Monday, 9 July 2012


Back to work with a bump following an extended long weekend which involved a brief visit to Edinburgh. I always like the feel of the Scottish capital in the summer, yes it’s full of Americans buying tartan outfits by the dozen and posses of Japanese with camera shutters clicking away, but there is a nice buzz about the place. I think its called atmosphere, yes that’s it. The Castle, The Ghost Tours, The Zoo there’s something for everyone

It’s especially lovely in the sunshine, where you can soak up some rays in Princess Street Gardens or quench a beer al-fresco outside a local cafe bar. However, it bucketed down with rain this time and so outdoor pursuits were limited except for the die-hard umbrella and cagoule brigade.

If you are ever looking to fill a few hours indoors, the National Museum is highly recommended by me, following our last rain soaked visit to Edinburgh a couple of years ago. This time however, we ventured to a place I hadn’t been before – The Real Mary King’s Close. Underground narrow streets, passages and tiny rooms that once provided residence to Edinburgh’s medieval population before being built over.

It’s Kind of like a cross between factual documentary and a most haunted experience, but not quite as scary as the underground vault tour you can take at midnight. Anyway, my twelve year old was impressed and thought the tour guide did a great job, and I, despite slight claustrophobia and vertigo survived to fight another day.

Our other great venture was to another of Edinburgh’s world famous tourist attractions, that’s right Ikea. The historic blue and yellow facade, hewn by hand from ancient sandstone....., well not really. Anyway, we had a look around trying to inspire my daughter who is about to have her bedroom re-done. She wasn’t convinced before we got there and thought I was pulling her leg about the Swedish meatballs, but in the end found some stuff she liked.

When I agreed to do up her room, I was thinking a lick of paint, a few nik-naks and some new curtains – however we are now looking at a new wardrobe, drawers, bed frame, carpet, lighting....otherwise known to Dad’s everywhere as ££££’s, a week of decorating and cursing while having to re-assemble the wardrobe correctly for the third time.

We should have just gone to the Zoo. In fact if you didn’t have to book three years in advance to see the bloody Panda’s, I might have managed to escape the room revamp for another couple of months.

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