What the Fringe?!

Since coming back from my trip to Scotland one of the most frequently asked questions about my time there is “what exactly is the Fringe?”

It’s a fair question, one that I still struggle to answer even after having spent 3/4 of a month attending it. The Sparknotes version I suppose is that it’s when the city of Edinburgh is swallowed in one gluttonous gulp by the arts, thousands of productions in hundreds of venues- hoooboy. There is an overwhelming feeling that washes over you when you first pick up a Fringe festival guide (they are fo’ free and can be found all over the city on various locations) or access the Fringe website, with thousands of shows across nearly every single creative medium how do you choose?!

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literally me when I saw the program for the first time

My approach (because I know you were dying to know) was to start on the website and just browse, this was both a bad and a good idea. I was able to find several performances I might not have picked, such as a production of an opera about Orpheus sung in Scots or an early morning concert of Mozart where you get scones and pastries after the performance, however I also bookmarked over 100 productions I wanted to see. This would obviously not be possible, so I set about the task of narrowing down my selections pacing myself to three shows max per day.  Now some may have gawked at three shows a day, but really for Fringe goers that’s on the low end- I had a conversation with someone who was about to see their tenth show that day. For me I max out at three shows, after that I’m basically paying to sit in a room filled with people I don’t know. For the actual ordering the tickets I created a profile on the Fringe website. This is super helpful because if you have the Fringe App (it’s not required in order to attend events at the Fringe but BOY OH BOY is it helpful) it can keep track of the shows you are going to see as well as let you know about shows happening near you. Buying my tickets online was easy-peasy and the website makes it a no pain process. There are ticket collection points and hubs all over the city, I used the one on High St which also functions as the official Fringe headquarters. Just as a cautionary bit of advice High St is SUPER crowded, I mean like one-time-I-was-so-blocked-in-I-couldn’t-move-my-arms crowded so those with aversions or sensitivities to large crowds should seek another collection point. You can also purchase tickets at the venues, it’s really a case of dealers choice.

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lol jk, no plagues needed but like, SO MANY PEOPLE

 

Here is a list of just some of the shows I had the chance to see:

How to Win Against History

Queen Lear

The Accidental Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

All Quiet on the Western Front

Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel

The Descent o’ Orpheus tae the Underwarl

Shit- Faced Shakespeare

House of Edgar

Thrones! The Musical Parody

La Bohème

During my time in Edinburgh I was able to see over 30 shows ranging from comedy to classical to cabaret, and to be honest I still had shows I wanted to see. It was one of the best experiences I have had the opportunity to have, and I’m already planning on returning for Fringe 2017.

For those who want a completely immersive experience into the Arts, and also want to get to know a culture and a people I have fallen in love with over and over time and time again the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a must.

 

XX,

 

E

 

Flying Solo is Good For You

When I began preparing for my trip I hadn’t quite registered that I would be truly traveling alone. I’ve of course taken trips solo before (conducting research in the Imperial War Museum, state hopping in the USA) but I had always planned to meet up with someone at some point along the way. This was the first trip in my life where I would be spending the first two weeks alone. I think the first time I actually registered this was the second or third day in Edinburgh when my body was sore from hiking Arthur’s Seat and the jet lag/insomnia double punch made falling asleep near impossible. It was in the wee hours of the morning as I watched the sun peek over the rooftops through red and itchy eyes that I realized my general malaise was that I  didn’t have anyone to share this with. I rested in this gloomy feeling for about 12 hours until I realized that this was just a fact of traveling alone, you don’t really have someone to turn to and commiserate about how you were just drenched with gutter water by a city bus with four miles to go before you could shower and change into dry clothes (this literally happened and it’s actually a funny story, but I’ll save that for later). I came to the realization that in order to combat the solo slumps™ was to literally sit down several times a day and write out what I would want to discuss with someone if I had a traveling frand (okay so I don’t have an actual trade marked slogan but if I had the motivation and the time I would because I feel like there is a lot of worth behind it). As a result I’ve got a really great journal going with prose and poetry writings and I think I’ll even keep up the practice once I’m back in the States.

