South Africa, United Kingdom · 21 Days · 85 Moments · October 2017

Christine in Edinburgh

10 November 2017

Checked in at Edinburgh. The journey is almost over.

9 November 2017

Last day with Cait and Nick. Cait and I walked to the Botanic Gardens where Christmas preparations are in full swing. Scones and tea in one of the cafés, where it took the three ladies in front of me in the queue 10 minutes to decide what they wanted, including what size coffee cup....! Cait made a lemon meringue pie - delicious - and Nick repeated his macaroni cheese, at my request. Last supper and all sad. Watched some TV and started packing.

8 November 2017

We spent a happy half hour in one of the ubiquitous charity shops where we bought some fabric remnants for Cait to use to get to know her sewing machine again. Awesome stuff!
Turning around, the Library is on the corner of the main road with buses and shops (Leith Walk)
McDonald Street. Co-op Store 20m from the door of their building, which is the white 6 floor one on the right
We had tea in the café on the 5th floor of John Lewis.
Icy this morning; frost on the grass and ice on car windows. Wrapped up and walked UP Calton Hill for panoramic view of the city.
City from Calton Hill

7 November 2017

Then we took a bus to Princes Street. Christmas decorations going up all over.
Today we took a bus to the Waterfront, or Ocean Terminal Shopping Mall, where the Britannia is moored.

6 November 2017

And very delicious it was. Wonder if I could take a few home with me?
Cait is cooking us another mouth watering supper of steak pie (apparently Edinburgh's best, from a nearby butcher shop) and veg.
Nick took this photo walking through the park on his way to work this morning.
We found a beautiful pair of shoes for Cait in Clarke's. Pale grey ankle boots which will keep her warm and dry. But they did not have them in stock in colour and size so they have been ordered and will be delivered to her at home by Thursday! I could not believe the efficiency and sophistication of the experience. A bit more open-mouthed wandering in and out of shops then we took a bus to the supermarket close to home for some supplies.
On to Jenner's Department Store, a beautiful relic of a past age and purveyor of goods with startling price tags.
Cait and I walked to Princes Street on a cold and blustery morning. Christmas lights and decorations going up everywhere, now that Guy Fawkes is over. The (unknown) statue in St Andrews Square has been transformed into a pub and performance platform

5 November 2017

Cold but sunny day spent quietly at home, reading, watching TV, tea and nibbles to hand. Called Eleanor Reid, Dennis' sister who still lives in the same house Jocey and I visited. This afternoon we bundled up and walked along the Water of Leith to Tauchters, a pub near the waterfront which specialises in single malt whiskies. Needed the 5km walk home. Cait now making pizza for supper, from scratch... she is a wonderful cook!

4 November 2017

Sorry, followers. My photos and texts today are appearing scrambled. I shall get Nick to sort things out, after the football of course.
Queensferry Bridge
After a walk around St Andrews we drove to Anstruther, a fishing village of pretty houses around a harbour. Probably bedlam in tourist season but not too bad today. Had delicious locally caught haddock fried in a wonderful crisp batter, mushy peas and home made chips, not french fries, at The Wee Chippy Cafe. Mission accomplished! Home along the coast road.
Hamish MacHamish was a ginger cat of independent mien, immortalised in this statue in a square in St Andrews. For Morag and other cat lovers. Google him for more information if you are interested.
Full coffee machine in the back of this tiny car at the farmers market.
Fresh local fish, some being hot smoked in the huge wooden barrel covered with wet sacks. Note the stall workers in short sleeves.
World's smallest coffee stall - full coffee machine in the back of this tiny car
We drove past the famous golf course into St Andrews, recognising the buildings from TV, but couldn't stop to look. Went to a farmers market, a few stalls selling local fare, and had much needed hot drinks. 6 degrees! The sun is so low it makes photos difficult.
What a lovely day. Nick picked up a hired car for the day and in a posh Nissan Qashqai fitted with all the bells and whistles we set the onboard satnav for St Andrew's. We zoomed across the beautiful new Queensferry suspension bridge over the Firth of Forth, speed limit a cautious 40mph, and everyone keeps strictly to it! Ki

