Well now. 3 and half years and forty nine blog posts later we find ourselves as in love with
Edinburgh as the day we arrived. How beautifully poetic was it then when our dear friends
Maura and Ed (lovingly referred to as the Foeks) arrived for a visit. I’ve known Maura for going
on 15 years. We always laughed over how we would always end up talking about death, babies, and taxes any time we were together. As the years have gone by those conversations have gone from future hypotheticals to all too true realities, and it meant the world to be able to
share our lives here with them. And boy oh boy, share we did. We ran those poor Foeks everywhere.
The first full day we planned the ultimate in Scottish experiences. Maura and Ed did the castle
first thing and then I met them for haggis, neeps, and tatties before we boarded a coach to
Glenkinchie distillery. They offer a wonderful service where the coach will drive you out to the
distillery, you’ll get a tour and some whisky, before they drive you back into the centre of
Edinburgh. It was a fabulous tour, very informative and, as it was only the three of us, incredibly
thorough. We had a great time learning about the distilling process and then trying some of the
ones on offer. That evening we met up with Chris for fish and chips at Berties before heading to
a nearby pub for what would be the first of many gin and tonics.
The next day, I took my Harry Potter loving friends to the necessary Potter sights of Edinburgh.
We poked around Museum of Context, admired Victoria street, and nipped into Elephant House.
We then went to the National Museum so they could see the space, and admire the stars (well
suited for a couple who had a space themed wedding). After a quick tour of Chris’ office, Maura
and I went for afternoon tea and left Chris and Ed to burgers and beer. We respectively had a
wonderful time. We met back up at our local pub where Chris and Ed battled over checkers and
Maura and I laughed at them. I mean with them. The evening ended back at our flat, watching
bad British tv and laughing until our faces hurt. That evening after they left Chris and I turned to
each other and promptly read each other’s minds.
We have a wonderful full life here, filled with amazing people, but there’s something really
quite special about having old friends in new places. Sharing what has become our space and
our home with the people that always will feel like home.
The following day we went to the Edinburgh gin tour for a 10 am tour of the distillery and a delicious gin and tonic. We stopped at Bross bagels, because all Canadians appreciate a perfect bagel, before having a slightly chilly walk through Dean Village and Dean Gardens. We toured a bit of the Botanics before the chill got the best of us and we hopped into a cab home. Dinner was at Dishoom and was a wonderful feast, followed by drinks at Hoot the Redeemer where our friend Pernille came to join us. We spent the evening catching up over cocktails, stopping for another at Lucky Liquor Co on Queen street before, quite literally, skipping home.
The next day saw us returning to Dishoom for breakfast before quickly popping into the Portrait
Gallery so I could share my favourite space with some of my favourite people. We went out to Portobello and said hi to all the dogs on the beach that we could find. The tide was out so we
went searching for sea creatures, pleasantly finding dozens of starfish in the puddles in the
sand. We went to the arcade and played games for sweets, and then went to a café for a hot
bowl of cullen skink, much needed on a slightly blustery Scottish “spring” day. We went to
Sabateur for dinner and then walked to the Dominion. It was on this portion of the walk where I
realised that we may have been running them around a tad too much. When your very fit
friend, quietly asks “We’re taking a bus home right?” you know you walk so much that you’ve
lost all sense on what’s an acceptable level of steps taken in a day. But the Dominion was
excellent; warm, cosy and wonderfully luxurious, and we happily spent a few hours in there
watching superheroes save the world.
The next day we had brunch at our place, before all admitting that we were seriously
exhausted. Ed took a nap, while Chris and I took Maura to the last of the important Potter sights. We weaved our way through the farmers market to Greyfriar’s Kirk to seek out Tom Riddles grave. We nipped into Armstrongs for some vintage finds and made our way through the rain to Lovecrumbs, to warm our frigid fingers over violet tea and cake. We spent a wonderful afternoon relaxing back at the flat, where even Ed finally got into the wonderfully horrible reality tv. For our last evening, we chose Pizzaria 1926, only interrupting our conversations to take a sip of wine or a bite of pizza. We ended up back in the flat for one final night cap, talking as though time was running out. Which in so many ways it isn’t, and one really big way it was.
Maura, an avid phone photographer, snapped a few shots of her own. I thought I'd share some of my favourites.
We said our goodbyes at the tram stop the next morning, knowing full well that we would all
talk many times soon, we would see each other at Christmas, and knowing that that didn’t
make it any easier. The ends of visits always leave Chris and I feeling exhausted (I’m a bit of an
intense tour guide) and feeling very quiet. We are always really grateful when people make the
journey to come and visit, and it means the world to be able to show people our wonderful
adopted home. And on the other side, being able to fill Edinburgh with new memories we’ve
created with old friends always makes me happy. With each visit, the landscape of the city
changes, with even more places becoming instances of “remember the last time when….”.