Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's August already!

The beginning of the following week was busy again, some projects to finish. Had a Public Speaking lecture during the week to prepare us for the presentations we gave this Wednesday. I actually really enjoyed the lecture; the presenter was clearly doing his job properly and made it interesting to listen to. Got home around 9pm and went to bed by 10.30. First time since I got here, but felt so much better for it the next day! I continued on this theme for the rest of the week, although I managed to intersperse trips to the gym in-between. On the Thursday I started watching CSI on one of the wee screens on the cross trainer, so even though I had already done 30 min on that, I soon got engrossed and kept on it till the end. An hour and half later I limped off the machine and into the showers. I'm sure it did me the world of good, but oowwww!! I am now seeing the point in these wee telly's. Must keep that in mind.
Friday I hit the mall before going to bed early again as I had an excursion planned for the Saturday morning.

At 6am my alarm went off, and I dragged myself out of bed in an attempt not to wake Miss J. However, she had come home around 4 and from what I can gather, was completely unconscious. I received a text later in the day, saying that she had woken around 1, seen my empty, made, bed and thought she was late for work! lol. Anyway.

I was heading into Brooklyn to start my induction onto a volunteer programme that I had found on the Internet. Called 'Seaside Riding' it is a volunteer group that helps autistic and disabled children to ride every weekend. I had been searching for something horsy to do for a while, so this seemed perfect. Unfortunate to get there for 9am, I needed to get the PATH at 6.53am(which was late and almost ruined all my planning!), catch the 2 subway from Times Sq at 7.33am and then get a cab from the end of the line in Brooklyn to the stables in Jamaica Bay. As I said before, the PATH was late, forcing me to hotfoot it from 33rd to 42nd street just in time to hop on the subway.

Read for about an hour until I got to the end of the line. Turned out I had reached the wrong end of an avenue, and I should have gotten a different train to a different area. Never mind. It's 8.30am and I am standing on a street corner in Brooklyn looking aimlessly about for a cab. Finally nabbed one by darting across the street and jumping in after 15 min of not seeing a single flash of yellow. In the end, it cost me close to $18 inc tip to get to where I wanted to go. Grrr. Usually there is a pick up service run by the stables, but it wasn't on that day. Anyway.

Got there, met the leader of the group. Watched the instructional video, lost all concentration as I watched the fittest cowboy I have ever seen wander past in full length leather chaps (must do some more investigation into him the next time I am down!), and then was taken out to meet the horses.

There are 2 horses on the programme, Babalouie and FunTime. Both are gorgeous, if a little bit cheeky. I got to lead them out to exercise, lunge and then help groom them. There were no riding lessons for the kids that day, so it was mainly focused on the horses. The stables are a little bit shabby compared to what I am used to at Ingliston, but I really don't care. I get to be around horses again!!! :) :) :)

It sounds so weird, but the minute you walk into a barn and smell them, it just feels like you are home. Of course the group leader started questioning me about my stables at home, and then I started to get a little upset, because I realised how much I miss it (haven't been riding in 3 months!). Naturally blamed my hayfever on the resulting sniffles and red eye... I then had to laugh when she asked me if I knew a lady called Maren who runs a horse sanctuary in Scotland. I asked her where abouts and she just looked at me. I had to explain that it is a fairly big country and she replied 'well it looks awfully small on the map!'. Which I suppose is true compared to the US!!

Ok, back to the horses. I am so excited about getting involved in this programme, mainly because I get to be around the horses, and also because it will be great to 'give back' (oh look I am picking up Americanisms already), plus it will look great on the CV! I plan to volunteer on Sunday afternoons from about 12.30, as I can then have a bit of a lie in, and still get to Brooklyn at a reasonable hour. Turns out that after volunteering for 12 hours, you get a free trail ride! So since I plan to spend most of my afternoon there, as it is a bit of a trek for only a few hours, then I should rack them up fairly quickly! Awesome!!

I think this has given me something to look forward to during the week now, as I had been making a couple of mistakes at work, and I was starting to feel a bit down again. The need to go home was coming back to me, and it's nice to have something familiar to keep me focused again. Plus it would be nice to make some friends outwith the intern group. Not that they aren't great, just would be nice to extend the social circle a tad. So we will see where that takes me! The programme starts in September so I have a few more weekends to goof off and have some lie ins!

It is now the 15th and it's Friday night, I got to leave work early, so i came home with the intention of doing a little laundry before going out tonight. But I haven't been home the last few nights so this is the first chance i have had to get on this and actually update anything. It was Mr D's birthday this week, so on Wednesday after my public speaking class (dazzled them with my diamond speech again, handy that...) a few of us went to The Frying Pan for a couple of drinks. The bar turned out to be on an old docked ship down on Chelsea Piers off 23rd street. Quite unusual, but it was nice. Sadly the sun had set by the time we got there, but the views over the water of the night skyline were gorgeous. We could look right across at Jersey and see our apartments! :) We ended up staying for a few hours, up on the top deck and had a good laugh. It was nice seeing a wider variety of people for a change.

I did struggle a bit getting up for work the next morning as I didn't get home till quarter to one. Blah. On the Thur, which was actually his birthday, a few of us went to see RENT on Broadway. The show is coming to a close on the 7th Sept after a 12 yr run, so it was packed. I had read up on the plot before we got there, but even then it was quite complex. Having never been to see anything more sophisticated than Joseph at the Edinburgh Playhouse about 10 years ago, I was quite excited to see what all the fuss was about. It turned out to be very very good. The actors had amazing voices and the ability to perform the entire show on one set was fabulous. I now want to rent the DVD so I can pick up on all the bits that I missed.

Afterwards we went to 'The Ginger Man' pub which served 'real ale' according to Mr D, who misses his local. We met his new girlfriend that night, who is lovely, and we all sat and had a natter until midnight when we caught the PATH back home.. Again this morning was fun. Urgh.

So here I am again. It's another Friday, although I hope to make this weekend a little more interesting and will stop my backward slide into hermitsville again. Bad bad habit. I've just been so tired lately!

On the plus side, mum told me today it is only 8 weeks til they come out!! :D woot! Can't wait. Need to start making a plan of where to take them.

I have just looked out the window and noticed that the rain is chucking it down again.. and I just heard a crack of thunder. Oh that's going to make tonight fun! Times Square in the rain.. what could be more pleasurable than being poked in the eye by ten thousand brollies?? Argh!!

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