If you read my favourite movies posts then you’ll know I love Studio Ghibli and I am stoked that there is a big festival of their anime in my city right now. It looks like the festival includes everything they’ve made, which is very cool as now I can see the ones I’ve never had the chance to watch.
The first thing I got to see was actually a documentary about the studio which was a slow, gentle, intimate kind of portrait. That was a lot of fun to watch.
One down, nine to go!
The last city of the trip was Manchester and I felt bad each time the hotel staff asked if we were going to see a show etc while we were there, because for us it was a nice wind-down place; a place to do not much at all!
We did go for a lovely long walk around town after a big fun-run had been held and ended up at the Cathedral which I absolutely loved:
Aside from my general love of gargoyles, this is a stunning cathedral and has some fascinating stained glass.
Opposite the cathedral was the cafe at which a final scone for the trip was eaten and, on the way to the cathedral, a visit to Waterstones had furnished me with two short books for the plane ride home, including the 39 Steps which is the source material for one of my Hitchcock films!
The upside of a quiet night in the hotel was that the FA Cup Final was on… so happiness inducing.
I will say that big, busy, gritty Manchester probably suffered a little by comparison to Aberdeen, where we’d flown in from, but I’m looking forward to going back some time and checking out the sights properly.
I’ve decided I’m going to talk about Scotland backwards… not entirely sure why this appeals to me, except maybe that I seem to be talking about the end of the trip a lot because our last stop was Manchester and that has understandably been in people’s minds. So, I’m going to start where we finished and work backwards to the glorious beginning.
I should say one of the only really stressful things to happen on the trip did happened right at the end, so this first post gets to be the ‘dramatic’ post! When we were in the lovely Changi Airport in Singapore and I’d just gotten my usual degree of childish glee from riding the Skytrain between terminals (it’s a train lovers’ thing) when I realised my wallet wasn’t where it ought to be! It only had a few pounds and my cards in it, so I fatalistically wrote-it-off the moment I discovered it missing, but it seemed like a sad way to finish the trip.
Then the lovely Singapore Airlines people found it! And rushed it over to the gate so I had it back in my pocket before we boarded our next flight. Which made me feel particularly lucky and grateful to the travel gods.
One of the things I liked about Changi was it has a butterfly house and a koi pond…and random pieces of art:
After spending a wonderful month in Scotland (a whole month!!) I’m back in Oz and back to normal life (sigh). The one nice thing about that is being back to writing and editing. I just can’t get anything much done when I travel – my brain is way too overstimulated by new and interesting environments.
Having said that I did manage to review some drafts of things while on the interminable 13 hr leg of the journey over and, on a rainy day in Glasgow, I did also find a new opening for one of the novellas which I’m very pleased about. The total word count for the month of May was a mere 1,000 words, but that was bonus productivity!
Since my feet touched home soil I think I’ve written something like 3,000 words on some random story that popped into my head the week I got back. I don’t think that story is going anywhere, but it felt good. And now I’ve got a bunch of editing lined up on the novella, I’ve had more feedback on Blurty which needs integrating and I’m feeling about ready to read the PAR draft I finished in April!
Daemon looks pleased.
After a busy day in the Orkneys visiting as many things on Mainland as possible, my travel buddy and I got on a midnight ferry to Aberdeen. It was a weird thing to go to sleep in one place and wake up in another! Made stranger by it having been cool and very wet on Mainland while we woke to amazing warm, sunshine in Aberdeen. For a moment we thought we’d been blown off course in the night!
Coincidentally, we visited the Cairn that is the inspiration for the place thee heroine in Outlander timeslips… I can totally see why an author would find the place inspiring!