A few hours after arriving home from Barcelona, I found myself back on the tram to the airport to pick up a very special visitor. I’ve mentioned before that my little sister was in Serbia for school, and after finishing her course she made a pit stop here in Edinburgh before heading home to Canada. I hadn’t seen my sister since we left last August, and although modern technology makes staying in touch rather easy, I was dying for a hug. Our reunion was tearful and full of giggles and talking a mile a minute over each other, much to the sheer delight of all the other tram goers at 11 pm on a Sunday I’m sure.
We spent the four days in endless conversation, catching up about our past months and months to come, all over bottomless pots of tea. Niamh had requested some shopping and museum going, so the first day we did just that. We visited the new wings at the National Museum, all of which are absolutely fantastic, and Niamh showed off her anthropology chops by taking me around the World Cultures exhibit and filling my head with even more wonderful facts. The last time and only other time Niamh was in Edinburgh she was rather crippled due to an upcoming knee surgery. As such, she wasn’t able to do as much exploring of this hilly metropolis, as either of us would have liked. So this time around I made sure to make up for it by taking her up to the castle, and up and down every old town volcanic remnant I could think of. Our calves sore and our spirits high, we left old town and went to Prince’s street to pour over the shops and buy all the Percy Pigs and Colin Caterpillars my sister could fit in her suitcase. We spent the evening with Chris filling our faces with good food and watching Spice World, because I have the world’s most patient husband.
The next day I took my sister to work with me, followed by a spectacularly moreish feast at Meltmongers. My sister and I have been having sister dates basically since she was born. When we were younger it involved moving into a closet for a few days, and it evolved to coffee and dinner dates once I was old enough to take her out. A firm favourite of ours was always watching fantastically bad tv and eating grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. It’s something I miss the most about living away from home and when I found out about a grilled cheese restaurant I knew it would be a big hit. We talked enough to fill the past few months, all while snacking on as much dairy as is probably safe for a day. As Chris was at work during the week we spent all our evenings with him, sharing dinners at home and watching as much Real Housewives and bad british tv as he could handle.
The following day we went on an adventure to find a specific box of tea that my sister had become obsessed with a few years ago. We walked all the way to Waitrose hoping it would still be there, only to be greeted by a whole shelf of it. We squealed with delight and fell into a fit of giggles, as the ridiculousness of walking nearly 40 mins for a box of Twinings tea finally hit us. I can only imagine what the folk around us were thinking as we wiped away tears of laughter and hugged each other with enthusiastic congratulations. We grabbed as many boxes as we could carry, 7 if you must know, and went on our way, smug as the cats that got the cream. To celebrate our success my sister took me to Eteaket for afternoon tea, which was delicious and perfect and a fantastic way to spend the rest of the day. The sun was shining and we walked through Princes’ street gardens, arguing and then making up, and then laughing at the sheer consistency of our sisterly patterns. Despite the 5 year age gap and the diversity of our personalities, my sister will forever mean the world to me. She drives me crazier than I ever thought possible, and I can humbly admit to do the same to her, but I’d give my left arm to that nut.
The rest of our days were filled with as many outings as we could possibly fit into the time we had left. We drank teas and coffees, and people watched and makeup swatched. We talked over each other and somehow listened to every word that came out of the others mouth. The days were full and short, peppered with hugs and hysterics. I told my sister that we were coming home for Christmas and so we planned every second of it and filled the air with as many conversations as we needed to, to last us till the winter. On the last night we stayed up as late as we could, my sister’s suitcase so full of treats it was pulling at the stitches. She even managed to steal some of my clothes, something I thought I’d put an end to when I moved 3000 miles away. But then I guess you can never underestimate the power of the little sister; clothes thief.
When the time came to say goodbye it was dramatic and tearful and once again a public display of affection that must have seemed like she was flying to Mars rather than across the pond. It was a week that I will treasure always, and I can't wait for the next visit