I love living here

It has been a couple of weeks since my last update, and it feels as though we’ve been here forever. We have a tiny, lovely flat in Leith, and have more or less collected everything we need for it from the multitude of charity shops scattered through the city. We’ve traipsed up and down the Old and New Towns, taking photos, drinking hot beverages, and becoming increasingly familiar with the twisting closes and wynds that curl around the place. Here’s a quick list of some of my favourite things:

  • The Stand Comedy Club – incredibly cheap entertainment with some fantastic comics, good drinks, and a friendly, cosy atmosphere
  • Markets on Castle Terrace and Grassmarket, selling fresh produce, arts and crafts, and delicious lunches
  • Day trip to Glasgow – we checked out the Kelvingrove Museum and went for a long, sunny walk through the city
  • Leith – our neighbourhood is a place of arty, somewhat rebellious culture. There are huge green spaces, tiny cafes and bistros, and a never-ending parade of bars
  • The Edinburgh Book Lovers’ Tour – a brilliant trip through the South side of the city, hearing tales of the lives and careers of Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, J M Barrie, J K Rowling, Ian Rankin, and many more
  • Calton Hill and Holyrood Park – we climbed Calton Hill on a dark, foggy night, when we could see our breath and the silhouettes of the old buildings scared the life out of me. We climbed Arthur’s Seat and wandered around Holyrood Park in the sunshine, along with plenty of tourists, families, and dogs
  • The myriad of coffee shops and restaurants we’ve been to – including Spoon Cafe, (formerly Nicolson Cafe where J K Rowling used to write), Punjabi Junction (a social enterprise a two minute walk from our house), Mary’s Milk Bar (lovely malted chocolate on Grassmarket), and far too many more to list here

I’ve tried to carry on with my writing, but I haven’t been as disciplined as I should have been. I have been looking for paid work at the same time, and after racing around sightseeing, I have been easily tired out. I cobbled together a poem of sorts, more just a random collection of thoughts about Edinburgh so far. It needs a polish, but I like it so far.

I love …

the orderly queues at bus stops

the countryside in the sunshine

the poky little houses

the abundance of greenery

the canals, threaded like silver through the suburbs

the words – dell, grove, Morningside, Silverknowes

the way the tenements look in the rain

the bookshops and theatres, scattered across the city like treasures

the crisp layer of ice over puddles at dawn

the top deck front seat of the bus

the dogs in their winter coats

the mix of languages and accents

the names of the houses

the early spring flowers

how every part of the city competes for best view

how every street corner commemorates something

that night is blacker here

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