Edinburgh, Internship, Today

Today seems as good a day as any to provide you all with an update.


Because today is my birthday.

First off, the reason I’ve been so absent of late is because I have secured myself an internship (hooray!) and not just any internship, but a paid creative internship! I couldn’t have imagined anything better, but apparently better things exist than those my imagination can create as the company I am working with is based in the most amazing of buildings:

Old Town Jail, Stirling
Old Town Jail, Stirling

Just to confirm, I haven’t been incarcerated (in the words of a close friend; you’ve been there but a few weeks and already you find yourself in a Scottish gaol, that I have!) the office is just located inside this building. The company I’m working for is Creative Stirling and the other members of staff are a really pleasant, laid-back-but-ambitious arty/social lot that are making me feel most welcome within our confines. I am still very much finding my way within the company as I’ve been there little over a week (of my 13 week placement) but I’m sure once everything falls into place I’ll be more than comfortable.

It seems apt to discuss my experiences in Edinburgh here, but first of all here’s a picture of the interior of the building:

Jail Interior

You can see on the left the ‘inspection house’ of the panopticon design, and a good amount of the original stonework has been retained. The stairwells are also interesting in that the walls are completely bare (left just as the original building would have been) which makes the normal mundane exercise of ascending and descending staircases that little more sinister.

But yes, Edinburgh.

Wonderful city, it’s so pretty and so raw, tangled, knotted, bridged and split, every avenue is an eye opening; you can stumble into the oddest of places down the smallest of avenues like old churches, guildhalls, into modern architecture including that of the Poetry Library,located down an alleyway just opposite Canongate Kirk. The variation in architecture and design is somewhat bewildering, and then, of course, the hills and mountains come into view or, in the case of Arthur’s Seat, simply appear in front of you (I walked down a long road that lead to the Scottish Parliament (which, in turn, is about five meters from Holyrood Palace) when it reared up in front of me). Parks and gardens are as frequent as tourists, and the local transport is very good.

Me personally? I’m getting on fine and dandy. I found the Poetry Library and am consequently volunteering there, I also found the road with all the bookshops on, I’ve located the necessary local supermarkets and markets… so I’m away, I’ve reached a state of normalcy. This place is becoming home now, which is odd, but very pleasant at the same time. I walk around and think occasionally, ‘you know what? I live here. I live in this place,’ and it’s quite warming – like I have found a place.

Writing-specific it’s been a bit quiet recently; I hit about 30/35,000 words on the larger work I’m writing, but poetry very much took a back seat during that time. I edited up a few older poems and sent those out, but have only received rejections so far (admittedly, I think I was pushing it a bit with some of the poems – they are a little out there for the publications I sent them to…) and what with my new found employment I’ve had to drop working on my larger work and am only now getting back into the rhythm of writing. I find myself typing lines into word documents at work and saving them as separate files in a folder labelled ‘Thoughts’ in hope that, at a later date, I’ll find the time to come back to them and work them into a larger body of work. I am now starting to get used to working full time, so hopefully (very soon) I’ll get back into the flow of writing poetry in the evening.

I’ve managed to attend a couple of events here in Edinburgh, but with a low income it’s difficult to really get out of the house. Hopefully the money from the internship will help me with that; events here don’t cost all that much, but those small amounts of money quickly add up. This is not helped by a number of difficulties with the council over council tax, housing benefit etc, as well as problems with the job center, all of which make it difficult to really plan ahead and work out how much money you have to spent per week or month. They should really teach these things at school or something, a kind of ‘if you find yourself at the wayside’ module so you can manage your affairs quickly and easily. As such, my response has been to turtle-up and wait out the storm, count the pennies and avoid any costly events until I can guarantee a stable income.

Anyway, I will be posting some things in the coming weeks/months that are more poetry-centric and will be using the money provided to me from my internship to fund excursions into the Edinburgh poetry scene. I will try to keep you all posted! And here is a picture taken not far from the jail:


Pretty eh? You should see the train journey… the hills come into view on a certain corner, and it’s amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it.


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