Thursday, August 12, 2010

should old acquaintance be forgot

Here it is. Our last day for the program. I can never believe how quickly it comes. Suddenly time is up and you vaguely remember doing a million things but still somehow wonder how it all happened so quickly. Best not to dwell upon it. Nothing gold can stay, quoth Robert Frost. I'm actually headed to Portugal tomorrow for a few days with a good friend of mine. It's mostly R&R before I head home and start the school season. I'm looking forward to it. And I'm incredibly excited to see my family in a few days! I've missed them. But I will also miss the little family that I made over here. They have been a really fun group: energetic, gracious, and adventurous. Today on the streets of Edinburgh they gave me a thank you card and a really awesome vinyl Big Ben to put in my office. I started to cry. It was embarrassing. I just felt really touched by that.

Today was the final performance of Rappaccini's Daughter. The show was the best it's been. After the performance was over I heard a gentleman talking about how much he loved it, so I invited him to talk to the cast. He told them how much he loved the energy, the creativity, the sounds, and said it was "just magical." I was glad that they got to hear that. They've worked so hard on this show and deserved to get some praise.

We spent some time at the Edinburgh castle this afternoon. I always like taking the guided tours because the jokes are so so good. I can never remember them afterwards, which is great because then they are brand new to me every year. Our guide this year was Frank, who was so determined that there would be sunshine during our tour that he took off his jacket and threw it to the ground in a heap. Frank was mostly right. As we hit the cannon hill we saw a dark cloud moving over the North Sea and we knew we were in for it. It hit just as our tour ended at the top of castle hill. It was ominous to watch it coming. It was also really beautiful.
When we dried off a little I showed Daniel, Cherie, and Becca the Armstrong and Co thrift shop, which may be the most eclectic thrift shop in the entirety of the UK. It's full of everything you can think of, and then everything you would probably never think of. I've been promising Cherie and Becca for weeks that I would show them some thrifting. So I turned them loose in there, and then headed out for a bit on my own.

This afternoon I saw Keepers, a really interesting two man show about Welsh lightkeepers. They created a lighthouse out of a few chairs and a ladder; everything else was accomplished with sheer physicality and movement. I thought it was really fascinating to watch. To the side of the stage they had a DJ providing all the sound effects: rags on a window, roaring waves, sea gulls, as well as musical accompaniment. It was really creative and interesting, and the story was sad and funny and sweet. James and Colleen were there as well. We agreed that the physicality and the storytelling were amazing, but the sound effects stole the show.

I had one more meal at the Edinburgh City Restaurant, not just because the food is basically American, but because there's just so much of it. I had a 12" Hawaiian pizza and felt, for a few minutes, that I was back at Brick Oven. If Brick Oven were under a perpetual thundercloud, smelled remotely like cigarettes, and looked like Hogwarts.

Lastly, tonight was the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Pronounced "ta-TOO." This is my third time at the Tattoo, but I think tonight was my favorite. Not only did we have the money seats (Thanks, Grant!) on the front row dead center, but the bands were particularly great and the feats were exciting. Here's what I saw:

Lots of bagpipes. Seriously, if you don't like bagpipes you SHOULD NOT go to the Tattoo.
One super awesome mustache!
A group of motorcycle daredevils aged 14 and under. They did some amazing feats, and a little three year old in a sidecar squirted us with watergun.
I don't know who these guys are - some kind of military troupe in white shorts? - but they did some sweet trampoline stunts!
Afterwards we didn't want to go to bed yet - everyone is trying to stave off the inevitable plane rides home tomorrow - so we stopped at The Piemakers, which was open just late enough to make us a few more Apple Blackcurrent pies. Not sure if it was a fitting goodbye to Scotland, or if there even is a fitting goodbye to Great Britain, but it was nice to spend a few last minutes together before we all head our separate ways.