I guess the first thing that I should do here is acknowledge my long blogging break. Life got busy and the thought of trying to maintain a regular blogging schedule was making me feel stressed rather than excited so I decided to take a break. This blog is my hobby after all, so I can do that if I want to. Most “how to blog” posts that I’ve read advise that a regular schedule is the key part of a successful blog, but maybe if you’re not trying to monetise then it doesn’t matter? I feel like the “how to write a good blog” and “how to make money” guidelines get muddled sometimes.
At the beginning of July, I visited my friend Chelsea in Oxford along with a bunch of my buddies from York. I also managed to see my brother whilst I was there and help him move out of his halls for the summer. We spent a lot of time on Cowley Road which is actually a pretty nice part of the city, with some excellent charity shops. We ate a lot of brunch and Indian food and went punting on the river with a few beers, which was beautiful. It was very busy though – much more crowded than the Durham river that I’ve rowed along often with James.
I was also visited by my Mum and a family friend for a lovely long weekend of sightseeing. I miss my family a lot in Scotland, I notice their absence much more than when I lived in York, perhaps because I got used to having them around living at home last year. So, I love that they’re able to visit Edinburgh often.
For most of July I was working overtime for my job and trying to write my dissertation. I wrote on sustainability in alternative food networks in Edinburgh, and I thankfully loved my topic! For a couple of days I was writing a section on EU policy that was bloody boring and I realised how painful it would have been if I felt that way about my whole dissertation. It was interesting chatting to people running businesses and projects, and I found that their perspectives did influence my work in a way that I never would have achieved just from doing a desk based study. At work, I helped put on an event called “Disco Soup” where we cooked soup made from intercepted food serenaded by live music. It was pretty awesome, and it made me realise how cool my job is!
In the middle of August, I handed in my thesis. I’ve always found handing in big pieces of work an anti-climax. You anticipate the relief of not having to work on whatever it is, but usually you then have to deal with everything that you neglected whilst you were working to your deadline. I’m glad to have it done though, I feel like I can move on to the next stage of my life now. It’s crazy to think that I’ve finished my masters degree, this year has gone so quickly! It’s such a short time to know people for too, I feel like I’ve just got close to my friends here and lots of people are leaving.
As soon as I handed in I had a bunch of visitors. That’s what you get for having a flat in Edinburgh during the fringe festival! My family stayed for a while, and then my York friends came to stay for James’ birthday, and finally I had my school friend Hayley stay with me. It was fun making the most of the fringe, since for the first half of August I’d been complaining about the high prices and busy streets without enjoying any of the perks of being a resident during the festival. I’m not really into serious theatre or offensive comedy, which rules out a fair amount of shows. I loved seeing The Room the musical – a spoof of the already pretty spoofy cult film – and Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho – the most politically cutting drag act I’ve seen! If you’re at the fringe festival next year I recommend looking to see whether they’re on again.
I’m writing this from the train as James and I travel to Berlin! Stay tuned for lots of updates from my travels. I’ve missed you, dear blog friends and I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer!