Monday, 31 August 2015

Out Of Wonder Mode

It’s been a busy couple of months and my head has been somewhat out of Wonder mode. Let’s have a quick surmise, and then I’ll try and get my head back into the Wonders.


June was a month with plenty of travel. Germany, my only visit to see any Wonders, has been covered already, but I also visited Islay and Copenhagen. Islay is an island off the west coast of Scotland, and whisky aficionados will know it well as it has some Wonders of its own.

I wouldn't disagree. I was there with Danielle for a long weekend, joining some friends who were there for a week. Here are a few photos.

The background reason was for Varwell’s island ale mission, but it would be madness to visit Islay and not sample the whiskies, and this we did. Most memorable was the afternoon at the Bruichladdich distillery and their whisky tasting, which involved four gigantic measures of cask strength whisky, one of which was the best I’ve ever tasted. We spent the rest of the day in a haze of sublime drunkenness. Here are some before and after pictures

Just as drunk, no moreso, was Copenhagen. I’ve been before, on my honeymoon. This time was for a stag weekend. It almost broke me. No, it actually did break me. It was a resolutely uncultural weekend, a three-day drunken bender which barely saw us ever venture more than two streets from our hostel. Visiting a place that sold beer and vinyl was as adventurous as it got. I didn’t see a single sight.

As the second photo will confirm, Copenhagen is full of young girls in open-top trucks, driving around the city all day, shouting. Really, this happened a lot.


July opened with bad news – the owner of the flat we live in had decided to sell. As we’d only moved in nine months earlier, this was a monumental pain in the ass. I’m so sick of moving house. In the last decade, I’ve moved almost every single year. Granted, this has been by choice, but this time Danielle and I had been prepared to be fixed in place for several years. Neither of us were in the mindset to box and unbox our lives again, with all the hassle it entails.

Fortunately, by the middle of the month we’d found a new place to live, just around the corner, with an August move-in date, and before the process of moving began we enjoyed a short break in Barcelona. Danielle had been very busy at work and simply wanted to relax in warm and familiar surroundings. We even stayed in the same hotel as our first trip together to the city. We popped by to look at the Sagrada Familia when there of course – it’s still a gigantic building site, but progress was observable from last year – but spent our time mostly eating and drinking. On two successive evenings, we watched the light fade from the rooftop bar on the Grand Central Hotel.


Immediately upon our return from Barcelona, we went to Vizfest, an annual mini-festival/forest rave hosted by our friend Vizzy. It was the last fun I’d have for weeks.

Because aside from work and overtime, all I did for the next few weeks was pack boxes, unpack boxes, lift boxes, carry boxes up and down stairs, put boxes into and take them from cars and vans. It was exhausting. Two weekends were spent doing this, mostly solo, and the following weekend I had to pop up to Aberdeen to redecorate a flat that I rent out – the very last thing I wanted to do. It is only now that I’ve been able to put my feet up and relax.

The good news is that the new flat is wonderful. It’s only a small amount extra per month, but is miles better than the last one. It’s spacious, charming, and so much nicer. Moving wasn’t any fun, but I can finally say that it was worth it.

Ahead, the next few months should be a lot clearer. I should be able to give this blog a kick up the arse and get it moving again.

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