Last Walk

Panoramic photo of Edinburgh skyline from south of the Meadows

My morning walk

It’s the last day of school for my eldest two kids – not just for the summer but, at least in this jurisdiction, for like ever. I have secured a job in a different city, so we’re moving over the summer. The goodbyes are significant; the lasts more meaningful. They’re both excited and mournful, as you would expect.

We’re really happy with our current neighbourhood, and the people, the places, and yes the school are all important to us and a big part of what made us love Edinburgh and feel at home here.

But the walk to school in the morning has been a special treat for me. If I’m honest, it’s the walk after the walk to school. Getting out the door is almost alway fraught – full of grumbles, inducements to hurry up, and sometimes forgotten bags, lunches, and violins. We hustle through the neighbourhood, past doors of classmates. Drop-off is a mass (often a mess) of small and large huddled bodies getting in and getting organised. Some parents are lucky enough to get hugs and kisses before the kids go in.

And then, for as long as I had an office at George Square, during my PhD, I would walk to it. Through the Links, and across the Meadows, to the low-storied buildings on the west face of the leafy square. Barclay Viewforth on the left, and the undulating Links rolling down to the Meadows. Over the roofs of the buildings, the castle sticks up – solid and exciting, every morning. Follow the skyline to the east and you see the Quartermile development, with the old infirmary wards interspersed with square glass towers; it’s actually a remarkably attractive blend of old and new buildings. Amid church spires the minaret of the Edinburgh Central Mosque is just visible, and away to the right are the imposing and inviting humps of Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat.

As commutes go, this one certainly didn’t suck.

The picture above is so compressed and undynamic as to not only not do justice to the walk but actually to do it injustice. Well, it’s what I can muster for you. I took it this morning. We’ll see what the new commute has to offer.

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