Leaving Scotland


This is a shameless cross-post, but thought it was worth sharing here too.

This blog became katinedinburgh.com when I started our life here. Soon, it will be called something else.

* * *

I’ve tried to write this post a few times. It’s never quite come out as it feels in my head.

The trouble is, I don’t really know how I feel.




In 2 weeks’ time, we get on (a few) planes and leave Scotland. We don’t know when we’ll be back, and we don’t know what will happen. Everything is open to us.

There are many positives to returning to New Zealand. Obviously family is hugely important to us, and all of mine (and some of his) are there.  We’ll be staying with my parents for a few months, and enjoying the summer weather and (lots) of down time.

We’ll be starting afresh, with no debt, and no obligations. We’ll be able to shake off the stress and pain that 2016 has brought to us. We’ll be unemployed and happy about it.




But it’s bittersweet. We started this life on an uneven keel – I was the new girl coming into a country that was so similar yet so different.  He had his friends, a familiar climate, accents and words that made sense, and everything that comes with British popular culture.

I had him.

(It was enough).




The goal was 2 years. But 2 years in, we weren’t done. We were just getting started. We finally found jobs that suited us, we were earning better money, we had a nicer home, we were really getting settled.

How the next 5.5 years flew by, I’ll never quite understand. But I made my life here. I made friends, was promoted through roles at work, travelled Scotland widely. We visited everywhere on our Europe ‘must-do’ list (saving other places for another day). We got engaged. Had white Christmases. Flew home and planned a wedding. Flew home again to got married.

Started planning our own family.




New Zealand has so much waiting for us. We’re so excited to do it. But it’s hard to leave.




It’s hard to explain how my identity has changed over the last 7.66 years.

Somewhere along the way I stopped being just a Kiwi in a foreign place, but started to be Scottish.  Not just in the voice (though that has changed), but in my sense of self, my pop culture knowledge, my sense of humour, my likes and dislikes. I’ve done a lot of growing up since I was 25, and I feel a bit more like I belong here than there.

I obviously have deep historical ties to this country, and I’m incredibly proud of that heritage. I imagine to Kiwis this may all seem strange, but I really feel like I will have to adjust. I will have to learn.

So we’re on an even keel this time. I’ll be experiencing New Zealand (particularly Wellington) and its culture and way of doing things, through the eyes of a fresh immigrant. A confused, displaced woman who used to belong there.  A husband who only had 18 months. We’ll have to figure it out together. We’ll have to get into our house, get a car, get jobs, get our lives established.

It’s going to be a learning curve and despite it always being the plan, I have to admit that sometimes I wonder why we’re doing it. It feels strange to be pulled from our independent lives into living upstairs in my family home. But it’s the right choice for us. And we are excited.

But I can’t say I’m not torn.

Alba gu bràth.





The leaves are changing, the nights are cooler, and our heating clicks on instead of staying silent through the evenings.  

We’re still in a perpetual state of waiting. Is that even good English? I am too tired to care. I feel like things that can be tough for folks to deal with on their own have happened to us all at once this year.  Whether I am coping or not coping changes by the day.  Does this mean I’m super strong? I don’t know. People don’t seem to notice that inside I’m screaming. Maybe they are too. 

The stress levels may wane but it never goes away. There seems to be a never ending list of things that need to be done before Christmas and a never ending list of problems to solve. Money, time, heavy decisions.  I am waiting. 

I feel like I have been waiting all year. For answers to big questions. 

I feel like I’ve been stressed for a few years straight. 

Give me a pool and a book and nowhere to be.  No one that needs anything from me, no tough decisions to be made. 







How bout a bit of positivity around here? And a bit of an update to get the ball rolling on blogging again.

Reading:  I have probably said this before, but I like to re-read the same books over and over, usually. However, I’m reading a great book recommended by Jolie, called When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. Seems apt.

Thinking about:  Everything. Do you ever feel like your brain is trying to digest everything in life at once? That’s what it feels like right now. Our first goal is to get the house on the market, and then try and tackle other things going on.  Work is still kinda insane, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I think the relief when everything comes together later in the year will just be immense. I’ll be writing 2016 down as a tough year that hopefully helped us to achieve some great things.




Listening to:  I’ve got a playlist right now of about 25 songs that I’ve just had on shuffle constantly. I’ve recently got into CHVRCHES and Broods thanks to Chris, and I’m really into Rihanna’s Sledgehammer, the track from the new Star Trek film.  Also still really loving Joy Williams and Vanessa Carlton’s latest albums – playing them a lot.

