It has now been six days since I have actually written. I guess I have just been too busy watching Brandi sleep. Is she depressed? Does she have sleep apnea? Is this the Beatles? MANOR HOUSE?! Just now I was missing Budapest and Heather and Mike and Greg and damn I already said Mike. I do miss Tom. I should probably call him (and others), it being X-mas and all.

British Christmas traditions seem a little strange if not unnerving. There are far too many noisemakers in this already raucous hotel lobby. Santa is lucky here – he walks off with sherry and mince pies instead of silly old milk and cookies. Not that mince pies are all that grand. Neither are hotels… Privacy is nice, but there seems to be an over abundance of pretension, and this is only a Holiday Inn. Prices are also ridiculous and travel is expensive. Hotels, airports, and restaurants in tourist centers = ack. At least it is not really my money? At least it is not my handwriting? MURDER!

All these collages suck. I should work on that.

Riding the caffeine waves of my bloodstream the crest breaks and I determine heroin is my anti drug.

If wishes were horse junkies would fly.

Fixes? I am the one who left myself behind.

This little family holiday so far has not been a total disaster but it has had its moments. It never occurred to me that walking would be as big of an issue as it has been. I should have known. Money is flashing by at an amazing rate. That tone was set early on in the trip. These six days in Edinburgh are nice though. It allowed us a few hours in Dublin which went better than expected. Even our brief stay in London was nice. I saw my first show this time around and I showed off my knowledge of the Underground. They also got to see some famous pieces of art. I do not know if mom cared that she finally saw the Van Gogh original of the sunflower painting that hangs above the toilet at home. Her home. I do not wish to spend further extended stays in Brookings. They both dozed off at points during Chicago. I was too enthralled by bulging tights. At lease one seemed to be over the legal limit of gayness. My favorite chorus member was one who wore a hat often and had a shaved head (I blame R.). The night before in London I saw someone with the exact same hair as Mike, which was quite disturbing.

I took the remaining bits of my actual family to the Tai Buffet vegan Chinese place. Brandi really liked it and mom just seemed tired. She wanted to take a taxi back, but I kinda forced them to walk. One, to save money, and two… I have never hailed a taxi, let alone in London. I think I just realized I do not wish to be writing on top of this. It proves I am no longer terribly fat! Ugh. I am starting to fear vanity. I have been looking at myself naked in the mirror a lot lately. Not so much out of self love (I have been abstaining–and it is unrequited), but out of a desire to understand the changes that have occurred in my body. 60 some pounds of me are gone, and to where? Who knows. Space!

I still have more to do. Any who, the next day we awoke early (3am early) to catch our flight to Edinburgh. On a  four am walk to the train station (quite fortuitous that it ran directly to Gatwick airport) a friendly cab driver asked if us ladies needed a ride (it had been too long!). We then proceeded to mispronounce Thames in numerous ways.

At the airport we waited and waited. It was a nice flight as usual. We finally came to Edinburgh and it was still wretchedly early. The bus amazingly went directly to the hotel. Upon exiting the bus, I fell directly down the stairs. Ouch.

Thankfully the hotel had a luggage room. We then ventured into town to explore “the castle.” Thanks mom! It really is weird how embraced parents can make you as you grow older. Daft indeed. We were overcharged for the bus ride into town, an injustice I soon forgot when Brandi purchased a cashmere scarf for ~$40. Funny how my money sense works. It soon seemed that a bus tour was in our best interest. The guide was very informative & humorous (the food was of the McDonald clan – “this is the whimsical tour folks!”).

There was an overpriced mall and a tour of the castle and a nice pub lunch (I get overly tipsy after one pint… laugh. No one has noticed.). Then there was more walking and who knows what else. It was nice to get back to the hotel, even if it does mean that Brandi will commence with the sleep of the ages.

It was then another early morning to Dublin and back in a day! How cosmopolitan of us. We took another bus tour and saw some modern art.  I forget if we saw anything else in the interior. There was that wall and large Tesco Ireland… AHA! Crack. Eventually it was back to Edinburgh with us. Yada yada cheesy ghost tour, cheesy dungeon, cheesy Mary King’s close, some pretty art & some Warhol. Expensive meals mixed with poverty stricken grocery store misadventures. Lots of familial unrest (or so perceived) and a very short jaunt to the museum of Scotland.

Scotland! Ay. X-mas eve! Lots of tv & Brandi sleeping. X-mas morning. More tv! I gave Brandi crappy presents and then we went for a walk. A very cold walk. My ears hurt. It was a waste of a stool… We considered going to the zoo (t was inexplicably open & inexplicably next to our hotel.) It would have cost some $55. Ouch. A bad exchange rate in an already overpriced country is no fun. I miss you skanky Northfield, I miss you!

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