fun weekend, and a good way to get me into vacation mode.
Photobucket Adam and I at St. Pancras Station in London

My Dance show was the day after I got back from London, and was so much fun! I really missed the rush of dancing on a stage for an audience!
Photobucket Ready to Perform!

After all this plus working hard at settling into my job, including interviewing some really fascinating people, I boarded a plane and flew south and west for a lovely three week trip to California. I arrived to torrential rain, ironically. Three days were spent in the Bay area visiting family who I hadn't seen in a long time, and the rest of my time was dissected into family-friends-sleeping-work. It was a great trip, and much less stressful than my last visit, since I had more time to do the things I wanted to do.
Photobucket Darleen, Shawn and I
Photobucket Christmas Party with Friends

Christmas was great, especially since I hadn't been with my family for Christmas for the past two years. For Christmas dinner I made a Mexican Feast (since I miss real Mexican food so much in Scotland) including home made chicken mole, salmon and shrimp ceviche, chilis rellenos, mexican beans, rice, salsa, guacamole and chips, plus Mexican chocolate pudding. It was a delicious feast! And I ate as much of the leftovers as I could before heading back to the UK.
Photobucket Grandma and I
Photobucket The Fam
Photobucket Christmas Feast

When I arrived back to Edinburgh just in time for New Years eve, I found myself arriving in a winter wonderland. Fat snowflakes fell fast and thick to the ground as I walked to the airport bus. It took forEVER to get home, with all the ice and snow. I have never seen a major city covered with so much snow in my life. I met up with my cousin Stephen later that day, then with my friend Chris and his girlfriend Stephanie. We all went for drinks at a pub on the Royal Mile, then up to the top of Calton hill for the Bells (midnight). They shoot fireworks off Calton Hill, and you have an excellent view from the top across the city and of the Castle, where even more fireworks explode from at midnight. It was beautiful, and exciting. there were so many people, and everyone was yelling out HAPPY NEW YEAR at the top of their lungs.
Photobucket Stephen, Stephanie, Chris and I on NYE
Photobucket Happy New Year!
Photobucket Fire Art Installation on the Royal Mile January First

A few days later I returned to work, and I've been settling back in. The snow and below freezing temperatures have made it hard to motivate myself to leave the house, much less motivate me to take the (slowed and delayed) trains to Glasgow. Luckily, it has FINALLY warmed up to a balmy 46 degrees (7 celsius) and the snow has started to melt.

Photobucket Frozen Britain taken by satellite

I just sent in my application for my next visa, so please pray and send good wishes my way! I really want to be able to stay here and work for the next two years!

Besides this basic play by play, I don't really have much to add. I'm just trying to plan as far ahead as possible, which tends to be about three days in advance, seeing as work is continuously changing and all travel plans are on hold until I get my passport back with the decision of the UK Border Agency!

I'm reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy right now, and I read a quote last week which I really liked:

"...if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts." ~Anna Karenina

...something good to keep in mind when we are faced with different people and different choices...we must all act as we see fit, and never judge others for the choices that they make in their own lives. Recognise that love for one is lust for another, logic for one insanity for another, understand this and the world will be a more peaceful place.
Photobucket Calton Hill