Sunday, 26 December 2010

Couldn't have written it better

"Is that Danny Swanston?" I asked my fellow Christmas Eve pubgoers and Currie High School Alumni, of the boy standing chatting to his friends round the corner of the bar. High school was seven years ago and few of us had kept up with many from our old school, outside of our circles of friends. Looking at this boy, we all agreed it looked like Danny Swanston, but we couldn't agree on whether it actually was him. I was sure it was, because it seemed impossible that there could be two people who looked that much alike. But at the same time I couldn't believe that he could look as good as he did. Most of the people I went to high school with, excepting my circle of friends, have gotten fat, ugly and dishevelled as a result of alcohol, cigarettes and dead-end jobs. The girls have all turned orange from excessive fake tan. It seemed unlikely that Danny Swanston could have escaped the ravages of post-school malaise.

After repeated observation, during which he must have started to worry about the attention we were giving him, Heather became convinced it wasn't him. From the side, sure, it looked like him, but when he was looking this way straight on, it wasn't his face. The other three disagreed, stating emphatically, "It is him. No no no, seriously, it's him. It's Danny Swanston." I started to come round to Heather's way of thinking as he looked our way a few more times. If it had been him, it would have been after cosmetic surgery. But I really couldn't be sure. There didn't seem to be a good way to resolve the situation. Someone could have gone up to him and asked, but the likeliest suspect - Heather - refused on the grounds that she no longer believed it was him. So I proposed a solution. "Is he on Facebook?" I asked. If he was on Facebook and had a picture, we could see what he looked like these days. Jenni got out her phone to check.

And at that very moment, when she was making her way to Facebook on her phone, someone walked in the door to the pub. We all turned round and looked. Then we were standing in fits of laughter. "Oh yeah...that's what Danny Swanston looks like," we thought to ourselves as the man himself walked to the bar with a couple of friends.

Perfectly timed moment of Christmas magic.

And to all a good night.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Gambling on The X Factor 2

So a month or two ago I blogged about gambling on The X Factor. Folly, it was! The public voters seemed to have attention deficit disorder and voted for different people each week, making predicting who would go a hit-and-miss affair. I gave it up.


I was pretty sure about who was going to win. It had to be Matt, with his high notes and mostly-absent hat. So I put some money on him. He was favourite to win, so the odds weren't fantastic, but it was early enough in the competition for it to be possible that it would go another way, so they were better than they were in the last week.

And he won. I am £75 richer. I think we all learned something.

If not, please accept my apologies and a picture from the awesomesauce that is Misfits.

Peace out

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Where I'm at

It occurs to me that I haven't really reported on what I'm doing these days, since I finished my CELTA course.

Well, I'm teaching the children. But not the British children. Not actually the children, either.

I've been able to pick up a few students by advertising myself. I've been heading into town over the last few weeks teaching either at students' homes or at Starbucks on Princes Street with Edinburgh Castle looming in the background. Although I kind of dread it every time I arrange to see a student, as I'm still dealing with an anti-social and awkward past self, I actually enjoy teaching. I like meeting new people, I like helping them, I like passing on knowledge.

Since Christmas is coming up I'm happy to let things wind down a bit, then in the New Year I'll get back onto the advertising. A lot of the foreign population is going home for Christmas anyway, at least the Europeans are.

Anyone got any tips on business cards? On Thursday at Starbucks a Chinese girl had an English dictionary and was looking over at me when I was teaching and I wished I'd had business cards to whore myself off with.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Funny Ha-ha

I was lying when I said I had nothing to report earlier. I got an email from Blog Explosion today. Blog Explosion is (is supposed to be) a community that helps get your blog seen and out there. When I first started my blog back in the spring, I read about the site and signed up. They said my account would be activated after my blog was moderated, which would usually take a couple of days. Ahem.

Over a week later, with no change on the status of my account, I sent an email to the admins. No response. Wondering what was going on I went to the forums to find a large number of people complaining about the site's recent change for the worse, with people (much like myself) waiting forever for their sites to be approved. It was there that I read a post from someone advertising an alternative. I checked it out and found that it was a burgeoning blog promotion community of refreshingly real and friendly people. I signed up and I'm sure a lot of the traffic I get to my blog I owe to them. So thank you Expose Your Blog!.

Anyway, this morning I got an email from Blog Explosion, who I'd almost entirely forgotten about. It said, merely,


Your site looks great, but must be in a blog format.


Just what about my site isn't blog format?

In all likelihood, the cowboys who apparently run Blog Explosion didn't even look at my blog. Their loss!

Nothing to Report

So I haven't left the house because it's not stopped snowing and I've had a cold since the weekend which makes my head all woolly.

In other news, today is the first of December, which means opening the first door of the advent calendar. Today was a cracker-shaped chocolate in front of a picture of Santa.

Here's a picture of a neighbour's car engulfed by snow: