Sunday, 18 November 2012

Where has she been? Oh right...

...Reading everything under the sun on the anthropology of Curanderismo, and Mexico, and diabetes and herbal remedies for diabetes, and applying for funding and going to lectures and getting a job and trying to organize my bills and my flat and my life. WHEW. Sorry for the long delay, but the last two months have flown by! Before I know it, I'll be back in California for Christmas, contemplating the paradox of using the A/C when there are Christmas Carols about 'snow' and 'frightful weather' blasting from the radio. I have discussed this at length with the British. They do not understand. And the mention of THIS guy by an Australian recently sent my supervisor at work into a tailspin:

"Santa CANNOT wear sandals! You have ruined Christmas for me" (Direct quote)

But for at least one more week, it is still Autumn. My all-time favourite season! I love the colours, I love the scarf and sweater weather, and I love the fact that it leads right into the holiday season, from Thanksgiving through New Years! I do NOT love the freezing cold rainshowers, or the sporadic hurricane-force winds, but I accept that these things come along with the falling leaves and the chilly days that necessitate the use of aforementioned scarves and sweaters.

Here are a few pictures of Edinburgh this fall:

Sunrise and mist over the Meadows
Autumn leaves scattered over the Bruntsfield Links

Infamous Edinburgh 'Haar'-creepy yet amazing

As I said, it's been a busy few weeks. Along with university work, I have started another part-time job. I'm working as a server at Wedgwood the Restaurant. Located on the Royal Mile and serving amazing, locally-sourced food, it's a good job-but the hours are LONG. I've finally gotten used to working until midnight, but with everything going on I'm exhausted! November 2 I submitted my last funding app for this year and now I have a wee break until January! Whew! Of course, I came down with a wicked cold a few days after submitting. C'est la vie! I'm still trying to get rid of the cough! 

But I have been doing some new and fun things since I've been back. I've spent time catching up with old friends, meeting some new ones through university, and re-acquainting myself with Edinburgh. I like living in a different part of the city. Morningside is lovely, and relatively flat! And a completely different type of people live here-lots of families and granny's out shopping and mums with babies in buggies (please, don't call it a stroller! haha). I also finally got around to contacting my family in Vienna. I haven't seen or spoken to them in over a decade, but I remember them all and I really didn't want to completely lose contact with that part of the family now that my Grandmother is gone. So I wrote a letter and mailed it off, and last Saturday I received a call from my (Let's call him an Uncle) Uncle Freddy. He is my late-Grandfather's cousin, and one of the kindest people I've ever met. It was wonderful to hear from him, and he was so happy I had contacted him! It really made my day that such a simple gesture had made such an impact on both of us. I am definitely planning to visit Vienna in the next year to re-connect with everyone!

On a less emotional note, every year Tesco, a large grocery store chain, holds a wine fair in Edinburgh. For less than a tenner, you can sample loads of different wines, go to workshops to learn about different wines, and have a generally good time while getting slightly sloshed on a Saturday afternoon. I went with this fab group of folks: 

And we had a great time. This was before we had imbibed too much.  :-)

 Sauvignon Blanc Master Class

So it's been a wild ride the last few months. But returning to the wonderful Autumn-I want things like pumpkin and chai and roasted root vegetables. But instead, the grocery stores here have been selling Christmas candy and Christmas cakes for the last month and a half. I'm sorry, but late September is WAY too early to sell rum-laden cakes covered in royal icing and holly motifs. I do have my eye on those Lindt reindeer though...But I'll abstain until after Thanksgiving!

Dear Waitrose: stop freaking me out!

Unfortunately I'll probably not be able to have a Thanksgiving this year. I have to go to an Anthropology pre-fieldwork training weekend over Thanksgiving weekend, and because of that, I have to work ON Thanksgiving. Sigh. Maybe I can pull a wee something together next week. But after Thanksgiving everything has Christmas written all over it. I'M NOT READY! I HAVEN'T HAD ANY PUMPKIN PIE YET! Sad face. Don't get me wrong, a free trip to the Highlands is always great, but in actuality:

1) I have to take time off work. And I'm poor.
2) I have to sleep in a hostel with 50 anthropologists. I hate sharing a room with ANYONE. And all anthropology all the time drives me mental.
3) This happens to be the ONE weekend my good friend Adam is visiting form Paris. And I'll miss seeing him.
4) The weather report for Comrie this weekend includes rain, rain, and temperatures topping out at 42ยบ.
5) The sun sets these days at 4 pm. And there is no pub near our hostel. What exactly are we supposed to do with ourselves in the evenings?!?!

I'm not feeling very positive about this experience. Hopefully it will amazingly exceed my expectations and I'll be able to rave about it in my next post. Besides, what with all the horrible things happening in the world just now, (Cough, Israel-Palestine. Get your ish together and stop bombing each other, Cough) I need to focus on the good to come. The Edinburgh Christmas Market, pre-Christmas wedding, Christmas with family, Hawai'i in January, Weddings and trips to Hamburg and Vienna and Italy and St. Petersburg in 2013, and fieldwork in Mexico next autumn!

So i'll get me some of this to toast the dark, over-anthropological weekend to come:

And leave you with a sunset picture of this lovely place I live in:

Have a lovely week!

Kim x