My Vacation Education, Instalment 2

Leather dog with tweed jacket on

The sharp attire of well-dressed Scottish dogs

I am pleased to report that I have now gone 10 days without visiting a doctor or hospital, and I am no worse for wear, except for the small burn on my arm from brushing against a scorching towel warmer. Oh well. I could not expect to go injury free the whole time I was away. At least I did not trip and fall on any of Edinburgh’s cobbled streets. Thank goodness for small mercies.

Here are a few more lessons from my trip:

1. Watch out for ill-placed towel warmers. They are HOT!

2.  I can understand why Mary had a little lamb. I too want one as a pet.

3. Despite my promise to you, I did not consume Scotland’s national dish, not out of fear of contents but out of fear of sodium counts. I learned that mounds of salt are added to haggis, likely to mask the taste of the innards.

4. This part of the world seems largely unaware of the dangers of salt or smoking.

5. You’ve seen one medieval castle, you’ve seen them all.

6. I lack the attention span to enjoy even a good audio tour, although I was riveted by the story of the brutal murder of the suspected suitor of Mary Queen of Scots. I’d consider 56 stab wounds a crime of passion, wouldn’t you?

7. I am a big phoney. All these years I’ve been telling you how tired I am, but get me on vacation, give me a bit of English breakfast tea and the odd mid-afternoon Diet Coke, and I become the Everready Bunny. J. can’t keep up with me. That’s not quite true; she can run circles around me and slows her pace to accommodate me, but even she is amazed at how much energy I’ve had on this trip. I’m still slow going up stairs and hills–strength I’ve never regained since my prolonged hospital stay almost 4 years ago now–and I suggest the odd bus trip instead of a long walk, but I get there. I can’t explain it myself. Is it all the stimulation of being in a new place? How pooped walking the dog and going to yoga regularly makes me when I’m at home? Or the holiday caffeine? I’m slowing down a bit as our trip progresses–that’s why J. was initially hesitant to book a two-week trip–but I am holding my own. And we’re on the home stretch, not that I’m excited about that. It remains to be seen whether I’ll crash after we return and, if so, for how long. And whether this is a sign that I could and should be pushing myself a bit more than I have been on a day-to-day basis. I’ll keep you posted.

8. Finally, this is not my last vacation. Of that I’m certain. Unless, of course, the burn on my arm becomes infected and spreads rampant through my body, and I cannot get to the doctor because of the current rotating transit strikes or I can’t be seen by a doctor because of the juniour doctors’ job action.

Picture of Edinburgh castle with sun shining down



6 thoughts on “My Vacation Education, Instalment 2

    • Jane: Thanks for the good wishes, and for the haggis warning. I’ll stop feeling guilty about breaking my own promise. I think I’ll concentrate on ensuring I eat enough shortbread and sticky toffee pudding instead. I trust you’ll approve of those. XO


    • Dear Mike: We have tried to cross paths with the Queen, checking out her palaces everywhere, but to no avail. She was too busy celebrating her 90th birthday to spend time with us. We still have a few days, though, so we’ll do our best. Thanks for writing. XO


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