Grace, Real Ale and The Next Step

As I sit here with a mug of cheap rum and exotic fruit juice drink, I realize that it is about time I update the masses regarding what we have been up to recently. (I know it is only 12:30pm, but since the clocks went back last night, it feels like 1:30pm, and I needed something to drink while waiting for our steak pies to cook.)

This week, my wonderful nutter of a friend, Grace, visited Edinburgh. I hadn’t seen this girl in over 3 years, and although we keep in contact, sometimes by post (because getting mail is fun!) and sometimes just on Facebook, it was absolutely amazing to see her in person again. As Chad witnessed, she is one of the few people in the world who when I see her for the first time in a long time, she drops her bags and I give her a spin around hug – a proper she’s-latched-onto-me-and-despite-her-skirt-has-her-legs-around-my-waist hug. I think it was a wee show for the folks in Jekyll & Hyde.

As is only proper for a night out with Grace, after we drank a few in the quiet with Chad, we drank a lot more in the loud and karaoke-entangled pit we love to call Opium (anyone who knows Chad knows that loud places are not his cup of tea). A few days later, after our hangovers were over, we met and wandered the National Museum (again, as Chad and I had already done about half of it – it is huge!) and the Portrait Gallery before retreating to the pub for a pint. I’m sad that she had to go home, but she does have work to do. She is an artist, and if you have a chance, check out and/or Like her Facebook page, Frak Art. It is awesome. We plan to visit her in Stirling when we come back to the UK in the new year.

Something else that is going on right now in Edinburgh, in fact, all over the UK, is the Wetherspoon Real Ale Festival. There are 50 (international) ales  and 10 (UK) ciders to be had. I’ve tried 6 of the ales and 1 of the ciders, and have even been keeping tasting notes, because it makes me feel special and as though I know about what I am talking. I should probably get on trying a few more of those ales before we leave on November 1st for Portugal.

We are getting very excited, since neither of us has been before, not to mention Chad is looking forward to doing his computer programing/coding on the beach. I am looking forward to long walks, amazing scenery and bumbling my way through in a culture were I don’t speak the language besides how to say “thank you” (the first thing a polite Canadian learns in a new language – then the funny swear words, which I have yet to learn).

We still haven’t been to the castle yet, and this, being a Sunday, is not a good day to go because it is the only day of the week that you cannot watch them fire the 1 o’clock gun, so perhaps tomorrow or the next day. If we can get our act together, and those storm clouds keep their rain to themselves, we might walk up Arthur’s Seat today, although that might be put off as well, depending on how motivated we are to leave the flat. What we do know is we will be seeing my mate Kelly later today, which will be awesome, as she’s tons of fun.

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