Saturday, April 20, 2013

When I Made This Playlist: gingers

When I made this playlist, I was 21 and interning in Edinburgh for the summer. I was trying to hold onto that version of myself who felt most comfortable in her own skin when living abroad. I was trying to be someone I wasn't i.e. someone who wanted to work in politics. I'd just let my best friend give me bangs. I'd just gotten my first Mac. I'd just bought Viva La Vida. I'd just kissed a Scotsman. 
At Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the Scottish Highlands.
I was prone to using my American accent to get free drinks at my favorite haunts. I always listened to "Four Kicks" by Kings of Leon on my walk to work, which unfortunately included a trek across the windy South Bridge where I had countless Marilyn Monroe moments. I lived in New Town before moving to Old Town behind a bright blue door by the Meadows. Rainy days were spent cozied up in The Elephant House by a window with a view of Edinburgh Castle, hoping some of J.K. Rowling's writing magic had seeped into the tables or maybe their famous shortbread, and sunny days meant Marks & Spencer picnics in the Princes Street Gardens with my roommate Anna. She and I were always on the lookout for gingers, hence the name of this playlist, and Scotland seemed happy to oblige us.
gingers by Sally Anderson on Grooveshark
Sadly, I could not find the acoustic version of McFly's "POV," which is infinitely better... :(

I've listened to this a lot this week and it's brought back so many happy, ridiculous, and embarrassing memories. This is why I'm always making playlists. Because music tells me better than anything else "where I was" at a certain point in my life. This mix is a bit all over the place, because I was too. But it's a bit unique to all my other playlists, because each and every song was actually collected with the rest in one specific place. And now if you care to meander down Memory Lane with me a little longer... When I made this playlist...

The view from the Walter Scott Memorial was my favorite in the entire city. Edinburgh Castle and Arthur's Seat are great lookout points, but then you can't see them! Plus you get a certificate if you climb to the top of the memorial, so there's that. And usually there's a bagpiper nearby, so you really get the full Scottish experience.

FYI: Anna is the greatest!!
I'd just started believing in the Loch Ness monster. Anna and I did a day trip up to the loch and after learning that it's deep enough to fit the entire world population and hearing all these strange stories on the boat... There's something so eerie about being there that makes you believe. And, call me crazy, but after a very creepy experience in the South Bridge Vaults, I kind of believe in ghosts too. At least in Edinburgh! I can't believe I'm sharing this...

Once upon a Royal Mile...
When I made this playlist, I'd just learned that despite my surroundings I hated haggis.

I'm still sad about these even though I replaced them!
I'd recently braved T in the Park on my own where I ruined these shoes not knowing that you're supposed to wear rain boots to music festivals. I nearly lost my life to a mosh pit at Vampire Weekend. I spent two days seeing the likes of The Kooks, Kings of Leon, The Pogues, Kate Nash, Amy Winehouse, Kaiser Chiefs, and my new favorite at the time One Night Only. Worth every pound!

Greyfriars Kirkyard.
Back then, I often found myself in graveyards older than our country, full of skull and crossbones. The tales of bodysnatching, headstones engraved with 'murdered,' and the endless drizzle and fog inspired a short story I wrote last year called The Mysterious Undertakings of Mara Dew. That's a very very rough first draft, which I intend to turn into a novel one day.

When I made this playlist, the Scots had just taught me that dancing to "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers was always going to be favorite thing. I'd just met Dougie from McFly... *swoon*. I'd learned I could handle R&B in small doses when sandwiched between pop songs. I'd started drinking Strongbow, collecting British versions of the Harry Potter books, considering lemon poppyseed to be the king of all muffins, and crying over X-Factor. I was crazy, adventurous, homesick, enlightened, and confused all at once. And I wouldn't trade that experience for the world.

Are you prone to pulling playlists out of the archives? I highly recommend it!


  1. This post made me so HAPPY! Love you and our wonderful memories in Scotland! <3 <3 <3

    1. I still remember the ginger stick figure we doodled as we were writing down all the songs on that stellar playlist on the bus ride up to Loch Ness- haha. Ahhh SUCH good times!!