February, Flats and Frankenstein

Happy Pancake Day everyone! Pleasantries aside, welcome to February and to another entry of this long-winded, seemingly never-ending chronicle.

What has changed since when I left you last? Well, I sold out to the mainstream media and wrote for the student newspaper, which is imaginatively indeed The Student newspaper. I say sold out, but I don’t get paid – I only get to suffer the embarrassment.

Yes, the “TV & Radio” section is where I made my big break into the popular press. Without people like me just how would Edinburgh University students be able to evaluate which Radio 4 documentaries to iPlayer? A vital public service I’m sure you’d agree.

I’ve even got my own journalist profile (about the third result down when you type “Alasdair Flett” into Google). Well, it’s really just three articles all loosely connected around a common originator. Nevertheless the link serves to prove permanence of my contribution to the history of light entertainment documentation.

Just as the summer was full of “where you going to uni?” and Freshers’ Week was all “where you from? what you study?”, February’s question is “got a flat sorted for next year then?” Though I will miss my love/hate relationship with the Hermit’s Croft cat, Backus; the convenience of ground floor living; and certainly the weekly bathroom/kitchen clean, going to the few viewings that I have has made me look forward to a more truly independent existence.

Opinions are fairly divided about the etiquette of flat hunting, and I’m in no position to judge who has the right of the issue, seeing as my only reference point is Phil and Kirsty’s Location, Location, Location (which is so mind-numbingly formulaic that the best I could hope for would be some sort of subliminal absorption of its contents). Some are eager to bag a flat now – have the best already gone? Others say to wait until at least May – apparently that’s when most come on the market anyway. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Quite frankly, who cares? Of the two flats we managed to have a quick scan around, peeping through doorways, distracted by the abundance of quirky notes and décor of the current occupants, I was able to identify conclusively that first flat definitely had higher ceilings than the second. I suspect keener observations are required before the signing of any sort of lease.

In the month of January, I made my first trip to the student-run Bedlam Theatre. As a student of English Literature I am a little ashamed to admit that this was my maiden voyage, but hey-ho the experience is soon to be repeated as I’m due to go and see their stage adaptation of Frankenstein later on this week. Billed as an “icy” production, and with source material which I know contains rather a lot of shouting from the mountain tops and protracted pursuits across ice floes, I’m hoping against the odds that the venue will be a little more cosy than my last outing, when the climes made breath visible and did little to stimulate the circulatory system.

January concluded with a gig in Electric Circus. I obviously miscalculated the popularity of the event, and hence spent a rather miserable ten minutes or so outside the venue whilst they “opened the doors” officially. Consoling myself with the obvious realisation that I was not the only one in this situation, I then texted my former boss of the Standing Stones glory days whom I had seen was in attendance to the gig in question on Facebook. After an awkward half an hour or so wandering around inside “circus”, buying myself a pint just for something to do and arousing the suspicion of security just for being such a loner, the support act started.

The openers were nothing to shout about; the crowd were restless and indifferent and the frontman provoked an impassioned division as to the relative merits of the town of Bathgate. After such poetic discourse as “fuck you Tory cunts” the interval was upon us and the intimacy of the venue was soon apparent as members of the main act jumped off and onto the stage, cutting directly through the crowd as they set up their equipment and sound-checked amidst general chatter.

We Were Promised Jetpacks wholeheartedly lived up to expectation and put on an astonishing show. Admittedly, the mainstay of the songs I knew were pulled from their debut These Four Walls, but this placed no limit on my enjoyment both of their indie anthems and their more nuanced, progressive, and deafening alt-rock. The show was then followed by a reunion and a tour of some of my home city’s pubs before culminating in some folk-bar, where I was obliged to plead excuses on account of my comparative lack of alcohol tolerance.

Academically, last week I conducted my German interview with Times Educational Supplement Scotland journalist, Julia Belgutay, which was much less intimidating than initially perceived (probably helped by the fact that other group members were far more fluent than I). I also wrote an essay on Medieval Authorship, and I’m currently trying to decide whether the belle epoch of the nineteenth century was “necessarily doomed.”

Please try to stay happy and coherent and I’ll try to do the same…

B-run xx


About alasdairflett

German & English Literature graduate. From Orkney. Interested in alternative and indie music, language, writing and politics.
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