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People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading*

The 10 Commandments of Bus Travel

Thursday, June 28, 2007

1. Thou shalt not skip the queue at the bus stop, unless you are old AND frail.* We are British, we are civilised, and we queue in an orderly manner.

2. Thou shalt not dither - make it clear whether or not you wish to get on an approaching bus, as soon as it comes into view.

3. Thou shalt have thy bus pass/fare to hand, not at the bottom of thy handbag. Some people need to get to work.

3. Thou shalt not sit next to me when the bus is half empty. There is Just. No. Need.

4. Thou shalt say 'excuse me' when you need me to let you out from the window seat. Do not just stand up and barge past me without so much as a by-your-leave.

5. Thou shalt not play music at such a volume that your fellow passengers can hear every word of the lyrics.

6. Thou shalt not put thy luggage in the Metro holder.

7. Thou shalt not hog the seat or bash your seat-mate (me) with your elbows while you read your paper.

8. Thou shalt not ding the bell more than once.

9. Thou shalt not attempt to read my book over my shoulder. It is rude.

10. Thou shalt NEVER pick thy nose on the bus.

*Just being old is not reason enough - there must also be a reasonable degree of frailty to allow queue skipping.


Things and Stuff

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hoo-whee. It's been a busy old week (again).

First things first. I'm out from under my covers and I'm just back from a trip to the dentist.

Austin Powers has gone, and Teeny has returned. Woot!

I walked out of the dentist with a smile on my face today, for the first time in about three years. Despite my sore, bleeding gums and numb mouth, I actually smiled. I'm sure I was a pretty sight. Perhaps that's why children were hiding behind their mothers and saying 'mummy, I'm scared' when they saw me.

As I walked back up to the road, with a spring in my step, I could have started singing Zippity Doo Dah and doing that jumpy, heel-clicky thing. I maybe would have if my dentist wasn't in such a rough area, where exuberant singing of show tunes gets you, at best, a sovvy ring in the teeth, at worst, slashed. For the last three years I've been self-conscious of my teeth to the point where most people probably think I'm a miserable cow who never cracks a smile. But the feeling today of finally looking normal again, was worth all the traipsing back and forth to the dentist, the root fillings, the root canal surgery and, yes, even the Austin Powers temporary crowns.

So I'm very happy with my new wallies (which is a good scots word for teeth, Timbo!). I feel ready to face my public now.

Another significant development, which I'm afraid is wedding related - I had my first dress fitting on Saturday. Apart from it being too long (because I am short) it fitted me perfectly. And when I say perfectly, I do mean waist-cinchingly, bust-flatteringly, perfect.

And I still love it. I was worried that I was going to have gone off it as I couldn't remember exactly what the dress was like (which, I know, what a rubbish bride I am, other girls would have every last detail etched in their memory from the moment they first saw it. But not me). So that was a relief, because my mum has already paid for it.

I did end up buying different shoes, shoes that are not evil foot-munching bear traps, so I have to go back for a second fitting tomorrow.

But that's ok cause I get to play dressing up again.

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Stupid Vain Girl

Friday, June 15, 2007

Warning - this post is filled with indulgent self pity. You may wish to come back next week.

I had my first appointment yesterday to get my front two teeth crowned. My dentist had warned me what to expect - that it would be a long appointment (an hour and a half, yuck), that he'd have to file my own teeth down to stumps, then take impressions, and then fit temporary crowns while the permanent ones are being made up. And he warned me that the temporary crowns 'aren't that great'. Those were his words.

The actual appointment wasn't too bad. It wasn't exactly my idea of a fun afternoon, but still it wasn't as bad as you might think. There was lots of drilling - they don't actually use a file to reduce your teeth to stumps, as I naively thought, just a nasty old drill. He also had to screw in a steel post to strengthen the tooth that I had the root canal surgery on, using what seemed to be an unbranded Black and Decker electric screwdriver. It wasn't nearly as much fun as the root canal surgery.

Anyway, after an hour and a half I made my way home, with my mouth shut tight the entire time. I had sneaked a quick peek at my compact mirror while I was waiting for the receptionist to set up my next appointment, and wished I hadn't. My gums were all swollen and everything just looked a bit nasty. The temporary crowns looked horrendous. I figured it must be because I was literally just out the chair, and that by the time I got home it wouldn't look so bad.

I got home. I looked in the mirror. And it was just as bad. In fact, it was worse. The crowns looked worse than I remembered. They stick out like a sore thumb. They're plastic, to begin with, so they look completely different from my own teeth. They're also a different colour and shape to all my other teeth.* They just look hideous. I was prepared for them not looking great but I honestly thought they couldn't be any worse than my existing teeth. How wrong I was. I would gladly have my one slightly discoloured tooth and one slightly cracked tooth back right now.

When I looked at myself in the mirror I burst into horrified tears.

The Boy was in the loo when I got home, which I was quite glad about because I didn't want anybody looking at me before I'd got a proper look at the damage. He came in to see how I was, and found, to his bemusement, a sobbing mess. I wouldn't look at him, or even turn around to face him - I just told him to leave me alone. I shut the blinds, climbed straight into bed, burrowed under the covers, and continued crying. It was all very teenagery and silly but all I could think about was that I have to look like this for the next 10 days.

