It’s not often I have a day - yes, a whole day - at my disposal. Pulling this off involves not being at home for a start because there is always stuff to do and no matter how hard I try my conscience always gets the better of me. There’s washing up, gardening, laundry and so on and one thing always leads to another and then it isn’t a day of indulgence after all. And working from home doesn’t help. There are always emails that tempt you to check them and because I do social media on behalf of all sorts of folks, it’s no longer possible just to check in to my own facebook.
So I have to be elsewhere to indulge myself and elsewhere today happens to be one of our favourite cities with all sorts of significance to our family - Edinburgh. Lacrosse and rugby trips, one child at university here and a really excellent 50th bash for Skip to name but a few. And today the city of Edinburgh is on a major charm offensive. Princes Street Gardens are bathed in sunshine with blossom and pale leaf bloom in equal measure and people sitting on grass - in t-shirts! And there's the stunning dark silhouette of the Castle as a backdrop.
We arrived here yesterday - me and my smallest child - for her final university interview. We are staying in the centre of the city in a rather chi-chi boutique hotel booked by my beloved and though the university is 15 minutes by bus from here, it’s perfect. Yesterday’s itinerary included checking out the university (which turned out to be closed for the day, striking panic into the heart of the more-easily panicked member of the team ie me.) Anyway all was well, the university would be open on the appointed interview day and we were now fully conversant with the buses to get there on time in the morning.
So just time for a little light shopping with some rather fruitless but nonetheless exhausting trying on. Then tea in the Harvey Nicks Chocolate Lounge - think sushi bar but with chocolate confections and cupcakes going round instead of raw fish. Dinner was at Amarone, a lovely pizza and pasta place which was the scene of a very substantial hangover-busting breakfast fry-up a few trips back. And then out into the evening where St Andrew’s Square was lit up with a thousand lights in the gathering dusk.
So this morning I’ve been out to Napier University with the small one and left her there, feeling massive mothering nerves, and bussed back into the city for what I then imagined was a whole day on the loose. Actually it ended abruptly at lunchtime because despite being told that 4.00pm was the likely finish time, number 4 was released from her grilling earlier than stated. But no matter, I had by then browsed the shops, drank coffee in the sunshine and done the most physically exhausting and least enjoyable form of clothes shopping, the sort that can only be done alone - the torture of purchasing swimwear.
Oh not to have a sluggish white body and over-50s wobbly bits! But swimwear shopping has to be done in hope rather than expectation and there is always the absolute certainty that the important elastic in at least one of last year’s confections will have perished over the winter. So half a dozen bikinis later and feeling rather hot and bothered, I did, of course, pick the most expensive and could surely have saved myself a whole lot of trouble by just trying on the one that was going to make the biggest hole in my bank balance. It is one of life’s cruel lessons that after the sacrifice of bearing multiple children the sort of swimwear that hangs together with bits of fabric and string just will not do.
So number 4 arrived in time for lunch and and more Harvey Nicks mooching and now we’re on our way back on the train with sore feet and weary limbs and I’ve checked my emails - I told you I never could resist a beeping in-tray - so the indulgence is definitely over. At least I’ve got my cozzie!
And here are some pics of our latest foray North of the Border!
And just because she's gorgeous.