bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur's seat

May 22, 2020

 

Happy Friday! Bwah bwah bwah! You made it! Did this week fly or what?! How’s everything going with you? Are you still under shelter-in-home orders like we are in Los Angeles? Our hiking trails and beaches are actually open now, so I see some outdoor activity in my very immediate future! If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “scottish sombreros and jam, thank you” - you can catch up right now by clicking here!

 

We’re getting to the end of my initial visit to Scotland for the Edinburgh International Improv Festival, which is quite bittersweet! Sunday, the final day of the festival but not my final day in Edinburgh, consisted of a wonderful workshop with Colleen Doyle (who I’d met previously at iO West before it closed) followed by a fun night of shows, including my team’s performance! The set I got to do with A Special Relationship was so much fun. We felt like a team that had been playing together for years instead of only having done one practice together and a couple of us thrown together in a jam. We definitely took our suggestion and followed the fun of it all, trying not to laugh along the way (at least I was holding in my laughter). Have you ever noticed how much fun something can be when you’re surrounded by supportive people performing at a high level? That’s how it felt to be a member of A Special Relationship - supportive, fun, and high-level. It was a bit of a bummer that many people had to catch trains back to the UK and flights elsewhere in Europe/the US instead of sticking around. Isn’t that how you can tell something is special, though? Because you don’t want it to end.

 

After the shows ended for the night, including a great Armando featuring all the various workshop teachers and monologues by Billy Kirkwood, there was a festival-sponsored Cèilidh. It was my first time dancing a Cèilidh, and to do it in Scotland with new friends was truly incredible. The dance itself was scary and chaotic and absolutely thrilling. Following dancing our butts off, many of us stole away to Banshee’s Pub for drinks, laughter, bits, and karaoke. I still believe Chad Carter is a Bob Seger guy and have no evidence to the contrary. The night ended with so many new friendships and meaningful relationships formed. As my flight didn’t leave until early Tuesday morning, I spent Monday exploring Edinburgh with the festival co-founder and art director who, as I mentioned before, knew a couple of my Garage Band teammates in LA. We hiked to the top of Arthur’s Seat, finding a full, unopened bottle of Dingle Gin tucked into a crevice on the mountain side. After a beautiful hike that looked out over all of Edinburgh, he showed me around some local spots since, like me, he’d moved from LA and made a home in Europe. It was really nice to have my own private tour guide to show me around, and I will always be very grateful for it. With all the festival happenings and workshops and not knowing my way around, it was cool to see parts of Edinburgh I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

 

Have you ever been able to have your own private tour guide in a new city? There’s something great about having a resident show you around, take you to a cool spot for food and drinks, and tell you some of the stories important to Edinburgh - like Greyfriar’s Bobby. From that first night’s arrival in Edinburgh, meeting my awesome AirBnB host Becky to that final day, hiking to the top of Arthur’s Seat, I knew I’d be back to visit Edinburgh eventually… even though I didn’t realize it would only be about a month later! That’s a good place to stop for today, but please let me know if any of my stories from the past few posts in Edinburgh have resonated with you at all! Have they loosened any tucked-away memories from your mind? Let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, and 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 globe from all different chapters of my life (and from people I don’t know *yet*)! The other stories of 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 the crazy hobbies or philosophical theories or great conversations you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey! 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.

 

Sincerely,

Johny

 

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):

1. Won't you join me?

2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand

3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery

4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab

5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style

6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin

7. pizza in roma

8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop

9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife

10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't

11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand

12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my

13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic

14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story

15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander

16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper

17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg

18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo

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

20. the world's most magical toilet

21. gwyneth paltrow's (improv) sliding doors

22. scottish sombreros and jam, thank you

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Johny Walsh  |  Los Angeles, CA  |  Johny@JohnyTheGirl.com