Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Long time passing...

I haven't updated in a while due to lack of computer access. This will probably have to be a short post as well because I'm at the library and the computers are in demand.

Been having some wicked weather lately - heavy rains and wind, with roads flooding alongside lochs. The hotel held a Christmas craft fair on Sunday and attendance was good considering the aforementioned flooding. We've also had problems with the smoke from the fireplaces blowing back down the chimney and into the hotel when the wind gusts the wrong way. On slightly windy days you have to walk around and wipe soot off of tables and chairs every ten to fifteen minutes, and on bad days, like one afternoon when I was working, the fireplace essentially explodes, covering every surface imaginable with a layer of soot and even setting off the fire alarm. We're waiting on getting the appropriate protective top for the chimney; I think they're called cowals.

The Christmas staff party was yesterday and overnight. We (there's now six of us full-time - out front there's Karen the manager, Matt, and me, and then in the kitchen the chef Victor, food-prep guy Pickle, and kitchen porter Fraser, and then one-part time woman out front, Teresa) all went up to Inverary which involves driving up to the top of Loch Fyne, a sea loch west of the Coylet, and then down the other side some distance. At the top of the loch the mountains are more Highland like because they're pretty much treeless, and the tops of them were all covered in snow since they're higher as well.

Inverary itself is the capital of Argyll, although it's much smaller than Dunoon. It's also the seat of clan Campbell of Argyll and the castle is in the area. When we got to town we started off by visiting Inverary Jail with the original buildings from the 1820's and 1840's. As part of the visit there was a history of torture and punishment in Scotland and Victor, who is Spanish and heard people complaining about the Inquisition before, said that the Scots were just as bad as the Spanish and I would agree.

We stayed at the George Hotel overnight, with food and accomodation all paid for by the hotel as our compensation for working over Christmas. It was a good time and then we all headed back today.

Business should be picking up now that we're into December so should be good workwise. We're getting two weeks off at the end of January and I'm trying to decide where I'd like to go for it. I think I've settled on Ireland but not absolutely sure yet.

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