This Christmas, we decided to draw together a selection of these moments, and celebrate our graduates by sharing the places that have inspired and nourished them over the past two years.
This episode features graduates from 2021 and 2020 and includes the special places of Emma, Rosie, Tommie, Victoria, Sara, Lauryn, Madhu, Sheela, Marc, Lucia, Tim, Kirsty, Sarah, Alex, Joanna, Michael and Maddy. Thank you for sharing the special and the personal with us.
Multi Story Edinburgh is about sharing stories, finding comfort in the fact that there are always people who are thinking like us, going through the same things, and having to make the same decisions. Each episode is a snapshot of a person and a moment. But each episode also includes something else, something unique and personal.
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Music: Since When by Mise Darling from freemusicarchive.org
Bells from Christmas Story by Alex MakeMusic from Pixabay.
Sonia 0:07 Multi Story Edinburgh is about sharing stories, finding comfort in the fact that there are always people who are thinking like us, going through the same things, and having to make the same decisions. Each episode is a snapshot of a person and a moment. But each episode also includes something else, something unique and personal. This Christmas, we decided to draw together a selection of these moments, and celebrate our graduates by sharing the places that have inspired and nourished them over the past two years.
Emma 0:51 It's funny because initially if I were to pick a place where I'd want to have everybody meet I probably would have said pre-pandemic, back home in Sweden. I've always wanted to be able to bring friends that aren't from Sweden and like show, show it off almost but post pandemic, super superficial and shallow but a club [laughs]. I miss clubbing, I miss going dancing out with my friends like either post party or just pre's whatever, that was something our group of friends and even the people I wasn't as close with and people in my degree etc etc. We loved doing that and it's, it's just the fact that you get an opportunity to not only gather and see a lot of people as opposed to just your immediate friends, but I also feel like not having been out clubbing and dancing and kind of partying for almost two years is I've missed out on a huge, almost key integral part of my early 20s. Our favourite clubs were definitely very cheesy and grim. Like Big Cheese, Subway, Hive, one of those for sure. Because it's not just about seeing people because I've set up walks or little coffee dates or even gatherings of four or five people. It's, it's very different to have a huge community of people where you're literally talking hundreds of people and you randomly bump into someone that you haven't seen in a while, and it's, yeah, it's so fun.
Rosie 2:27 If my friends listen to this they'll laugh at me because I always talk about Leipzig. So I lived in Leipzig for eight months during my year abroad. And that was the first place where I'd been in Germany, and I've gone I can live here, like, I can tangibly see a life here with my German skills with everything with-- I met some amazing people out there. And there's a street in Leipzig called the Eisenbahnstraße which is in East Leipzig. I think at one point it was actually like named the most dangerous street in Germany, which is a side note but I never felt unsafe there. And there was a-- there's a little kind of bank and in the evening in summer, everyone would sit there with like a few beers and just kind of watch the world go by. And I remember that very, very fondly. Because like I'd finished uni for that year I had nothing to do and all I did was just cycle everywhere and get freckles and go swimming and speak German. I think that that was a very fond moment for me and I think all the friends that weren't there with me at the time, I really want to take you to Leipzig and I want to take you to where I used to live in Leipzig that was I feel like that was kind of peak Rosie Shackleton at that time. When I'm in Germany and speaking German and people are-- I'm living there and not needing to kind of rely on other people speaking English, I can rely on my German abilities, I am probably my most happiest, because like Germany is truly a passion of mine. And like, I think when I'm there, I just feel so at ease. The last, the past year has been so tough, and it was perhaps not being at my happiest. But I think that is always a fond image of-- there's a really great German word like kornan, like corner with an N at the end. And like, it literally just means to kind of sit around on the street corner and like, hang out. And like, I think that that really was just a very fond memory for me and where I felt very comfortable and very at ease. And I think right now we're all very not at ease. We're all very uneasy, and very -- no one show up what the crack is like, you know this there is that uncertainty. And I think at that moment in time, if I was going to bring everyone to that place, there would be that kind of ease, relaxed, that kind of chill energy about it.
