So while I was off galevanting and getting engaged, Christopher was in Drum working at The Courtyard Restaurant. Its one fo the very few restaurants in the marvelous town of Drumnadrochit. They had they're opening weekend on Easter and Christopher worked almost every day from open to close.
When I showed up in town, I found him on a couch in the hostel with a nice Dutch boy we called Statue whose real name is Stanaslove-something-or-other. Somehow from that we got Statue. Turned out during the weekend him and Statue got into a little an adventure. One night they walked the mile to Urquhart Castle in the dark with only flashlights to light they're way and hopped the fence to the castle and went exploring at night. Urquhart Castle is a very old 6th century ruin, that is quite creepy especially at night. They light up parts of it which just illuminates the errieness of it. Its also built right on the corner of a cliff so you have the entire Loch laidd out in front. You can't help but think what it was like 800 years ago. It is claimed to be where St-Colombia stayed when he was converting the Pictish king. During excavations they found artifacts from 400 AD. The castle is also where the majority of the Nessie monster sightings were, and is said to be close to the Nessie Cave. kind of adds a little more mystery doesn't it? You can see the castle when driving into Drum and it is a amazing sight.
Once in Drum with Christopher we started up a routine of long days and food! I was worried about Christopher eating well while I was away, but as it turns out, as he said in his own words he was eating like a king. Ann was keeping him fed with all the specialties at the restaurant. Venison, lamb, pork, beef fancy dishes.
Working at the restaurant is fun and interesting. I have never been a waitress before but I remeber as a kid always pretending, and for the first few days thats what I felt like "Table for two, right this way" it was fun! :) Then I started waking up with feet that felt they had a car dropped on them and the novelty wore off pretty quickly.
the first night we both worked, after the long shift we all sat down and had some drinks. Darren the 16 year old son of the couple we work for kept pouring his father more wine and in turn was nice enough to topp me up as well. Only problem i,s that his father is a fully grown ex-cop Scotsman while I'm just not, so by the end of the night, walking in almost complete darkness, I had the sudden inspiration to hop over one of the field fences and try to catch a sheep.. I wanted a little lamb because they are so cute! Only problem is they are actually quite quick. And they "Bahh" really loudly when being pursued, so after a couple stumbled attempts I gave up and crashed in the hostel, not after Christopher took a couple of pictures of course, only to wake up with a terrible hangover which required me to run across the street at work to get some pain reliever.
Drum is a tourist town, Urqhart castle is the 3rd Anyone wanting to take a boat cruise on the Loch Ness looking for Nessie stops through Drum. Because of this almost 99% of the customers who come in are tourists. Germany and France had they're spring breaks so we got a slew of German and French. A few times I spoke French while serving and just like in Paris they spoke English back to me...
We worked in the restaurant all week, starting at 11 and usually finishing at 10pm. Long days, but they go by quickly. In a few conversations with our bosses Ann and Karl about the restaurants website sorrows, Christopher mentioned his modest skill with building websites and they hired him for the job! He will start building it soon.
We have met many different people and tourists passing through town. Not only tourists but the 'Great Glen Way' which is a path that cyclist and hikers use to walk and bike across Scotland, the Great Glen as they call is passes right through Drum and therefore anyone needing a snack or rest, stops in town. We have alot of fun talkign to people. so far we have met these two men that set a goal to climb every mountain in Scotland over 3000ft, they are still working on it and have been doing so for 20 years! All longer conversations start off almost exactly the same way ahem- ME: "Hi, can I take your drink order" CUSTOMER: "Well THAT doesn't sound like a Scottish accent" ME: "your right" CUSTOMER: "well whats a American doing this far in the highlands" ME: "I'm not sure you'd have to find one and ask them, CUSTOMER: "OH I'm so sorry! your Canadian" AND SCENE! Then they ask why Scotland and I explain, and they also ask, if all the workers on staff are Canadian, because they here Christopher speak, and we give the entire schpel again. Its fun most of the time.
