Enchanted in Edinburgh: Day 8 - Leaving Home, Heading Home

My last day in Edinburgh. In fact, as I write, I'm on the train back to London. I have been awake now for 37 hours. Last night, I didn't sleep; not one wink. Not dozing in and out of sleep, getting an hour here and there, but genuinely wide awake all night. I am fortunate to suffer only very rarely from insomnia, and as a result, when it does happen, I am completely ill-equipped to counteract it. I
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Enchanted in Edinburgh - Day 7: Coffee and Cannolli

Today, after a slightly reluctant awakening, I headed to the Edinburgh University Library, which is a 40-minute walk from my flat, all of it uphill! The Special Collections is on the sixth floor of the main library, and by this point I was thankful for the lift... I had never been to Edinburgh University before, and really loved the campus: actually, I felt quite relieved to be on a university campus
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Enchanted in Edinburgh: Day 6 - Escape to Dundee!

Today, I rose at 6.30am to take a relatively early train to Dundee, to visit the Wighton Collection of National Music. This is the finest collection of Scottish printed music (over 620 volumes), the vast majority of which was collected by the 19th century Dundee-based merchant, Andrew Wighton. A lifelong and dedicated antiquarian, he was exceptionally knowledgeable about Scottish music, and was able
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Enchanted in Edinburgh: Day 5 - Harps and Highlanders

Apologies for the radio silence: non-work-related life events rather overtook me over the last few days, and I have only just surfaced. But I have been itching all weekend to write about my visit to National Library of Scotland on Friday. I had a 5 hour slot there: once I had signed up for a library card (I am going to have to buy a new wallet to carry all my library and archive cards), I headed up
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Enchanted in Edinburgh: Day 4 - Scotland Street and Parrots

Well, that's the National Records done! I'm exhausted, and quite frankly I never wish to see another receipt as long as I live. So many purchases! It's very odd to be examining receipts for exceptionally mundane items nearly three hundred years after the event. Not that they were all mundane, of course. I learnt, in passing, that the Duke of Buccleuch and his family spent a lot of money in the 1780s
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Enchanted in Edinburgh: Day 3 - What's in a Name?

Well, it's getting on for 10pm here, and I have only just started today's entry. That's because I have spent the last five hours labelling all the photographs of the items I have consulted so far at the National Records. As I was whipping through them at a rate of knots, my notes are very brief, and I knew I had to do it now or risk forgetting the details completely, rendering the entire visit useless!
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Enchanted in Edinburgh: Day 2 - Music and Lace

Today has been a strange day, and in fact it began thus. I slept badly, woken up periodically by the heat and by sirens outside on the road, then by my own half-anxious thoughts. To tempt sleep, I listened to an episode of "In and Out of the Kitchen", a ten-year-old BBC radio comedy about a cookery writer, Damien Trench, his partner Anthony, agent Ian, their builder Mr Mullaney, and other characters
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Enchanted in Edinburgh - Day 1: Alone at Last

For the last year and a bit, I haven't travelled much alone, and certainly not for more than a day or two. In fact, like most of the rest of the world, I haven't gone anywhere at all, and when I have, it has usually been with my husband or musical colleagues. Now, after a busy week with my family in Aberdeen (whom I hadn't seen in person since Christmas 2019) I find myself rather startled to be flying
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A Scottish Musical Lass in London...

Hello, everyone! I'm M-J (Mary-Jannet sometimes, but never just Mary!) and I'm a Scottish professional musician based in London. Over the years, I've studied both music (mainly Historical Performance) and Ancient History, and now, I'm incredibly lucky to have an AHRC studentship to study for a PhD at the University of Southampton. There I'm studying the music of composers that I love to perform - London-based
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