Edinburgh Part Two: The Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle

The much delayed part two to the Edinburgh story. My memory of the day is a little hazy so I’m afraid the story is rather vague now, but the pictures are worth viewing. Enjoy!

Another Photography On The Citadel

So after our surprisingly interesting and enjoyable tour around Holyrood Palace, we then walked along the Royal Mile, the road/streets connecting Holyrood and Edinburgh Castle. Is it exactly a mile long? No idea. The architecture of the buildings is great though, and on our journey we stopped for lunch at The World’s End pub, which thankfully had improved since my dad’s visit there forty years ago when he had a choice of two drink options and no food menu in a dark and gloomy pub. Despite initial signs looking bad because of kitchen issues, It was actually one of the best meal experiences Vanna and I have had together. The food was excellent (I had a delicious haggis pie with whiskey sauce; Vanna had steak and ale pie which was equally tasty), we tried a fantastic local cider (plus Crabbies Ginger Ale which I really wish was imported here) and…

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Edinburgh Trip Part 1: Holyrood Palace (Plus Graveyards!)

I tried Photobucket. I then tried to delete old pictures from here to clear space. Neither tactic worked. So, sick and tired of the slowness and horrible user interfaces of both websites (I really dislike the updated editor on wordpress, I find it unbearable), I then went to my old photography blogs, hoping to find some memory available on one of them. Turns out anotherphotographyonthecitadel had 50% free, so I went back to the good old fashioned slideshow method (remember those days? magical times). It only took 1 1/2 hours, but whatever. I’ll do this again for part 2. I’ll also use that post to share my thoughts on the whole experience (I realize captions don’t exactly cover much detail, but again, after over an hour of messing around trying to get something very simple to work, I wasn’t in the mood to provide a story). Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures! Just click on the link below to see them in full slideshow glory.

Alex

Another Photography On The Citadel

Howdy folks,

So I’ve split the Edinburgh trip pictures into two slideshows. The first, which you can see if you scroll down, covers our journey from Edinburgh train station to Holyrood Palace. After a wonderful train ride up the coast (sadly no pictures there; an old lady stole our window seat, and then when we moved elsewhere, we ended up awkwardly sitting next to a man who cast us unimpressed looks between intense typing on his laptop and phone calls bragging about his car, job, pay…stereotypical yuppie, one might say), we unintentionally wandered in the wrong direction to Edinburgh Castle (our first planned stop…whoops) and ended up instead going to one of the Royal Family’s summer destinations, Holyrood Palace, via two cemeteries, because why not visit some dead people?

Pictures with captions tell the first half of our story below. I’ll return with part two later, when I will…

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Durham/Seaham 2016

Howdy folks,

So the Edinburgh story and slideshow post isn’t quite ready yet, mainly because Vanna took over 400 pictures and I’m still trying to figure out which ones to use. In the meantime, I’m going to test out the Photobucket slideshow option with the pictures she took from Durham and Seaham this Christmas. There isn’t much I need to say for commentary, but I will apologize in advance for my creepy smile. That’s why I keep  my mouth closed for pictures, people.

Right…hopefully this works. If it goes well I’ll use Photobucket for the Edinburgh pictures too.

Enjoy!

Alex

http://s1304.photobucket.com/user/the_subconscious_death/slideshow/seaham

EDIT: It appears I can’t get the slideshow to embed in the blog post by the Photobucket link and I’m too lazy to mess around in the settings to find a way.  I’ll work on it more for the Edinburgh slideshow, but for this? Please hit the link above. It’s worth it for the little bird.

