Idea of Home

By Udita Banerjee

Edinburgh is a pretty girl. While her bustling counterpart Glasgow is bigger and very handsome, Edinburgh will have none of that clamour. She wears a cloak of dark stone, but in frills and seams are her lovely greens. Every year, in spring and summer, she wears flowers in her hair, on her arms as bracelets, on her ankles too. Heather and thistles make up her crown. The other half of the year is taken up by a glistening white winter gown, accessorised by her fall colours. Her transformation from oranges and browns to a pristine white is epic. And the wind, always the wind… like a veil over the city, the wind is her handmaid. Edinburgh is a story every day, Edinburgh is home.

Steeped in history, architecture, literature, art, and science, Edinburgh is great. Great in every sense of the word, where inspiration lurks in corners. Edinburgh is special. On her streets, great men have walked, her scenery has inspired poems and songs, her history has led to tragedies and ballads. And every little thing has largely been preserved by its people, to stand as a testimony to its stimulating past and as an impulse for its future.

There is something very convivial about life in Edinburgh, the general atmosphere is very motivating. While I am sure this is true for many places, but there is something special about Scots. They are life itself. From inviting strangers into homes for tea and cake to breaking into 500 Miles for no reason whatsoever, Scots know how to live grand. Even though I’m not Scottish, I have been invited into homes, dragged into celidihs, and even slagged off!! Before I learnt to breathe in the frosty air, Edinburgh adopted me as its own.

Home… where grey mornings give way to grey days, disturbed only by the faintest hint of mellow sunshine. Petals are lifted up high in the wind and buffet around me as I walk on rain swept cobblestones. When the sun does appear, it hangs low, like a velvety orb, the yellow of an egg. The idea of beauty is so close you brush shoulders with it every day, a glimpse of Arthur’s seat from the bus, a look at Blackford pond, the towering Gothic spire of the Scott monument, or maybe a scintillation of Princes Street lights on the way back.  Home, where the evening quiet lies stretched out, undisturbed, and seemingly endless. Edinburgh evenings are a treat to the senses. It’s usually so quiet that you can hear the faraway sounds of the freight train. It isn’t far away though, the closest point of the tracks is only a five minute walk, but the wind makes it sound much farther away. If you listen very closely and hear a buzz, full of life, like the humming of a hundred birds; then it must be August and the festival must be on. Thousands fill the city with colour, life, and activity. My sleepy missus wakes up and puts on her best dresses every morning.

I write at my window sill. It is uncomfortable but inspiring. Living in the far north is… the sky is never too dark, never quite black. It is a fascinating shade of blue, like ink, but more fluid. Home is where I pick up my pen and there is no need to think, words always come. For the wee burgh in the far north, for auld lang syne…