With Edinburgh being the UNESCO City of Literature, there may be no better place for starting on the path of becoming a writer. JK Rowling started out here – living on benefits in a small flat in Easter Road (very near to where I stay), she wrote the first Harry Potter in a cafe in the old town. I have had awareness of this inspiration Edinburgh provides to writers for many years – but this had not thus far been strong enough to push my latent desire to write myself to the front of my mind.
Often, it takes other people and events to make a view, a need, a desire surface again. It happens as if by chance, but really it is more than that. Not a coincidence but a pointer from life, or from yourself via the world. It is I who makes it happen, and it is I who is the receiver.
In this instance, it was a colleague who told me about the Literary Salon event which is one of the projects of the UNESCO City of Literature. This event, on the last Tuesday of each month, “gathers together literary folk for a few drinks and the chance for a chat in convivial and informal surroundings”.
I’ve planned to go along with this colleague for the next event in September. Not only to see what’s out there – but also to continue picking up bits of inspiration, information, and proceed with my own work of chiseling away at my full-time successful career.
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:
- There is a different life out there, and people are living it
- So can I
Great news which was announced yesterday: Ryanair are now flying to Rome from Edinburgh (starting in March I think).
This means that, whenever I have to go to Italy to see to the house, I can go straight there in one flight rather than having to fly to Stansted first and then take a second flight.
It’s just in time too – I had planned some complicated holiday this year whereby I’d drive to Germany, then get a flight to Italy from there to sort out the house etc. and then take the car back. Now I’ll be able to keep those two holidays separate – i.e. drive to Germany by car with B. in the third week or so of May, and go to Italy by direct flight whenever (probably beginning of May. It might even be June, but by that time it’ll be too hot!)
This week Thursday, B. and I will be going to Light Night which starts at 17:00 in East Princes Street Gardens:
Heralding the beginning of a fabulous festive season, Edinburgh’s Christmas Light Night will see the festive lights, Edinburgh Wheel and Carousels, Winter Wonderland, the Traditional German and Highland Village Christmas Markets all open simultaneously with a spectacular show and fireworks.
I’ve been there once before with the ex (a few years back) and it was very romantic. We had had a couple of Whiskys beforehand in a pub and then went there, all warmed up and cosy. All the Xmas lights are switched on together and the Xmas fair including the German ‘Weihnachtsmarkt’ opens.
I’ve taken half a day off so I don’t have to rush around. I had some toil left to take anyway. It’s just beginning to become all Christmassy everywhere – even Wetherspoons at the week-end had the trees and decorations up. I don’t normally have any Xmas decoration, but this year, what with a cat and the home being a bit more homely, I might just do it 😀
I’ve gotten into a routine now where I go for a walk each night after work, for about an hour. I take the same route each night. As it happens, with winter approaching and for the fact that I live in Edinburgh, it’s now dark when I do go out. Hence I stopped the Holyrood Park – route (I walked through there a few times when it was pitch black! Rapists abound).
Now, my BF B. thinks Edinburgh is a dangerous place, and isn’t too keen on the idea of my walking alone at night. I’ve thus far dismissed it – for me, the city is a safe haven compared to the horrors of Hackney (crime pit!) where I lived last year. Here, I feel very safe and at home. Edinburgh is ‘my’ city and my home, and for some reason it’s as if it could never do me any harm.
Yesterday, however, a work colleague said the same thing – she was SHOCKED at my walking on my own in the dark, and strongly recommended I don’t do it. This has now put some doubts into my mind – nothing too major but still – do they have a point?
I always feel invincible here and very reasonable. I would NOT have left the flat in Hackney after dark – hell, I didn’t even dare walk around with my laptop during hte day as the chances of it being robbed off me were quite high (no exaggeration here – my chav mate J. had contacts to this person who handled stolen goods… and that’s the kind of thing that this dealer in stolen goods was offered, apparently).
I really don’t want to change my ways with regard to this walking. It’s refreshing and extremely relaxing, and I have a good night’s sleep every night. I may have to give it some more thought though, or make extra sure that I’m safe. Maybe not go out too late, and avoid the roads that aren’t too well lit or not busy enough. I.e. stay on the main roads 🙂