Tommie 5:04 So I've recently explored my local area, um, which sounds weird because I've lived in Hastings in this area for I think at this point 15 years, we moved down there 15 years ago. But I never sort of took the time and really, really explored. So I, the specific place where I take people is a forest, it's called Brede. And throughout the summer it was just the place I'd walk to every single day go to the same loop, or at least try and explore that forest with you know, it's enormous. And I feel like it was just me there. It was brilliant. But yeah, go down all the winding forest paths and all that. And it was just a place of sort of serenity. I can stick on a podcast or music, um, feel refreshed and I'd just do that every day and it's just a place where I go to now, um, and I just feel sort of creatively renewed so I would, you know, whenever whenever someone comes over in the future, I'd 100% go there first. I feel like it's a, and I'm sure everyone gets this when they walk in nature, but for me, it's very replenishing.
Victoria 6:16 For me, that place currently is my gym. It's called Weightlifter. It's out of the city and it's about like 30 minutes away from where I live. And it was the first time when I came back that I found a very organic community. So I was just looking for a place to learn more technique on how to do Olympic weightlifting, found this place. Got lost on my way there, because it's very tucked in - it's literally in the woods! And then I had to go to a temple to ask, "Oh, where is there like a weightlifting place?" And the first guy told me no, and they were having a party or something. And the second person behind them were like, "yeah, yeah, it's over here". It was completely different than my expectation because it's not a commercial gym. It's very much looks like a gym out of someone's garage. Very homey feel. So then that's my kind of community because I go there and I can just forget about all my worries, and just work on practicing basically, and just train. It's like a little bubble for me going there being like, okay, now I'm entering this bubble. All other worries, gone now and just talking to people and feeling like I'm a part of that community now because there's no strict membership. There's no like, I guess all the things that come with commercial gyms. It's all stripped down. It's very much just a place where people go to train. There's a teacher that teaches you but then the whole vibe is very much a community feel, like you go to learn the technique but you stay for the community.
Sara 8:00 It would definitely be in Finland. I feel like so many of my uni friends have been asking so much about Finland, and I've been wanting to take them there and wanting to you know, show them you know, my hinterland, like this is where I'm from. This is where I was made. One of the things that we like to do in Finland in most homes, a couple of times a week is you've got your own sauna, and you gather with your family or you just go on your own to chill or you invite some friends for a sauna. It's kind of a meditative thing. You just sweat and chill and you might have some really deep conversations or you might just like breathe. And last summer, the two weeks that I was able to go back I was actually helping out the scout camp in the-- in one of the islands outside Turku. And there's this beautiful outside sauna and midnight stars anywhere, so many stars. And then you just go in the sauna, and then you go swimming in the cold sea afterward. And you can see all of the stars and its just so beautiful and so relaxing and, and you have some cool conversations with friends. And then you go back in the sauna, and then you go back in the sea, and back in the sauna and back in the sea. It's just really nice.
Lauryn 9:26 But I guess a place for me would be just like one of the, one of the many, many lovely independent coffee shops and cafes, where I've gone and sat down for hours to read a book. Edinburgh is the place to read and write. You -- there's, there's something so romantic about the city. And I had this habit because on Wednesdays I had lectures, it was absolutely lovely. And I told my friends like if you want to see me, I'm not taking phone calls. If you want, if you need to speak to me, I will be at Lovecrumb. I'd be there from like 2pm to like closing. I'd be there for as late as I possibly could go, usually very dramatically reading a book of poetry. And [laughs] and yeah, right, that was, that was my place. And they're so nice, they're such lovely people that work there. Their baked treats are great. Once, I had a cake there once and I immediately went to my friend, I was like for my birthday, I would like it [laughs], I would like you to get like this cake from Lovecrumb. If you don't get it I will not be disappointed but if you do get it ... The last University iteration of me that had that, you know, real true Edinburgh academic and social experience would drag everyone to Lovecrumb.
Madhu 10:45 So I started doing yoga very early in life. So I have this very special Ashram that I go to, its very near to where I live. It's down the hill, so you get to see the hills and the-- it's basically in a valley. And it's extremely calm. And if you just go sit there, you become meditative. And that's the kind of space that it is. So if I would like to go somewhere for a long or short stay or whatever, gather people around and just be myself, that would be the place. But sometimes you need an environment which stimulates that in you, it can't just happen. So just like if you want to dance, you can't just dance anywhere you need a dance floor, sometimes you need that push. So that place is where I go when I want that push and when I think that I'm going away from you know my values, yeah.