So basically, if you’ve stuck with this post so far, all I’ve done is talk about how traveling alone can be hard, as well as throwing in some other generally narcissistic ruminations. Allow me to get to the point, despite that minor adjustment period, I love traveling alone, and since everyone loves a list that is exactly what I shall do.

1. You learn a lot about what you are like as a traveler.

When you travel in groups or with other people you tend to fill a certain role (I typically take the mum role/ the overly cautious about time and making travel connections person). I like to get to the airport at least three hours before, I KNOW they tell you leave two hours for getting through TSA and security but I don’t trust people and honestly I’d rather have a nice relaxed sit in the airport sipping a drink than to have to run through the airport to make my gate. No thank you Satan, I would not like to do that today. I like to plan for every eventuality that could possibly happen and then after I’ve done that I can relax a little. When I’m not trying to get somewhere (eg using public transportation like buses and trains and airplanes) I’m decently relaxed, like I’ll pretty much eat whatever and go wherever and I’m not that fussed about having an established plan from day to day. I know that for some of the people in my life that would drive them insane and I have personally made some of my friends borderline homicidal with my behavior, however since it’s just me I can be as early I want for my travel and as free with my daily plans as I fancy.

2. You frequently get the best seating in the house.

I recognize that this may be unique to the Fringe and my experience with seating here but people are really weird when seating themselves in a theatre, they always leave a seat or two in between parties as if by sitting directly next to someone they didn’t know the odds of them busting into flames increased by 200%. However as a result I have been able to snag 1st- 4th row seats due to the singleness of my party.

DIGRESSION: So I was heading into see All Quiet on the Western Front and I had this conversation between myself (I should hope this was obvious) and the young woman who was in charge of directing people to their seats:

Usher: Hello miss

Me: Helloooo (I held the oooo part of hello just like, two seconds too long and it still bothers me that I did this)

Usher: How many in your party?

Me: I’m a single. I mean my party is single. I mean there is one of me.

Usher: <looks at me with concern and starts to open mouth in order to say something>

Me: There’s just me, I am one. <stops talking and considers climbing behind the black curtain hanging behind the stage>

Usher: Okay… eemm… well… I don’t see any single seats… <trails off while scanning the crowd>

Me: <mentally prepares to walk out of the theatre because there are no more single seats and thus I can sit NOWHERE because there’s only one of me despite the fact that there were still 80 seats to fill. I’m an adult.>

Usher: Oh! actually there’s one right here in the front if you like.

Me: Oh I do, thank you. < thinks to self what WHAT WHAT AM I DOING and sinks into the very tiny chair)

End of digression.

The best seating also applies to coffee shops as I get to sit at a counter and watch people go past while I sip of a cup of tea and write.

3. Your schedule is truly your own.

One MAJOR positive to traveling on your own is that you literally don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. I’ve been able to schedule the shows that I’ve wanted to see when I’ve wanted, eat when I wanted to and wherever I wanted. It’s a type of freedom that is rarely experienced in daily life and it’s just really refreshing to not have to check with another person if something is alright etc.

4. If you let yourself, you become a better version of yourself.

Because traveling alone can stir up realizations about yourself, traveling alone can be used as a tool to help solidify your best self. I’ve noticed I’m much more confident in who I am (a lil’ on the sappy side but with the year I’ve had it’s a major thing), and that confidence translates into how I carry myself. Because it’s just me I have to be my own advocate, if something isn’t right I need to be the one to speak up or else it’s not going to be fixed. I think this is the most in tune with my emotional wellbeing as well as my physical and mental wellbeing.

 

There are many more perks to traveling alone but these were the four I had the time to write about now. If you can, take the opportunity to travel alone- you might just end up liking it more than you thought.

