22 Hours in Edinburgh – Part One

On Friday night, I whizzed home from work, jumped in the shower, chucked a t-shirt and some pants and socks in my bag, and headed up to Victoria to catch the night bus up to Edinburgh. Oh yes; somehow, I had decided that spending 22 hours in Edinburgh would be entirely worth megabussing both ways to get there (it totally was).

The night bus is best left alone, so lets just say that it was a ten-hour, ridiculously-overbooked megabus, but I survived, and leave it at that.

caltonhill

Oh, Edinburgh. You beauty.

caltonhill2

Gah.

I got into Edinburgh at about 7.30 on Saturday morning, grabbed myself a very much needed cup of tea, and headed up Calton Hill. There were clear blue skies, a few fluffy white clouds, and bright sunshine. It was beautiful. I wandered around, took way too many photos, and generally got a bit emosh (blame the bus, tiredness, whatever. Or, you know, blame missing Edinburgh too much for my own good). Anyway, Calton Hill is beautiful, and I sat up there for about an hour, before heading to the City Cafe to meet Elspeth.

haggis

The City Cafe veggie breakfast. Where can I get veggie haggis in Essex?

I didn’t realise it was possible to be as excited about veggie haggis as I was on Saturday morning. Breakfast at the City Cafe is always good, and Elspeth is gorgeous and wonderful *heart eyes emojis* We had a nice catch up, figured out our plans for later in the day, and then I dashed off along the mile and across Princes St, to Charlotte Square to see Marilynne Robinson at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

charsq

Sunny Charlotte Square

I love how they transform the square for the festival, because it seems huge. Everything is in marquees or tents, and in the middle of the square there are deckchairs to sit and read when it’s nice. There are tons of events going on at once, with signings, and author-spottings everywhere.

mr

Eep!!

The event was sold out, with the queue snaking all the way around the square. Her talk was on the “Restless Reader”, and within seconds, she’d quoted Faulkner, and I was in love.

She was absolutely incredible, and I am utterly, completely in awe. I came out of the tent and made a ridiculously unintelligible note on my phone, which I sent to Madden, in an attempt to keep some of what she’d said in my head. I texted Dave saying that I felt like I needed to go and lie down in a dark room, and cry over everything she’d said. She was perfect. I’m going to copy in some of the tweets from the EdBookFest feed, but I’ll try to rein it in…

I would so love a transcript of this, because there was SO MUCH and I feel like I missed an awful lot. If I find any of it on youtube, or somewhere, I’ll post it up. Hopefully, there’ll be some sort of version of it in Marilynne’s upcoming book of essays, The Givenness of Things.

charsq2

Charlotte Square

I did a quick sweep of the pop up bookshop, and then headed back towards the centre of Edinburgh, to brave the crowds and see my Primark lovelies. I’ve promised 2nd Floor Fitting Rooms a shoutout, so: HIIIII!!!! Ha. Two hours later, I wandered back out into the sunshine, and headed off to find The Cambridge Bar and all my favourite bloggers!

Part two coming up!!

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