Ode to Scotland

Chris and I were discussing something about Scotland the other day, and realized that we are gradually forgetting names of people, places, streets, etc that were big parts of our life not long ago. I’m really sad about this because I know that as time goes on we will only forget more and more about our life there. It’s almost like a language that we used to speak but are forgetting the less we use it.

As of last week we have been back in the US for a year, and in light of this and my slipping memory, I wanted to take a minute and note a few of the things that I loved so much about living in Edinburgh.

Our flat. It certainly had it’s flaws, but those added to it’s charm. Our living room was the only heated room in the house, and heated by a fireplace. When we entered the living room in the morning it was under layers of sweats, as you do in a house that is 40-some degrees, and we would gradually shed them as the day went on and the room heated up to an acceptable temperature. Though it was kind of a hassle, there is something really cozy about needing to huddle near a fire, under a blanket or with a warm drink. Plus we had the most amazing view of the park.

Our favorite Saturday morning coffee shop, the deliciously-named Chocolate Soup. The chocolate drinks started with a giant scoop of melted Belgian chocolate, which could also be purchased alone for the the purposes of dunking one of the pastries into. We became good friends with the manager, a sweet Italian lady named Giovanna, and we would talk travel, Scotland, the woes of cold weather and whatever else was on our minds. When it was slow she would join us at our table to chat, and eventually started upgrading our drinks, charging us less for them, giving us the fresh muffins, and even let us in a few times when the shop was not yet open. We never left the shop in under an hour and lingered over our coffee and conversation as long as we could each week.

The University. We were each thoroughly involved in our schools, Chris in the Divinity School where he studied, and me in the School of Chemistry where I was employed. We each really felt a part of the community at our respective schools, and were so happy to have such a sense of belonging, especially being so far away from everyone and everything that we had ever known. We miss those beautiful buildings, and the unforgettable friendships that were built inside them.

Walking around the city. We loved living somewhere where everything that we needed was within walking distance. This is not to say that everything was close, but it was all doable. This forced us to not commit to too many things in one day and live our lives at a slower pace than we ever have in the past. It also gave us ample opportunity to enjoy the historic and beautiful sights of Edinburgh at a leisurely pace.

It was beautiful. I’ve tried to narrow down a million different things that I loved, and this can encompass many of them. The grey buildings against blue skies; the bright green grass; the coasts; the castles; the fog; the city. We never stopped being amazed by this and did our best not to take it for granted.

I’ll stop there because I risk going on forever and posting three years worth of pictures!

3 thoughts on “Ode to Scotland

  1. After only a year there, we miss it so much. I can’t imagine how you all feel! By the way, those are so great pictures. And I must say while the toffee muffins were good, I always went double chocolate with ‘chocolate soup’ to dip it in!

  2. Aww. That was a great post Erin. We can totally relate. But everything comes back to you once you are there. Suddenly we could remember street names, and directions. It was crazy how familiar everything was. I can’t wait to see out pictures from this past trip.

  3. We have to get together soon…there is so much I don’t know about you yet. I’d love to see all of the pics and let you talk for hours about it.

    Great post.


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