Edinburgh has a storybook quality about it. The architecture, from the imposing castle that overlooks the city to the picturesque Georgian architecture of New Town, gives the whole city a dreamlike quality. Perhaps this, in part, is what has led to Edinburgh being the creative workshop of so many authors: Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle; the list is long.
Of course another reason could be the dreadful weather that looms overhead most days, the gray and rainy skies making the city more Wuthering Heights than Treasure Island. What better forecast could there be for writing? Still, it isn’t all rain clouds. As I sit writing this the sun has even decided to make an appearance. As if to help make my point it seems to be luring me outside and away from my writing, and to think the Greeks viewed Apollo as supporting literary efforts.
Sun or clouds, Edinburgh remains a great place to write. I’m currently in my favorite cafe seated in the corner in what has become my favorite chair. The chair has excellent Feng Shui, the main door indirectly to my left, sheltering walls to my back and right and a good view for people watching, all that and an outlet for my computer conveniently placed next to my comfy chair. It’s perfect. That’s wonderful but not surprising as Edinburgh is full of cafes, from chains to the small and privately owned. Some have great views; others seem so inconspicuous as to raise questions as to how they continue to exist despite the competition. The one that has become my office is on a main street, but some distance from the touristy center. I prefer the idiosyncratic and local clientele that fill the seats around me.
Take the elderly woman opposite me for example. She just insisted that she didn’t need the sugar served with her coffee, but that it shouldn’t be thrown away either, a nice reminder that conservation isn’t a purely modern phenomenon. A short conversation with her is a nice break form the struggle with my current chapter. That or maybe she’s conspiring with the sun to keep me from getting any work done.
Some backpackers just walked by the window. It’s easy to forget that Edinburgh is the second most visited city in the UK and such a popular tourist destination. There are so many students and locals that the tourists, aside from the odd backpack, seem to blend in better here than elsewhere. Perhaps the same is true for me. Would anyone recognize as a traveler as I sit here typing away, or do I simply seem like another one of the Uni students constantly wrestling to finish the next essay? I certainly feel more like a student than a traveler at the moment.
Ok, back to work on the book. I want to make some more progress and then give into the sun’s temptation.