Thursday, August 21, 2003
Well, I have one full day left in Scotland which I will be spending in Edinburgh with Alan, and one evening left to pack. I would hate to have done it in advance after all-then how would I panic about it weighing far more than 20 kilos at the last minute!!! I can't say I love the idea of flying charter. I will be stuffing my pockets (trousers, jacket, purse) full of stuff, since they don't weigh you. you may think I'm joking, but as it is quite a lot of my stuff has ended up in Alan's parent's attic.
So my stay here in Fife has been a bit uncomfortable. Alan's parents are not happy about their only child moving so far away, and they have not hidden it from me. All the negative comments about us moving to Canada have been hard to take-I think they picture us arriving in a cold Vancouver winter (it is colder in Scotland than Vancouver in the winter) and living on the street, jobless and friendless. When I try to point out that we are going to stay somewhere while flat hunting (ie a hostel) and that three uni graduates ought to manage a job in McDonald's if nothing else (ahhh! Then all those purple engineers at queen's will have been right!!!) they don't listen. I am politer than that, obviously. However, we generally get on better than that. Other people's parents, what else can I say.
However, I haven't been spending much time out here in the back of beyond (read: Fife), and while I will not be breaking my record last year for number of festival shows, last year I was still working. I filled out a survey for a woman at the book festival and she asked my occupation. When I said travelling, she wrote down unemployed. Now, the way I see it, I only become unemployed as of 10 am Friday when I set foot on Canadian soil.
I started out the festival by seeing Monty Python's Flying Circus performed in French the day I flew in from Dublin. Not only is my French not as bad as I would have thought, but the lyrics to sit on my face were much funnier in French. le parroque est mort! My next stop was Ross Noble (not as funny as last year, sadly), followed by Thebans (Oedipus, Antigone, and that one with oedipus's two sons fighting it out over Thebes, can never remember the name, all in one by Liz Lockhead-very good Scottish poet), and Shakespeare's Italian Job (picture the film but with all dialogue taken from existing Shakespearean plays). I saw All the Great Books by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, Sexual Perversity in Chicago (a Mamet play, very studenty production, but good), Camut Band's Life in Rhythm (tap dancing and drum playing, very good), The Typographer's Dream (very depressing, about people and their careers and how they don't much like them), and Alexandra's Project (go see this film! Australian, really weird, but must see).
The book festival was my favourite of them all this year. I saw David Reiff (wrote a book about humanitarian aid called "A Bed for the Night"), Susan Sontag (WOW), Gil Courtemanche (he's Canadian, presumably he's popular in Canada? I had never heard of him, read an article in the paper and decided to go. I got his book "A Sunday Afternoon at the Pool in Kigali) , it looks good, will read it on the plane), Kate Atkinson, and am seeing Iain Banks tomorrow.
Saw a big Monet presentation (the RSA is finally finished, Jas, a bit too late for your visit sadly), the DinoBirds of China at the museum, and visited the Aberlemno Pictish stones (carved, very cool). The Aberlemno stones trip was a good way to wrap up my time here in Scotland-over a year ago Alan, David, Andrea, and myself all attempted to drive up and see them. Just that day I had bought the Lonely Planet Scotland (lost it on Orkney). Didn't read it. They were covered in big brown boxes to protect them from the winter weather and we went up two weeks too early! They were worth the wait though. On our way up we went to an amazing beach with sand dunes, tide out. I am going to miss living near the sea, especially the smell of it. I am even going to miss the smell of Edinburgh-the smell of beer from the Caledonian Brewery and all those pubs... Edinburgh smells like no place else in the world. Getting a bit weepy now.
However, tomorrow will be a laugh. A play, Iain Banks, and then a drink at Sandy Bells.