from Edinburgh


Greetings from Edinburgh. Today the sun is out and later today I will venture on adventure-in-car, without driving instructor, without parent, for the first time ever. We’re going to Menie, to visit Donald Trump (my fav), but before I start this – phase 2 – of the R&D for the Braveheart show it seems like a good idea to try to summarise phase one. Or, the last week, as it’s more commonly known. For the clarity of my brain, if no one else’s.

Firstly (no big surprise) working on one’s own is difficult. A studio feels big, and although both dancing around, and writing at a desk feel OK, anything in between feels almost impossible. Talking, for example. I hadn’t really thought about this before, and when I do squeeze words out my voice seems rusty and not used to it.

I’ve been being Alex Salmond most of the week, and working with recordings from radio and youtube as starting points. His Desert Island Discs choices are good material, as is this excellent speech, which echoes the classic Braveheart Freedom speech a terrifying amount. I’ve done lipsyncing, dancing, recreating and a lot of watching and listening, and I have to keep telling myself that this is all useful. Or that it will be. Or that it might be. Somehow. Right?

And the doubt seeps in: Is it enough to just grub my face up and draw some big eyebrows on? I felt validated when this photo got a lot of facebook likes, but it’s not exactly an hour long show.

As soon as Monday was over I spent the rest of the week waiting for Friday, when Hitch came in to help me with what I was making. It was great to play with another person and although I feel scared about letting anyone else in to my chaotic process, it was really helpful. This is a list we made of what we’d made & talked about that day. It was really nice not be in the studio on my own.

Kirsty Young vs Alex Salmond
Promising anything
Walking from the belly
We could have been anything that we wanted to be: Bugsy Malone lap-dance
Just talking, as Rachael, whilst dressed as Alex Salmond
How can I make you vote yes/entertain you?
Being a cliché of Scotland – Nicola, can you get me an Irn Bru?
Scotland becoming self employed
Promises for tomorrow’s show
Intuition fees
Tiff with girlfriend
Boy Soprano
The ‘aye’ campaign
Exit with phone playing music
Standing on a chair with music, bedraggled?

This week was also a time for meeting with people, and placing myself back within Scotland. Here is another list, people I met with:

Dave Scott from Nil by Mouth, Scotland’s anti-sectarian charity
Laura Doherty, who studied at Dartington/Falmouth and is now a pro-Yes campaigner and SNP member
Rachel Thain-Gray from Glasgow Women’s Library, who is currently working on a project called ‘Mixing the Colours’ about women’s experiences of Sectarianism.
My brother, Joe.
My friend Kristina.
An auld bloke in the street who talked to me about Scotland and the deer population at 2 in the morning.
Rosaria Votta from Engender, a feminist organisation based in Edinburgh
My Grandma, who is also my housemate at the moment.

I have run out of time to write this! Oh no! I have to get in the car now and not crash, or at least manage to get out of my mum’s street without crashing. (but preferably get all the way to Aberdeenshire too).

Two lists and a couple of moans.

I’m looking forward to this week.

I think it’s all going to be ok, eventually, this project.

Here is a picture of me driving over the forth road bridge yesterday (!! this is such a new thing) and a video of Alex Salmond dancing to the Proclaimers. If you are friends with me on facebook this will all be old hat – apologies.

R x