Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Edinburgh log (5): Around and about

I forgot to mention that our coach driver yesterday looked remarkably like Peter Griffin from Family Guy. True, he was not as rotund as Griffin, but by chance, his name too was Peter. He started talking when we were leaving Edinburgh and didn't stop until we arrived back in Edinburgh. I got the feeling that most of what he said flew over his audience's head: there were at most 30 people on the bus and I think that English was the mother tongue of only four. Some of the material emanating from Peter's mouth was interesting (we had a lot of Scottish history with special emphasis at what happened at Glen Coe) as well as some somewhat less interesting material such as information about whiskey and the Scottish diet (he mentioned the deep fried Mars bar). His humour was predictable: my wife bought one of those whiskey miniatures for our son and asked Peter what his opinion of the brand. I whispered that he'll want to taste it, and indeed he commented that bus drivers have to taste all the whiskeys purchased by the travelers (he didn't). If the above seems critical, then I should mention that he was a good egg; a voluble tour driver is better than a silent one.

This morning I went to Bagpipes Galore to get my practice pipes looked at. As it happened, the number 11 bus stops very near the shop, which is by the Haymarket station. The proprietor said that I had made a good purchase and that the pipes were in good condition. He saw immediately that the pipes were missing three reeds (one for each drone and one for the chanter), so he got reeds, placed them in the correct positions, tuned the drones, tried playing, adjusted the reeds, etc then finally played a little tune (I filmed this part on video). In other words, he did a fine job of setting up the pipes. The cost of all this? A mere five pounds! I also bought an instruction manual which mainly consists of sheet music for tunes (in other words, very little on how to actually play a chanter or practice pipes) and an instructional cd which hopefully will show more.

We met my wife's brother's wife's sister (if you can get your head around that!) for lunch today. She has been living in Edinburgh for many years, dancing and teaching dance. Unfortunately, we had phone communication problems which prevented us from meeting her earlier. For some reason, she chose to take us partially around the museum in Edinburgh (an activity which we normally do only when it rains), which actually was very interesting. More interesting was our discussion over lunch. We may meet her again tomorrow after we return from my graduation ceremony.

My Edinburgh Business School hoodie finally arrived. I had been in contact with the company that sells these prior to our departure from Israel and had ordered one. A few days ago, I received an email from the university stating that EBS branded goods would be on sale after the ceremony. Had I have known, I wouldn't have bothered with the early order.

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