Hello again! It’s been a good while since I last blogged I know (March! wow, March feels like years ago) and an awful lot has changed since I last updated you. Over the next weeks or so I’m going to fill in a couple of blanks with blasts from the past (mainly because I did some awesome things a couple of months ago that I really want to share), but to get started again I thought it was probably best to fill you in on all the changes.
So! I now have a job, in a museum (well in museums) in Edinburgh! Hurrah! After such a long time spent looking for work and applying for things, I still sometimes find it hard to get my head around the fact that I’m actually employed (and have been since mid June). Living in Edinburgh is great, it feels almost weirdly natural to be here, and it suits me perfectly- all the good bits of a city without the massive impersonalising size. I walk everywhere- to work, to the beach, through Holyrood park, to the supermarket, to the cinema, to the library. At the moment there are lilac bushes all over the place, and I often catch the scent on the wind whilst I’m walking and turn to find it peeking out from behind some boarded area, garden or wasteland.
There’s a lot of green space in Edinburgh, and I always seem to be finding more. From Holyrood park with Arthur’s seat and Salisbury crags jutting out of it, to the Meadows- a big public park which I walk through on my way to work or town, to little gardens hidden along the royal mile with formal planting, and beds of herbs and roses, nature is everywhere, which moving from the Shire to a city is an enormous boon.
Working in museums is great for getting to know a place as I learn so much everyday, and always have a reason for learning more. It also adds another layer to my understanding of the place; as I learn where everything is, and how it physically fits together, I’m also able to add in stories and historical facts onto my understanding of places, houses and streets. Already I feel like I have a good store of knowledge, but I also have an always increasing list of new things to find out about- what “natural sponges” were the best to use for printing patterns onto ceramics, how elm trees were hollowed out to make pipes, why teapots and coffeepots are different shapes to name just a few odd examples. Recently I’ve been reading up about housing reform in the old town between 1800 and the present, and how they relate to the actions and works of an amazing polymath called Patrick Geddes. But after that who knows what I’ll be reading up on. Everything I learn is extra information that I can share with any curious visitors- so all this knowledge is useful, which I just find brilliant.
Now it is August, in Edinburgh, which most of you will already know means an awful lot of tourists, almost as many flyers stuffed into one’s hand, and a bemusingly large array of shows, exhibitions and events. Aka the festival season. So far I’ve been to one fantastic show which was a comedy science thing- which included fire tornadoes, ukelele comedy songs and spreadsheets among other things; and one disappointing but free thing last night about the Jacobites. The other day I also stumbled onto the World Press Photo exhibition in the Scottish Parliament (not literally- I know I’m clumsy but I try not to walk into things in public places!).That was just… I don’t know how to explain it, it was incredible and moving, and excellent photography, and harrowing and some of it just broke my heart. It was the type of exhibition where you have to work hard to remember you’re in a public place so you don’t openly cry. And it made me feel like I need to work harder and we all need to work harder to make everything better in the world, but frustrated because I don’t know how. And I’d recommend it to anyone in Edinburgh, but if you’re not then I’ve copied a link below.
Wow this blog post is long. To prevent it getting longer still, and to ensure I actually leave the house today and go see some more awesomeness (or at least get some fresh air) I’m going to end here. Next blog will be a lot more prompt!
http://www.worldpressphoto.org/awards/2013 (There were also some lovely photos of penguins! )