Children play football in the sharp spring sunshine, bright voices bouncing round the walls of close-packed tenement housing. We have reached the right place.Continue reading
Please pardon any wobbly bits in the piece that follows. This was a two-fingered exercise on my iPad, written and posted by hand for Sceptical Scot from Seat 53 on the train from Edinburgh to Kings Cross. A journey long enough to explore two passports and changing identities.
Travelling light, I’m sitting on the train when I remember that last minute packing left no time for this month’s Sceptical Scot poetry blogpost. A routine check of essential documents finds an answer. Irish passport to the rescue.
The food is waiting for us. Colours and aromas of Syrian feasts in dishes of creamy humous, smokey aubergine, spicey beetroot, roasted carrot dips, all laid out in pretty bowls on a crowded table. Imad, our smiling host, invites us to sit. Continue reading
‘Stormy where you’re from’. A smiling young border force officer greets me and I do a double take. Of course, he’s taking my new Irish passport at face value. I smile back, feeling something of a fraud.
Why did we do it? There are quicker and easier ways to get from Edinburgh to Istanbul. You can fly direct from Edinburgh to Istanbul’s Ataturk airport in just about four and a half hours. But where’s the romance and adventure in that? Continue reading
At San Francisco airport we are offered a choice. We can go through the bodyscanner or opt for a ‘thorough pat-down’. Without giving it much thought we follow everyone else through the microwave. My man’s scan triggers an alarm which means waiting for a male security officer and a ‘pat-down in the soft parts’. Continue reading
Florence: Friday 3.00pm (ish). Beneath the pomegranate tree, a pleasant softening of focus after lunch of melon, bought in the market at the far end of our street, prosciuto from the scary supermercato way over the railway bridge, and a glass of red wine. Continue reading
Imagine this. A warm October evening in the covered market: on the ground floor stalls packed with gleaming fruit and veg, upstairs friends gather to chat, drink and eat. We wander round, selecting small dishes to taste, secure our stools by the bar and dream about what might have been in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms.
Government cuts won’t hurt Canna museum or library but real life makes itself felt in other ways. Island life is not for softies.
We got back to Edinburgh in the early hours this morning, now it’s evening before the day has properly begun. I always have difficulty adjusting to the clocks going forward but today my mind is still running on Canna time.