Watching:  We’ve caught up with a lot of shows/they’re on hiatus, so we’ve been watching a lot of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and I’ve started Stranger Things and will need to start it again so Dave can see it. It’s like Twin Peaks meets E.T. with a side of horror and worth a shot.

Trying:  To let go of things.  Nothing is set in stone in any aspect of my life right now, and that’s one of my biggest issues. It all just feels a bit out of my control. The uncertainty, the not knowing.. it’s a killer. I am super sad to be leaving Scotland at some stage, but at the same time, being home is going to give me a sense of calm, I think.

Loving:  Sorting my house to sell has actually been quite cathartic. I’m finding so much crap I’d forgotten about, and getting rid of so much clutter. It’s good for the soul.




Celebrating:  We’ve got so much coming up over the next few months. We’ve got a wedding this weekend, a visit to some of my mother’s family the following weekend, then August a wedding in Aberdeen, then September will bring the show I’m involved in, and other fun things, such as…

Making me happy:  I’ve planned a great trip for myself in September, which will be my last trip to London, and my last travels on my own for a while, I imagine (I do enjoy travelling solo, but I miss D).  I’ve got TCGTE in Edinburgh on the Wednesday, then on the Thursday I go down to London and stay in Stevenage for the night to go to FriendsFest (yes, I am a big nerd). Then Friday and Saturday nights I’m in London proper for the London TCGTE shows, then back up on Sunday.  I was always going down for Complete Guide, but now I’ve tacked on FriendsFest, it’s a bonus.

Anyway. How are you?






I’m gonna be honest. This has been a tough year so far.

I’ve not been avoiding blogging because I didn’t want to talk about it. I just didn’t know quite what to say.

Apart from my marriage, most other parts of my life haven’t been going so well. Work has not been a positive place to be for a very long time, but I’ve been stuck for quite a few reasons. I’m basically biding my time there and weighing my options.  My debt is the worst it’s ever been and it’s terrifying and crushing even thinking about spending any money.  I’m the heaviest I’ve ever weighed, which I can live with, but it’s affecting my health.. and my health has been a nightmare.

We are working to sell the house and of course have taken far too long to get that ball rolling so we’re now panicking our way through decluttering, cleaning, and painting. At least selling the house will fix the debt issue.

I officially have hypothyroidism, which is honestly quite a relief after a year of Crohn’s testing and struggling with lots of little health issues which all now make a lot more sense when you realise that a vital part of your body – glands that regulate almost everything – is broken. I’m medicated for that now and obviously it is extremely manageable and not life-changing or life-threatening, but it still sucks. I feel sluggish and clouded and dopey at times and waking up takes forever and I’m always cold and I look at food and gain weight and it increases my anxiety and depression but it’s not cancer, you know? There are bigger problems people are dealing with.  Hell, I have bigger problems – I can deal with this. And I’ve always had some sort of health issue so it’s no surprise, and with my busted immune system, you kinda expect it from me really.

So I’m not the most positive right now, and to be honest, I’ve been putting on a happy face for quite a long time. I do have happy moments and silly moments and I’m still trying to power through – I think the only way I can do that is by staying as positive as I can as often as I can, though that is tough sometimes.

The anxiety is quite rough, and I’m thinking of talking to someone about it. It’s not just stress from so many areas of my life – I can’t remember the last time I felt really relaxed. I cry at the drop of a hat, lately.

There are other private issues thrown in there that I don’t want to put out there, but yeah. I have been struggling. But I am here and I am getting shit done and all of it is being improved in small steps and soon?  Soon the clouds will clear.






2016. Let’s rock this shit. Who has goals? I have a few goals.

I gotta get healthy. For my sanity, my body, and my wardrobe. But I’m doing this by:

  • eating more vegetables
  • drinking lots of water
  • sleeping more sensibly (i.e. not more, just earlier on week nights etc)
  • yoga every damn day
  • less sugar

(rather than obsessing or doing crazy crash dieting crap)



I gotta write more.  So this means:

  • scheduled music time
  • gigs!



Other goals:

  • declutter
  • sort the house for sale in the summer
  • work on my stress levels (either through changing jobs or finding time to let it go – more meditation maybe?)
  • more spiritual time for me
  • more Scotland travel, also maybe a few more European jaunts


You got goals? Let’s kick ass.






