At the beginning of 2020, I moved to Edinburgh with my partner. I'd lived in Cambridgeshire for ten years; I was both excited and nervous about such a big change in our lives. I'd visited Edinburgh a couple of times as a tourist, and I'd seen it in photographs, films and TV programmes. My outsider's impression of Edinburgh was of a majestic city of old buildings and dramatic scenery: the castle, Arthur's Seat, Calton Hill and the Old Town. All of that was there in reality when I arrived in early January, looking up in awe at the buildings that surrounded me after I left Waverley station to go to our new flat.
Our first year in the city turned out a little different than we expected. The COVID-19 pandemic meant that we were forced to localise our explorations and be much more attentive to the areas we could reach by walking or, at most, a short car journey. As a result, we explored more of Edinburgh's hidden corners than we would have otherwise. I soon realised there was more to the city than the classic postcard image with which it is most often associated.
Photographing my surroundings is a way of getting to know a place and in some way develop a relationship with it. I'm still a newcomer to this city, and also to Scotland. Whilst I've admired this country from afar for many years, I have no roots here. By observing and photographing the local landscapes and landmarks, I am in a process of learning and educating myself on Edinburgh's past, present and future. It's also a way to help myself feel more at home.
These are aspects of Edinburgh which have only recently become significant to me; which I would have had no knowledge of before we moved here. This is an ongoing project.