EDINBURGH

 View of the castle in the morning, and an equestrian statue.
 

I still have dreams of Edinburgh - those transformed subconscious memories that return to me when I am sleeping. In my dreams I am walking between tall townhouses, through closes and wynds, towards one of my favourite haunts... Probably some kirkyard or garden.

When I first began living in Edinburgh, I was struck by this feeling of coming home. Although I had never previously set foot in Scotland, everything felt familiar: the Georgian houses with moulded ceilings; the plethora of Indian restaurants; the bag-piping buskers; the wild heathered countryside encroaching upon the city; the street names - George, Princes, Albany; and the dismal fogs that surrounded the variously grey buildings. 

I thought to myself: The Scottish settlers of New Zealand must have felt like this. This odd sense of familiarity. 

My waking memories, however, are becoming dimmer now - as if they are being simmered in a pot till their contents are evaporated and concentrated. 


INGREDIENTS:

CONCENTRATED MEMORIES - 80%
Whimsy - 20%

 

A scene: 
*Sticky notes scattered all over the carpet of a room furnished with only a couch. On the couch are some blankets and a pillow. A girl is crouched over her musings, arranging them in some unseen order. Beside her is a box of chocolates, half finished and about thirty books, dog-eared and opened upon their spines. She hadn't left the apartment in three days.*
My birthday:
Reaching down to put a pound note in her paper cup, I looked up and smiled at her, sensing she wished to say something. I was alone on my birthday, and I had all the time in the world to talk to this young woman. I sat beside her, she told me about her troubles at home in Ireland, her hair-dressing degree, and her children. I would like to buy you some dinner, if you will let me, I said. She accepted. 
A conversation between two Scots:

 

Friend: But whit ur ye gonnae dae abit it?
Guy: Oh, ah dunnae... Ah dunnae hae a scooby whit tae dae.

 

My favourite cafe for breakfast, where they served tea and crepes, and a conversation overheard between an old English couple:

 

Lady: I do not like sardines, you see. Ever since I was younger, at my parents summer-house, we would eat them for brunch, and I hated them."

Gentleman: *Reading the newspaper, briefly glances upwards* ... Mmhmmm...

Lady: Where is that tea I ordered for you? This place is just dreadful, the worst service! I cannot believe they have not brought it over yet.

Gentleman: Mmmm..? Oh yes, the tea, no, terrible isn't it?

 

An amalgamated vision of all those times I took the bus to Leith, to see my friends:
It was night, I was watching the other bus-riders curiously, and I listened to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young through 5 dollar headphones. 
My own personal record:
Four months without a towel to dry myself.
A sunset:
Colours - purple in the air, gold of the lights glinting off the glass of the train station roof, and the black stones covered in mould in the cemetery where I sat talking to a perfect stranger about the wonders of travel.
 
 Windsor Street Edinburgh. 
 A cuppa tea and a blue table cloth.
 Chimneys in Edinburgh.
 Kilt of a bagpiper, Edinburgh.
 Painting of a Scotsman in a kilt, in the National Gallery, Edinburgh.
 Detail of Georgian ceiling in Edinburgh's New Town.
 Man in traditional Scottish garb - with a pompom hat.
 Tabby cat by a bookshop on the streets of Edinburgh.
 Edinburgh stone architecture.
 Flowers in New Town, on steps leading to apartments. Edinburgh.
 Thistle Street Bar, Edinburgh.
 Funny cafe sign in Edinburgh.
 Edinburgh skyline at sunset.