No, this isn’t some sort of tourist guide that suggests things to do on a long weekend in Edinburgh. Though of course that would be an easy enough post to write since even at this time of year there’s lots to do here: go and see the pandas, visit Edinburgh Castle or one of the many other historic places in and around the city, spend some time in a museum or gallery,climb a hill if the weather is favourable… I must confess that someone who had never visited Scotland asked me recently why she should bother coming here – yes, the question was framed in just such an aggressive way – and I was taken by surprise, couldn’t think of any reason and replied by mumbling something about history. Obviously I need some PR lessons from the tourist board!
Anyway, I am on the second day of a long weekend – I wouldn’t usually choose to have one in January but I have a couple of days’ holiday to use up – and I am not planning to do any of these tourist things. Well, I might go for a walk later, either at the Zoo or somewhere nearby, but only if the temperature rises above -7C.
Instead this is the weekend for tidying things up and getting things done. A doctor’s appointment. Ringing the tax people. Deep-cleaning the conservatory because I seem to have inadvertently invited someone to the house – I usually avoid doing this because it makes me uneasily aware of the chaos I live in, which I can happily ignore for most of the time. Tidying up paperwork. Trying to get the director of a play to agree the colour for the set. Perhaps starting to set up a website for the local community centre.
And writing! I almost forgot. This makes it seem as if writing is something of an afterthought, to be fitted in around everything else. The truth is more complicated than that. I sometimes like to imagine how wonderful my life would be if only I had more time to write. What vast masterpieces I could produce or (more likely) how lengthy a series of quirky mysteries I could release. The truth is that my writing and the rest of my life depend on each other: without writing, I wouldn’t have an outlet for the creativity that is sometimes stifled by my day job, domestic tasks and committee work, and my life would seem very dreary and boring. Without these other things that I often grumble about, I wouldn’t have nearly so much material for my writing and it wouldn’t have that essential grounding in reality.
I don’t usually mention politics here on this blog, so I will just point out that I have ranted about the Scottish referendum on one of my other blogs (see link at right hand side to Sheila Perry Predicts Scotland’s Future’).