More like three actually. But the alliteration makes it sound like a romantic film or a heist movie. We drove up Friday and this photo was technically taken from the disputed land between the two signs. There were recently photos highlighted on social media of the grass being uncut in this area with the Scottish side as neat and trim as the eighteenth green at St Andrews. Of course, it wasn’t laziness on the English side: I was happy to explain we were participating in #NoMowMay to protect the bees and the butterflies. Thank God for hashtags and insects who take the fast lane to get their pollen.
On arrival we had to stock up with Scottish delicacies before visiting my in-laws. As well as Irn Bru, Empire Biscuits (below) are another favourite – often enjoyed by Edinburgh detective John Rebus. However, I’m expecting a rebrand any time soon as this name surely won’t last.
We stayed at a former distillery manager’s house on the Fife coast, around thirty minutes from Edinburgh. We stayed on the top floor and there was great artwork everywhere. For a few short days I got to live the dreamy life of a writer with not much writing to do. It was perfect. I had Pantone coffee cups, modern art featuring Irn Bru bottles, views of the Firth of Forth, the atmosphere of a house built in 1805 and a fantastic spiral staircase. I had lots of creative ideas and didn’t do much. Perfect.
The house is wonderful and lies at the foot of a hill overlooking the beautiful Firth of Forth. At night we watched huge tankers leaving Leith and planes taking off and descending into Edinburgh.
This is the view of the hill out back. It’s quite a climb and has tremendous views of the Forth and coastline and men in salmon and gunmetal diamond-patterned sweaters thwacking golf balls over gorse.
We went to a local coffee shop and had this delicious flapjack. It was the kind of coffee shop where they take this kind of thing very seriously. You have to choose between chemistry sets before they make your drink. I asked for a Mellow Birds with a dash of UHT and they threatened to throw me out.
On arrival at our house two of these beauties below were waiting for me. I love whisky, thankfully. It amuses anyone younger than forty to learn my Irish doctor prescribed a dash of scotch in my bottle to calm me when I was a baby. He’ll be pleased to know he helped me form a lifelong habit, although I no longer wear a romper suit to partake (that’d be weird). Slainte!
We only had three days but we walked miles of coast, sucked up the sea air, and saw plenty of my wife’s family. After three deaths (losing her father, uncle and nephew) in the last two years it was great to welcome two new (very young) members into the family and meet for the first time. I wasn’t allowed to indoctrinate them into the whisky habit yet, but there’s time. (It’s no longer the 70s sadly).