Hello and welcome to this weeks blog post. This week I will be talking about my trip to Edinburgh and what I got up to and how I’m feeling after it.
I needed some time away to get away from things and have time to think and try to relax. So I booked a few days away in Edinburgh. I did this last year and it really helped so thought I would do it gain this year. There is something about Edinburgh at this time of year and I don’t just mean it’s wet.
The train journey is great and nice and peaceful. It sure makes a difference to my usual train journey on a Monday morning. This time I am sat in First Class having something to eat and having a coffee in a proper mug looking out onto the passing countryside. This is the perfect way to travel. I arrive in Edinburgh on time and check into my hotel and quickly head off into the city. I decide to head to the Castle. I don’t go into the castle but I take some pictures from outside and lookout over the city. After this I head off to look around the shops and spend the afternoon in shops and coffee shops.
I had no plans for the evening so head out for food. The weather is terrible so I dash to the nearest place which Bella Italia. It’s nothing special but it warm and close by. Eating on my own is something I am getting used to but I do feel awkward sometimes. What make sit worse is that I have to tell the waiter I have a nut allergy. What I find is that some places are great with this and others are not. Bella Italia were very good about it and brought the allergen menu over so I could check. My main was fine but when it came to dessert out of the desserts I could have I didn’t fancy any so just had the one course. The waiter though was very excited that I had mentioned an allergy has he knew what to do and had a pen saying “Ask me about allergies” to prove it. If a pen saying “ask me about allergies” is not reassuring I don’t know what is.
After my meal I headed to the cinema to see T2: Trainspotting. It was very cold and wet by now and the city didn’t look its usual glamorous self. The lights of The Balmoral Hotel were the only thing shining as I made my way to the cinema. One day I am going to stay there when I visit Edinburgh but until that day Premier Inn it is. I decided on T2:Trainspotting as it is set in Edinburgh and felt it was quite fitting. I only watched the original for the first time a few days before my visit so it was fresh in my memory. I enjoyed the film and would give it 3.5/5.
By the time I leave the cinema it is late so I head back to the hotel. As I get in the lift a chef from the hotel also gets in the lift and attempts to make small talk with me. I hate small talk especially in a confined space but he was being cheerful and nice so I can’t knock him really. He asks how my evening has been and I say just a quiet one with some food and cinema. I suddenly see his face start to beam and he asks “You ate in the hotel?”. Without thinking I say the truth which is that I didn’t and then realise I have just crushed his happiness. To try to lessen the blow I say I might go tomorrow night (knowing full well I won’t as I am booked in elsewhere but a little lie like this is for good really.
Tuesday was my one full day in Edinburgh and I was planning on heading a bit further a field either to the zoo or the Botanical Gardens. However it was very wet so I decided to just look around the Old Town. I headed off to the museum and had a little look around there before exploring some of the little shops around the area. As I was walking along the Royal Mile I noticed the area near Old Parliament Square was cordoned off with a film crew around. It turned out they were filming the TV series ‘Outlander’. It must have been some indoor scenes as there were cast around at the time. As it was raining and cold and I have never seen the series or read the books I decided not to hang around. Still it was interesting to see.
As the weather was still bad on the afternoon I decided to visit the galleries but they all seemed to be only part open as they were having refurbishment done. I suppose midweek in February isn’t a popular time so they closed part of it. Shame though. It was shame things weren’t fully open but end of the day I was still on a break and happy to be away. I found myself later on just sitting in a coffee shop reading and realising that I struggle to relax and enjoy my open company. I noticed this last year when I went to Liverpool. It took a few days before I relaxed at being away. The same happened again in Edinburgh. I need to deal with this somehow.
As it was may last night on Tuesday I had booked a fancy restaurant. It was Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar. I had the Garlic roast rump of Borders lamb with mashed potatoes, savoy cabbage and pancetta for my main meal and for dessert I had Sticky toffee souffle with lemon shortbread and salted caramel sauce. Both were delicious. I have not had lamb pink before so was a little anxious about it but I had done medium to well done so it wasn’t too pink. It was delicious though. It is a really great restaurant so if you are win Edinburgh go and try it.
So my time away was at an end and I was about to head back home but with mixed feelings. I found myself sat on the train home waiting to leave and I was feeling tearful. When you spend time on your own you have to answer questions that you have about you and your life. Last year when I visited it was different I was happier than I realised and I got more from the trip.. This time maybe because it was a weekday but it was reality and I had to look hard at myself just like a reflection a puddle in an Edinburgh street. Sat on the train I realised all of this had happened and that’s why I felt tearful. This trip did do me some good but not in the way I expected.
Well there you go my trip away. The rest of the week was just me settling back into routine.
Right until next weekend that is all for now.
Top Programme of the Week – Let It Shine
Top Song of the Week – Jamie Lawson – Sometimes It’s Hard
Books I Am Currently Reading – Holding by Graham Norton