The Most Beautiful City in Europe

Today I am in Edinburgh.

They have a festival going on, which means the city is alive. It is heaving with folks and activities and music and throngs and mummers and minstrels and bagpipe blowers and Chinese people and ice cream and glorious sounds and sights everywhere.

Everywhere.

Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities I have visited so far in my life, and I have visited a fair few.

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It is stunning because it combines magnificent natural beauty with ancient, wondrous architecture – alongside a light modern touch. There are mountains pale blue in the distance, an ocean glittering under the sunny sky, and castles and gothic spires rising and falling in a cascade over the city.

 

Cobbled streets are so steep – but you barely notice the climb because your neck is craned upwards at the stone walls and jutting rocks and trees growing seemingly over roofs – at the coloured shop fronts and flower falls and steep, steep steps leading to wonderlands.

There is so much to see. Too much to see, that you are twisting your neck to manic proportions for fear of missing anything. In fact, I know I missed a lot.

Edinburgh is a stunning city. No wonder the Scottish want their independence. They have Edinburgh, they don’t need us English!

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13.06.16

I’m flying to Morocco tomorrow and of course I am scared.

I am scared of the plane.

I am scared of what will greet me there.

I am scared to leave my husband.

I am scared for my mother.

I am scared for my father.

I am just an anxious scaredy cat. But you know what, y’all? I am a grown ass woman and so will have to just suck it up and enjoy myself.

I shall meet my paternal grandmother, who lives and flourishes there. I shall explore and wander around a country that I have only been to but once before, but which is rich with part of my heritage. I shall try to learn the dialect, and try to cook the dishes. I shall go to some Moroccan baths, of course. My father tells me the baths make dirt crawl out of your pores like insects, and you feel so light afterwards.

After hearing that, my body now feels gross and heavy with clogged pores full of insect-dirt! It needs a Moroccan bath!

It will be mighty hot so I have packed only the coolest of garments. I am looking forward to getting some pure Argan oil, and exploring markets and gardens.

My father tells me how he used to walk to the seaside, and buy fruit to sell so he could afford to buy books. He was pretty poor back then.

Anyway. I am excited. Let’s not ruin it by worrying about rubbish that may never happen. And if it does happen, well, we’ll cross those bridges when they come, won’t we.

(That’s what my mum always says).

I have also scheduled some posts to go up while I am away, because the place where I am going is remote and there won’t be any internet for some time.

Drayton Manor

Today is promising to be a great sunny day just like yesterday, when I left my assignment to go on a trip with Year 1 to Drayton Manor. The heat was incredible yesterday. The kids peeled off their layers one by one and guess who was stuck with all the jumpers, ey? That’s right. It was moi. It wasn’t too bad, though, I enjoy kids, they do have some insightful information.

One six year old told the man who manned the ride that she was half Egyptian (she goes around telling everybody that, I don’t know why, and her voice is so loud that she demands to be heard. She doesn’t half make us laugh, though) and then he started speaking to her in broken Arabic! They got on like a house on fire, which was hilarious.

A Teaching Assistant and I escaped for a moment to go on one of the crazy adult rides, while the kids were having lunch. I reckoned we deserved it. We wanted to go on Apocalypse but the teacher i charge of Year 1 was really strict and made us all stay together even though each teacher was responsible for four kids so it would have been alright if we separated.

She made us go to the zoo where we wasted two hours, and got really angry when the other two teachers and their charges wandered off to go on the rides again. School politics.

Needless to say we were disappointed, and the whole point of Drayton Manor is the RIDES, of course! Well, I hope next time we go with somebody who will let us have some free reign and allow the kids to have fun.

Also, perhaps I should have been more assertive and taken charge, especially when I noticed my kiddos acting up out of boredom.

I did suggest that we split up but she said no, and obviously I did not want to risk any damage, so I stayed silent after that.

Anyway. It was a good day, the kids were tired out and fell asleep on the coach home and it was difficult to wake some of them up, but we managed it in the end. One of the kids grabbed my hand with her sticky little paw and exclaimed, ‘Miss, this is the BEST TRIP EVER!’ and I thought, well, kids don’t let things bother them half as much as adults do!

Anyway, my sister in law and I were thinking we would drive our mums and siblings (excluding the older boys such as my husband and brother) to Drayton Manor one fine day in June. We reckoned we would make the mums let the kids have a day off school but the mums seemed dubious about that. If we go on a regular holiday day it would be too packed! And I would definitely go on Apocalypse and G Force and all those crazy scary roller coaster rides that I could only stare at longingly yesterday. Yaaaas!

When I got home it was around 6:30PM and I worked solidly until 11:57PM when I submitted with only three minutes to spare! Whew. That cut it close.

Now I have to keep my nose to the grindstone because I have a day school tomorrow, a submission on Monday and plenty of exam prep! I am pleased, though, the summer is looking enticing. I will be away from D a lot, which is sad and I don’t want to think about that too much, but my father and I are going to Morocco to see his mother (who I don’t know very well because I’ve only seen her about eight or nine times in my whole life!) and I am looking forward to that. I shall get quite brown, which is a lovely change, and shall get to know my father’s side of the family a bit better.

Adieu, and I hope you have a great weekend!

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