I am not kidding when I say that EVERYTHING is downhill from where we live (well, except the castle), which means that in order to get home we inevitably have to go uphill and many times up lots of stairs! To get to my photographers club meeting I walked downhill constantly for about 15 minutes (this is also the general location of Starbucks, only Starbucks is further downhill). This was a new part of the city for me and I laughed as I kept walking down, down, down.
I felt rather overwhelmed at this meeting. It was the kick-off meeting of the year, so it was geared towards new members with tours and sign-up tables. The overwhelming part of it was how extremely SCOTTISH is was. We have not been totally submerged in anything where we were totally surrounded by Scottish folk (there are other international students at church and New College is mostly international students). It is not that it is bad to be surrounded by Scottish folk, but it sort of gave me that shocked feeling of when someone splashes a bucket of ice water in your face. I felt like I stuck out like a soar thumb, even though I look just like everyone else and I purposely didn't speak to anyone so as not to uncover my identity (though I am sure that I had a big sticker on my forehead that had "AMERICAN" written on it).
Another aspect of the overwhelming feeling is that I have not truly done photography for photography's sake in well over a year and here I am forcing myself to do it and expose myself to criticism. And if you didn't notice the from the previous post, cost of film is high, so I have to make every snap shot count!
I feel that this could easily be something that I would love to do, but feel too scared and inept to pursue it without forcing myself to feel a little discomfort for a while. I do like what they have to offer. They have a darkroom and a studio which are both available to members 24/7. They have a digital en suite where you can play around with their software and print your photos out (you supply your own paper and pay 1 pound to cover ink). There are competitions where you can have your work critiqued (which scared me, but was also one of the draws). They have a small library where they supply various photography magazines and books.
Just another new thing in a new country.