Day 213 of Project 365: Tea time.

Look, I left the house today. I didn’t want to do it (not true) but I did it (true). It was looking like a whole three-day weekend spent hiding inside (except for nature) and despite expecting myself to do something social (like making at least two seconds of eye contact with another human being) I was enjoying days and days of writing and watching Netflix and cooking weird recipes and having unsatisfying conversations with the cat. I really was. Does that make me an introvert? I am finally at the age where I can say YES IT DOES proudly (sort of) and not worry about what anyone thinks of me (not true) and feel confident that my friends won’t wander off (definitely so very not true).

But I left the house today and it was really good. I recommend it. I especially recommend it if you, like me, have been on an introversion binge and yet miss seeing your friends in the Real Life and not just in the Instagram World because even if they are photogenic (disgustingly so) they are so much better in 3D. The LOLs are more realistic, too.

There is even tea in the Real Life. And random craft fairs and charcuterie and clothing stores that are surprisingly interesting for clothing stores. And friends.

And friends.

And tea.

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Writing from: the safety of home. Listening to: “Living” by Sebastian Plano.

Day 23 of Project 365: The procession of lamps.

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Processed with VSCOcam with q5 preset

Tonight our farewell to some friends at our local pub ended with FunkyPlaid and I giving away most of our (UK-wired) lamps. Watching them file out the door, toting lamps and shades and bulbs, gave us a serious case of the giggles.

If you have to say goodbye to people you adore, which in this world appears to be unavoidable, I highly recommend giving them lamps. Lamps are the best sort of consolation prize. Lamps say, “Here, I know I won’t be around as much anymore, but I care about your eyesight.”

(Also, having the giggles makes the goodbye a little more manageable.)

I should have seen the signs present even in this photo: the giant red shade lurking above our heads, the stern line of black pendants above the bar, the fairy-lights peeking out the window. Lamps: they’re everywhere once you start looking for them.

Writing from: a mostly-dark bedroom in Edinburgh. Listening to: FunkyPlaid playing “The Silent Age”.

Day 17 of Project 365: At the heart.

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Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

At dinner with dear friends tonight the subject of friendship came up, and I was startled to realise that I have no definition for it. Maybe I never did. I know a lot less about life than I thought I did when I started keeping this journal. That fascinates me: I’ve lived for eighteen years longer than the me who started doing this, and I have barely figured anything out.

At least I have much nicer pens. (Right, and I have terrific friends. I meant to mention the friends first. Obviously.)

What is your definition of friendship?

Writing from: a soon-to-be dishevelled lounge in Edinburgh. Listening to: “Coastal Love” by HONNE.

Day 12 of Project 365: The church of Savour.

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When I eat, I am present. Thoughts do not intrude in this space, reverent as they are in the church of Savour. Tonight’s service was Highland venison loin, shredded beef cheek, smoked celeriac, and parsnips.

I wonder if someday I’ll have the resolve to try a vegetarian diet. Then I have dishes like this one and put it off for another day.

There are particular foods (sushi) I miss from the States, and I look forward to having some of them (burritos) soon. But I’ve had some stellar meals in Scotland, and this one at 63 Tay Street was high up there. If you are near or passing through Perth, go there. They’ll take care of you. What a joy it is to be handed a menu and told, “Whatever you choose, we’ll adjust it to be gluten-free for you.” The vegetarian in our party did not lack for mouth-watering options, either.

The dining companions, not pictured, are also highly recommended, but probably wouldn’t appreciate me offering their conversational services. Your meal at 63 Tay Street will be BYOFOIE (Bring Your Own Friends Or Intriguing Enemies).

We won’t call this a goodbye meal, either. Thinking is for later, maybe for the plane ride, or even later. Just look at the food. Focus on the food. It was delicious.

Writing from: a cold and mostly-dark lounge in Edinburgh. Listening to: “Awake” by Tycho from Spotify.

Day 10 of Project 365: The Ormiston Yew Tree.

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Choosing today’s photo was more difficult than usual but I settled on one of an ancient yew tree that John Knox purportedly preached under because … well … that. Knox is not pictured, but I did leave in a human and a wee dachshund for scale.

This is the magical Ormiston Yew Tree. It is difficult to find, so I am glad that I had a local guide in the aforementioned human, my friend Juliana. Accompanied by her two darling dachshunds, Juliana and I have gone on a number of East Lothian adventures over the past few years, always followed by delicious home-cooked meals. While tromping through the sopping undergrowth today, my heart ached to think that this outing would be our last one for a while. Saying goodbye to dear friends is part of this whole moving-away process, but I still haven’t gotten used to it.