this got me through 2020

Fuck me, I'm unemployed and overqualified but this helped stop it all from being too despairing....

Good morning! It’s the first Clara Chronicles of 2021! I hope you had a nice time crooning along to this song. Now, it’s back to reality, even if it is this… *looks around at messy kitchen table cluttered with cups of cold coffee and crumbs*

2021 is the year that we are going to get our coronavirus vaccines! According to that Sunday Times data generator, I’m due to get my jab in March, and let me tell you, THE CARNAGE I AM GOING TO CAUSE WHEN I GET IT WILL BE UNREAL. I’ll be sodding Dolly Levi before the parade passes by.

That wee certificate will be waved in EVERYONE’S GODDAMN FACE WHILE I SCREAM “COMING THROUGH, COMING THROUGH A CORONA FREE QUEEEEEN”

When “social distancing” first entered our collective lexicon, it blew my mind that sitting home and watching GIRLS was saving the world. You tell this to ten year old me that slobbing on the sofa is the best thing you can do, she’d literally die and go to heaven.

To be honest, thrilling still it is. As the point of this newsletter is the celebrate my comfort pop culture, I thought I might share with you something unmentioned, but not unappreciated in 2020. That is none other than Eurovision Song Content: The Story of Fire Saga, a film I had no idea I needed until Netflix blessed me with it. One particularly dark week, I watched it three nights on the trot.

What is it? HELLO, DID YOU LIVE UNDER A POP CULTURE ROCK IN JUNE? Well, I’ll tell you, briefly what it is; a nonsensical romp about two Icelandic childhood best friends who form a band with the dream of winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Everything about it appeals to me, but I’m going to focus on one thing because all the other things have been spoken about to death: its decision to be set in Edinburgh.

On the surface, Edinburgh is a lovely place to set a movie in. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, matching up historical architecture and geological phenomenons perfectly. The capital city of Scotland with residents past and present including Mary, Queen of Scots, Robert Louis Stevenson and that one Proclaimer my mum used to spot while dog walking. Objectively, it’s stunning, one of the world’s prettiest cities. Personally, I find the Old Town far superior to the New Town, which is too pristine, too twee and too up its own arse. Queen Street and beyond? I DON’T KNOW HER!

A post shared by Clara Hill (@clara_ish)

My bias need not be acknowledged because it being the best is categorically true. However, as a budding reporter, it must be said - I grew up there, living there between the ages of 11 to 18 really allowed me to dig around the city, not truly taking in its sheer beauty until I left for London. Seeing Edinburgh on film is so exciting! It’s quite rare, and only happens if the source material calls for it - such as Sunshine on Leith or anything based on an Irvine Welsh novel. Fun fact - in Filth, when Ian McAvoy tells the homeless man to go to the jobcentre round the corner, the jobcentre is actually round the corner. In the cinema, this made me audibly squeal.

The lack of need for it to be set in Edinburgh really adds to the comedy for me. Like, but why though? Why is it set in Edinburgh? Have they answered this question, and I haven’t discovered the answer? If so, please let me know.

The decision is bizarre. Edinburgh does not have the infrastructure, the reason nor the want to host the Eurovision Song Contest. If it was to take place I. Scotland, which is still weird, but if we go with it, we all know Glasgow would play host. Glasgow is the cooler, party queen big sister of dweeby, book worm Edinburgh. The UK winning Eurovision (lol) and then having it in Edinburgh (double lol) has an absurd quality that I adore. It’s a rather sleepy little city that’s constantly overcast in weather and citizen’s moods.

Edinburgh is not equipped to be a movie set. In 2019 and beyond, they were filming a Fast and Furious film on a road near my mum’s flat, a main road leading towards Princes Street, the main shopping locale, and I thought it was as glam as wee Edinburgh was gonna get. Locals quickly got over the star quality. My favourite neighbourhood activity was joining in on bitching sessions with the people in the pharmacy on Easter Road. We discussed the inconveniences it was causing; traffic jams mostly, but ya know, people got places to get to and why should Hollywood make you late for work? Edinburgh has no desire to be anything but what it is, a place brimming with The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie characters…

Another aspect that I found HILARIOUS was that the Russian entry Alexander Lemtov had a summer house in Edinburgh. Hate to break it to you, but summer is not the shiny beacon you think it is in Edinburgh. Like the rest of this silly island, none of the buildings is designed for our climate emergency summers so our buildings retain heat and no one has air con.

You can’t even go on jaunts to the Highlands because that time of year you’ll get eaten alive by midgies. Edinburgh is at its best at Christmas, take my word!

Also, summer is when you want to rent out your house to wanky Londoners who infest the city for the Festival Fringe. God, I need to get this off my chest; EDINBURGH IS TOO SMALL FOR YOU ALL! Please just go back to the South Bank. London is designed to be able to handle large groups of people in one place. You know where to go to avoid crowds. This is not possible in Edinburgh as the city centre is the entire city, so you cannot escape the crowds, and while I continue this Baby Boomer rant, the fringe is now so shit, not because of the performers (the whole bag is that you have to wade through a lot of shit to find the gold - THAT’S THE GAME) but because it’s shrivelled into a crappy and commercialised affair… Honestly, I used to LOVE it, grabbing a pal and waiting for people to sell you on their show and then seeing show after show. Most of it was pants but you didn’t care because you either pissed or about to see another one…

A post shared by The Shavers Weekly (@the_shavers_weekly)

Now, it's just uncomfortably packed with people who should be in London. Edinburgh isn’t even cheap so you’re not saving money, just annoying the poor wee old ladies you keep knocking over in the street (and me)

I swear the exterior of his house is Fettes College, Tony Blair’s old school, which is very funny to me. If you don’t find it funny that the ruskie owns the building to one of the country’s expensive boarding schools, well then, I cannot help you. You’ve lost the plot. Again, this has not been actually confirmed but my eyes do not deceive me. While Edinburgh has a disgusting amount of schools in castles, Fettes is the grandest. Also, my school used to play sport against them a lot, so I know that driveway anywhere.

Another fun Edinburgh fact about this film, Sigrit’s elf houses and the fight between the head of the network and Lar is actually on Arthur’s Seat, the most majestic extinct volcano. Arthur’s Seat was my saving grace during the first lockdown. Now, it houses the best resident of the whole city, otter (pictured below)

A post shared by Clara Hill (@clara_ish)

I really miss Edinburgh right now. It pains me that Nicola Sturgeon says I can’t come but it’ll be the first place I hit when that sweet, sweet Pfizer whatever AstraSeneca goodness is INJECTED STRAIGHT INTO MY VEINS, until then, well I guess I’ll just sing Husevik (My Hometown) at the top of my lungs until my neighbours bribe the police officers at the border to let me in.