All week we were preparing for our first catering event. How the catering works is they have a massive canteen trailer, actually top of the line and spotless shiny. They drive this trailer to a event, we prepare, cook and serve to customer over the counter. What we were preparing for before hand is that it would be a 18 hour day and require us to wake up at 5am... blahdy bla. So the night before the evetn came and we got ourselves to bed at a decent hour and prepared for a dreamy night of slumber, oh wait! I forgot we sleep in a room with 4 other people and oh look at that, ones a snorer how nice.... I was woken up at 12:30 because a french couple was singing opera int he bathroom next door, and was so irritated I got up to ask them to be quiet, when leaving Christopher felt the need to yell "Just be nice okay"? Who me? After telling the turned-out-to-be-a-nice- couple to keep it down, I settled back into bed... then came the snoring... I wont go into to much detail, but let me just say they have stamina, I ended up int he hostel living room, punching a pillow, and not a wink was to be had all night. Also because of my constant getting in and out of bed, and groaning about this snorer I kept Christopher up all night also... we were BFF's in the morning :)
Walking along the street that Saturday morning with a mug of coffee I snatched from the hostel kitchen was pleasant. What was ACTUALLY pleasant though was the drive to the event. We were catering for Maggie's Cancer run. Maggie's is a organisation that helps cancer patient's be more comfortable. they pay for luxuries, and they also pay for accommodation for people who need to move cities for treatments. they were doing a walk and bike from Fort William to Inverness. That its literally from one side of Scotland to the other, of course at the most narrowest point of Scotland but still a feat none the less. We were setting up at one of the check points. The drive from Drum to fort Augustus took us the other way along Loch Ness, it was breathtaking. When you look into the distance you see layers of mountains. They look like a mirage, different shades and depths, but they're there. Its like nothing I have ever seen. We have mountains in Quebec, and to be honest sometimes when driving I think we could be driving up North to Tremblant, but this view didn't make me feel like I was in Kansas. Ann explained that in Fort Augustus there is mountain you can sit on and you have the perfect view of the lochs falling into each other.
The event itself was fairly calm and fun. Besides the throbbing headache from a sleepless night, it was entertaining. They had a band play, mind you they played the same 8 songs for 5 hours, but it was cool the first few rounds. Christopher and I got to hear alot of different Scottish accents which was exciting, and frustrating because we kept needing to yell and "Pardon Me!". At one point Ann left and Karl took over. When we were left alone I took over the grilling on the stove, while Christopher served and I kept remembering all those times I had seen people in these type of trailers over a hot grill thinking, "I am so glad thats not me that job sucks!" well there I was getting grim greese in my facial pores. Christopher and I had a pretty good routine, going though, and we stuck to it. Until Karl came in and told me I was a crappy griller.... just another career path closed to me.
The fun part of the day was when we had to change venues to the other check point which was back in Drum, and on the way the trailer got a flat tire or here they spell it "Tyre". Christopher and I had to sit by the side of the road for almost two hours while Karl went back and forth getting equipment to change it.
It was fun because we just happened to stop next to a path that brings us down tot he Loch Ness and it was a fabulous day! The water was all sparkley and the mountains so crisp! I had the genius idea of wanting to go for a dip and rolled up my pants, and stepped in... my legs nearly came off it was so damn freakn' cold! I forgot that one of the mystery's of the Loch Ness is that no matter what the temperature is outside the water never ever changes temperature, always stays a nice comfortable 4 degrees. I got Christopher to take a picture of me anyway, not before he grunted a "I told you so" of course. After this said adventure and mutual awing of the view, we sat in the blistering sun next to the trailer. I get sun stroked within minutes, so naturally I took off my uniform shirt (I was wearing another shirt underneath) and wrapped in on the my head. Karl thought this was just insane, but I like freaking him out sometimes :)
Christopher downed a few Irun Brues and I took a nap in the grass. Seems so pleasant, at least it does in movies and books, slumbering in a medow, but you know what lurks in grass! Bugs! lots and lots of bugs, that think if your in they're territory they have free range to crawl on you. You think this would deter me, so did I, expect that I was so tired I took a nap anyway and told the bugs to screw off.
