the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other Dorset writers

White Stuff, Edinburgh

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Besides the fringe shows and book festival events I found a wonderful distraction in White Stuff on George Street, Edinburgh. When I went to try on a jumper I found an amazing passage of wardrobes with each door leading into a changing room uniquely decorated.

There was the Havisham room with a discarded wedding dress hanging from a peg.

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Behind another wardrobe door was a potting shed complete with equipment.

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This is my favourite, a 1950s kitchen.

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The changing room entered through the yellow wardrobe door was the last one I visited.

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I had to laugh when I saw what was inside.

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Following me into the changing room, the assistant warned me that the toilet was not plumbed in. I wonder if they’ve had accidents in the past!

In case you’re wondering, I did buy the jumper.

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Anniveraries – who’d have them?

This time last year I was offered the post of Service Manager for a teaching team working with Dorset County Council. Now my colleagues, who are all on teachers’ pay and conditions have finished and I’m left  with no-one to manage. It’s not too bad – I am allowed to work from home during the summer and the end is in sight. I’ll receive my final salary and redundancy package on 30 August.  With the end to a new position only one year after starting, it makes the anniversary something of a bitter-sweet event. Bitter owing to the end of a career in local government that I’ve loved  and sweet due to the new beginnings it provides. I’ve secured part-time work with an educational charity to start in September and I’ve the MPhil in Writing to begin in October, so things are looking positive. A new start and studies that may lead to a new career.

My wedding anniversary falls in August but we’re long past the point of celebrating with cards and gifts. Indeed, this year we’ll be travelling to Edinburgh for a family holiday with our teenage children. I’ve visited the Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh International Book Festival previously and enjoyed my time so much, I decided to return again with my family. I have tickets for a couple of events at the Book Festival including a session offered by Ronald Frame. He was a tutor at an Arvon course I attended in 2011 and he’s been wonderfully supportive of my writing. So it’ll be a pleasure to see him again, especially as he’ll be talking about his most recent book, Havisham (read a review here) which imagines the life of Catherine before she appears in Great Expectations. It’s well worth reading.

The anniversary that I’ve most enjoyed of late came at the weekend. We we unexpectedly offered tickets to attend the Anniversary Paralympics where Hannah Cockroft and David Weir won their races and Richard Whitehead amazed the crowds on his golden blades.  The wonderful achievements of the athletes from 2012 was certainly an event worth celebrating.

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Which anniversaries do you celebrate?

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