A New Year, A New Start (Coming Soon)

Howdy folks,
So we’ve been back from the UK for a week now and I am already counting down the days until summer! I thought the nosebleeds due to the dry air were bad enough (after using my hands to stem the flow while hurrying to the bathroom, I now know what I’d look like if I feasted straight from the flesh of a warm animal corpse. Haunting, I tell you, very haunting…also sort of badass), but then we drove home and were greeted by snow, freezing temperatures and horrible road conditions. Thanks Minnesota for that lovely welcome, we missed you too. Yep, after almost three weeks of a moderate English winter where the worst we experienced was a few blustery days that caused us to entertain the idea of wearing a second layer, we really needed that reality check the first day back in the US. The worst part is that the weather we have now isn’t even that bad. Oh the joys of living in the north.
*sigh*
Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year! Although the celebratory closing of 2016 was rather uneventful for us (sadly I was too ill and too miserable to go anywhere), we had a wonderful time visiting my homeland.  Seeing family and old friends after over two years was awesome. Although we didn’t explore as much as we perhaps could have, Vanna and I did what we set out to do – visit as many people as possible. And on top of that, we did have a fantastic experience in Edinburgh near the end of our trip too. Saying goodbye again wasn’t much fun, of course, and the flight home was fairly arduous (not to mention the horribly abrupt return to work and responsibilities)…but it was all worth it. I don’t regret a single moment. Except for my decision not to bring more food with us. I do regret buying only the two boxes of wine gums. They did not last long at all.
Other than that, it was a truly great holiday. BUT, as much as I would like to tell you about everything we did, there isn’t actually that much to share other than our aforementioned trip to the Scottish capital, so I’ll spare you the details (what really can I say? We went and saw my family, ate British food, watched British TV and went to a few places that I’ve already blogged about before, such as Seaham and Hardwick Hall. Interesting to us, but to you? Not so much). Regarding Edinburgh, however that story will be uploaded soon; I’m still waiting on the pictures (Vanna went overboard) but I should be posting sometime within the next week. Our day in Edinburgh was the tourist/blog highlight to the trip, so please come back for that.
Beyond that, both Vanna and I are really focused on getting back to normal life. Her studies are going well, my work is fine (actually attended our Christmas party last night) and I’m slowly finding a balance to my waking hours. I mentioned in my last post about my goals for the future, including a minimum monthly post on the blog, and I still intend to achieve that goal. It probably wont result in the blog reaching the dizzying heights it had back when I had the freedom to post almost daily, but I think it will benefit me, and if there is one thing I’m good at, it’s doing things that benefit me.
And on that wonderful note, I’ll end this post. Only a quick announcement I know, but I have three weeks of no Xboxing to catch up with. And there will be pictures and more coming soon, so I reckon I can get away with a 600 word catch up.
All the best guys,
Alex

Just Let Me Blow Away The Cobwebs…

Howdy folks,

Well…it has been a long time since this blog was active, hasn’t it? I don’t even want to check when I last published something. I know it was after I purchased my tickets to the UK, and that was a long time ago now; after all, I’ve been working for what seems like years and my trip was planned shortly after I was employed at the lab. Yeah…it’s been a long time.

Anyway, I apologize for that. Despite the lack of activity on this site, the blog isn’t officially dead. It’s just that between work, sleep and Gears of War 4, I haven’t had the time or energy to do anything else. This past month has been especially exhausting because we’ve been working at least an hour overtime every day. Urgh. Busy doesn’t cover it. I blame the holidays. Thanks, Thanksgiving, for being a turkey paradise. You’re the reason I don’t get home until nine o’clock. Grr.

Oh well. On the plus side, despite my hectic schedule, things are going to change for the blog in the future. Or at least I’m hoping they will. Coming up fast is my aforementioned trip to the UK, which is less than a week away now, and wow, I can’t believe that it’s going to happen, I’m practically on the plane and it still hasn’t sunk in yet.

Ahem. Well, in addition to giving me the glorious opportunity to see my family for the first time in 2 ½ years, it’s also good news for the blog as both Vanna and I intend to take a lot of pictures! Most of our plans are TBD, but there is a trip to Edinburgh which we’re both excited for, so that should result in some fantastic pictures.