You're probably thinking what a stupid vain girl I am - it's only 10 days for pete's sake, but I'm 100 times more self conscious about them than I was this time yesterday. I was paranoid enough about my teeth anyway, and I kind of thought that they couldn't look any worse - that even temporary crowns would look better than my own teeth, and that it wouldn't matter if they did because it was for a higher purpose and would be worth it. But now, after the various problems and treatment I've had, it's a bitter pill to swallow that I should look like a female Austin Powers for the next 10 days, albeit with slightly better taste in clothes. I know it'll be worth it in the end (it fucking well better be), but at the moment it feels like 3 steps back.

Stupid, vain, and overly sensitive I may be, but I'd hide under my covers for the next 10 days if I could get away with it.


*Thankfully. If my own teeth looked like that I'd have em all yanked out and replaced with a set of wallies.


Small Cog

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I work in the Old Town of Edinburgh, and occasionally someone takes it into their head that North Bridge is as good as place as any to end it all. Or just to have a think about ending it all. One person took this course of action on Tuesday. North Bridge is a major thoroughfare in Edinburgh, and it's also unfortunately a popular spot for 'jumpers'. When this happens, the authorities close the roads to stop rubberneckers from gawping at what's going on. It all looked a bit chaotic from my office window - the traffic was diverted along Chambers Street, pedestrians were turfed out, and the emergency services were all over the place. Thankfully, they managed to persuade the woman down. The road was reopened after a couple of hours and everything returned to normal.

Until 4.30pm today, when a colleague rang to say she'd heard there was another jumper and that North Bridge was closed again.

I normally go home via North Bridge, but today I thought I'd nip to the shops before going home (as I knew the traffic would be chaos), so I walked down Fleshmarket Close to Market Street, intending to cut through Waverley Station.* When I emerged at the bottom of the Close, there was a police barrier, and a big crowd of people milling about and staring upwards. I looked casually up at the Bridge, and there was the man standing on the ledge of the parapet right in front of me (the bit in the very centre of the picture below), gazing down at the crowd of people below him.

Although I knew there was a jumper on the bridge somewhere, I wasn't expecting to see him so closely and I felt like a bit of an intruder. I heard people around me saying 'if he was gonna jump he'd have done it by now' and one girl on her mobile saying disgustedly to someone, 'no, he's not even jumped'. I didn't hang around. It felt a bit gruesome - the crowd, and this solitary man standing on a ledge above.

I was reminded of an incident back in April - the Boy and I had gone to the Scotsman Hotel (the building at the far right of the above picture) for a drink one Saturday afternoon and I looked out of the window and saw a man standing at the very edge of the parapet, staring straight down at the ground below. I got a bit of a shock and was in a bit of a tizz about what to do (I'm totally the kind of person you want around in a crisis), when I noticed lots of high-viz jackets on the bridge, and realised that the police were already there.

On that occasion the man stayed on the ledge for two whole days. Alan Sharp, of Random Burblings, wrote about this at the time and managed to take a picture of the jumper-who-didn't-jump. In the end the fire brigade managed to pluck him (the jumper, not Alan) to safety after he'd fallen asleep.** They apparently weren't sure if he ever intended to commit suicide, or if he was staging some kind of one-man protest.

Anyway call me mental, but this dude today looked familiar and I wondered if it was the same person. As I walked through Waverley Station I tried to imagine what was going through his mind as he perched up there on his parapet.*** I wondered if he really was some poor tortured soul who saw no other way out of his problems, or a bored anarchist with a penchant for clambering about on high ledges. Or just someone who enjoyed the feeling of power that inevitably comes from watching a major city thoroughfare closed off just for you and the ensuing disruption at the busiest time of day.

I don't know which he is, but I certainly hope he gets down safely, whatever his motives were for going up there in the first place.

*For those of you who don't know Edinburgh, North Bridge overlooks Market Street and Waverley Station

**How anyone could fall asleep on a tiny ledge 100 feet above an enormous glass roofed structure is beyond me, but I guess he must've been knackered after two full days on a ledge.

***I also wondered if he was going to come crashing through the glass roof above me and kill me outright too, but that's neither here nor there.


Blog Burn Out

Monday, June 04, 2007

I've kinda lost my blogging mojo recently. Real life seems to have gotten in the way slightly, and I've not had much time. The time I have had, I've been, err, having a bit of a fling with Bebo. It just happened, I'm sure you understand. It didn't mean anything.

I am also a little freaked out about the whole anonymity thing. I've not long registered on Bebo and Facebook and I found a referral in my sitemeter that scared me - someone searching for me by name, and coming across this blog. And I'm not sure I like that.

#peers over shoulder#

In other news, I got a phonecall the other day to say that my wedding dress has arrived. My wedding dress is somewhere in Edinburgh, right now. The thought scares me a little. But only a little, mostly I just want to squeal and clap my hands. I've not been to try it on yet. To be honest, I've kinda lost my gym mojo as well, so I'm a teeny bit worried that I've morphed into the Goodyear Blimp, and the dress isn't going to fit. But I may be slightly overreacting. I hope so, anyway. I'll keep you posted.

I had planned to write a good long post tonight, with a topic and proper sentences and everything, but I had the beginnings of a migraine - I managed to head it off with some drugs (legal ones, natch), but they also made me feel a bit queasy and light headed. So the good long post will have to wait till tomorrow. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it gives me more time to think of a topic. And I know you'll be on the edge of your seat till then.

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*Logan Pearsall Smith

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