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the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Hopefully you found time for some fun, creative outlets for yourself. I spent my Sunday sleeping in, getting some coffee from a cute local spot called 1802 Roasters, writing, and working on some crafts and projects with my boyfriend. It was a nice break from my usual routine, which is what I love about weekends, especially Sundays. We also blasted the Amazon Music playlist “1980s Power ballads,” which felt like a nice throwback to my time at boarding school in Wendell 1 Room 1 with my roommate Casey and friend Molly. So much of boarding school was occupying the little free time we did have, and so much of that time consisted of making playlists.

Anyway, I digress. Shall we get back to Edinburgh? In yesterday’s post, “fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo,” I talked about my first time trying haggis and a couple nice glasses of scotch I got to try. You can click here if you didn’t get the chance to read that one yet! After my Scottish taste tests, I spent the rest of the late afternoon and early evening watching improv shows from some very talented comedy teams from all over the world. I saw new forms I hadn’t seen before, and I saw teams take risks and break structures in all the best ways. I am, admittedly, not a huge fan of the Harold, so I was super excited to see so many other, more creative types of forms.

After seeing a series of shows at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, I went out with some of my new friends and teammates to a bar called The Banshee Labyrinth. We pulled together a bunch of tables and killed a couple hours just joking around and enjoying each other's company. It was such a fun night full of laughter, so many new bits, and my first-ever taste of Buckfast. Buckfast is basically like a UK FourLoko in that it’s caffeinated alcohol except that it’s a caffeinated tonic wine made by Monks. It was an interesting taste but overall not bad. It was definitely not as exciting to me as Scottish soda IRN BRU (which holds a very special place in my heart) but still a fun new local thing to try when visiting a new place.

As cool as it was trying Buckfast, the experience of being with such fun people in such a cool, haunted dungeon bar was really the highlight. There’s something really special about sharing in silly bits with people you’ve just met. To have only known a group of people for a short amount of time and for everyone to be so willing to be open, laughing and joking around, is just one reason I really love meeting improv people both near and far. Being part of something where you’re encouraged to be silly and let your goofiness roam free is just one reason (most of) the improv communities I’ve been a part of are so great. It’s especially wonderful, too, that people from different countries and parts of the world are able to share in this one specific activity and gain so many new friendships from it.

Do you have any activities, pursuits, or hobbies where you’ve been able to make instant friends simply due to having one specific thing in common? It doesn’t have to just be something like improv, either; I’ve also been lucky to make instant friends from basketball and softball leagues, knitting and book clubs, marathon training groups, yoga classes, and various intellectual pursuits, too (to name a few). If it’s something that’s interesting to you and brings a smile to your face, it’s absolutely something I want to hear about! Life is full of so many fascinating communities and sub-cultures, and I’m always interested in learning about new things (yes, my sociology/philosophy self is showing). So please let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really great, fun-to-read stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the country and the globe! The stories of other people’s travels that I’ve gotten to read recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about your hobbies and the friendships you've made through them! Especially during this time of uncertainty and pandemic, it's important to surround yourself with things and people (via video chats) that bring you joy; we're all in this together. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.



P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):

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