 

xx

E

 

Austentatious: A Brilliant Way to Have a Bit of Fun with Good Ol’ Jane

The first thing you should know about this particular Fringe event is that the venue is tucked away in George’s Square in a giant inflatable upside down purple cow. Need I say more? Yes? Yes, I shall. George’s Square is located very much in the heart of the University of Edinburgh’s campus (I had flashbacks of sprinting down the cobbled street along one of the sides in order to not be late for my lecture on Celtic Literature. I was never late, however I was always out of breath). Anyhoo there are, I think, three or companies who have stages all set up shop for the month and I think it’s one of the best venues (I’m heavily biased though as nearly all of my favorite fringe shows have been at one of the venues located here). Today’s show was Austentatious! An Improvised Jane Austen Novel, now for a handful of you the thought of: but, you don’t like Austen- you don’t like that genre of literature or period piece movies save for the production of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Mr Darcy must have popped up, and those individuals would be correct. I can expand on why it’s not my favorite genre of literature or why the Victorian era nor the Renaissance are deffos not my choice periods of time to study and I don’t know why so many people are so fascinated by them when the Medieval Ages are there to study but no one asked me so I will reserve these observation in their fullest form to some other time.

 

I digress.

 

I wanted to see this particular show because it promised to be an hour of comedy improv based in entirety on the suggestion of the audience. While waiting in the queue we were handed a ‘book cover’ leaflet (a really lovely touch) and asked to come up with a funny title. Being the highly intelligent and witty writer that I am, I promptly clammed up and produced no such title. However the venue, I believe, was able to accommodate over 500 people so like- I didn’t feel too bad about it all. Because of the nature of my singleness even though I was further back in the queue I was able to snag a second row seat (yet another perk of traveling alone) and I waited in anticipation for the play to begin.

Oh.My.God. It was everything it promised to be and more. From the very beginning when they introduced a ‘professor’ to set the scene, to the selection of a title from a basket comprised entirely of suggestions created not five minutes prior (today’s book was James Corbyn and the Missing Cabinet), to the truly talented cast of six members who were able to play off of each other with, what appeared to be, effortless ease and finesse the entire experience was immersive and captivating. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard for that long in months. I liked it so much that I bought a ticket to a performance later tonight called Crosstentatious put on by the same company of actors- just that the women will be dressed as men and the men dressed as women, because, lets be honest, who doesn’t love a bit of cross dressing? Funny, witty, and expertly navigated Austentatious is a must see for literally everyone. I might even go back for another show because I had such a wonderful time and the play is different each time.

xx

E

 

 

A Very Potter Friday

Today was decidedly and unapologetically Harry Potter themed. Like most people my age I grew up alongside Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. I remember staying up way too late in order to snag a midnight copy of the next installment of the series, I remember being devastated when I didn’t receive my Hogwarts letter (to he honest I’m still holding out for one), and I remember dressing up in my robes and reading my copy of the seventh book on the curb while I waited for my dad to bring the car around. I think it’s needless to say, but I will do so anyway, JK Rowling’s magical world shaped my childhood for the better. I’m highly emotional about Harry Potter and I’m not sorry. When Pottermore was first released upon the grateful masses (of which I am a very vocal one) I sprinted (which here means I typed aggressively into my Google search bar) and got myself sorted at once…. I was a….. Slytherin? At first I was a little shocked- how could I be a Slytherin?! This had to be a mistake- so I created another account with a different email and took the sorting hat quiz again and lo and behold I was sorted into Slytherin for a second time. I came pretty quickly around to the fact that I was a Slytherin and whenever people asked I shrugged and said my house to which they either replied with a “*GASP* noooo! I would never think you would be sorted into that house, so you’re like evil now?” Nope I’m still me… or they would respond with a nonchalant “yeah, I pretty much figured you’d be a Slytherin, hiss hiss am I right?!” Um… what? If I’m being honest with myself I am a Slytherin (as much as the way that Harry was almost sorted into Slytherin but ended up in Gryffindor.) I’m not a bad person but I am cunning and I will pretty much use any means to achieve something that I’m invested in (but I’m also not, like, a homicidal maniac obsessed with eugenics… and I have a nose so there’s that as well). I fully embraced my Slytherin sorting and have loved every minute of it so far (the whole dark and green aesthetic fits right in with my Sagittarius/Scorpio cusp sign).