Hey, friends. Back after a wee hiatus – work and life have been busy, and it’s hard keeping up with routine. I thought I’d post a currently catch-up. It’s December! The year is winding down! It’s weird. 2015 feels like a blur.



Reading:  I’ve been catching up on The Walking Dead comics – I’d only read up to #120, so now I’m catching up to #145. I love the twists and turns in the story and seeing where the show goes with it as well.  I’m also about to start Rise of the Circle, the 3rd book in my buddy Tom Reynolds’ Meta series. If you like superhero YA fiction, it’s worth a read.

Thinking about:  This year, man. It has just disappeared on us. It has been a really important year. And now 2016 is peeking its face around the corner. Everything is starting to become super Christmassy around here, even though we don’t have a tree to decorate just yet. It’s so dark again (3:45pm sunsets, anyone?) and some heavy snow hit other parts of Scotland over the weekend. None for us yet, though I did get snow boots on Saturday..


Listening to:  The Christmas tunes are creeping in, but in all honesty I’m probably listening mostly to podcasts still. The list is below…

My favourites:

The Complete Guide to Everything
Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4: News Quiz
The Indoor Kids
The X-Files Files
Sword & Scale
Rhod Gilbert’s Best Bits
The Nerdist (selectively)
The Dollop
Gilmore Guys
If I Were You

Yeah, this is a lot, but I listen all day at work! I may do a post at a later date with some more info and some suggested episodes to start people off. Podcasts are one of my top passions in life.

Watching:  I’ve become a bit obsessed with Flesh and Bone, a new ballet drama which is a hell of a lot darker/twistier than any ballet drama I’ve seen before. We’re also watching The Man in the High Castle. Compelling stuff!



Trying:  To get back into craft after a long break. I’ve bought a bunch of fabrics and sewing patterns, and plan to use my winter break to make some new dresses. I’m a slow dressmaker, but I do enjoy it, so hopefully I can get very crafty with my 2.5 weeks of freedom (and then we go to Berlin!) and also I’ve been back into cross-stitching. It’s so calming. I need some new patterns/ideas, though. Going to crack into a book a friend gave me over the weekend.



Loving:  All the sparkle! As I said earlier, it’s getting so dark so early now, and the lights/festivity really break it up. January is pretty depressing when they turn them all off, but hopefully we can keep some lights up until we take our Germany trip.  When do you decorate? I just love this time of year.


Celebrating:  I have two weeks left at work! Then a huge break – I can’t wait for 3 weeks off. I’m going to be super lazy for one week, productive for one week, then we go to Berlin in the final week for Dave’s birthday. Woo!

Making me happy:  Christmas is coming. Yes, I’m the worst Jew ever. I love Christmas! I can’t wait to enjoy all of the sparkly specialness that is on the way. And we’re hosting this year. Should be an experience!






Kat’s Scotland Guide: Longer Journeys




2 hours + from Edinburgh:

Glencoe (top, above) (2.5 hours) – featured in the Bond film Skyfall, stunning mountain ranges and just an incredibly-beautiful drive overall! I love this drive so much.  Take the route that is M9-A84-A85-A82 – enter the Glencoe Visitor Centre as your destination (GPS postcode PH49 4HX).
Glenfinnan monument & viaduct (bottom, above) (3 hours-ish north-west) – featured in Harry Potter etc, and a very pretty drive up there indeed, it’s about 3 hours from Edinburgh. Generally the west coast is just beautiful.
Oban (2 hours 45 north-west) – a very pretty seaside village with a coastal garden called Inverewe (below, top) which is an adventure to get to (single track roads!)
Inverness/Loch Ness (3 hours north) –  Inverness is the best vantage point for getting to Loch Ness.  You can get a cruise from Inverness or drive to the loch yourself. If you get the cruise they often drop you off at the ruins of Castle Urquhart which is a good visit. Inverness also has the famous Culloden battlefield.
Culzean Castle (below, bottom)


(2 ¾ – 3 hours south west) – Culzean Castle (pronounced Cul-ain) is a beautiful castle on the west coast looking out towards Arran. It is surrounded by stunning gardens and is just well worth visiting if you’re heading south, or if you just fancy it for a day.



I hope you enjoyed this wee series. Any questions, hit me up and I’d be happy to update the guides or put up a Q&A.