Sheela 11:43 One of the best memories from Edinburgh was when like a big bunch of us went up to Calton Hill when it was, when the sun was setting. And it just, I don't know why, I just really remember us going there and, and I just go up Calton Hill all the time basically, but it's a bit of an ongoing joke people always say that I'm gonna get a Calton Hill tattoo. But I don't know, I just really, really love it. I think it's because it's what's always on the prospectuses when you see Edinburgh, Calton Hill. Especially because we started doing so much more outdoor wholesome stuff as things went online. I think before Covid, my social life to be honest was probably a little bit too much like going out because you don't actually socialise anywhere near as much as you think you do when you go out. Whereas Carlton Hill, Arthur's Seat, just wandering around Edinburgh, I don't realise how much more social those moments are. And it was at the start of us being able to kind of go out in bigger groups that we just had a really, really nice evening on Calton Hill. It was actually with the whole Geography society committee, which we're all really good friends with so just really, really love the place. That's definitely like when I think of Edinburgh, I think of Calton Hill from the prospectuses and then all the memories we've had. I really want to go up for Hogmanay. But I'm always-- when it comes to it like, we always scramble and then like 11, where are we going to be? But Calton Hill would be a good place to do Hogmanay. Maybe, or maybe-- I feel like
Marc 11:43 Um, a place of special to me is the kitchen in our old flat that we were in for a lot last year. So we had this tiny, tiny little kitchen that it was about long and we know there was a couch in there and there was this erm and a table and chairs and then we had like this odd leather green seat. It was all mismatched, and the kind of furniture and that was just our kind of centre, that was the centre of like, last year. I have just so many fond memories of like spending social team in our kitchen. So during lockdown, we would you know, sit and get work done during the day and then at night, we'd watch Netflix or TV shows or films erm and just for me that always brought us together. Erm you know it's a place where we've sat and had debates we you know, we've argued we've laughed, we've, and just for me that I'll always look back fondly on the time that. Lockdown was you know difficult for so many people that I kind of like I'll always kind of be grateful for you know the time that I got to spend with my my friends even though I missed my family a lot, but more because of lockdown we kind of slowed down a bit. And it's just nice to kind of enjoy more time together and see a bit more of them. And you know, sometimes you would. So yeah, I mean we used to decorate it you know everyday you know for Christmas, you know you'd put like stuff up on the walls and you know for Chinese New Year and Easter, so we always did our best to kind of you know try and you know make make something out of it. There was a great quote. I had a picture on the wall. It was erm, life should be like a cup of tea, filled to the brim and shared with friends. And I think that's a great way to, you know, summarise our kitchen.
Lucia 15:05 The place, I gave it a lot of thought and I think my place would be in the south of Spain, we always go on the holidays there. And it's a town in the middle of nowhere. It's a natural park so people can't build more houses around it. So it's never going to grow more than how it is. It's surrounded by water all around. It's not an island but its a peninsula. You can, you sit on the beach, and you see two mountains in front of you. And there's boats in front of you. There's a pier as well. And you hear the wind you hear the waves, there's people that go fishing, there's people that just go sailing, people that go on walks. And that's, I think I usually read there, and it's just a really nice place to be. I'm from the countryside in Madrid. So I've got, I see more cars and people. Which is also why Edinburgh so nice to be in, because it's a mix of countryside and green and city. So that place. Yeah, it's its nature. It's the middle of nowhere.
Tim 16:15 I think my most memorable place my past few years, was actually the primary reason why I ended up studying Environmental Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh. Because I was very fortunate because I was allowed to go for an Erasmus Plus programme in Norway. And from Norway, I took a really cheap flight to Iceland. And in Iceland, I basically had the opportunity to look at one of the biggest glaciers in Europe called Solheimajokull, and Solheimajokull is not only a gigantic glacier, and is very sort of breath-taking when you're standing in front of it, but it is also one of the fastest receding glaciers in Europe. And basically, when you're standing in front of this massive block of ice, there are markings on the ground, where you can see how fast the glacier receded in the past few years. So you have like five years ago, 10 years ago and it-- it sort of-- my problem with climate change was always this idea that it is a very general concept. It's incredibly hard to grasp, because climate change is just everywhere. In so many different areas of our lives people talk about climate change, oh, yeah, then some people will throw it into a conversation. And it's often very hard to sort of understand what it actually means. And for me, this moment was really this embodiment of climate change. It was I'm here in the moment right now and I felt like I at least partially understood what climate change actually means. Because that-- that is the impact of it. And if we have all those amazing glaciers, those beautiful habitats around the whole world receding in such a rapid pace, that was just-- it shook me to the core, I felt totally smitten. On that moment, I felt like okay, I need to do something. I can't just sit around and do nothing. And it totally changed my-- my future plans and I said, okay, I want to do something climate change related. And then I had been to Edinburgh multiple times and I always thought Edinburgh was an amazing city. And I found the masters of sustainability and that was basically sort of, I suppose, setting me off on the sustainability journey. And it's something I sometimes look back at, as, as this moment, which still fuels me in the present. It's, it's something that keeps me going, that reminds me, why am I doing all of this because right now, I'm not standing in front of the glacier anymore, it's very distant again. And I feel like sometimes those are those experiences where I feel like I should revisit them. I should go to the same glacier maybe in five years ago, to then tell myself okay, what I'm doing is worth it. What I'm doing has purpose.
