Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Enemy thy name is paper clutter

I am surrounded by mounds of paper. It doesn't seem to matter how many trips to the recycle bin I make there is always another pile of paper to sort through and decide what to do with it.

Bank statements - why do I still get these when I signed up for paper free correspondence?
TV License - it says you need to keep record of it, but where do I put it?
Cards - how long is it appropriate to keep a card on the mantle. Is it bad protocol to then throw it in the recycle bin or must one hang on to it forever?
Take-Away Flyers - one of these days I will order a curry, but from where?
Local free paper - I really should sit down and read it to familiarise myself with my community

Then there are the bits and pieces of things you pick up while out and about. The business card of the funky furniture place, the brochure from the exhibition at the gallery I was just at, the magazine from the Tate.

I was good for a while there. Making the instant decision the moment the item was in my hand but part of the issue is the things I must keep (pension scheme documentation, employment contracts, lease etc) I don't really know where to keep these. I really should get a proper file cabinet or something of that sort, but that's just one more thing I really don't have anywhere to keep at the moment (next flat).

When I moved to Edinburgh I did one really large purge as I didn't want to move a bunch of useless paper. But in the 7 months I've been here it seems to have followed me here as I look at the pile in my window seat in my bedroom.

But sorting through piles of paper is not high on my list of things to do when the sun is shining outside. But then when its dark, cold and rainy I don't really want to do it then either.

Someone needs to create an Annual Paper Sorting Day, maybe it should be me? Hmmm, any suggestions out there as to what day would be a good one?


The day after I posted the photo on my blog about the rubbish bins the bin men finally came to collect on our street. I read in the paper that the city has finally brought in private contractors to clean the place up. Coincidence?

The bins were emptied but the street was still a mess. All the men did was empty the bins, throw the bags that were scattered around the bins into the now empty bin, emptied that and then left.

So all the bags that had been torn open by the seagulls and dragged all over the street and sidewalks were still there. I had to walk past the rotting carcass of what looked to be an undercooked roast chicken (ewwwwww).

It seems the cleaning up of the actual street is being left to the citizens.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday afternoons

I've found that Edinburgh has not one but two what I would qualify as art house cinema's, the Cameo and the Filmhouse That's not to say they only show foreign or independent film. But they don't tend to show the latest Hollywood blockbuster that is already showing at the big multiplex in some suburban shopping mall.

That's just fine with me.

I have an annual membership at both cinemas and that gets me discounts at the box office, the ability to purchase tickets on-line without a fee, and in the case of the Cameo free tickets to the Sunday double feature. Yes you read that right, free tickets every Sunday.

The Cameo

There is usually some kind of common thread between the two features. Either the actor, director or film genre. Sometimes they will match a current film with something from the past, or they'll show 2 films from the same decade. To be honest it doesn't really matter what the film is.

As you can see from the above shot the theatre has been renovated. The seats are very plush and comfy and you've actually got leg room. No ads or trailers are shown ahead of time, but sometimes one of the cinema staff will say a few words before the film if there is something of interest.

Some weeks the place is packed, the James Bond double feature was sold out. Last weekends Star Trek/Galaxy Quest was close to full. And other weeks it's just the diehards out there and you've got lots of room to spread out. Everyone is well behaved, no issues with someone taking a call on their mobile or talking throughout the film.

My only complaint is that the staff behind the bar and the sweeties counter seem to move in slow motion. It kind of reminded me of the staff at a vegan restaurant in Vancouver called the Naam. You didn't go there for fast service but for the food and relaxed atmosphere. I've taken the same approach at the Cameo. If I'm thinking I might want some popcorn or a pint of ale then I'll get there early to avoid the long queue.

Today I opted for no snacks (in case you were wondering).

So after all that, The Cameo Picturehouse gets to be my 'Thing I Like Today'

Now for a new feature, The Thing I DON'T Like Today

Bin Men work to rule continues

It has been almost a month since the bin men have been on work to rule. The city is not looking so pretty and not smelling very nice either. And the seagulls are becoming even more of a nuisance and noisy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yes it's been a while...

I admit it. Lost my flow of thought I suppose.

This blog was started as a way to document my experience of moving to a new country. But that was 2 yrs and 9 months ago so how long does one continue to say this is 'new'.

True, I've moved to a new city, Edinburgh, 6 months ago. But it's not quite as exciting a transition as it's just another city 50 miles away.

What is it I should use this space for? I thought of doing the photo blog thing, but I use Flickr for that so it seems like duplication. The travel blog sometimes seems a little dull, kind of like when people ask you over to see their holiday slides and you're trapped for the next 6 hours.

Perhaps I should ask you out there... why do YOU read the Scottish Lemon? What would you like to see more of, less of?

While you are thinking about that, I will post an idea I had today when I was making my dinner.

The Thing I Like Today

Tomato & Basil Bloomer

What is a Bloomer you may ask?

Bloomer refers to a bread shape that is cylindrical, but flat on the bottom with several diagonal slashes across the top. The term most often describes a bread shape popular throughout Britain. Bloomers are made with many types of flour, although various types of wheat flour are the most popular. (at least according to this website it is)

Sainsbury's Tomato & Basil Bloomer

Fresh baked in store at Sainsbury's. It goes well with chili and pasta. It tastes very yummy when soaking up the last of the sauce from the plate. I like to toast it and then just spread a little butter on it.

It's the simple things in life that make me happy