1. My commute
In Edinburgh this involved an hour on a bus surrounded by sweaty strangers many of whom were clearly not acquainted with the bristly end of a toothbrush. On colonsay 20 minutes by bike during which I may not encounter another human being but am guaranteed stunning scenery and unpolluted air.
2. The shop
In the Colonsay general store it is acceptable for ones two year old to wander in without you, meander up to the carousel, select an apple and start eating it. If you forget your purse arrangements can always be made and if you happen to be partial to a particular flavour of crisp you may just come in one day to find that Shopmeister has saved you the last packet from the box.
3. Hedgerow pickings
I can’t really imagine finding things to eat on a walk in Edinburgh – I suppose one could rake through the bins as one went along, this technique seems to work well for tramps. Today we picked brambles (blackberries) as we walked, both girls looked like vampires by the time we got home!
4. The quiet
Last night I couldn’t sleep for the sound of my mother-in-laws Pekinese snoring in the next room. In Edinburgh we were often kept awake by sirens, traffic noise, football fans, people randomly shouting in our stairwell and if all else failed the people upstairs snoring. Muffin (the snoring canine) is in fact an Edinburgh resident and therefore the fact I couldn’t sleep last night is the fault of our mighty capital!
5. Sarah Moss’s cakes
You may think you have tasted good cake, you may even consider yourself a good baker but you have not lived until you have sampled the culinary delights of this local heroine. Even better you can purchase these little nuggets of heaven any time day or night via a self service cake counter in her porch. If you prefer to eat your cake in a more formal setting you can visit the lovely wee cafe at Colonsay House Gardens and have some of Willie Joll’s delicious bread to start. Even Edinburgh’s Michelin star restaurants can’t compete.
6. My mum is here
Edinburgh’s loss is Colonsay’s gain.
7. The weather
Really? I hear you say with incredulity. Yes really. OK things got off to a bad start this summer but over the last month we have pretty much had sun everyday. Helen even has a wee farmer tan despite my best efforts with the factor 50.
8. No library fines
Yes it’s true, you can borrow books from the well stocked library in the Service point and bring them back when you’ve read them without living in fear of crippling fines. I’ll never forget the time I ran up a fine of £16.05 on a single Mills and Boon.
9. The Edinburgh Festival
Ok I may complain about Colonsay being busy but that’s nothing compared to the amount of whining I did during the festival each year. You have no idea how irritating it is to be working full time in a city which is populated by tourists and performers who seem to think that life is just one big holiday. Each morning and afternoon I would have to run the gauntlet of walking up The Bridges to my bus stop with only my wits and my icy glare protecting me from being buried in a mountain of flyers for shows I would never have the chance to attend because I’M WORKING. Also is Edinburgh the only city in the world where you have to pay to get on the bus? I only ask because the average festival tourist always seems surprised to be asked for a fare when they are MAKING ME LATE FOR WORK. Speaking of buses and being late for work I leave you with reason number ten……….
10. The Edinburgh Tram Project
I rest my case.
It’s so hot here we even eat naked!
Helen post berries.