Three years ago when I first lived in Edinburgh I think I came to the Elephant House maybe a grand total of two or three times. It wasn’t overly far away from my flat, however I was I think nervous for my first time eating in the place where Rowling created the series that impacted me so profoundly. When I eventually went in after a long stroll in Greyfriar’s (literally this might be my favorite place) I ventured in. The Elephant Room is truly a magical place, it’s smothered in elephants (dad you would love it here) and the air is warm and sweetly scented. Every time I go here I get my usual over at Kilimanjaro Coffee (more on them in a different post) consisting of a fruit scone with clotted crème and a pot of breakfast tea. They also do a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu (they’re open until 10pm on most nights, sometimes later) and I can say from firsthand experience that their food is delicious and served as generous portions. As I see it there are only three mini teensy downsides to taking tea at the Elephant House. The first is that they are constantly busy with people flooding in and out all of the time (which is completely understandable because this is the birthplace of Harry Potter) so it’s not exactly a quiet place to get writing done- I’ve been sitting at their stone counter in the front for a solid half hour and I think I’ve been in the background of at least twenty photos. The days where a writer could sit with a cup of tea and work away in the quiet murmur of this shop are long gone (the irony of this is not lost on you I assume). The second downside to eating here is that they are more on the expensive side of things, however honestly they aren’t that expensive but I’m not used to paying over three pounds for a pot of tea mumblemumblegrumblemumble. The third and most grievous tally against the Elephant House is THEY DON’T HAVE CLOTTED CREAM FOR THEIR SCONES. Appalled. I am appalled. But to be fair those aren’t really horrible things (except for the clotted cream absence because I will never be over that). The people who work here are wonderful and every time I have gone they were friendly and warm.

The most whimsical aspects of the Elephant House are: the shelves dripping with assorted elephant sculptures and mini statues, the mismatched décor lending an atmosphere of the kitchen or parlor of an old friend, the views from some of the tables are stellar- some of which include the castle, which Rowling used as inspiration for Hogwarts, and the bathrooms. The bathrooms, you might be thinking? Yes. The bathrooms. They are covered in Harry Potter related graffiti and one could spend hours reading the walls and the messages scrawled across them, however since it’s a bathroom the most time you’ll have is probably around the five minute marker at best; and in that case everyone will think that you’ve just done a massive poo and do you want people thinking that? I mean it doesn’t really matter, it’s not as if they are going to remain as a permanent fixture in your life but you know, things to think about. It’s a must do if you’re in Edinburgh for any amount of time because it’s so central to literally everything (Greyfriar’s is a leisurely two minute stroll, the Royal Mile is only ten minutes away, the Castle only fifteen, and the Grassmarket is literally a stones throw away) so there’s really no excuse to not pop in for a cup of something warm and a sweet bite to eat.

 

xx,

 

E

 

A is for Adjustment

Sometimes, well really most times, it’s good to push through moments where you think to yourself ‘mehhhh I think I’ll just have a day for myself where I sit inside and read and/or watch Netflix.’

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Today was not that day.

Today I woke up to my jet lag manifesting itself all over my body, causing the physical feeling that I had been hit with a wet sack of glitter; my calves felt tighter than an anxious toddlers first violin strings and even though I had crashed into a medically induced comatic sleep for over 12 hours my eyes felt dryer than when I had first landed in England.

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After a quickish skype with my mum (hi mum!!) and she had confirmed that my plan was an excellent idea I settled into the reality that I had chosen not to climb Arthur’s Seat today. If I’m honest with myself I felt a little disappointed as well as experienced a slight twinge of failure because my initial plan had been to hike in the park every day I was in Edinburgh (weather permitting) so to already be folding in on that goal was disappointing. However having just said that I am glad that I decided to take day to be slightly gentler with my body, due to my jet lag being pretty significant I found myself going to bed late and waking up even later. By the time I had pushed myself out of the flat and up Arthur’s seat I was so exhausted that all of the energy I had left was dedicated to getting myself the nearly three miles back, showered and a small dinner before flopping down onto my bed and hoping that sleep would come before the jet lag would kick back in and I would be wide awake again.

Instead of hiking I decided to let myself lean into the day: taking a shower to wake me up even more, putting on ~real~ pants (those who know me also know that this is a big deal… I rarely wear actual pants), and let myself wander.

