Just Frances

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All entries tagged with “edinburgh”

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    Bridges and sunshine - Mar 25th, 2017
    Life has been pretty thesis-centric these days and it’s been causing me a great amount of stress. Part of that stress is because I have felt a need to work on my PhD every moment of my waking day. And so, I decided that today would be an adventure day out! [more...]

    Third passport firsts - Aug 27th, 2016
    I received my new American passport yesterday. But despite this being my third passport, it will also mark several passport firsts in my life. But then, each of my passports have marked important “firsts” in my life! [more...]

    Will walk for whisky - Aug 6th, 2016
    Yesterday was my first proper outing since breaking my ankle nearly two weeks ago. I admit that I probably shouldn’t have gone out, and that I probably shouldn’t have done as much walking when I did, but it was a much-needed day away. After all, it included free whisky! [more...]

    A funny(ish) Frances - Feb 28th, 2016
    Like many people, I fancy myself a bit of a comedienne. I like to crack jokes and I regularly have episodes of SUBS syndrome that I just can’t control. I’m not suggesting that I am the funniest woman in the world, of course, it’s just that I can’t resist a (bad) joke. In fact, if it weren’t for bad jokes, I wouldn’t have any to tell! [more...]

    Affordable vintage - Jan 30th, 2016
    Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair was in Edinburgh today, so I went out with my lovely friend, Susan, to find some affordable vintage flare. I had hoped to find some fabulous 1950s tea dresses or some fantastic handkerchiefs, but those things didn’t seem to be in ready supply. But I did manage to find a few lovelies to bring home! [more...]

    Oh, great; a winter run! - Jan 9th, 2016
    Today was my first race of the year. My first run of the year, to be honest, because a chesty cold kept me away from my running shoes until now. And it was great. But it was cold. Like really, really cold. But then, it was the Great Winter Run, so I wasn’t exactly expecting a heatwave! And in fairness, it didn’t seem too terribly cold once I started running. [more...]

    Edinburgh: A city in perpetual change - Nov 20th, 2015
    I spent last night getting lost in discussions about Edinburgh’s urban landscapes as part of a panel discussion called Lost+Found in Edinburgh: Our city today. The event was part of the Being Human Festival, a festival to celebrate the humanities, and was certainly a fun way to waste away a couple of hours in the middle of the week. [more...]

    St Giles’ from above - Oct 23rd, 2015
    I felt the need for a bit of exploration this afternoon. The sky was bright and blue and there was only a mild nip in the air and I wanted to do something fun outside. And so, I decided to finally take advantage of the guided rooftop tours at St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile. [more...]

    Scottish half; take two - Sep 19th, 2015
    Today was my second time running the Scottish Half Marathon and my second half marathon of the month. Unfortunately, I was a bit slower than last year, but I did manage a better time than last weekend’s race. And with that, I only have one race to go for my September madness! [more...]

    Choo-choo to Abbotsford - Sep 6th, 2015
    Today was opening day for the new Borders Railway between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. And as I am a bit of a train buff who enjoys being “first” to try new things, it made sense that I should make the journey. So that’s exactly what I did today: I rode the rails between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. Along with all the other train geeks in Scotland! [more...]

    From Roslyn to Roslin to Rosslyn - Aug 2nd, 2015
    I grew up a couple of miles down the road from Roslyn, Washington. So when I first moved to Edinburgh in 2001, I was excited to learn that there was another Roslin here in Scotland, on the outskirts of the city. And since beginning my PhD, I’ve been living on a rural estate south of the city, and just two miles down the road from—you guessed it!—the Scottish Roslin. [more...]

    Over the Pentlands - Jul 30th, 2015
    Remember when I mentioned I am going to have more adventures? And that I am going to fill up my diary with all sorts of fun things? Well, today was one of those adventuresome days! Even better, I managed to visit two of the 14 places BuzzFeed says I should try to see this summer. (Yay!) [more...]

    Making plans - Jul 28th, 2015
    I’ve talked a few times about my desire to build healthy routines for myself, to get out and be more active, and, of course, to prioritise myself a bit lot more. And I’m pleased to say that I’ve been working on all of those things over the past few weeks. In fact, I’ve been making all sorts of plans to ensure I keep filling up my diary! [more...]

    Weekend jazz - Jul 19th, 2015
    The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival started on Friday, setting the tone (pun intended) for my weekend. I admit that the weekend has been slightly less active than originally planned, but the jazz quantities have been maintained, thanks to a well-stocked iPod. [more...]

    Juniper girls - Jul 16th, 2015
    Last night, I did something I (almost) never do: I enjoyed mid-week cocktails with “the girls”. Or rather, with a random group of girls, some of whom I had never before met. All thanks to an online voucher deal and Facebook. (See, the Interweb can be a very good thing!) [more...]

