Saying goodbye

I left the lovely place I called home for a year just as the season they call summer started to change into the chillier winds of the upcoming autumn. For the longest time, I’ve hesitated to put feelings into words into this entry just days after I had handed in the biggest work of my life (s0 far!) partly out of sheer laziness, but because of the overwhelming sadness and the newly minted loss that’s churning deep in the tummy at the moment as I type this in yet another place which I should know like the back of my hand but is still to me so foreign.

The happier memories keep coming back still – the recent and most vivid yet was the day TC and I decided to take a leisurely drive across along the Fife eastern coastal trail some time last week or so.

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It was a neat, compact trip just as we planned it that took us onto the Forth bridge and onto the East Neuk. Poor TC had to endure my whims for stopping time to time just so I could use his camera for a shot that seemed somewhat picturesque. We breezed through the quaint and pretty fishing villages under angry looking skies and blustery winds (those make fantastic pictures under the rare and occasional burst of sunlight) and finally made a photo-stop in Pittenweem, which somehow landed us in a chocolate cafe with a cup of unbelievable hot chocolate and a huge box of pralines to go.

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Well, then – who knew Cocoa tree Chocolate also had self-catering holiday flats?

Anstruther was literally a stone’s throw away in the rented but rather trusty Astra, where apparently the most famous Fish and Chips store in the UK could be found. It got TC’s finicky and reluctantly-given approval after a couple of bites, so it must be worth something, never mind the press reviews.

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St. Andrews was our last stop and a little walk down its main streets was sufficient. The Scottish equivalent of Cambridge as I would call it, minus the snobbery of the upper class. Or maybe that was just not evident in the summer absence of the above-mentioned.

And then it was my turn behind the wheel of the car: riddled by mini squabbles, a rushed 20 minutes in Dunfermline, unmarked country roads, and the most infuriating traffic I had ever encountered in the space of 45 minutes in the Edinburgh city centre.

My last week was spent in a frenzy of non-stop packing, rushing to Edinburgh Fringe Festival activities between the free slots of time, returning library books and just simply….trying to live. The crowds on the High street and the Royal Mile were obviously insane, but there were always the beloved crag trails if TC and I needed to escape the summer crowd. Climbed them again, we did, if only just to look at the sprawl of the city for the last time.

And then it was all over. We piled as much as we could into a rented red Nissan March and headed for Glasgow Airport, navigating through the treacherous road signs that confused us tremendously. But somehow we made it, with several directional scares along the way along city bypasses.

I remember little after that. The flight was god-awful, with loads of screaming children, crowded terminals and endless duty-free shops. Then came the reality check: the unfamiliar familiarity and the rush of fatigue and the tangled emotions that accompany every trip.

 

Winter of (Dis)content

TC and I congratulated ourselves on the relatively fuss-free and brilliant KLM internet check-in procedure as we were ensconced in the Airport Shuttle (also pleased that the driver found the pick-up location) en-route to Edinburgh Turnhouse Airport, replete with our bagfuls of gifts and other stuff sitting behind us. Once more, the security checks and […]

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Out of Skye

In many ways we were anxious to retrace our route back to Invergarry to finally see the landscape in the daylight, and take in all that we missed on the way up to Skye. The car was frosted over and we realised that for much of the day temperatures would hover at -3 to -1 […]

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Skye unravelled

The morning in Portree began with a frenzied photo-taking session of the harbour from the room window. Sated with Charlotte’s vanilla plums and the generous breakfast a little later, Bill proceeded to tell us that hordes of tourists queue up in front of their door, taking photos of the harbour. “The second game we play is figuring […]

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The Daze of Skye

It started as an insane and unthinkable plan. Going to the Isle of Skye with either Rabbies or Timberbush Tours seemed to be the default mode of seeing the Highlands until the Travel Companion (the TC) remarked that a road trip in a rented car may not be that implausible after all. TC’s short visit meant […]

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Go West

The Timberbush-Tours pickup point is a most painful uphill trek up to the very top of the Royal Mile, and I nearly boarded the wrong bus in error after that horrendous walk. We started the trip……with The Famous Grouse’s Finest Scotch whisky. All 8 passengers in the 16-seater minivan each received a small bottle of […]

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(Sub)urban Pleasures

There’s much joy to be taken in the walks around the neighbouring suburbs of Edinburgh – when the weather permits, of course. They have been most welcome distractions amidst the alarming assignments that I have been given to do, and holed up in my place is not exactly the greatest inspiration one gets. Stockbridge, the […]

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Loch Ness Hunter

A yellow bus, unmistakably advertising the words “Wild, Sexy…Haggis Adventures” crawled up Blackfriars street adjacent to the Royal Mile, and up walked a man with a clipboard moments later. A flash of ID for attendance confirmation and there I was, ensconced in the bus impatiently awaiting departure. “…And this is the emergency exit, in case […]

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Moving Days

The last 2 saturdays were moving days. On the first Saturday, the luggage and I got into a cab and grudgingly paid the £6 fare up to Royal Terrace from Richmond Place where the Adria Guesthouse is situated – beautiful, spacious Georgian Townhouses with high ceilings and Victorian-lookalike furnishing – typically lined with hotels and […]

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