3 November 2017

On to a fabric shop, lovely but costly should I be moved to buy Harris Tweed at upwards of £35 pm (R700). Bought Cait a needed wall clock. Shopped in an Asian grocer for supper ingredients. Walked home - freezing and dark by 4!
After a slow start Cait and I set off on Shank's pony and guided by her reached The Craggs, below Arthur's seat and opposite Holyrood House Palace and the controversially modern Scottish Parliament. Went into the Parliament briefly - interesting shop! Then up the Royal Mile to the Castle. On the Mile you can buy absolutely anything you can think of in tartan or cashmere, in any colour imaginable. While listening to bagpipe buskers. The Castle is as imposing as ever. The leafless trees surrounding the carpark - we did not go into the Castle - allowed a view over Princes Street to the Firth. We went into the Scottish National Library where there is an exhibition of Frank Hurley's original photos, and movies, of the Shackleton expedition and the loss of the Endurance. Fortuitously also a tearoom where we tucked into tomato soup and oatcakes and tea. Fuel!
Nick's macaroni cheese which will forever more be a Memorable Meal. It was wonderful. Cait home only after 10 because of airport delays again. She is so brave and determined.

2 November 2017

Home in MacDonald Street. Nick cooking macaroni cheese for supper while we wait for Cait. A welcome glass of wine to hand.
Sad to leave my comfortable room in Boerebooms' lovely home.
The old red telephone kiosks are now Defibrillator points!
Linda's shop and colleague in Steyning. Had a walk round the beautiful town, full of classy and interesting stuff, visited the library which was Caity's go to spot and had tea in an eccentric little old tea shop., c 1600! On the way to Gatwick now.
The old red telephone kiosks remaining are now Defibrillator points!

1 November 2017

Don took me to Cairns home. Lana very otherwise tonight but Isla kind and helpful little girl, such a help to Helen in every way. Etta fed most of the evening! Stuart working very hard and is a fully fledged building contractor, calling his company Flawless, and in partnership with Ian. They have moved beyond renovations in a big way. So impressed with him. He is also employing Margie's son Fergus as a labourer. Fergus living in a hostel in Brighton and this is his first job here. Stuart brought me home to Bramber about 9.
Victoria and Max fetched me. While waiting for Don and Holly to get home Max showed me round the house and garden. Full of life, chatty, engaging and happy little boy. Don just completing refurbishment of the ensuite shower and it is magnificent. Sat and had a lovely chat to Don and Holly when Victoria and Max left for tennis. Holly is beautiful of spirit and face. Don very impressed with and supportive of Cait tackling Cambridge course.
Drive to Amberley Castle, now a hotel offering a Christmas special for £630 per night. Lunch at The Bridge, pub at Houghton. Prawn sandwich - yum. Drove back through Arundel where imposing castle, home of the Duke of Norfolk. Back home for tea before Laura arrives with Eva and Anya, then Victoria coming to fetch me at 4.
Pete and Linda pouring tea and showing off their new cosy.
The photos are their colourful family room, the view from there into the garden and "Omie's (granny's) conservatory play room, complete with"dent" (tent). They have taken poor Woody to the vet.
Pete and Linda waiting for me at Gatwick when I arrived about 6.30 last night. So lovely to see them, and their character full cats. Sat in their family room/kitchen, with log stove warming us, and a glass of wine, while Linda prepared supper. Lots of catching up chat. This afternoon Victoria will fetch me to go to their house, then to Stuart and Helen for supper. So looking forward to it.

31 October 2017

News is that Chris is safely in Sussex with Pete and Linda.
Waiting for flight to Gatwick after using tram to airport and negotiating security solo, after coaching from Cait about what to expect. She is such a star.

30 October 2017

We wore black today in solidarity with South African farmers who are being murdered at a rate of about 4 a week. Government lack of response seems to indicate tacit approval. Shocking.
QM memorial garden pavilion lined with shells and the ceiling is made of closely packed pine cones of different hues, hence the checked (?tartan) pattern.
Cait and I walked to the Botanic Gardens, one of her favourite places. Glasshouses were closed but we spent time in the Queen Mother's memorial garden before stopping at one of the several tearooms in the gardens for tea and a sandwich. Fuel needed! Walked on through Inverleith Garden, one of her running spots then back through Stockbridge where she pointed out Carol Wilson's kind cousin's house. Stockbridge shopping street once again mostly charity shops.... amazing how many there are. A significant contribution to rentals and employment and commerce. Home for tea and the scone and clotted cream we did not finish earlier. Did some ironing for her while she started supper. Looking forward to her fish pie later. Loving Netflix too and watched an episode of "Lewis" while ironing. Tomorrow to Sussex.

