Sunday, 25 September 2016

Part of the cool crowd?

Yesterday was just one of those amazing days.

It started out with my having to go to Bathgate to interview the person who took my job as she wants me to supervise her. I actually managed to find her place with only one slight detour, which is amazing for me. We had a very good session and will make up our minds over the next week or two. Then I had to zoom into Edinburgh to get ready for a dance class.

I'd booked to do a Mamma Mia dance workshop, which was 1.5 hours of full on dancing and was great fun. By the time that was finished at 4.30 a group of us went out for a cuppa together and I realised it's been a while since I was with such a friendly group of people.

After that it was a quick shower and change for my evening activities. A year ago I did a poetry course through the Poetry School with Ryan Van Winkle as my tutor and consequently I'm on his email list. He emailed me a couple of weeks ago about an event he was hosting called The Golden Hour Presents White. Apparently a few years ago he and his comrades used to put on a monthly thing called The Golden Hour, which was, what they term, a 'literary cabaret', but they stopped it after they felt it had run its course. However, they wanted to try something new and White was it. Anyway, it was only £7 and sounded like it might be interesting so I booked to go.

I arrived at the Leith Theatre to be handed a white, disposable boiler suit and a white garbage bag to put my coat and bag in. I was beginning to wonder what on earth I was in for, but sat down and put on my boiler suit. Sitting next to me was a woman and we started chatting. The upshot of that is that she knew quite a lot of the performers and people there and introduced me to this fascinating guy who runs what he calls 'a salon'. Every 6 months or so he invites musicians, poets and storytellers to come to his house (which is apparently huge) and they do their thing in front of an audience of about 40 people. The thing is though that no-one gets paid, they just do it for the love of performing in a safe space, so it means they can try out new work and get feedback and the audience is really appreciative too.

Then it was time for the event. We trooped into the hall, which was totally decorated in white. The walls, floors and tables were covered. I sat with my new mates, my wine in hand and there was a lovely camaraderie amongst everyone. Then the performances began. Singers, poets and groups all did their thing, with 2 intervals so we could go and replenish our drinks. We had some great performers such as poet, Vicki Feaver and I was quite taken with singer/songwriter Lake Montgomery. It finished with the band Withered Hand, who were fantastic, and at that point everyone got up and started dancing. Then all the tables were pushed back and we were given small pots of paint to fling at each other and paint our white overalls. I know it sounds a bit odd, maybe even juvenile, but it was so much fun, it really was. And after the band we continued dancing to a disco. I had such a great time and even better, Chris (the 'salon' guy) has invited me to the next one he's having in December.

I had to go and wash my face before getting the bus back to where I was staying as I was covered in all kinds of colours and didn't want to be stared at.

What a great night it was. I never knew these things happened in Edinburgh. My Scotstralian friend, Jim, had shown me a music side of Edinburgh that I didn't really know went on when he was over earlier in the year, but this was a completely different level. Jim's was far more touristy, this was unutterably cool and a bit more underground.

It's actually made me feel that I'm almost ready, at least mentally, to make that move from village life to city life. I might just end up part of the cool crowd yet!

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