…so with a yawn, a stretch, and a crack of the spine, I have come out of essay-induced hibernation! And what a triumphant return it has been. After successfully turning in my literature essay and a second essay on Scottish changeling legends, I emerged from my den of highlighter ink, JSTOR documents, Norton’s anthologies, and general squalor. Had civilization died out during my seclusion? Who knows how long it had been– I could have been squirreled away for years, for all I know, doomed to venture out and find all my loved ones dead, or at the very least, having forgotten me all together. I opened my door, stepped into the cold air, and– how shocking! The world had not been devoured by time and destruction, at all, but was actually rather wonderful! In fact, there were many happies to await me in the days following my re-entry into society.
It began on Thursday, when I met up with my friends to go explore Edinburgh’s Light Night. This, for those unfamiliar, is the start of the city’s winter festival. It involves an elaborate lighting-up of the area around Princes Street, complete with the installation of a skating rink, a giant ferris wheel, numerous carnival rides, and a German Christmas market. The German market was particularly magical. It was comprised of rows upon rows of vendor huts, each piled high with sausages, fresh donuts, tin toys, nutcrackers, nesting dolls, noisemakers, cakes, and warm mugfulls of mulled beer and wine. White lights were strung like rows of pearls across the tops of the stands, and I felt like a six year old from 1910, giddy and awestruck at the plethora of toys and treats. Huddled there in the cold glow with my friends, I was just about as happy as I’d ever been. And if it weren’t already delightful enough, it stays open all month! This means I can consume nothing but bratwurst, beer, and donuts for weeks! Oh dear…
Later that night was the ever-fabulous Twist and Shout. Just to remind you, Twist and Shout is a club night that happens the third Thursday of each month in a club called Medina. It is hosted by Edinburgh Uni’s radio station Fresh Air, and is an evening of exclusively 50s and 60s music. It is essentially my favorite thing ever– I haven’t missed one yet. I swung, spun, jived, and drank cheap sparkling white wine out of a plastic champaign flute until 3 am. I am nothing if not faux-classy and slightly antiquated.
On Friday I hosted a small open mic in the Olive Cafe where I work. The turnout was pretty small, but it was all friends, so still nice. I recited a poem of mine, read one of my favorite Tony Hoagland poems, and played a song on my uke.
In all the excitement, my American roots had to be put on hold, entirely ignoring Thanksgiving. However, that simply would not do, so on Saturday, my flatmates and I prepared a Thanksgiving feast. We had all the essentials: mashed potato, sweet potato with marshmallow, corn on the cob, roasted vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce, homemade gravy, and of course, a massive turkey. Seeing as my American flatmate, Sarah, and I had never prepared a Thanksgiving meal on our own, and the remaining flatmates had never celebrated Thanksgiving at all, it was a bit daunting. As we soon found out, though, everything that a Thanksgiving feast calls for is pretty darn simple to make. Even the turkey (which came with instructions to roast for 3 hours and 2 minutes. I enjoy unnecessary specificity) just involves sticking it in the oven and leaving it there. Who knew… The real challenge is timing it all to be ready simultaneously, which ended up working out perfectly. Major success.
After the amazing meal with my lovely ladies, I left to build yet another blanket fort, in which I spent the night chatting with friends and staying cozy while rain rattled the windows. Sometimes, life is pretty great.