The Week that Wasn’t, Pt. I

Having visitors from afar surely punctuated a splendid New Year’s week and offered many good opportunities to capture much tomfoolery on camera. Miss kittynitro and her Good Doctor came to Edinburgh on the perfect winter’s evening and we immediately fell into our old patterns like good friends should – a calming wave that is so familiar in a land full of unfamiliarity. Being able to host a trip and show people around makes me feel, however, that I am no longer a visitor to this lovely city, but a true resident. It was the perfect ending to a well-deserved and much-needed break from university, and I’m tempted to lock them in my clothes hamper and deny them egress from our little manufactured romp.

Good people attract and play well with other good people, and it was pleasant to introduce my visitors to a wide circle of new friends, who are just as sustaining and bolstering here as the Old Guard are back home. This trip wasn’t just a nice interlude, it was, in fact, medicinal.

To usher in the New Year, we skirted the hordes of roiling people on Princes Street to settle in with a fine group of local chums at one of the closer West Port pubs, situated directly behind Castle. This perch was to offer a good convergent view of the legendary Edinburgh fireworks display and not a few excellent selections of alcohol. After enjoying a few refreshments, we funneled out the back door of the pub to take in the imminent pyrotechnic wonder only to quickly realize that it had been cancelled due to gale-force winds and the threat of deviated inflammables.

And here is a selection of fine, congenial folk patiently waiting for something to burst in the sky above. We thought we heard it at first, but sadly it was only someone’s liver.

After halfhearted hugs and anticlimactic cheering to the sounds of not much at all overhead, we trundled back into the pub to continue our night. It was only then that I was given the full brunt of the blame for this cancellation. Seems that Americans are now a fine scapegoat for anything. 🙂 Though I’m a bit saddened that my visitors didn’t get a chance to see the infamous celebratory display over the Castle, the night was really just starting, and we soon skated over to the Monkey (where everybody knows your name) for a more sustained alcoholic effort. There we encountered a wealth of good times and a bevy of interesting characters…

…including this drunk bloke. Those are not extensions; the tinsel is natural.

The ever-stylish spiffington and myself, right before we stopped being able to hold a smile.

New faces to Edinburgh, all around – welcomed, one and all. The Reverend kittynitro, tylluan_dawel, and grahamb.

Right before they kicked us out nearing 3:30 am, stuck together by sheer force of will: spiffington, pirate funkyplaid, and a clearly unamused mxhaunted.

Stumbling out the door into the cool air amid shouts of “Happy New Year!”, “Whoooo-hooo!”, and “Feck Off!”, we headed off down the road to another friend’s party. The village-city was full of people of all ages making their way though closes and alleys to unknown destinations, but pretty much everyone was friendly and it felt like we were all in the same head space, and part of the same event. In fact, there wasn’t much difference between being in the pub and on the street this night. Maybe it was the liqueur talking…

Dear kittynitro doing her best impression of Wellington and Hume. There should seriously be a monument to this on the Royal MIle.

A glimpse of the rare but mischievous Grassmarket faerie, right before she bit this poor chap on the kneecap. Look out, Doctor Fairbanks!

Remember I said that we were all in the same head spaces? I dutifully retract that statement. Seems that some natives of this fair land see it fit to walk around sans trousers. National pastime? Foreign ritual? Regardless, we caught him on film.

If only we had his name…

A smokey shindig at sibelian’s later, we collapsed after 5:30 or so and awoke soon after to continue our antics in the first short days of 2004. Taking advantage of the need to cleanse our bloodstreams and get some fresh air, we took a walk through the city and I was pleased to show my chums how gorgeous and magical this town is in winter.

A pleasant view of High Street from across the Gardens below.

From the other side of the Castle, an idea of why Grassmarket is such a popular spot to spend time.

The day quickly turned to night but the splendour is just the same. After much tea and a brilliant Indian feast to excise the poison from our systems, more walking and gawking was needed to feel human once again.

Inverse view up the Cowgate into the Grassmarket, dominated by Edinburgh Castle.

Bundled and bleary-eyed, I can still manage a wee smirk from sheer autonomic response alone.

Back home after our meal and stroll, we flopped down on the sofa to feel fifty spices doing their job. More plans were made for the following days, but really we were just happy to be here, at home, as the rest of the city did its thing as it has been doing for many centuries.

The world looks like this out my window, especially after such a long night. The blurs are a matter of course.

A couple of tired boys showing our love for a pretty young thing with a cruel, cruel camera.

The week was nearly half-over by this point, but the succeeding days would see just as much stimulus, albeit from other sources. We have proof, so stay tuned here for the next installment, where your stringy host dances like a fool and we come very near to getting splattered all over the Highland roads and drowning in the moor at Culloden. Thanks for your time, and bring on the new year!

16 Responses to “The Week that Wasn’t, Pt. I”

  1. mxhaunted Says:
    January 5th, 2004 at 8:03 am

    I never look impressed when I’m in front of a camera… cos’ I hate having photos taken of me!!!
    hohum… looks like you had a good full Christmas.

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 6th, 2004 at 11:01 am

    Looking impressed is one thing, dood. Looking like you've just had an anal prolapse is something else entirely.
    Hehe. It's not that bad, brother. Rather endearing, actually! We know what to expect…

  3. shawree Says:
    January 5th, 2004 at 9:32 am

    Sounds like you had an excellent New Year. My theory concerning that bloke with the trousers round his ankles is that he meant to moon you but forgot he wasn't wearing a kilt. :))

  4. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 6th, 2004 at 11:02 am

    Yes, it was a blast. I think your hypothesis is correct, doctor.
    Full moon ahead. Can you imagine an entire city of fools like that?

  5. agntprovocateur Says:
    January 5th, 2004 at 9:35 am

    great photos. i still have to check with school to see what part of europe the lil on e and i end up in… i'm hoping there can be a detour your way. we should know in this month …. i hope.

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 6th, 2004 at 11:03 am

    That would be brilliant, and I'd be more than happy to have you for a bit if you get the chance to make it out here.
    Keep me on the info tip, baby.

  7. agntprovocateur Says:
    January 8th, 2004 at 10:41 pm

    i feel let down….
    the trip has been announced and it's a cruise along the new england coast.
    so the faculty trip is off for me. still, i will look into going to europe anyway though it may not happend till early fall.

  8. netherelia Says:
    January 5th, 2004 at 12:04 pm

    Nice pictures :)! I´m glad you had fun time :)!

  9. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 6th, 2004 at 11:05 am

    Thank you very much! Now I just need to know how to shroud myself in a benevolent blue miasma like you do with your lovely shots.

  10. ubernacht Says:
    January 5th, 2004 at 12:07 pm

    Wherever you go…
    You are always surrounded by beauty. Feck-off mate:)

  11. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 6th, 2004 at 11:34 am

    Re: Wherever you go…
    Um, yes. Always. Even when I'm drunk and slobbering and surrounded by drunk and slobbering friends.
    And I remember you used to do something quite similar, quite often. 🙂

  12. inkbot Says:
    January 5th, 2004 at 5:01 pm

    priceless. make that brrriceless!
    hugs and hap, hap new year!

  13. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 6th, 2004 at 11:35 am

    And to you, dearie. Hope it was pleasant!
    Missing you…

  14. friendsofgumby Says:
    January 5th, 2004 at 9:37 pm

    wonderful, just wonderful

  15. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 6th, 2004 at 11:36 am

    I'm a lucky fool. 🙂

  16. friendsofgumby Says:
    January 6th, 2004 at 5:11 pm

    there is a whole lot of words to describe you and i dont seem to find 'fool' in one of them

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