3 September 2016:
Arrived in Edinburgh and eventually found Judy’s flat in cloudy Leith, no sunshine, yet. Journey this far straightforward, north of Newcastle more interesting than through the flatlands. Caught the Angel of the North, not sure if facing us or not. Unlike John Peel, we went through Essex, rather than detouring round it. He used to do this on account of crazy driving in that county on his way home to Suffolk.
Spent the night near Doncaster. People really are friendlier up north. The positivity is infectious.
Listened to Bob Dylan’s Street Legal and an 80s LP by Bobby Womack on the way up as well as shuffled tracks on iPod. I can’t get into Adele’s recent LP. If 19 and 21 are about the guy that dumped her, by the time you get to 25 you think he might have had a point.
I should sleep but isn’t that what the night is for?
Even the money is different! It’s been 25 or so years since I’ve been here. Easy to forget.
Things I recommend, getting over bad experiences.
Things I don’t recommend, 80s RnB, too polished and synthetic.
4 September 2016:
A day out in Edinburgh. First to see the castle and then to visit the Royal Botanic Garden.
Tonight a night in as we’re planning a day trip to Glasgow tomorrow; I accept it’s a travesty of justice to ‘see’ Scotland’s biggest city in a day but time is limited and I’m itching for the wide open spaces.
I will at least be doing it more justice than Milan and Frankfurt, both of which I’ve also seen. Or at least the arrival and departure lounge of the airport’s serving them.
Last night a short stroll for an Indian and then a pint in a pub. Or something masquerading as one with table service. There are lots of international visitors to this city and like most capital cities many residents from other countries.
It’s kind of unusual to be inhabiting a friend’s home. Although it must be 20 years since we’ve seen Judy the interior is definitely a reminder of the person we know. We’re staying on the second floor of a tenement building and have yet to see any of the neighbours.
This morning, thanks to YouTube I worked out how to use the Bosch Tassimo. Or a coffee maker to the unfamiliar.
Judy and Penny have been friends since they worked in a small care home together in the 1980s. One of my two previous visits to Scotland were in that decade when we spent the New Year near Aviemore in one of Judy’s siblings otherwise empty house. The other time was when I finished my stint as Community Service Volunteer in Perth on a residential exchange. From there I made my way across to the west of Ireland for a holiday and then hitched some of the way back to London.
In that period between 1988 and 1995 there was an annual get together on Burnham Beeches with Judy, her family and friends. After feasting on food and drink we played a game of rounders and I made at least one home run.
Things I recommend, keeping in touch.
5 September 2016
Today a trip to Glasgow where we visited the Glasgow School of Art and followed a walking tour of the town centre. I won’t pretend I’ve perfected the pronunciation of Sauchiehall Street, I’ll have to listen to that Paolo Nutini track few more times. The tour started under the statue of Donald Dewar,
whose role in Scottish history is tied up with its current history.
Why aren’t you allowed in a department store if you’re under 14 without an adult?
I’ve never heard of this licencing condition before.
On the whole I liked Glasgow, in some ways it reminds me of Liverpool, and the lack of hills are a bonus, at least in the city centre. The journey between Edinburgh and Glasgow took approximately 90 minutes. Tomorrow we depart from the populous central belt for the Trossachs.
We all remember Nelson Mandela House from Only Fool’s and Horses. We saw we saw Nelson Mandela Place in the town centre.
Another plus in the reasons to love Glasgow.
Things I recommend, sensible age restrictions.
Things i don’t recommend, mouth ulcers.