We got back to the hostel that night exhausted and smelling like hog, to find out our room had been change and we now get a privet twin room yay! We walk around the hostel, past the dorms, past the staff room, take a right behind the laundry shed and tada! A lovely old wood shed converted into a room.... With the beds and table you have enough room for maybe 3 people standing. I did a quick spot checked and open the tiny curtain to the tiny window and regretted it instantly, not only was it filled with webs and little nests, but there on the panel was a chunky hairy spider. I flipped and ran into the dining room and asked very sternly if Niel (one of the hostel owners) would be so kind as to get rid of this thing for me. He obliged and tried to pry it off the ledge with his fingers that how big it was! He lost it though which was just great! I used my mind power ability to convince myself it have run out the door just so I could get some sleep. Turns out that while Niel was serving drinks later that night he felt something on his neck and smacked it on the table.. ( insert creepy shudder here). Before Christopher and I left Montreal, we made a deal that Christopher would kill all spiders, he has so far lived up to the deal, except coward around the corner when a big wasp flew in through our window one day. But this spider was so big I didn't even want him near it.
The next day we were heading home to our flat in Edinburgh. We needed to find a way out of our lease or come up with a plan to make sure we don't loose too much money going back and forth. We packed our bags, walked to the bus stop and waited... and waited... and w-a-i-t-e-d.... after 3 hours of sitting with my big back pack on, a lovely lady came by to explain that no one here takes the bus on Sunday because it rarely runs. We had needed to catch a bus at 4 in Inverness to get back to Edinburgh but that was long past so we just waited another hour and a half, for a total of almost 5 hours. When in Inverness we were hoping to hop on another bus leaving, ah but that would be to easy. No more buses were running that night, and the train either. It was the first time we had been faced with no plan. I was a little excited. A true adventure! Christopher didn't agree too much, but as long as we found the cheaper option of anything he would be okay. So away we hunted the streets of Inverness for a place to stay. We walked along the water, the day had turned windy and cloudy and a little chilly. Finally we stopped someone to ask them where the closest hostel was, the man kinda stared at us, mumbled something and then with a direct look said "Where are you from?" We said Canada and he proceeded to contemplate and point us up hill. wasn't the most helpful man. After walking in circles we finally came to a sign for a hostel! At 10 pounds a night with free wifi we couldn't refuse. So we walked into a 50 person dorm, took a bed in the corner and set out to connect to wifi so I would skype for Brittany's baby shower. It was so good to see everyone! Especially Brittany. The skype on Christopher's Ithoch is pretty terrible, Chrstopher gave up half way through, figuring watching Brittany opening baby presents wasn't worth the craned neck. Unfortunately that night Christopher didn't sleep at all because the noes from the street kept him up all night, so we were both happy to be heading to our flat with our own rooms.
When we finally got home the next day we were so grateful to be back in Edinburgh. Again, we love the highlands but there is something about setting up somewhere as "Home" and having it be a comfort to you. I think it was because of this we sat around in our flat for most of the week, doing laundry and relaxing. enjoying our flat before we had to get rid of it. Most mornings though we woke up to the poundings of jackhammers and the general symphony of construction. Until it was time to head back up to Drum to stay for a week of work.
Which is where we leave you off now. In another few days we will post another post which will bring us up to date. We are finally now experiencing true Scottish weather it has been.... fun... Apparently this spring has been the driest spring in a century! Lucky Scots in 1911. It has been great, except it is affecting the crops and cattle here, and that is a major chunk of Scotland business. But if the past couple weeks are any indication I think they will survive.