29 October 2017

Cait and Nick at the Remembrance Day memorial being set up at the base of the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens. On the way home we browsed through John Lewis. What choices and quality available!
Train from Waverly Station to Stirling, about an hour through picturesque Scottish countryside. Walked through the town which is hilly with narrow streets to the castle on a hill overlooking the city. Stopped at "2 Baker Street" for pub lunch - Nick had a burger with haggis and whisky sauce, Cait had scampi and chips and I had a baked potato and cheese. We all had beer too! Back to the station via all the charity shops which occupy much of the town main street before getting the train back to Edinburgh. I have learnt that even charity shops are ranked socially so you get different quality merchandise accordingly. A lovely day out.
Clocks back an hour today.
Cait cooked a wonderful supper of steak, roast veg and Aunty M-style roast potatoes. She nailed it! Then came the dreadful news of the sudden death of our lovely friend Max Walters, at the rugby in Durban. Cait here and Mo in Franschhoek each learning, and mastering, the awful job of consoling.

28 October 2017

Took the bus to GW College. Lovely bus ride across town. Autumn leaves everywhere. School sooooo impressive. Awed.
Bussing to look at George Watson College
Xanthe and Tim came for birthday tea of Caity's wonderful chocolate cake, with sparklers. Lovely to see them. They were thrilled with baby bootees and a Woolies baby towel I brought. Afterwards Nick, Cait and I dressed warmly and walked one of their scenic routes to Tesco's and LIDL for supplies. We are cooking birthday dinner here tonight. We had Scottish Smoked salmon and bread for lunch - wonderful and very special. Nick watching football and Cait and I going exploring.
Seriously considered staying in my wonderful bed where I am brought fleece blankets, hot water bottle and tea...... but it is Nick's birthday so I am now ready for an Edinburgh day.

27 October 2017

Just had a lovely dinner with Nick and Cait. Chinese from M&S and wine from Chili. Cosy and comfortable.
This is what 40kgs of luggage looks like, unpacked
Fits perfectly. Look at the smile
This is what fits perfectly. Thanks, Gran and Morag
Look what has a home already
A cup of tea and oatcakes about to be enjoyed in Caity's beautiful flat. Tram ride from airport great fun and very convenient. Here I am at last. And here is the luggage
Chris and Cait are on their way into town on the tram with all luggage safe
Chris has just landed in Edinburgh
Boarding for Edinburgh!
Happy memories. Frankfurt airport is wonderful - stunningly clean and efficient. The several groups of ? Canadians huddled in prayer are worrying.
Safe in Frankfurt Airport and have managed to find my next gate, for Edinburgh, and work out how to connect to WiFi. SAA managed to sow panic by very late flight out of Durban, long lines at Passport Control, and got to my gate as boarding. Not a good start. Flight fine. Not full, which helps comfort. Needed a train to next concourse although still in terminal 1! Got frisked, explosive tested on hand luggage and again on duty free parcel. That after Dwarf Ray body xray. Got to love it though. A quiet time to read now until next flight at 11. Happiness is.
Landed in Frankfurt

26 October 2017

Now checking Flight Radar they have just crossed over the Caprivi Strip. And are right on time to land at 05:35
I received a phone call from Chris at 6:20 to say she was about to board the flight to Frankfort having made it by the narrowest of margins after the SAA flight from Durbs was nearly an hour late and it took an hour to get through immigration/departures at ORT. By the time we wake up tomorrow she should be landing in Germany.
Three boarding passes. And all the luggage checked through without issue.
Leaving now. See.
For those who maybe like to follow flights she is on LH 573 departing ORT at 19h00 bound for Frankfort. The leg to Edinburgh is LH 962 departing 11h00 tomorrow
Let the games begin.
This is it. Chris sets off for Edinburgh today

21 October 2017

Grey day
Test entry
Five more sleeps and four of them next door keeping SG company while the Bennetts are in Gqoyeni