|The Firth of Forth, on toward the North Sea,|
North Berwick, Scotland
My wife and I spent ten days in Scotland this summer (and one weekend in London). What a dream.
I kept a journal. But first, why Scotland? Our anniversary gift to each other. And my heritage. On both sides. Some of my earliest memories are of visiting my maternal great-grandparents in Saskatoon. I couldn't decipher the content of their discussions due to their Scottish accents but they fascinated me. And we ate toast with tea. I always thought they looked a little pissed off and they seemed to be arguing much of the time. While visiting the Edinburgh Fringe comedy festival, a comedienne explained Glasgow face: bitter, brows down accompanied by a gruff voice (translated as 'appy to see yer). Lightbulb.
Back to the journal. Giddy, with some highlights:
- Scottish breakfasts are massive and amazing, odes to protein, haggis included.
- deep fried fish and chips and mushy peas
- respect for diversity in art and architecture and urban development, and seriously the best Indian food I've ever eaten
- a pop-up library in Glasgow
- Thrift store charity shops all over the UK
- once locals determined we are Canadian they immediately began to trash-talk Trump, "why would they elect that vile, vile man?" Good question. Perhaps the only redeeming thing about Trump: he helps bring people together, bonded in confusion and distaste.
- taking the train through the highlands, all the waterfalls and rusty-red deer, very Harry Potter
- the Scottish flag painted on a rock high above Ft. William
- pipers on many street corners
- Inverlochy castle
- Arthur's Seat
- Crabbie's Ginger Beer
- JK Rowling's old writing spot, The Elephant Room (apple pie and scotch)
- everything about North Berwick: the beach, Mary Brown, the Lobster Shack, cemetery stories, scones with butter and jam
- climbing the Scott monument
- the closes along the Royal Mile
- finding the home where my great-grandmother and her siblings spent family time together
- Grassmarket in Edinburgh, and the dungeons at Edinburgh castle
- rain and cool weather
- the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square and taking a boat down The Thames
- our airbnb neighbourhood, Islington, London where we had a salted caramel & popcorn milkshake with a shot of whiskey at the Screen on the Green while watching Dunkirk.
All of it, beauty. I must say, it is most pleasing to have a good look at the world.