Kirsty 18:58 I don't know if it's a bit of a basic answer, but I think I would go to just Princes Street Gardens as long as the sun is shining. So I feel like in Edinburgh when the sun's shining the atmosphere is different it's nice. Everyone's happy, it just seems like such a lovely place. Like I love Edinburgh, but in the sun it's always better. Um, and Princes Street Gardens I think is so nice because I remember, well I'm from just outside Edinburgh. So when I was at school, going into Edinburgh was like we didn't do very often it was a bit of a treat like this exciting place. And then obviously when I was in Uni I was like there all the time. And as well like New College - the building for Divinity and Religious Studies - is just above Princes Street Gardens, so I basically walked through Princes Street Gardens every day from my bus to get up to New College, and it was just so lovely, I loved it. Especially in the summer when the weather was nice and there'd be people out sunbathing, ice cream and things like that. I would love to spend a bit more time there.
Sarah 19:51 The place I have chosen for us all to convene, is a place just down the road for me in fact, just trundle along there, it's called Birk Crag. It's a crag [laughs] with a river flowing through it. And there's rocks to climb and these gorgeous panoramic views over the area. And it's just somewhere I escaped to over the second lockdown here in the UK, with my daughter who I was home-schooling at the time. And it was just about being around nature and having that appreciation for it. There's so many aspects of it that were beneficial to me at that time, just like an area to de stress and, you know, reconnect with the natural environment when it has been such an overwhelming time for so many of us. And just to switch off from the human centric world, I think when you've been on a laptop or your phone connecting with people for so long. And yeah, it was nice to just wander and switch off. Or you can also tune in to the different elements around you. You know, does the sight, smell, touch of nature, there's the myriad of colours and the trees and the flowers, listening to the birds. It's just like every single element of the ecosystem. I think as well like you feel-- you know, you're aware of your place within that like, this-- these ecosystems are so fragile and humans can have such a large impact. And I think that's really helped pushing me forward in my degree area. We all have such a huge impact, but then as individuals, we can actually take action. And I think together as a community, we have even more power to basically make these small changes which do actually protect the world around us in the long term. So yeah, it's about I think, all reconnecting and hopefully, making small steps together, which will have a large impact.
Alex 21:52 My special place, I didn't find it easy to come up with this. But where I am in my life, I kind of wanted it to be somewhere that I feel safe first and foremost, but then also free and quite optimistic. I didn't want to choose somewhere I've only been once or twice, probably because of that sort of safe aspect to it, I wanted a place that I've got more of a kind of relationship with. So I chose a place that was kind of a constant in my life, at least in the last two or three years of uni. And that's just, it's more of an area than a place if I'm being honest. It's basically, it's on the top of the Links, like Bruntsfield Links that is kind of overlooking the meadows. You've got Arthur's Seat up to your right there and the castle in front of you. I'm pointing, nobody's going to be able to see that. So the street that runs through it, I'll have to look this up is called Leamington Walk and it's just a place that kind of first and foremost reminds me of summer, light evenings and of people, lots of different people not just because they're like random people, strangers surrounding you. But because it's a place that I've shared with a lot of people kind of close friends, acquaintances, friends of friends, just people. But there isn't really a time stamp on it in my mind, as I say it was quite a constant in my life. So while I would have spent most times like sitting down there, when the weather was good, it was always there somewhere like I pass through literally every day for a year because I lived about 20 metres away from it in Marchmont. And it kind of just reminds me of the simplicity and the good part of the kind of simplicity of everyday life. But yeah, and also just nature and walking through it. Something that I realised I lived in a different kind of flat every year in Edinburgh, and the times that I lived in places where I would cross the meadows everyday on my way to uni, I was in a much better place mental health wise, rather than just walking kind of through these industrial streets, quite gloomy streets. Walking through the meadows everyday is something that in fourth year when I went back to walking through there, I really appreciated because it did have such a positive effect. It's also a bit less crowded than the actual meadows.
