Monday, 8 February 2016

Edinburgh: A Photo Diary and a Farewell

We left Edinburgh a little over a week ago. In the month preceding our leave I tried to commit as much of it as possible to memory. The weather didn't help as it was a little too cold and dark to do so much exploring but I tried nonetheless. I made a conscious effort to look up and gaze towards the Pentlands on my way to work and on the occasion that I spotted a a nicely coloured morning sunrise, I took out my phone and snapped away, mentally framing the vision in my mind too and reminding myself just exactly how deeply I've loved this city with its ragged skyline and Arthur's Seat looming over the spires of the old town.

Running along my usual routes I lifted my gaze from the path in front of me more often than I normally would and tried to permanently scan the scenes around me into my brain for future reference should I ever miss them, which hindsight has shown me that I do.  I didn't manage to get down to Cramond, one of my favourite discoveries during my time living in Edinburgh but I can picture it so vividly that I wonder whether it is possible that the memory will ever fade. Living in a new city meant that every trip out of the house allowed me to explore unknown streets and find new favourite haunts.

I've loved Edinburgh so much but for the last couple of years I've felt like it has been missing something for me. It's fine living in a city that you love, but life isn't really about buildings, and nice running routes and an abundance of restaurants. Initially I loved the feeling of living in a city where we didn't have any ties. It gave me a sense of independence, a feeling that I was out there on my own. I like solitude. It suits me, within reason, and gives me a sense of freedom. Over the last couple of years though, that solitude has become ever more oppressive and my love for the city didn't seem like enough to keep me there.

And so, changing circumstances bring us back to the town I grew up in. I've switched the claustrophobia of solitude for that of a life already lived. When I left six years ago, I didn't think I'd return so happily, imagining instead that I'd want to live in a variety of places and explore more of the world yet I'm excited and positive for this move. It's allowing us the freedom to build our lives from scratch again and because of this we have the opportunity to consider exactly what we want that to look like. The strange thing is that when I really think about what I want my life to be, it's very different from the ideas I had when I was younger about what that would look like. It involves much more stability and routine than I ever imagined would be desirable.

So, here we are. Starting over in my home town, with a new job in a field that I'm really interested in and which seems like a small step in the right direction. And personally, I'm taking some inspiration from my previous efforts on this blog which taught me that I can live a life filled with new experiences right on my own doorstep if only I go out looking for them.

For now, at least, it's likely that Edinburgh won't feature as much on the blog so I thought that I'd share a few of my favourite photos as a way of saying a fond farewell to the city that has been my home for the past six years.

 This is one of the most iconic views over Edinburgh and for good reason. From this spot Edinburgh looks at its finest, all towering spires and moody buildings. Edinburgh looks brilliant in the sunshine but it is on a dark day, with a grey sky menacing that the view from Calton Hill really captures its essence.

 The photo above is taken from the very steep walk up one side of Arthur's seat and looks out towards the Forth. the dark shapes just before the river are buildings on Calton Hill so I'm essentially staring back at the vantage point from which I took the first photograph (kind of).

During my training for the Triathlon in 2014 I discovered that a cycle path nearby my house led me straight to Cramond and decided to go off for an adventure. It was the kind of sunny day that had the smell of summer permeating the air and I came across this place for the first time. It quickly became one of my favourite places to cycle to until some bloody buggers stole my bike. It's a little bit of wilderness right in the heart of a bustling city.

Also while on a cycling kick I often ventured down to South Queensferry and felt pretty dwarfed by this view of the Forth Road bridge.

 The photo above is Greyfriar's Kirk which I often liked to pop into if I was walking around the grass market area because I am a creepy bastard who loves graveyards and this is one of Edinburgh's finest. Also - interesting factoid - J.K Rowling was reportedly inspired by the gravestone of one Tom Riddell for the name of her infamous villain, Voldemort.

In keeping with the creepy graveyard aficionado theme, this is the Commonwealth graveyard which was just around the corner from our flat (which was at the back of the buildings in the background). 

And finally, I'll finish with a picture of a pretty spectacular sunrise taken from the window of my work office. The perks of starting at 7.30am!


  1. This definitely struck a chord with me... After 8 years here I am finding myself thinking "I was only supposed to be here for 1"... I'm not quite ready to return home yet but it's good to hear that you are enjoying it so far!

    1. Hello! Thanks for commenting! I'm glad you did because now I've discovered your lovely blog and Instagram :) it means a lot to hear that the post struck a chord because it was quite an emotional thing for me to write about. I love edinburgh and I miss it already but when I lived there I would also get really homesick. We've only been back for a week or so but I'm trying to do as much as possible and make the most of being back nearer family.

  2. This was so lovely to read Kylie! Edinburgh is such a stunning city with so much to see and do but sometimes it's the feeling you have inside you that guides you to the places you want to go. Wishing you all the luck in the world with the move back X

    1. Thank you Katy! Yes I agree, we've had a gut feeling for a while so when the opportunity arose we had to take it! I'm worried that we'll be limiting ourselves as it's smaller and a different pace of life which will take some getting used to but I'm determined to make the most of it. X

  3. This was such a sweet post to read, Kylie. I think we form such emotional attachments to different places, linking them to particular periods of our lives and how we felt during those times. It sounds as though you do have many happy memories of Edinburgh, even if you didn't decide to settle there - it's a beautiful place to associate a chunk of your twenties with!

    Good luck with settling in to your new home and your new job. I hope this chapter of your life is just as exciting as the last!


    1. Thanks Charlene. I've had such a wonderful time in Edinburgh so I left with a heavy heart but it did feel like time to try something new (or old). I'm a but emotional about it all probably more so because I can't believe that part of my life (I.e most of my twenties) is coming to an end haha xx