Spring Updates

It’s been a while since I’ve last written, but as the semester is now nearing its end, I figured I would give you an update of how these last few months have been.


I took four classes this semester: English Lit 2, Intro to European Theatre, The Supernatural World, and the Highland Bagpipe (yeah, you heard me– bagpipe). The most inspiring of these courses by far is The Supernatural World, which is an honours Scottish Ethnology course on supernatural folklore, beliefs, and practices. And gosh darn, if I haven’t been learning just the coolest things. For example, if you examine alien abduction narratives, you will find the structure, themes, and general descriptions in the reports are pretty much identical to those in fairy abduction stories from hundreds of years before, in which people are kidnapped and taken into the fairy world (vs taken onto a spaceship). I don’t know about you, but I find that absolutely fascinating.

Other Stuff:

I’ve also been chipping away at booking a theatre tour for this coming July and August. The theatre company I co-founded in the states, The Penumbra Players, is touring again this summer, and as I am our business manager I have been making a lot of phone calls to venues, trying to chirp a pitch that will knock their socks off to the point where they can’t wait to hire us. The show, which is still in development stages, is a collection of short plays on the theme of reading and literature. I have a snazzy skype plan that lets me call the states for only 6 pounds-ish per month, which works great. I would definitely recommend it to other people abroad who need to make disgusting amounts of phone calls.

I have also found myself writing poetry again, which I could not be more thrilled about. Getting back to it has filled in this gap that opens up in me whenever I’m not writing for a while. Producing a good piece of writing conjures the same satisfaction as hearing a stone hit earth after throwing it off a cliff top.

Speaking of which, I have been meandering cliff tops quite frequently now that the weather has gotten nice. It has been 70 degrees Fahrenheit  all week, and the Crags by Arthur’s seat ripple across the horizon, shimmering with yellow blossoms that squeeze from between boulder cracks. The sky is heartbreak-blue, pierced with black pinpricks where crows careen like bomber planes diving towards destruction. After borrowing a camera from the photo society (who rent out cameras for free, and have darkroom access for just 6 pounds per semester. Best deal ever.), I shot three rolls of film in three days whilst scrambling up the hillside and skimming along the tightrope-taut cliff edges. The other night, my friends and I traversed the rocks at midnight, huddling under blankets, the only light shuddering out of orange coals from a grill and the silvery hook of the moon. Our volcano, sleepy as always, was curled into itself, a hibernating brown bear in the throes of spring.

For the first time, the floats of dust which lift from pages in used bookshops are struck by daggers of daffodil sunlight, sparking them alive– tiny fairies trapped between lines of text, then set free and made visible to the human world.

Anyway, that’s enough waxing on the weather for now. I’ll leave you with some photos to summarize the last few months:

December: I made a spaceship-house out of a cardboard box and went on many adventures to distant lands. As the landing dock was in our kitchen though, navigating around the stove proved much more difficult than planned.
January: I went to Barcelona with my friend Peter. There, I fell in love with the bohemian district Gracia, buying bags of fresh dates at market, and with the way laundry hangs like prayer flags across terrace balconies.
Late January: My mother came to visit, on her first ever trip outside North America. We drank a lot of tea (this photo is at Anteaques, the best tea shop in Edinburgh and arguably the UK) and I introduced her to the magic that is scones with jam and clotted cream.
February: When my mom was visiting, we ran off to the icy-cold yet always lovely Paris. This photo is of me perusing the hearty selection of good reads at Shakespeare and Company. This trip also included a kiss planted on Oscar Wilde’s grave, with a half-read Dorian Gray stashed in my pocket.
February: We went to a masquerade ball. I got to wear a mask and frolic about with a demeanor of general debauchery. It was a delight, I say!
March: Last weekend was the glitzy Bedlam Ball– essentially prom for members of the student theatre. It was in the George Hotel, which was very regal. I could not help but feel like members on the upper class deck of the Titanic all throughout dinner. The event included a three course meal and a ceilidh, which is traditional Scottish dancing similar to New England contra dancing. This shows Rebecca (left) and myself (right) all dressed up for our fancy night out.
…and of course, no ball would be complete without a few Scotsman showing some mighty national pride. Gavin (left) and Andrew (right) clearly have that covered.
Late March: The sun came out and The Meadows filled up with picnic-goers. I’ve eaten four ice cream cones this week thus far. No regrets whatsoever.

So, loyal readers– I know I have been distant this semester, for which I wholly apologize. However, hopefully this update can make up a bit for the things you missed. Thanks for sticking with me, and for the really kind feedback I’ve been getting from you guys. It is so exciting to hear from people I’ve never met who enjoy reading this blog, and hopefully my exploits can help some of you figure out plans that will make you just as happy as this experience has made me.