Edinburgh 

So it’s been around 3 weeks since my last post, which is ridiculous. I suppose this is excusable as it has been a pretty strange few weeks, during which a lot of things have changed.

 
After leaving my old job, I was offered some short term archaeology work with a commercial archaeology unit- which I really wasn’t expecting. So following a whirlwind couple of weeks finishing up my old job, packing and catching up with friends, I have now found myself in Edinburgh- although quite possibly on a temporary basis. I haven’t really had time to digest this if I’m honest, and it still feels quite surreal as Edinburgh is swallowed up by the Fringe (which in my 5 years of living here, I somehow managed to avoid).
 
I’m lucky to be offered this chance to further my archaeological skills, boost my confidence and meet new people to broaden my personal and professional networks. Being in Edinburgh is very exciting for me as I feel much closer and more connected to what’s going on in the sector, and I can attend lectures, events and #drinkingaboutmuseums (a group of people who meet and chat heritage and drink- a huge reason I wanted to come back..!). It also gives me the opportunity to volunteer with various projects when there is no commercial jobs to be had, whether resource development, assisting at events or working with various collections in different settings.
 
As I only started work here on Monday, and am enjoying the wonderful 6am starts and 12 hour days, I haven’t really had time to enjoy what Edinburgh has to offer during the festival. However, I hope this will change over the coming weeks. This afternoon I spent a wonderful few hours at Peters Yard eating Swedish cardamom filled tiny buns (my new favourite thing, and yes…. they most certainly have dairy in) and then rediscovered my Edinburgh library card, so proceeded to the library to take out all the books I’ve wanted to read over the past couple of months, but found difficult to get into. I discovered a notebook I had whilst in Romania excavating during the move, down and in it were some book recommendations from friends so my first book is one of those: Princes Amongst Men by Garth Cartwright- which follows the lives of Gypsy musicians which I am very much looking forward to. It will definitely want to make me go back and visit that part of the world, and further explore Romania and beyond.
 
Talking of books, I’m also hoping to catch a few events in the International Book Festival and hopefully attend one of the Jura Unbound evenings. The programme is filled with such wonderful events and inspirational people, it will be a nightmare working out what to go to, and also be sad to work out what I won’t be able to see because of work. I’m hopefully attending a talk by John Burnside tomorrow evening, about emotional trauma and fiction, and how he sees the relationship between his experiences and his fearlessness to express this in fiction. This is something that really interests me, as I’ve found writing to be quite cathartic and I’ve always wondered about the boundaries between your own experiences and what you create and write- and where these should lie. Of course, what you write or create will always be influenced by your experiences- personally I’d find it impossible for this not to be the case- but I’ve always wondered about those who have moved from using experiences as more than inspiration, but as content for their work and whether this is helpful or beneficial to their recovery. Of course, with these issues, everyone is individual and different (something which I believe we should celebrate every single day), however I find a strange reassurance in hearing the experiences of other people.
 
Anyway, it’s all change. I’m living in my third place in almost an many months, however it’s refreshing to be getting out there and bumbling along of my own accord, pushed by my own motivations. Although probably a bad thing to admit but I’m a fairly ambitious person, who loves to help people and projects whenever I can, so we shall see how that mixes with this new situation where nothing is particularly certain!
 

It catches your eye,
unintrusive and unaware of the inner workings of your mind.
Uninterested.

It catches your eye,
But you see so much more, as the
thoughts long abandoned are dragged,
without want or consent,
to the front.

The fears of yesterday, today, perhaps
those fears of tomorrow,
of which many are new, unrealised.

The frantic search begins
for the elusive mate must appear.

And it does, and
it catches your eye,
unintrusive, unaware of the inner workings of your mind. 
Uninterested.

And as they leave in their
blurs of white and black,
the joy overtakes the sorrow,
Purely for joy’s sake.
–Magpies

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