Since stepping off the plane and planting our feet firmly on Scottish soil, the weather has been outstanding. The Norse Goddess, Sol, has seen fit to ride her horse-drawn chariot across clear blue skies for the past few days. Unusual for Scotland, I should think.
Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish parliament and the largest city by area in the country. Considered one of the major historical centres of the Enlightenment era with the University of Edinburgh at its core, the city earned the nickname “Athens of the North”. It has been home to Robbie Burns, Sir Walter Scott, David Hume and Adam Smith and more.
Edinburgh is also home to Innogen, an organization that houses a great number of enlightened contemporary folks. I travel with fellow VALGEN colleague Kari D and we started the week off there by attending a packed-to-the-18th-century-rafters seminar presented by Alan Raybould of Syngenta. This was the start to our week of meetings set in this most picturesque part of the UK.
Since then (in addition to work), Kari and I have toured Edinburgh Castle (Bucket List Item #39) and Holyrood Palace (the Queen’s digs when she’s in town), have sipped on a dram or two of the good stuff at a local whiskey society (in New Town) and enjoyed a few Facebook sparring matches as Kari and I match cyber-wits. (By the way, we are officially at an impasse. But there are still a few more days. ;0) ) We are enjoying the independence and hominess of our Edinburgh apartment which affords us the freedom to make our own meals, wash a load of clothes or two and abuse the dishwasher (note to self: need to take a course in how to operate UK appliances).
So far, so good. I am off for a meeting with P* this morning as we try to carve out a writing strategy for the next year. Then there is dinner tonight with Innogen peeps plus I need to squeeze in a final edit of a case study I’m working on for an AAFC contract. Kari and I are off on a three day tour of the Scottish Highlands on the weekend which we are both looking forward to. We won’t quite make the homeland of my ancestors – the Outer Hebrides – but we will be close! (Bucket List Item #40: Find sample of MacDonald tartan, buy it, frame it, put on wall).
Kari D: “This week in Edinburgh is sponsored by Peroni and brought to you by Tesco.” Yep.
“Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye.” – What will be, will be