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I ended up walking through Grassmarket which is a neat little section of Edinburgh where one can find good sandwich shops as well as unique pubs such as The Last Drop (the last stop of the unlimited pints tour before the condemned were hung from the gallows) and Scotland’s Smallest Pub (it’s really really small, it is also in my top ten pubs to drink at while in Edinburgh). Taking my favorite shortcut through Greyfriar’s Kirkyard I smiled at the familiar grave stones (I know this might sound weird but it’s the coolest graveyard) and cobbled pathways, and soon I found myself standing at the counter of my favorite tea and coffee shop in the whole world: Kilimanjaro Coffee. Again, for those who know me know that this is my Mecca, the holiest of holy places. When I studied in Edinburgh I cam here nearly every single day with regularity and always ordered a breakfast tea with a fruit scone and clotted crème. Plopping down in my favorite seat (IT WAS STILL THERE) in the corner of an old and wrinkled leather couch I was awash with happiness.

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um…. YAAAAAASSSSSSSS

So, you’re maybe wondering ‘what does this all mean?’ Well it means adjustments are being made to my grand plan. I’m just going to do what makes me happy whether that’s hiking through Arthur’s Seat or sipping tea in Kilimanjaro Coffee or wandering between the stones in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard.

So here’s to doing things that only bring happiness.

xx

E

Scottish Suggestions: Tips I’ve Accrued While Abroad in Edinburgh

  • While you can pay with a card at most places, cash is still king in Scotland so make sure to always have at least a twenty pound note on you for convenience.

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  • Bring good shoes. Unless you are going to take a cab everywhere you plan on going within the city or using the bus system you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. The plus side is that it’s free and good for you!

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  • There are other places to get a brilliant cup of tea other than the Elephant House. Now don’t get me wrong, the Elephant House is an amazing little tea and coffee house, however it’s never not busy due to the fact that the kween of fantasy literature wrote most of the early book of a lil ole series called Harry Potter, but idk if you’ve ever heard of it…

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  • Hiking Arthur’s seat is something you will never regret (seriously ask my friend Hannah who I made summit the extinct volcano while experiencing a fever, like I think it was 101°f but I’d have to check with her. Also if you’re reading this Hannah I’m sorry for making you do that. But it was fun, right?!)

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  • Go on as many haunted ghost tours as you can. I’ve been on every single one and I only wet myself one time. JK. But I was seriously terrified- take their warnings seriously.

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  • Don’t be afraid to get away from the Royal Mile. By all means stroll the mile if you want to, but there is so much more to Edinburgh than one street. I might suggest the Grassmarket, it’s by the royal mile and is slightly less crowded.

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  • Put down the gps. Now, I don’t mean to poopoo maps, because they are wonderful and useful. However if you’re feeling adventurous use the Castle, Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill as markers. Edinburgh isn’t a tall city so you can pretty much see one of these three most of the time.

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  • Go to an open mic or two. These are always a blast and a bonus is you get to hang out in one of Edinburgh’s many pubs. Plus who knows, maybe you’ll get discovered after a couple of pints of liquid courage!

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  • Spend a couple of hours in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard. The graveyard has a complicated and interesting history. Fun fact: JK Rowling got the names Mcgonagall and Tom Riddle from head stones here.

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  • Carry either a small umbrella or a waterproof layer- you’re gonna need it. There’s no way to get around Scotland’s temperamental weather. It’s gonn’ rain during your visit at least once I guarantee it.

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These were just a couple of the things I could think of off hand- I may post an updated list later on!!

