Saturday, December 1, 2012


So, right as Matt and I hit the 3-months-in-Edinburgh mark, and we starting to feel all settled in and cozy about things, life decided to throw us a few curve-balls. Fortunately for us, they've been good ones!

The biggest change in the last week or so has been my new found employment. I am one lucky duck, because I think I landed myself a dream job! I've been getting a wee bit spooked about disclosing too much online, so I won't give out specific details (just yet) but I will say this: One of the main appeals of moving to Edinburgh, for me at least, is it's rich literary scene. And now I get paid to be a part of it. Whoo hoo!!!

Only 5 days on the job and I've already met so many of Edinburgh's book-loving community, including local and international authors, people from Book Week Scotland, people form Unesco City of Literature, people from the National Library of Scotland, book bloggers, editors, vendors and plenty of your everyday-avid-readers (Collectively, I call them the Literati... ;)

Irish author Kevin Barry reads from his new book of short stories to a packed house
But... while I love what I'm doing, it has been an adjustment. I've been spoiled by being able to set (and break) my own schedule for quite some time now, and getting up and out of the house (and trying to maintain a certain level of presentability) has been a little challenging. And, it doesn't help that temperatures have dropped significantly lately...

Which is the other change we're trying to get used to. It's COLD! Granted, there hasn't been one truly warm day since we've arrived, not by California standards anyway. But we adjusted quickly to the consistently average highs and lows and knew what to wear for optimum snugginess for any given activity. Then, about a week ago, the game changed. And it did it without too much visual difference. It still looks the same outside, but far chillier. In fact, walking home with a bag or two of groceries will leave your hands stingingly frigid long after you've returned to the warmth of the indoors.  Do that once, and you learn to never leave the house without gloves. Also, the sidewalks have been subtly dotted with layers of invisible ice. So far, no slips or falls, but I have taken up walking like an 80 year-old lady through some parts of old town. Slowly and gingerly wins this race! Matt and I keep waiting for it to snow, and often start thrilling conversations with one another with "it's cold enough to snow!" and "it's a wonder that it's not snowing!"

And, going hand in hand with this weather shift, is the final change we've been forced to accommodate... the holiday season is upon us! Fairy lights, and Christmas trees,  festive moods and many many opportunities to share a mug (or two) of mulled wine abound. Last night, Matt and I quickly scoped out the Edinburgh Christmas Markets. It was too Christmas-y for words!

a few snippets from our initial visit to the Christmas market
Christmas is King here...  I guess it is in the States too, but we at least attempt to include other religious holidays into the mix. (I don't know if Kwanza exists here...) I have not noticed whole lot of acknowledgment to Hanukkah (although there may be a giant menorah put on display in St. Andrew's Square later this month... but I am not certain). But we're all set in our household, as we'll be using Nessie to pay homage to the festival of lights!

Got this cute-as-a-button menorah online. I couldn't resist! I mean, its a menorah shaped like the Loch Ness monster. That in and of itself is a miracle. And while I couldn't muster up a dreidel, we have an extra-large supply of gelt! Maybe this year, Matt and I will try to win each other's chocolate coins with a spirited game of poker instead...

And we are still on the fence about getting a Christmas tree. We had one for the first time last year and we really enjoyed it- the decorating, the gazing at its twinkling pretties each night before bed... but they are a bit of an investment here. The trees themselves come with a pretty steep price tag, but the lights! My goodness, who is pricing these strands of lights?! It would cost at least $100 to get the tree properly aglow.

But... I did just get that new job, so... !!

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