Hit the North

December was a time for wrapping things up, and seeing family - I was lucky that way, I hope you were too.  I went down south and paid my respects.

January meant boxes, packing, and anxiety.  It also meant saying goodbye.  I'm not sad to leave London - the backstabbing competitiveness, the lazy one-upmanship, the idle rich and the ignorant poor.  But I am sad to leave our friends, who are brave and foolhardy and stoical in the face of the machine, as we mostly all are.  They came out to play on a Friday, and for that thankyou all.  Come up and see us sometime, its not just idle talk.

Then came the trip, not much to report, except that it went without too much of a hitch, and the border hills of the Cheviots were awash in a winter sunlight relief as we limped into Jedburgh on an empty tank.  I like the border and Northumberland alot, and I've never camped in the Cheviots, so I will return - they look like alot of fun in miniature.

Our new home is here in Edinburgh, and we arrived to 2 beautifully cold, clear and crisp days.  The same boxes but in different rooms, a fish and chip supper, and a barn of a flat in Leith near the harbour, we don't quite know where to put ourselves.  But I love that we can walk into town, or cycle to the other side in 20 minutes - its proportionate - a city for people, not a terra-forming flesh eating monster that spits out the bones of its victims whilst they still mourn the loss of their entrails.

And I still can't quite get over the fact that there's a mini mountain in the city.  Tamed it maybe, but in the dawn twilight, some memory of wildness can still be felt - in the blast of arctic wind on the top of Arthur's Seat, the murmur of grasses off the beaten tracks, and the fussing of small birds attending to their partners.  Small moments of magic in the park before work.  Psychic space.

However, a proper walk is well overdue I think - until Monday, then.  I'll leave you with Mr Smith, still sounding as bucolic as he did when I last lived north of the gap, 20 years ago.  Slàinte mhath.