    Real ale, Scottish style - Jul 11th, 2015
    I went to the Scottish Real Ale Festival with a couple of friends today. I always enjoy beer festivals because they’re a great opportunity to try new brew and meet new people—both of which were done today! [more...]

    The jazz plan - Jul 9th, 2015
    As part of my plan to have more adventures—even if I have to have them alone—I picked up a programme for the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. And I’ve marked some gigs I’m interested in attending. And I even added them to my calendar. Now, I just need to find the courage to actually go to the various shows on my own. [more...]

    An American flag in Scotland - Jul 4th, 2015
    Today is Independence Day in America; the day we stood up against The Crown to demand self-rule. As a proud American, this is a very important day for me. But as an expat American living in Scotland, it’s a little difficult to find a traditional Independence Day celebration, so I did something a little untraditional. [more...]

    Friends and forces - Jun 28th, 2015
    I went into town yesterday for Edinburgh’s Armed Forces Day parade and celebration. I had put the event in my calendar weeks ago, and intended to go alone [enter pathetic violin music here] but ended up spending much of my time with friends. [more...]

    Close call - Apr 4th, 2015
    I spent the day walking to-and-from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, following the various closes, wynds, and steps as I went along. The initial inspiration came from a post on Healthy Edinburgh’s blog about an “urban step class”, which then led me to an idea to explore every single close off the Royal Mile. But as I investigated my route and thought about the best way to tackle my objective, my plan changed. [more...]

    Edinburgh’s Wild West - Mar 5th, 2015
    I finally got around to downloading the Geocaching app on my phone, which means I can do a bit of urban geocaching now. It also means that I get to learn about quirky little places I might otherwise never know about. Which is exactly what happened today when I found myself on what could be mistaken as a low-budget movie set. [more...]

    Castles and hillforts - Jan 4th, 2015
    Between yesterday and today, I’ve managed to get a bit of walking and sightseeing in. It’s been a great way to spend my first weekend of 2015—and my last weekend before heading back to the office tomorrow after two weeks’ holiday. [more...]

    I am sad and lonely - Jan 3rd, 2015
    I took myself into town today for some sightseeing and struggled over how I felt about the day. I had originally planned to spend the day with a friend, but our plans were cancelled so I found myself alone. But alone isn’t always a bad thing, and I was determined to enjoy myself. And I think I did, mostly. [more...]

    It’s parliamentary, my dear - Oct 21st, 2014
    When I first arrived in Scotland in 2001, the new Scottish Parliament was quite new. In fact, they didn’t even have a permanent building! But finally, in 2004, the building was completed and the MSPs moved in. [more...]

    Training brews - Jul 13th, 2014
    The annual Scottish Real Ale Festival is taking place in Edinburgh right now so I spent yesterday afternoon there with a couple of friends. We used it as a wee “training session” for next month’s Great British Beer Festival—though I acknowledge that was just our flimsy excuse for drinking beer all afternoon. [more...]

    Abracadabra - Jul 4th, 2014
    I’ve never been much of a magic fan (I’m far too sceptical) so when a friend asked if I wanted to catch a show during the Edinburgh International Magic Festival I was a little bit meh about the idea. Still, it was a good excuse to have some friend-time—and I was given the privilege of picking which show we’d see, so I figured I was pretty safe. [more...]

    Another half done - May 26th, 2014
    Well, that’s another half marathon done and dusted. Sadly it wasn’t my best showing, but I showed up—and I finished!—so it counts! [more...]

    Running excuses - May 23rd, 2014
    It’s time once again for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, which means it’s time once again for me to make some lousy excuse for why I will have a horrible time. (Running time, not emotional time.) [more...]

    Inch by inch - May 18th, 2014
    I spent a wonderful day on Inchcolm Island, exploring the abbey and surrounding grounds. It was one of those happy days, despite there being a slight tug on my emotional heart strings. But I knew that would happen as the first (and last) time I was there was nearly 12 years ago with Paul. [more...]

    The reward system - May 14th, 2014
    I decided a while ago that I would start rewarding myself for various milestones along my PhD adventure. In part because treats make things a bit more special, and in part because I would never treat myself to something otherwise. [more...]

    An idiosyncratic IPA - May 10th, 2014
    Back in February I had the enjoyment of participating in a beer tasting to help Hot Rum Cow pick a special brew. And two days ago, I got to attend the party that launched the winning brew into the public sphere. (Yay!) [more...]

    Appreciating St Giles’ - Mar 29th, 2014
    It’s been more than 12 years since I first stepped through the doors of St Giles’ Cathedral along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, and I’ve probably been through the doors a dozen times since then. Admittedly, not much has changed since that first visit other than me. [more...]

