Speeding through the majestic countryside of Eastern Scotland and northern England, I’m reflecting on my writing holiday. Edinburgh was the perfect place, of course, because on the second day the weather turned chilly, and grey, and eventually rainy, forcing me to buckle down and concentrate on the purpose of my visit.
But it was more than that: the crennelated majesty of Edinburgh was the perfect place to write. Somehow the severity of Edinburgh under clouds, all that classical architecture, put me in the right frame of mind to accomplish Serious Things.
There were of course the requisite number of cafes with squashy sofas, delicious cakes, and free wifi to help me concentrate as well. I ❤ Cafe on Leith Walk (the Retro Corner, with it’s 1970s chair and low table) was a particularly inspirational enclave on this journey. Go visit them: the food is very good (I had a scrumptious Portugese stew of beans and chorizo, and some sort of maple/pecan/chocolate concoction that will haunt my confectionary dreams forever more) and the staff are very nice.
I never did find my carousel in the end, but in fairness I didn’t spend much time looking: I was there to accomplish Serious Things, and Serious Things I did. Edinburgh, sitting melodramatically on her rocks, will be there again when I am ready to return.
My train journey this time is taking me past the sea, past winding lanes up hillsides and grandiose country houses. Lambs gambol in fields. There is a single swan, glimped momentarily through bullrushes, appearing stationary on a quiet pond as we speed past. And here am I, typing, typing under grey skies with just a patch of blue on the horizon.