Joanna 24:22 So it's a place in Cornwall, which you might know which is it's called the Lizard Point and it's the most southerly point of the UK. And we've been going there as a family for like probably almost my whole life from when I was four, I think it was four years old was the first time that we went there. And we stayed in the same holiday cottage. It's, I feel like I've grown up there. It's such a special place like it has this lighthouse at the point which... Yeah, it just has such significance for me. And obviously we haven't been able to go there for obviously for this year. I often I often think of that place. I often imagine that place I often imagine there's this walk that goes from from the village to the lighthouse that kind of runs like along to the coast. And it has a real magical quality to it for me. And it's this kind of feeling of, you know how Christmas is like this kind of anchor point some somehow I like it's kind of the same each year but then also different? And so yeah, and so it kind of like becomes a bit of a reference point. And it's just it's it's a it's a very magical beautiful place. There's a rock that I often think about and that I often like go to and I'm feeling like particularly stressed, it's so it's a rock that juts out to sea and like, all round apart from like a tiny, tiny part behind his land and then all around is sea and it juts out and you can just like sit on the end of this rock. And it's, um, it's just open and vast and clear. And it's just this feeling of like being so so, so free there, I think, so free and yeah, a wonderful, wonderful place.
Michael 26:00 My last big, pre COVID memory was a gig in Glasgow, erm to see Hannah Diamond. It was in this stereo, like a place called Stereo in Glasgow was like down in the basement. And I just never-- like I was right because I got there early and I remember walking into the basement bits where the show was and it was basically empty. There was only like five of us at the time. But this was like half an hour before even like the support was supposed to come on. And then kind of like by the time the support came on, I'm like Hannah Diamond's about to start, the whole place was like, packed fully, you could hardly even move. And then it's like through the whole show, just like everyone like being like so close and like jumping up and like singing and dancing and stuff. I never been like in a place like that with like so much energy like all around me. And like with this like fairly sort of like niche kind of music. Before that year, I had never even really met anyone that like, loved it to the same extent that I did, and like felt the same kind of energy from it that I do as being surrounded by that energy. It just really, really made me appreciate just, like how amazing going to live music is. And it's like enjoying it as a communal experience. So that's like my kind of place. I really can't wait to get back to gigs with everyone again. I think that's why COVID, the first couple of months that hit me so hard because I just had this sort of like, amazing sort of like, not life changing, but definitely like one of the like, best experiences I've had since we went to uni at least. And then all that was kind of like taken away. I think about like the first couple months I found that COVID like really hard to deal with. And then it was kind of like well, I just have to accept it.
Maddy 27:49 No, I love this question. It makes me like-- I can literally feel my reaction to it physically. Like I feel like I get warm when I think about, like-- and the answer instantly like the place where I would have everyone gather after this crazy year is the kitchen table. I-- most people have one and doesn't matter where it is. But I just feel like I'm always so drawn to it. And I think a big part of that is growing up. My mom really taught us like, there's a sacredness about the kitchen table. And it's where we all go together after a long day, no matter where we've been if it's work, or school, or errands or the doctor's office or any like-- that is where we all just come to meet at the end of a long day. And I think 2020 is truly nothing if not one long, very hard day. I think there's something magical about-- in a kitchen table. People from your past, people from your present, people who might be a part of your future can kind of all gather around and just be. Like-- and I have such vivid images growing up. And even now like when I was home recently, when you're around the kitchen table and the candle lights burning down and the dirty dishes are everywhere, but nobody stands up to get them right away and you have to laugh through your wine in your glass and you can just exist all together and there's nowhere to be, there's no one to be, there's nowhere to go. But I just feel like there's such a space of authenticity and love and comfort. And I think after this year, I would love to gather around the kitchen table.
Sonia 29:15 Thank you for listening. Hope this has inspired thoughts about your own places. Multi Story Edinburgh will be back in the new year. In the meantime, have a happy and peaceful Christmas.
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