Edinburgh looks like Gormenghast, inspired much of Harry Potter and is definitely ranked among my favourite cities- not only because there are so many things for people to do and find, or just the look of the place, but because as a loner with an antisocial streak I can wander around without feeling aimless. There are hidey-holes everywhere containing what I call treasure- like the bagpipe-playing angel in St Giles’ Cathedral, a golden parrot above a doorway, poems carved into stairs and the cat cafe with friendly fluffs in the window if you’re lucky.
One of my usual haunts is the Elephant House cafe, “Birthplace of Harry Potter”. It’s become a haven for writers and on my first visit I wrote 24 pages of my crime novel then found out I was sitting at the same table Rowling used! You can see Edinburgh Castle and Greyfriars graveyard (which inspired Hogwarts and Tom Riddle’s grave) from the window in the daytime. At night the endless trail of tourists subsides a little and I can make myself cosy. If I’m honest, the food’s a bit overpriced but the coffee’s great and there are interesting cakes (I’m a sucker for weird flavours). If you go, make a pilgrimage to the loo. If you’re a Potter fan, that is. ;P
Every. Inch. Is. Covered.
Look! Diagon Alley!
For the first few books, I was the same age as Harry and found that almost all of my friends felt such a strong connection with one of the characters- mostly Hermione and Luna. I always felt attached to Sirius- we both had bad reputations we didn’t deserve so I’ve written my own Sirius-related tribute there.
Are you a Potterhead? What’s your house and who’s your ‘spirit character’?
I stopped for a mocha and the traditional gawp out of the window but as I had limited time and was on a quest, the writing didn’t get done this time. There are several very attractive cake-y shops that stay open relatively late but my end destination was Mary’s Milk Bar. (I never said it was a noble quest…) They specialise in gelato (which is different to ice cream- read this) and hot chocolate, and this picture is a classic hot chocolate with a pear and marsala wine sorbet…….. <3 It was about £4.50 which for an independent retailer in a touristy city was very reasonable (even if the sweets on display looked extortionate!)
On my way to the coach station for an all-nighter towards London, I, like half of the city, was stopped in my tracks by the enormous, low, orange full moon. It always amazes me that in any place full of noise and screens and overstimulation, people from any walk of life or situation can stand completely still and be transfixed by one of the most ‘normal’ things on earth. I’m usually fairly pessimistic about the state of the human race but when we can still take time to watch the moon rise, it gives me hope that there is still some awe and spirituality left.
I would love to show you but my camera wasn’t having any of it.
It did a nice job with the Scott Monument though which, like many things, is extra beautiful at night. I began a short story years ago about the secret lives of the statues around Norwich that come to life when nobody is looking- I’m tempted to go back and finish it, then write another about Edinburgh as I wonder what they’d say to each other……..
…… surely one of them must have been a dog lover? 🙂
This is Greyfriars Bobby. You rub his nose for luck (which is why he has a shiny polished nose) and his story is heartbreaking. Google if you’d like to be sad for hours. 😛 People leave tributes on his grave- mostly dog toys and sticks, though a priest I got talking to told me that tickets to Oktoberfest had also been left there once. (??!)
As I got on the coach I got a text from a friend offering a spare ticket to see Rob Zombie the night after my journey… Yet another ‘bucket list’ band; I’m doing well this year! They were even better than I had expected- and I knew they’re awesome live- playing some of my favourite songs (Dragula, UFO, House of 1000 Corpses) and introducing me to more (including Get Your Boots On, which is what’s on repeat now- I’m too bouncy to sleep right now!) The atmosphere, the stage diving, the neverending supply of custom guitars, Rob’s amazing trousers, THE FREAKING ATMOSPHERE… yeah, I’ll be back. 😉
Aside note to a stranger; if somebody’s man-boobs get squished against my back, I’ll just imagine they’re Michelle Rodriguez. If someone knocks me over or treads on my foot, no worries- we’re all wearing New Rocks or similar. There was, however, no excuse for your bad breath. Have a mint.
I wanted to enjoy the concert without waving my phone around too much so haven’t many photos, but here are a few of mine/my groups.
Have a good night, whatever you are doing! 😀
*frantically air-guitars* (I’m not cool- get used to it).
Best sight ever. <3
And me! Have a post-gig obligatory toilet selfie… 😛
And could we all please just take a minute to appreciate my amazing new leggings? They’re like HR Giger art!
*corny film announcer voice* “When the zombies invaded Euston toilets, how lucky for London that the right woman had needed to pee…” 😛
Leggings: SOTW on Amazon
Top: Primark (then ‘wastelanded’ by me)
Gloves: Customised by me
Make-up: Make-up Revolution, Lipstick (for the scars) by Barry M