    A childish day at the museum - Mar 17th, 2014
    One of my favourite things in the world is acting silly and childish, so when a friend from Stirling invited me to join her and her children for a day out in Edinburgh, I couldn’t resist! After all, I know that I get to act silly and childish when I’m with my little friends! [more...]

    So long, 30s! - Feb 20th, 2014
    Today is my last day of my 30s, so it seems appropriate to reflect on the decade in preparation for the start of my 40s. [more...]

    Craigmillar castle; finally - Feb 16th, 2014
    It’s been more than 12 years since I first arrived in Edinburgh, and I’ve only now taken the time to visit the city’s second castle. I’m disappointed in myself for taking so long to see it, but I am pleased that the day’s weather was so enjoyable. [more...]

    Just four years - Feb 15th, 2014
    Just Frances is four years old. Wow! Can you believe that I’ve been spewing this utter nonsense for that long? And if you thought I might be nearing the end of rubbish things to talk about, you’re wrong. (No apologies. If you don’t like it, you can just stop reading!) [more...]

    Twelve years ago - Feb 6th, 2014
    Twelve years ago today, my friend bailed out on a day trip to St Andrews. With nothing better to do, I decided to walk up to Edinburgh’s Royal Mile instead to buy some souvenirs for my nieces and nephews back home in America. [more...]

    Inspiration from writers - Jan 4th, 2014
    Tucked away in a wee close off of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is one of my favourite museums in the city. It’s the Writers’ Museum in Lady Stair’s Close and despite the fact that it’s small and the exhibits don’t change, I find it to be a place of inspiration each time I go. [more...]

    2013: A year in (distorted) review - Dec 31st, 2013
    As 2013 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the year’s ups and downs. I’ve been thinking about the good points and the bad points and all of the points in between and I’ve been trying to think of how to recap the year. [more...]

    A little bit of soul - Dec 14th, 2013
    When my friend first invited me to join her for the Edinburgh’s Got Soul concert at The Queen's Hall, I really only agreed because it was a great excuse to see my friend—and because my late husband always said you should never turn down an opportunity to see a live music performance. [more...]

    That old settled feeling - Dec 8th, 2013
    It's been nearly a month since my return to Scotland and I am finally starting to feel a bit settled. In fact, I'm feeling settled for the first time in more than a year. Which is a nice feeling, to be certain! [more...]

    PhD dreams: Week 1 - Nov 22nd, 2013
    It’s been a calendar week since I formally matriculated as a PhD student and a “work” week since my first day as a PhD student. So—as promised—here’s a wee recap! [more...]

    A matriculated update - Nov 16th, 2013
    Well, I suppose I should give a bit of an update as I’ve not said a word since leaving America. I've just been too frazzled and jetlagged to write. [more...]

    Mommy and Me: UK Tour 2012 - Oct 30th, 2013
    On October 9, 2012, my Mommy showed up in Scotland for a three-week visit, leaving on October 30, 2012. Yes—a full year ago! At the time of her visit, Just Frances was down for repairs and by the time the site was back I was too busy with other tasks to sort through the hundreds of photos deciding which to share. [more...]

    Stepping from the train… - Aug 17th, 2013
    I step off the train and into the bustling activities of the ancient city centre. Wandering through the windy, cobbled streets, I find myself smiling at the excitement all around me. My eyes and ears are constantly stimulated and my sense of smell is jolted awake. [more...]

    And another - Jun 30th, 2013
    I’ve just completed an application for another PhD studentship and have realised that I am running out of options and opportunities now. In fact, there don’t appear to be any more opportunities for the upcoming academic year, and I fear that if I don’t begin my PhD studies this year, I never will. [more...]

    The Edinburgh countdown - Apr 20th, 2013
    Five weeks from tomorrow, I will be running the Edinburgh Marathon. I am, to say the least, unprepared. But I’m not about to let a lack of training stop me from finishing. That would just be silly. Plus that, I owe it to my number benefactor to finish—and to finish strong! [more...]

    Homeless for a cause - Mar 23rd, 2013
    Last night, I found myself sleeping on the cold streets of Edinburgh in the howling winds and forbidding temperatures. It was miserable weather for being outdoors at all—let alone for sleeping in. But still, I chose to do it. [more...]

    Marathon madness - Feb 12th, 2013
    Two years ago, I decided to sign up for my ‘one and only’ marathon. And I ran that marathon and insisted I would never do one again. [more...]

    So long, 2012! - Dec 31st, 2012
    If I am honest, I would have to say that 2012 has been a pretty unhappy year. I think it’s been even worse because I had such high hopes for it; I suppose that hoping for happiness only served to set me up for greater disappointments. [more...]

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