Hello Internet world!
We decided to start up a little blog to keep our friends and family up to date with what we’ve been getting up to. I’m also hoping that it will help Chris remember all the wonderful adventures we have, while allowing me the opportunity for some multi targeted correspondence. Ideally we will write a bit every week, but for this first post I’m afraid we will have to lump in the entire month of september. Truth be told, the month was such a blur that I couldn't talk about each week individually even if I tried. While getting married, moving out, moving away, and moving in for the first time all within a week seems like a fun idea in theory, it’s also a bit manic. I’d be lying if I said it wasn't a stressful week, in fact a more accurate portrayal is that it’s been a stressful month, but it’s also been the most exciting of months. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing as we did, and cover a large portion of life events in one swift motion, if you did decide to do the same allow me to offer up a vital piece of advice. Do it with someone amazing. Someone who will jump in head first and not look back. Someone who will keep you laughing when you can’t figure out the hot water heater and your toes are beginning to go numb. Someone who will tease you about your poor Ikea assembling skills, but will also know when to shut up and give you a hug when it all gets to be a bit much and the allen key just won’t behave. Someone who will make you tea and, most importantly, someone who will kill spiders regardless of the time of day or size of the beast. Because dear friends, that was September in a nut shell. Boxes and cleaning and spiders and all sorts of moving in activities. It took what felt like ages, a few ikea trips and some seriously creative organization solutions, but the place finally feels like ours.
As things move much slower in the UK we were without internet for the entirety of the month. And I’ll be frank, it wasn’t fun. Not being able to contact friends and family was very difficult and when the day came where we were finally able to Skype it really brought into focus just how much we missed everyone. It also took a few weeks for Chris to get a phone and this week he will finally be able to get a bank account, tying up the last of our seemingly endless list of loose ends needing to be tied. I can’t wait. I’ve realized that I am not someone who copes well with loose ends. But here I am neglecting the interesting bit and the whole point of this blog. So. What is it like living in Edinburgh?
In a word…damp. But in a few more words, beautiful and breathtaking and ceaselessly surprising. Chris wasn’t working for the month which meant lots of Jamie Oliver inspired meals for me (yay) and the chance to explore the city a bit for him. He’d seen quite a lot when he came to visit in February but I feel like it’s very different when you have the chance to wander on your own without any agenda, or overly enthusiastic tour guide such as myself. There’s no denying this city’s stunning beauty and every step you take reveals another view that seems almost too magic to be real life. It really is exactly as Alexander McCall Smith described it, “This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again”.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Chris’ cultural adjustment. So here’s a quick list of Chris’ top 5 moments of culture shock, as described by Chris himself.
1. The whole concept of air drying clothes
2. The whole “radiator thing”
3. The phrase “let’s have a Chinese or let’s have an Indian”
4. Custard. “Vanilla pudding without the vanilla”.
5. Not understanding intersections. It’s just hard to know where to look.
There’s more. Lots more. And I’m sure more still to come as the winter months approach and the rain begins to fall. Let’s not even tell him about the whole having wet feet for the next 4 months thing.
But despite the damp, the arachnids, the homesickness, the lack of internet, and the wife that’s been ill for nearly a fortnight, Edinburgh has been good to us. Its given us very unScottish sunshine, new friends who now feel like old friends who welcomed us back with warmth and open arms, and a million new places to explore. There is an effortless charm that surrounds the city in the same way we surround ourselves with wool blankets as I’m stubbornly determined not to turn the radiators on till November. It is that charm that I cling to on the days where we have to take it 10 mins at a time, and, let’s be honest, there’s been a lot of those days in September. It’s our first month of marriage and living together and there was bound to be a hell of a lot of adjustment. But if I’m honest, there’s no one else I’d rather be with, and no where else I’d rather be. I wait with bated breath to greet the adventures that are hiding round each and every nook and cranny.