|Image: Dennis Wong|
Yesterday was the kind of Saturday I’ve needed for quite some time. If I could have wished for a better feeling come the twilight of the afternoon, then I got what I desired. It was a nice day but not all that exciting. It was low level boring stuff to most, but for me it was just good to get away from the world and spend the day with me. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed.
I was up early, and over some fresh coffee wrote and posted yesterday’s blog entry. Then, despite the howling winds and rain I boarded a bus to town. My first stop was PC World in Corstorphine. The bus journey takes around 40 minutes, but I quite enjoy the trip right through the heart of Edinburgh, and with the right music on my iPod it makes for a sometimes inspiring route. My choice of music was Ten Years of Tears by Arab Strap. If you know the album, you’ll know what I mean.
I had recently spotted a decent External Hard Drive (EHD) in PC World but wanted my salary in before I made the purchase, hence the extra trip. It’s a Seagate Expansion Drive, and at 1TB for under £90 a very good buy indeed. I also got a proper carrier bag for my Netbook; the one it came with is totally inadequate but this one is fully protective and easy to carry.
I nipped into Tesco across the road to buy my paper and as soon as I walked through the main doors the alarm bells rang out. The security guard checked me walking in and as I wandered around looking for the paper stand, I became aware of the same grim face at the end of a couple of aisles. I purchased my Guardian and on the way out set the alarms off again. This time he stopped me.
“Mind if I check your bags?” he says to me in a drawling east coast accent.
Aware the time for my return bus was approaching, I showed him my receipt and proved my purchases. It was just my magnetically sealed EHD that was setting off the alarms.
Back on the bus and into the town centre where I nipped into M&S to change some Euros I found in my office back into pounds. That’ll save me using the ATM for a few weeks. Then I decided on a new stop for my Saturday morning coffee—Starbucks on Princes Street.
After the steep climb up the stairs I was surprised how large it was inside. Quite welcoming, too, although the music was a little odd. I ordered my cappuccino and a muffin and took a seat near the back where I could see the castle out of the window but be unbothered by the coming and going of customers. There were at least three other people in my corner either with notepads or laptops being used to write into. Nice corner, I thought, and took my seat for a read of the paper.
It was while sitting there that I wrote three poems. I’d brought my new moleskin notebook with me and took the opportunity of a mediocre coffee (I much prefer independent coffee shops) and pleasant ambience to do some writing. I must say moleskin is such a pleasurable experience to write on! Then the music switched to mixed ska and Ghost Town by The Specials came on over the speakers. They were toying with me as you can tell.
I finished up and decided to head home. With a few minutes to spare I nipped into Boots and yet again the alarms sounded. The store was too busy for my liking so I decided to get my deodorant another day, preferring not to mingle with the hundreds of women shopping for make-up and accessories. Just not my cup of tea, I’m afraid.
Back home and after a cheesy lunch settled down to do some work. Email: check; install EHD: check; backup files and run weekly PC maintenance schedule: check!
I also completed the editing for the first part of my Scotland’s Treasure column for next month’s Scruffy Dog Review and got stuck into my work on volume 2 of Silly Poems for Wee People. I’m aiming to have the new chapbook out for the start of May.
Into the evening and after three games of Scrabble with my wife (I won 2-1!!) I ordered dinner—pizza all round. Daughter had a pal staying overnight and I promised them I would get them a pizza, but when it came to it I quite fancied one myself. Lovely jubbly and really my only downfall as far as my healthy eating plan has gone this week.
My wife’s pal came up and I played with her wee dog, Gracie, for a while before leaving them to it and heading to bed to watch a film—The Cleaner with Samuel L Jackson. A right good thriller it was too, though not particularly hard to work out what the twist was in advance so from the plotting angle pretty lame. As a film, though, I’d recommend it.
Sounds like a great day! There used to be a cafe on Victoria street on the way up from Grassmarket that I quite liked — only a few tables, but great coffee and excellent food. A friend who used to work at The Last Drop took me there the first time, and it became a regular stop. And there was a coffee place at the top of Victoria Street that had tables and room to spread out.
Of course, I did a of writing in The Last Drop during the day, when it’s quiet. And in The Jolly Judge. And, even, during lulls, in Deacon Brodie’s Tea Room, Tea Shop, whatever it’s called. Not the pub, but the place across the street through the archway. Yes, I know, it’s a tourist trap, but there are quiet bits where it’s nice and they always let me spread out on the tables and work.
And in the cafe of the Fruitmarket Gallery. I don’t know if that’s even still there.
Unsure what cafe on Victoria Street you mention or the Fruitmarket, but I know the one through the arch at Deacon Brodies. They do a mean Millionaire’s Shortcake in there!Might just check out the other two to see what ones you mean 🙂