Category Archives: Scotland

Travel as Stimulus

Today I’m going to the Scottish Highlands. As a writer-to-be, one of the meth0ds to “elicit or accelerate … a psychological activity or response” is to place myself within new landscapes and people – changing the surroundings to and backdrop of my trajectory.

This has worked well in the past: A first visit in Rome, 9 years ago, forced my weak self, at the time only infrequently anchored in reality, further into imagination.

Today, then, I’ll be taking my camera and my scrapbook. I won’t be talking to people (random people get in the way of thinking. They are but a backdrop) and instead just look out of the window, and walk, by myself, away.

ok. da bin ich also in rom. in: der endlosen stadt. hier findet die liebe statt. ich steige aus der strassenbahn. hier finden die spiele etc. statt. hier findet:
der papst statt.

Edinburgh Fringe Inspiration

The Fringe 2009 has now ended. This year, the BF and I went to see a fair amount of shows, in particular, those of the Laughing Horse Free Fringe. Here, performers pay nothing to the venues they use, but they also don’t charge the punters. It’s a win-win situation: The venue (often a pub) gets extra customers buying drinks due to ‘free entertainment’, while the performers get (hopefully) a larger, more enthusiastic audience.

But how do they get paid? The deal is that we, the audience, pay on our way out – in line with what we thought the show was worth. This keeps the performers on their toes, and allows (ideally) for a more authentic experience for everyone.

I’m mentioning the Fringe in my quest to reiterate my desire to become a writer. This blog’s function (hopefully) is to turn into some kind of scrap book, where I collect and note down all the things that will help keep the flame alive and put me onto the right path. Because, let’s face it, with a job that is sometimes ‘enjoyable’ and ‘rewarding’, I’ll be in danger of just forgetting all about it again. And waking up in 10 years’ time only to find that I haven’t contributed anything to the world.

The inspiration of the Fringe, then:

  1. There is a different life out there, and people are living it
  2. So can I

Going Back on the Pill – pt 2

I have an appointment with my GP this week to discuss whether or not I want to go back on the pill. I think I’ve blogged about this before. The only criteria I will be applying to decide whether or not I should try it are:

– will it make me fat? From what I remember, the Pill (some brands anyway) will make you put on weight. Though this may be untrue – but it’s definitely one aspect I want to ask

– will it  be free? I remember that when I lived in England 15 years ago (!), I got it free from the Family Planning Clinic. This may not be the case any more, or may  not be the case in Scotland.

Thus my decision will be made. I might just go on it for a few months so that I can have ‘unprotected sex’ to see what it feels like (with B. of course – not some random stranger), and then stop it again 😛

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lenina’s Scottish Ancestry

The Kingdom of Prussia within the German Empire
Image via Wikipedia

I found out the other day that my wee nephew’s birthday was this Sunday passed (25th January) which is the same as Burns’ birthday (the Scottish National Poet). The funny thing is that my nephew is also a redhead – this gene ‘jumped’ a generation (my dad is a ginger or ‘strawberry blonde’).

My BF told me that ginger hair was an indication of potential Scottish ancestry which I quickly googled today. While it’s true that world-wide the greatest percentage of redheads lives in Scotland (13% of all the population), the ‘ginger gene’ is generally considered to be Celtic, not Scottish. And even the Celts didn’t come out of nowhere – some say it originally came from the Scandinavian Hugh hair.

Either way, my dad’s dad is from Prussia (Preussen), which to me is far more  historically interesting. Even my surname is much more common in the East. Plenty of people carrying my surname apparently live in Berlin. If the ‘ginger gene’ did come from my granddad, it may have been through some Scandinavian connection (Scandinavians immigrating to Prussia hundreds of years ago).

So I don’t think I have anything Scottish in my genes – more likely a tiny amount of Viking ancestry, which would make more sense (even my body shape and height etc. is quite Nordic).

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Best British Chippie is in Scotland

A serving of fish and chips
Image via Wikipedia

A chip shop in Anstruther, Fife, was crowned best UK chippie last week 😀

This is excellent as I’ve always wanted to eat the best UK fish supper (I’m a sucker for Fish supper but have it very rarely, as it has 1,000,000 of calories!).

It’s actually the second year in a row that Scotland has won this title. Last year, it was a chippie in Biggar – the Townhead Cafe.

I’m planning to go to either of those – or both – some time soon. Naturally, since I live in Edinburgh, I will have to include some other activity on the day too. I don’t want to just drive to Anstruther (in Fife) or Biggar (in South Lanarkshire) just to get a Fish supper 😛 – though if I did go to the Biggar one, I could combine it (sort of) with a visit to my friends A&S.

Winner of best UK Chippie 2007/08: Townhead Cafe, Biggar, South Lanarkshire

Winner of best UK Chippie 2008/09: Anstruther Fish Bar, Anstruther, Fife

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