This summer I’m wending my way up to Edinburgh with my best Sheffield buddy for my annual ‘summer’ holiday. The weather isn’t exactly playing its part in my idea of a summer break, but then choosing to take a holiday in the UK is the price I have to pay for that. So no bikini or sunblock.
There are two reasons why I’m heading to Scotland. And no, one of them isn’t my defection north of the border due to Brexit, though I was sorely tempted. Nor is it because the knuckle-biting good looking redheads up that way are more plentiful. I have certain friends who would argue this second is exactly why I’m going, but I insist there are two more pressing reasons. These are:
- I’ve always wanted to visit Edinburgh and decided after being in the UK for over 20 years it was about time I finally did it.
- I need to do some research for my prequel – Palindrome. The research will take place in and around Haddington but it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine a holiday with work. I believe the common parlance is busman’s holiday.
In the midst of all this literary research I plan on spending time investigating what Edinburgh and the surrounding area has to offer. Sheffield best bud and I are staying in a venue with stunning views and I cannot wait to get there and experience it in person. For those of you interested in a blow by blow account of our stay, it will be on Facebook shortly. This will be my only social media outlet while on hols as I won't be tweeting my comings and goings.
My literary research will cover such questions as:
- Does Haddington have woods nearby?
- Is there a house big enough to be considered The Big House and would it be on a sort of hill?
- Where is the police station in relation to the nearest housing development?
And so forth and so on.
I’m currently wishing I’d visited Haddington before embarking on writing the prequel. But being the person that I am my impatience and impetuosity intervened so that I wrote the prequel first and then began to consider the wisdom of my chosen location.
After confirming myself a total idiot for my decision to write before exploration I’ll console myself by indulging in all that Edinburgh has to offer.
Here are my top five must does for my Edinburgh holiday itinerary:
Tartan Weaving Mill – primarily because I hope to purchase a kilt if at all possible.
Day trip to Glasgow for the Rennie Macintosh House – I’ve always loved his designs and even copied some for the stained glass panels of the door of my living room. This by the way is not my copy but an original.
Edinburgh Castle – because you always have to visit a castle, fort or cathedral on your travels so that you can expound on your meagre knowledge of buttresses.
Arthur’s seat – simply for the view never mind that it’s a volcano or that it has a hill fort dating back 2000 years. That’s just geology and history crying to be stepped on.
The Museum on The Mound – it’s all about money and how it’s made. Their gift shop has souvenirs made from recycled bank notes and it’s been endorsed by Ian Rankin so why wouldn’t you want to go?