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.
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