I went out on Saturday morning and did something I’d not done for a long while: walk for miles through Edinburgh.
It was something I needed to do, to give me time to reflect on Ian’s funeral the day before, look back on my relationship with him, the part he played in my family life, and to try and balance it all out in my head, what it all meant, what the future might hold, and to give me some personal time to adjust and regroup myself mentally for the next steps in supporting the family through all that’s happened.
It just felt good to be out and about with, hopefully, the worst of it all behind me. Friday was a terribly intense and emotional day. The funeral went well and with an estimated 240 people in attendance, we couldn’t have wished Ian any better a send off than the one he got. But now, life must begin go on. The weekend was all about trying to move forward and getting back up to speed with our lives, and that must continue.
I walked into the centre of Leith then jumped on the first bus that came along to take me up Leith Walk. It happened to be the number 7, and I stayed on until I was passing through Newington and heading out towards the university on the south side of the city. I got off the bus and started to walk back into town.
I was lost in my thoughts when the first rumblings of a breakfast came to mind. I happened to look up and saw a sign for the Spoon Café & Bistro. I’d heard of it through writing circles as it provides the location for several local writing and reading groups. Up the stairs I went, and was very pleased with what I walked into.
Spoon Café is an open space with a friendly atmosphere that somehow manages to still feel small and intimate. Not sure how it’s pulled off, but I loved the eclectic feel of the artwork and furniture, and the friendly Irish chap who served me poured a lovely cappuccino. With Radiohead’s OK Computer album playing gently in the background, it’s exactly the kind of place I’ve been looking for to have my Saturday coffee since Nero’s on Rose Street closed down a few months ago. Hopefully, I’ve not cursed this one too.
I stayed for two coffees and a healthy read of the newspaper before continuing my walk. I carried on along the North Bridge then swung a left up the High Street. Remembering Cuttea Sark on Victoria Street, I turned down and popped in to lay my hands on what proved to be the final bag of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee they had. Not cheap, but would be well worth the dosh.
From there I walked through the Grassmarket and back up towards Lothian Road, down Princes street where I eventually got hacked off with all the shoppers so jumped on a bus back home. I don’t know how many miles I walked but it was a fair amount and just what I needed: fresh air, time to think and clear the mind.
Also what I needed was to boost my music collection. I keep a list of music I want to buy that come across my radar. It’s a list that grows daily when I hear about new artists and check them out, are recommended to me, I hear on Vic Galloway’s show, or come to my attention through interviews and the media. There’s also a lot I want to get to replace my vinyl colelction.
And I went for it big style on Saturday afternoon:
King Creosote – Flick the Vs
Mogwai – Mr. Beast
The Police – The Police
The Beta Band – The Beta Band
Kid Canaveral – Shouting at Wildlife
Dungen – Ta Det Lungt and Skit I allt
George Coleman – Amsterdam after Dark
World Party – Goodbye Jumbo
Added to last weeks purchases:
Grinderman – Grinderman 2
The Kinks – Singles Collection
Mogwai – Harcore Will Never Die, But You Will
The Phantom Band – The Wants
And of course, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue – given to me by my Dad on Thursday afternoon.
All in all, a damn good haul.
In the evening Gail and I went out for a meal. It was chilled and relaxed and very pleasant just the two of us down at A Room in Leith restaurant on The Shore. I enjoyed a couple of beers along with a starter of Stornoway black pudding scotch egg with caramelised shallot and chive sour cream and baby herb salad; a main of grilled fillet of halibut with warm whisky cured smoked salmon, new potato and caper salad, dill crème fraiche dressing; and a dessert of warm sticky toffee pudding with ice-cream instead of baileys custard. Two double espressos later and I was ready for home.
Yesterday was even more relaxed. I sent my daughter and her pal off to the cinema and took Gail out for a nice breakfast. Then I took her shopping at Ocean Terminal where I bought her some new clothes. The rest of the day was spent behind a book, tidying up and listening to my new haul of music.
It’s a new week, a new kind of life, but things move on and there is a lot to be done – the world keeps turning.
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