 

xx

E

Where the Heart is

Okay, as I type this post out on the train I have been traveling for… I believe eighteen hours and I’m finally on the last leg of my trip ending up at Waverly station in Edinburgh. So, let me take you back to checking my bags in Logan International Airport. It. Was. Bedlam. Seriously everyone must have called each other up and decided to fly out of Boston on the 31st of July. So I kinda sorta started to panic just a little because even though my flight wasn’t leaving for another three and a half hours but the line for checking luggage was insanely long, like I’m talking halfway down the E terminal long, and 2/3 of that length was made up of a soccer trip going to Brighton (more on them later). I made the bold decision to see if I could upgrade my seating to ~Premium Economy~ which here means way more leg room, better food, bigger seats, and first on first off privileges which I was totally down for. Long story short I was able to charm my way into upgrading my seat on both legs of my trip for half price, how? I don’t have a bloody clue. Maybe it was because the kind woman behind the desk was savor in the time before she had to deal with I SHIT YOU NOT like over 100 kids under the age of 15. Maybe it was the suppressed look of panic behind my eyes at the thought of having to go to the back of the line. We will never know the true motivation behind her kind actions, however it happened and I almost cried. I also would like to state for the record that I cried in the bus station before I had even left Portland. I don’t know if you want to know why but since you’re here on my blog I will keep assume you are a little invested in my emotions. I cried because without my parents support and encouragement I don’t know if this trip would have happened at the time it did. I cried because I was nervous that the UK border officer wouldn’t let me into the country (this is a reoccurring theme), and I cried because I was going back to a place I openly refer to as my heart. So there was a lot going on. I got through TSA without any issue (well, except for holding up the line because I couldn’t find my liquids bag) and I had this really cute bow in my hair and the lady ~laughed~ and literally said “oh you’re so cute. It’s a little bow. A little girls bow. You’re so cute.” UM WHAT?! So that was something that had never happened, but it did, so tick that off of the list of weird things people I don’t know have said to me. I ate a mediocre dinner. There were only two other things that happened before I boarded my plane that are worth mentioning: 1. My plane was delayed by a half hour and I found out because my parents texted me about it (it was never announced officially in the airport lol) because a plane from airFrance was for some reason taking a lot of time in clearing the gate/they were just taking longer than was expected. 2. Someone (read a child I assume) threw up right by the gate so not only are pushy people crowding closer and closer to the gate (as if that was going to make the French plane move any faster) and it smelled like vom.

By the time I got to my seat on the plane I was ready to sit and listen to my podcast The Adventure Zone and read Tina Fey’s Bossypants and struggle to remain hydrated by alternately chugging and sipping the truly massive bottle of water I had purchased in the airport. I sat next to a sweet little British man who smelled like gummy bears and we both settled into a comfortable silence for the rest of the plane ride. Guys- GUYS I actually slept!! I had a weird three bean chili thing for my dinner with a tiny bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (for those who are familiar with my wine preferences there is nothing I love more than a glass of Sauvignon Blanc). I pretty much passed out for a couple of hours waking up in time to eat the breakfast they supplied, and then I passed out again waking up when my ears popped as we descended into London.

Okay- so there are two things of note that happened to me whilst in London. The first is that on my little card doohickey they have you do for immigration for occupation I put ‘writer’ because that’s what I am (side note this was a really cool moment) and the woman who was my border officer had clearly had a long day already and here I come bleary eyed and just a little sweaty:

Border Officer: So, you’re a writer?

Me: yes, I am.

Border Officer: What do you write?

Me: Mostly fiction.

Border Officer: Are you famous then?

Me: (brain short circuits, a look of horror and confusion I’m sure crosses my face) <snort laugh> oh no, I’m still working on that.

Border Officer: Oh, you just look like you might be a famous writer.

Me: <uncomfortable laughter> Well thank you, but yeah- not yet. Hopefully one day. Hehe.

Border Officer: Enjoy your visit (hands me back my passport)

Me: Thank you! (Bows a little)

I BOWED TO A BORDER OFFICER.

