Sunday, 10 January 2010

In which I have my heart stolen

It didn’t take long. I’d been in the city about six and a half minutes when the realisation began to sink in. Having hopped into a cab on North Bridge and hurtling through the streets, I was falling in love all over again; by the time I was standing outside The Architect’s and Gin Operated’s Morningside flat, I was once again totally besotted with my beloved Edinburgh.

Back for the first time since graduation, I was in the city for a couple of days over Hogmanay, eating, drinking, seeing old friends and thoroughly enjoying the soft water that makes one’s hair deliciously shiny.

A cosy, champagne-fuelled Hogmanay dinner party was just the start to a few perfect days. Minus temperatures, snow, and a slight fuzzy feeling in the head did nothing to dispel the gentle glow that seemed to settle over my stay.

There’s something extraordinarily special about that city, and it’s something that I’m not able to put my finger on.

I don’t know whether I adore it so much for its cosmopolitan yet compact nature; the high Georgian buildings; wide streets and large green spaces. For the soft accents of its inhabitants; for the huge variety of peculiar money that comes out of its cash machines; for the prevalence of phenomenal delicatessens, practical distances from wherever one might be.

For its incomparably dour taxi drivers; the ease of flagging down a taxi driven by an inexplicably dour driver; the fact that once you have, it costs a tenner to get across town.

Maybe it’s because the views over the Forth are breathtaking; that watching the sunrise from Arthur’s Seat makes your heart sing; that the Sheep Heid is possibly the best place in the country to spend a dark and wintry Scottish afternoon.

Maybe I adore the ‘Burgh because the new Hotel Missoni on George IV bridge has prosecco on tap; that the friends still there display a hospitality that’s unparalleled.

Maybe it’s because everywhere I go in the city, I’m surrounded by ghosts of previous happinesses. And then it hit me: maybe it’s also that, everywhere I go, I’m touched by the suggestions of happinesses still to come. And as I sat on a train pulling out of Waverley station, the bright, low sunshine making the snow glisten and gleam, my heart physically ached. Never have I felt so at home anywhere as there.

If hadn’t just bought a house in Home Counties, things might be different, but as it is, I’ll have to wait a few years until I head back across the border permanently. But never have I been so sure that it’s something I want to do.


QB said...

Welcome back blonde, your first poetic post in a while, is it the city of burgh? or just the break from the other place.

P said...

I'm not a massive Edinburgh fan myself (I've not had great experiences on the rare times I pop over there) but I have to admit it's far more picturesque than Glasgow!

jman said...

Always great to have a location that makes the heart beat faster. Mine's NYC although Paris and Rome give it a run for its money.

CoatMan said...

Edinburgh is excellent - but doesn't London do it for you, too?

Blonde said...

QB: Either the influence of the 'Burgh, or the latent hangover. Couldn't tell you which!

P: What?! How could you not be?! Tsk.

Jman: It is - I've definitely found mine.

CoatMan: Gods, no. Expensive, dirty, smelly, rude, a totally impractical size, claustrophobic... In short, massively overrated.

smidge said...

I thought it was just me that had noticed the amazing water up here! At my mother's (at Christmas) the water is very different and left my hair greasy and horrible.

I love Edinburgh too, but thats why I live here.

Emily said...

How wonderful to have found a place that you feel completely at home in, but disappointing you're not there.

Helena Halme said...

What a lovely description of a city where I spent possibly the coldest but the happiest six weeks of my life... part 26 of my tale (sorry blatant self-promotion). Great post, you're obviously in love. Helena xx

Pickle said...

Oh man, this made me all achey! I'm moving away, and the more I think about it, the more I realise I don't want to leave my beloved Auld Reekie behind...

Maybe one day we'll both come back.


Blonde said...

Smidge: Gods no - Edinburgh water is amazing. Tastes lovely, and there's nothing like it for the hair.

Emily: I'm not there yet... I'm looking on these years as merely a hiatus!

HH: Pfft - don't apologise: a little self-promotion is what all bloggers are about.

TEENY! You're back! I thought you'd disappeared from the blogosphere for good. Why are you moving? Don't do it. Seriously.

Pickle said...

Still post occasionally, but not as often as I should. I'm enjoying your NY resolution to blog more though, keep up the good work Blonde!

Unfortunately I have to go where my husband goes, and he got a job near Dundee so we're moving to stupid old Fife...

Loth said...

Wow, you make me realise I don't appreciate my home town enough. I haven't been to the Sheep Heid for years. Must remedy that soon.

grandad says said...

Wow Blonde, I'm drizzly after reading that.

And I'm not referring to the Prosecco on tap.

Stacey said...

Lovely post. I spent less time in the ol' Burgh myself (an autumn six years ago and odd weeks since), but I know just what you're talking about.

There's something quite magical, in a "here's a little magic EVERY SINGLE DAY" way, about that city. I hope you get back. I hope I get back, as well!

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