That’s only a short-term solution, however. Going forward, I have a goal for 2017 (New Year’s resolutions and all that), to write something for the blog at least once a month. I’m not sure what I’ll write about, but I want it to be something that takes more than a few minutes to write (i.e. not this post), something which will spark my creativity. After all, part of my reasoning for taking a hiatus from the blog was because I wanted to spend my free time working on my book. Well, that isn’t exactly working, so why don’t I change it up? Maybe blogging will become a catalyst to my writing. It can’t hurt, can it? And I miss writing about all of my complaints, like I used to in the old days (you know, pre-marriage, because now everything is perfect).

So yeah. Let’s see how that goes. I’ll uh, speak to you again soon…hopefully from the UK!

Alex

A New Countdown Begins…

After months of waiting and planning, I can finally confirm my biggest news of the year – Vanna and I will be heading back to England this Christmas!

Very, very excited to be sharing this news, as I’m sure you can imagine! This will be the first time I’ve seen my family since I left the UK in July 2014. It’s been a long time, and even though it is only going to be for a few weeks, I can’t wait to visit friends and family, see my favourite sights and eat my favourite foods…it’s going to be awesome.

No concrete plans beyond the flights have been made yet, but if you shift your attention to the right, you can at least track the countdown to our arrival in the UK. 113 days until the flight, 114 until we land in Newcastle. We’re practically only a few weeks away!

Anyway, once I have more details on what we hope to do, I’ll provide a follow up post with dates etc. Until then, have a great weekend everybody! I’ll be working Saturday through Monday which sucks, but hey, more money in the bank is always a good thing. Need to save up for the trip, after all.

Bye for now,

Alex

 

 

 

My New Lab Coat Life

So after a two month hiatus, I have jumped back onto the working life treadmill (thanks for that phrase dad), and already I’m sick of it. Seriously it’s just…

Nah, it’s fine. I do admit going from having all the free time in the world to ‘here, have a few hours before you crash into a coma sleep’ has been an adjustment, but otherwise it’s been good. Next week (tomorrow; urgh, where did the weekend go?!) will be my fourth at Marshfield Food Safety, and it’s going well. It’s a completely different job to what I’ve done in the past, which I wouldn’t say is a bad thing. I’m not entirely sure what I can say about the job, but essentially we complete a variety of tests to ensure our client’s products are up to standard. It’s busy but I enjoy it.  Science has always interested me, so I enjoy learning more about the biology/chemistry side of food safety.

I also get to wear a lab coat everyday which is cool. Between that, the purple gloves and the safety glasses, I’m like a bona fide scientist. I even act like a scientist, what with my pipetting, plate counting, and, uh…other sciency things that I do. And my job title is Lab Analyst, so yeah, I’m all about the science.

Admittedly it might not be as glamorous as I’m portraying it, but it’s a good job. There is a lot of standing around mind, which wouldn’t be so bad if the benches were designed for tall people, but that’s probably still better for my posture than being slouched in an office chair, staring at a computer screen for eight hours.

I currently work 2nd shift, which is 11:00 to 19:30 (often goes beyond that, but thankfully I have only had to stay until 20:30 once). It isn’t too bad – I’m not a morning person so I love the lie ins – but I still need to find a balance to my leisure time. Currently I eat, play Gears for a bit and then watch Supernatural. I like doing that, but I really should find time for my book. Maybe if I only watch 2 episodes of Supernatural…hmm.

Anyway, what else can I say? Well, everyone has been very nice to me so far and there seems to be a lot of flexibility, which will be important later this year(big news coming up, just waiting for confirmation). Only disadvantage is that I work every third weekend, meaning I’ll might miss Chelsea play if they have a later kick off. Other than that though, I’m very grateful for this opportunity. It’s a paying job and it’s a paying job I like. Yay for me, right?

Guess that’s it for now. There will be more updates coming up soon though. Our 2nd year anniversary is on Tuesday, and later this month Vanna starts college. Both momentous occasions that signify to me that the good things in life for us are only just beginning.  It doesn’t end there though, as in September we have a Trivium gig and a paintballing weekend marked in the calendar. And then there is the big news I mentioned earlier, which is in some ways far bigger than anything else in this paragraph. I can’t wait!

Alex

 

 

 

An expression of my love for gaming and writing