Next came Hogmanay (New Years) Lee came up from London for the occasion and we headed off to Princes St which had been closed off with bands set up at various points, 2 big screens, fireworks, and other entertainment. It was BYO so we had filled up our platypus bottles with drink enough to sustain us till after midnight, which came all too rapidly with all of us singing Auld Lang Syne in our best Scottish accents. The 25th of January is a big date for Scots with the annual celebratory tribute to the life, works and spirit of the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796) so we headed off to a Burns Supper at the Queensferry arms. On our entrance a lone piper played till we were seated at our table, the programme started with the “Selkirk grace” and followed by “To a haggis” where our supper (the haggis) was piped in and then stabbed passionately by the poem reader. Supper followed – the main course being “haggis with clapshot n whisky sauce”, after which was songs and poems then a lively Ceilidh, which reminded me of when I was at primary school & had to do the Virginia reel, I don’t think my co-ordination has improved much with time, but it was a great laugh and even the boys started to enjoy it.
Christmas rolled round at our place with long phone calls home, pressies opened, a few friends over and a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings, plenty of mulled wine & whisky. We had all been hoping for a white Christmas and as much as it was cold enough it was a beautiful, fine day. It did snow a couple of times while we were here but never enough to last a day.
The All blacks arrived in November, so the whole kiwi contingency (with a few other internationals) went to the game at Murrayfield then into the grassmarket to celebrate the win, where we saw our “boys” who after playing a fine game had had the same idea and hit the town.
Our house warming coincided with Halloween and a costume party was a must, it was a grizzly night with lots of scary people and a nasty punch which tasted far to good to be healthy for you.
Well Ian & Brett arrived in Edinburgh in September after trying to drink the Bavarian beer festival dry and we moved into our flat at 16 Hart Street. With a 5 minute walk to the centre of town, a pizza place, pub, video shop and curry house who could go wrong here.
I arrived in Edinburgh just in time to catch the international fringe festival, so myself, Thornton & friends caught as many acts as we could. This is a must and is worth a trip to Edinburgh for the month of August, we saw comedy, jazz, drama, cabaret, opera and more, we had many a late night to wake bleary eyed the next day for work. This is also the only time the pubs close at 3am and the clubs at 5am!!
I found myself in London mid July after spending a fantastic 3 months in South America not really knowing what to do with myself. Lucky for me Ian came to my rescue in the form of his old neighbour Debbie’s phone number, who I ended up staying with for a week. Deb and Alex were great and it felt like we were old friends already – funny enough I had gone to MIT with Alex years before it just took awhile to realise.