This can be used as evidence that I should never be allowed in public without a handler. ANYHOO the other notable occurrence while in London was that the bloody tube wasn’t running into central London. So there went my low cost way to get to Kings Cross Station. I ended up using my Oyster card to get a place on the Heathrow Commuter and that took me to Paddington Station where I flirted with the idea of riding the Piccadilly line, but by that time I was done lugging my suitcase up and down stairs so I hailed a cab and took it to Kings Cross. By the time I arrived at the station I had just enough time to buy my ticket, look longingly at the crowd in line for the Harry Potter 9 3/4 platform display (I had visited it three years ago and OF COURSE I had claimed the Slytherin scarf #hisshiss) and power walk to Platform 0 to catch the 12.00 train to Edinburgh. And now I’ve caught you up to the present which is an odd thing because by the time I publish this I will be in Edinburgh hopefully tucked into my bed with a cup of tea. I’m completely in love with the English countryside, and I understand why so many romantic period pieces use it as a backdrop. It just seems to be semi frozen in time, and the further I get away from the US (I love ya America, you can be a beautiful place but the pace of life is exhausting) the slower the pace becomes maybe that’s just me getting further away from certain elements in my life, or maybe it’s that there is a different pace to life here. And isn’t that’s just wonderful.

Update:

I made it. I’m back in the place I fell in love with three years ago, honestly walking off of the train it felt as if I were being embraced by an old friend. Seeing all of my favorite places as I walked through the city brought on a uniquely warm feeling I hope to have again and again and again. I am safe, I am happy, I am home.

 

xxoo

E

Not Throwing Away My Shot

FYI:

This post will contain only Hamilton gifs, I make no apologies especially today is the anniversary of Burr shooting Hamilton because I am #HamilTrash, and I am proud.

 

For those who don’t know (which is in the millions) I studied abroad my Junior year in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh (Here’s the blog I ran back then, it’s pretty decent if you want a little chuckle.) I was made to fly back home to the USA quite literally because my visa was expiring and I had classes in two weeks at my now alma mater. Since I left Scotland I would estimate that roughly 4/7 days out of the week I spend time thinking about ways to get back. Like, literally just sitting in an armchair with a hot cup of tea watching rain hit the window all the while thinking so I know the off season begins late October so if I got a ticket- it’s a sickness and I don’t want a cure.

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Now, long story short the past year has held a bunch of ups and a s#!t ton of deep downs. I learned a lot about how the world worked, how other people worked, and finally how I work as an individual. I had entered into a ~dark place~ one which I couldn’t seem to fully pull myself out of. A couple of weeks ago I hit a point where I wasn’t really happy with where I was headed and I had to finally be honest with myself- that I wanted to be a writer. Now those who have known me for most of my life would roll their eyes and whisper under their breath *well of course you do, you’ve wanted to be a writer since forever ago* and to that I reply with a thank you for believing in me even before I did. I’ve also had a bunch of people ask me the question: yeah, but what are you going to do for your real job?

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I’m going to write.

 

I mean I’m also going to have other jobs because as my mother has told me time and time again ‘paying the bills isn’t a sin.’ A hearty amen to that.

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A little while after that revelation I had a conversation with my Dad and it went a little something like this:

Dad: “What would make you happiest?”

Me: “I don’t know..”

Dad: “Yes you do- don’t think about it. What would make you happy?”

Me: “Going back to Scotland, and writing.”

Dad: “So… do that.”

Me: “Oh… But I shouldn’t I should get a full time job an-”

Dad: “Fuck that, go to Scotland, write. Take a writing course there, be in the place you love. Learn. And then come back and write your ass off.”

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My reaction when he said that.

I COULD GO TO SCOTLAND AND WRITE.

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So that’s the current plan. Go to Scotland. Write. During the month of August I will be in Edinburgh hiking Arthur’s Seat every day for the first two weeks, the third week I will be spending at a writer’s retreat in the Highlands near Inverness at Moniack Mhor taking a course in fiction from some truly bad ass writers, and then the last week I will return to Edinburgh for a week of hiking Arthur’s Seat as well as soaking in the phenomenon that is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Sorry, I couldn’t contain myself.

I’m planning on packing light (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH a girl can dream as a self diagnosed chronic over packer and mood dresser there is little hope) as well as keeping a daily log RIGHT HERE!!! I may or may not be adding a vlog style diary entry as well (if you have a preference let me know in the comments down below!) I’ll post before I go so you can follow along with how I hot mess my way through packing and can strap into the emotional roller coaster of awesome that is rapidly approaching.

For the first time in a long time I feel happy.

For the first time in a long time I feel like I’m doing something that I love with every fibre of my being and that it’s worth fighting for.

 

XO

E