Heading north of the border
After much deliberation, my wife and I have decided to move to Scotland.
This was a pretty big decision, but one I’m happy to have made. Edinburgh is an incredible city that I have loved every time I have visited it. I mean, just look at it!
Canterbury is a lovely place, but I think you’ll agree we’re heading to somewhere of surpassing beauty and vibrancy.
I can’t say there aren’t down-sides. Moving away from a home of twelve years was always going to be tough. I’m struggling to remember how it is one makes friends (a firm, unwavering stare and an expression of intense sincerity has, in my experience, not worked well), and I’ve begun the campaign to have our friends here all follow us to Scotland, because, well, see the above pictures. And I would be lying if I said that the logistics of the move itself have not been challenging so far…
On the writing side, it actually opens up some interesting possibilities.
Edinburgh Napier runs an MA in Creative Writing that focuses on genre fiction (guaranteed no poetry, something they evidently consider to be a selling point since it is literally the first point in their marketing), and as a friend here has recently started a Creative Writing course it is something that has been on my mind more and more. In the past I have been quite critical about writing courses, but I am starting to come around. More about that in the future, I expect.
Edinburgh is, of course, a hive of writerly activity. There is the Book Festival – indeed, there is the Fringe as a whole, which I’ve never had the chance to do – and a new genre fiction festival is launching in June 2019, which is rather nicely timed. There are some excellent bookshops – the Princes St Waterstones has one of the most charming children’s sections I’ve ever seen – and generally it’ll be nice to be in a capital city that is firmly a heart of culture.
(Also, moving to a city where I know no-one will leave me lots of free time to fill with writing – that’s a silver-lining point, I’ll admit).
I’m also hoping to get involved with The Forge, a maker community and workshop space that seems cool, and will hopefully give me a venue to explore some as-yet untapped interests in woodworking (I bought a carving knife the other day, and several plasters and some enjoyable mucking about has yielded a few fun items).
So, this is a thing that’s happening. Wish me luck, and I hope to keep you up to date with my adventures north of the border once I actually get up there next year.