If you haven’t already, be sure to read part one of our Edinburgh weekend with the children.
We woke late, and I had completely underestimated how much time it takes to get two six-year-olds and two five-year-olds ready in the morning. I had booked tickets to Edinburgh Castle which couldn’t be moved and we needed to eat breakfast first as well, so the children all looked a little bedraggled with brushed-but-unstyled hair when we ventured out of our hotel and raced up the hill toward the castle. My friend Zoe of My Little Wildlings had recommended Milkman for vegan cinnamon buns, so we picked up five enormous iced cinnamon buns and an oat latte on the way and sat on some steps to devour them. It was a bit of a rushed start to the morning but I was so pleased that I had booked early tickets because gorgeous Edinburgh had treated us to haar, that low-lying sea mist that makes the city so atmospheric.
I’m sure that when I was a child, I wasn’t interested in much aside from ponies and cake. Somehow I have been blessed with children who are interested in absolutely everything, and we spent a very happy morning at Edinburgh Castle. The last time that we had attempted this sort of a trip they had been a tiny bit young to make the most of it, but on this occasion they were an absolute joy: fascinated by all that they saw, delighted to explore the castle and its war museum. Zoe had told us that the castle was one of those places that lasted as long as you let it – one could be in and out in twenty minutes, or one could make the visit last all day. In our case, we spent about 2.5 hours in the castle and then made our way to a park and, from there, to lunch with Zoe.
Zoe and her family had invited us to lunch, and the children were having such a wonderful time together that the long lunch stretched out into a long lunch and then a guided tour of some of their favourite parts of Edinburgh, and then we sat down to watch a street entertainer eat fire whilst we drunk summer smoothies (children) and iced coffee (us), and somehow we were still in the Wildlings’ company as the day faded to night.
I think that one of my favourite things about being a mother is that I get to watch these small people developing their own relationships, and it is particularly special when the blossoming friendships are with the children of my own friends. The children still talk about Ruby, Emily, Harry and Lucy, and about Zoe and Keith who were so kind and patient and friendly with them. Birthday party invitations and numerous hugs were exchanged, and all of my children cried when we finally said goodbye and made our way back to the train station in order to return to London on the overnight train.