What are you thankful for?
The lovely, lovely folks over at Modcloth recently posted their Top 10 list of things to be thankful for, in honour of Thanksgiving Day 2008! And, since I did something like this for Halloween, I thought I’d run another little contest here. Post a list of things (it doesn’t have to be 10 things, or anywhere near as lengthy as mine!) YOU are thankful for in the comments box, and if there are enough entries, the best one will win a poetic prize!
This is open to everyone, not just those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, although you lot may well be better versed at this kind of thing… You have until this Saturday to write your lists, so get on it!
My own list is as follows…
1. My flat. This is up there with all the other big stuff - you know, running water, being born in a safe, stable(ish!) country, my education etc. Having a roof over my head is a big deal, and although I whinge about how small it is (The Boy and I live together in a one-room studio apartment), it’s a pretty decent roof. My flat is on the fourth floor of a converted warehouse on the super-trendy (apparently) Grassmarket, right in the centre of Edinburgh’s Old Town. It has sunny yellow walls, posters, plants, my prized stereo and space for all my books and records. It’s easy to keep warm and clean because it’s so small; it also has a balcony and a communal roof garden right under the magnificent Edinburgh castle! It’s also stupidly cheap; I love it really.
2. The Boy. Cheesy but inevitable. Like I say, we’ve lived together in a tiny one-room apartment for over two years now, and so far we haven’t even come close to murdering each other — for that alone I am grateful. Probably because he’s 5′4″ of tattooed loveliness… apart from the fact he doesn’t seem to know how to hang up wet towels in any way at all.
3. The Read This team, past and present. I nag these guys endlessly, but I couldn’t do it without them, and I love them to bits. They all bring something different to the magazine (Dave is the serious, literary one; Struan is the nice one; Chris is the cynical, scathing one and Hayley is always the casting vote!) and they always ensure that there’s never a dull moment when it comes to editorial meetings!! I’m particularly grateful to them now that we’ve reached one year in publication: I never thought it would happen… but between them they made it happen!
4. My sister. Because no matter what I do or say and regardless of the fact that no one else wants to talk to me or help me out, she’s always around and she’s always ready to forgive me for being stupid or annoying. She’s also freaking hilarious, crazy, spontaneous and great to spend time with. She produces some pretty sweet artwork too!
5. Forest Cafe. Forest is without doubt the coolest place in the whole of Edinburgh, and sometimes I feel like I practically live there. It’s a cool, cozy cafe and venue-space with bright orange walls, murals, crazy painted table-tops, a tiny stage with a piano, and incense burning everywhere. They serve delicious veggie and vegan food (soup, burritos, cake) and loads of different kind of tea, and the kitchen is totally staffed by volunteers. Forest also has its own art gallery space, a music practice studio, an action room, a library, a free shop (where people take stuff they don’t want/need any more and other people are free to take it away), a hairdresser (£10 for a haircut with a free shot of vodka!) and a shop selling the art, crafts and music of Edinburgh locals… all under one roof! They also run Forest Free Records, their own recording imprint, and Forest Free Press & Forest Publishing - publishing initiatives which, among other things, put together chapbooks for poets and produce Read This! Forest is basically my second home and I love it!
RT eds Dave, Chris and Struan, and Tontine ed Julia, in the Forest!
6. The Universe being kind to me. Just small things like finding out that one of my neighbours had a bookcase going free-to-a-good home, just when my book collection was starting to spill off my old shelves (and the fact that it fit perfectly in a space in my flat!). Sweet emails from you guys, finding awesome stuff by chance in charity shops, writing a great poem… stuff like that. Cool, small things happening.
7. Edinburgh. I love my home city to bits, and having lived here five years, I really feel like a part of it now. I can give directions to just about anywhere, I’m officially a regular at the Blind Poet pub, I know all the cool poetry events and such that are going on and I’ve managed to keep a literary magazine going here (in the UNESCO World City of Literature no less!) for a year. It’s cold and windy here but it’s also beautiful, friendly and there’s always something going on. It’s possibly the best place in the world to be a writer, too… so much inspiration and encouragement. Thank you Edinburgh!
8. Secondhand stores. Because I am a poor and smelly student (and have been for the past four years!) most of my stuff - clothes, shoes, records, books - comes from thrift shops and vintage stores. To anyone who’s turning their noses up at the thought: think again! Pretty much all the coolest things I own were once thrifted… and anyway, I am sick to death of reading all these look-at-my-brand-new-designer-shoes, look-at-the-outfit-I-wore-today-it-cost-£300 type blogs and sites. They seem to place so much value on labels and spending. Thrift, guys! It helps your pocket and it helps the environment.
9. My parents. I’m so lucky to have parents as supportive, accepting and generally cool as mine are. They’ve supported me all through my degree and continue to do so in all kinds of ways. They are totally behind me in terms of my poetic projects, they help me out financially when I need them to and their house is always open for me at all times. The only slightly disturbing thing is their habit for Googling my name to find out what I’m up to!
10. You: my ONS readers! ONS has been going for about three months now - it took a bit of a leap of faith to set it up, but thanks to all your support and help, I’ve been reassured that it was a good thing to do! It would be pointless if no one read, if no one responded, so thank you guys! You keep ONS going and you are the reason for it!
OK guys - what are you thankful for? You can list the big stuff, the small stuff, or anything else in between. The best list will get a prize, so get listing!