March 01, 2008

A review of the LONDON show can be found here:

2:14 PM
We're just leaving Scotland back to jolly ol' England. Tonight we're in Durham at the University. Our string of good weather ran out yesterday in Edinburgh. We trekked through rain and high winds and got soaked on our way to my friend Grants apartment. He lives solo in a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath joint in Edinburgh and somehow managed to get a good price on rent. Not a cheap place to live, so yup.. he scored. We arrived at around 2 PM, so we had some time to just relax which was nice. We listened to Pet Sounds on grants turntable while drinking tea and snacking on biscotti. It was quite relaxing. Grant is working on his Ph.D. in mathematics at the Uni there. Quite the genius, I loved seeing his life now in Scotland and how he has turned into a full time adult.

We did take time to go to the POTATO shop in the city center and ate massive baked potatoes stuffed with chili and cheese. Everything there is vegetarian. They even have veggie haggas(spelling?) Don't know what that is? Well, you're lucky then. Again, these were ginormous portions. For a large, you only pay an extra 50 P and they combine two potatoes. I couldn't even finish, which is an extremely rare occurrence.

Henry's Cellar Bar is the same place I played last time through. A small little venue with low ceilings. There were quite a few people at the gig. Supported by a band called TAKING CHASE whom also promoted the show. A talented quintet whom reminded me of MR. BUNGLE. Even in this small venue, the sound wasn't overbearing which was nice. They served discounted pints for the bands, so for 2 pound 40 p, you could get a pint of cold guiness. I couldn't resist, so I had one to toast with Chris and Grant. Cheers! The Lawrence Arms seem to have this alcohol fueled reputation which is probably more of Brendan Kelly's reputation, but kids just want to drink with Chris. He's informed me that he's only had to pay for 2 pints in 9 shows.

The rain held up long enough for us to walk back to Grant's. Walking past a myriad of take out joints, my hunger level kept growing and growing. But Grant assured us that we should wait and he would make a feast. No lie there. We ended up having risotto, broiled tomatoes, asparagus, and a spinach salad with feta, olives, dried cherries, strawberries, and grapes. Delicious. We listened to Nick Drake on wax and talked well into the night.

Grant was the first place that had access to ICHAT. So I tried frantically to get a hold of my wife to see if we could communicate through this medium. After a few failed attempts, we made contact and got to see my daughter Maggie. My hope was that she would attack the screen in excitement, but she just kind of looked at me confused and unenthused. ARgghhh.. Sad, but still exciting. I hope we find more places that have this feature.

The train ride is only an hour and 40 minutes to DURHAM, so we got to spend a good part of the day walking around the city. We went to a local mosque and ate lunch. They have a vegetarian place with three items over rice for only 3 pounds. Saturday they offer BBQ lamb(I believe) which is cooked on sticks over real wood charcoal. Looked good, but I passed this time through.

We did some touristy stuff like checking out the castle and having coffee in the shop where Harry Potter was written.
And so there you go...Our Scotland Experience in a nutshell.
Be well.
Mike Park