Thursday turned out to be a wipe out. Maybe a reaction to the stress of the Parliament visit but the day was spent dealing with a good old fashioned migraine. Got that out-of-the-way and Friday began early with my second trip to Edinburgh in a week. This time it was for Calum’s graduation in Medical Biology. Drive down was a bit on the slow side and broken by lots of road works on the A9. Arrived in plenty of time, parked up and headed off to The McEwan Hall. Have to say I found this a little strange as 30 years ago it was me and the Mrs who were graduating. In my case it was my sister and my aunt who came to see me in the gown, both sadly on longer with us. Lots of mixed thoughts as we watched the boy get the tap on the head from the acting Vice Chancellor. You have to tell yourself he is not a boy. The cap that they use to confer the degrees is supposedly made from the breeches of John Knox. Seems a previous student ended up in space and took an Edinburgh Uni emblem with him and that is now sown on the inside of the cap. Knox and space, bit of a mix. It is all very organised and we sit clapping for an hour or so lots of people we don’t know and will never see again. The chap who received a Music and Physics degree sitting in front of us managed to get himself in a right old fanckle. He had taken off his jacket and decided to put it back on just before going up for his degree…. over his gown for some reason. Off it came and just managed to get that sorted before turning his hood inside out. That was spotted by one of his mates just in time. I reckon he is going far. Saw him later striding off into the distance totally unconcerned about anything. Outside it was the photos of the proud man and his Mum, amidst the buzz of everyone’s excitement.
Although the weather was poor we messed about taking lots of photos and chatting, a bit of hanging about while the official photos were taken and then it was off to Teviot Row for a pint and a cup of tea. Mine’s the tea. Going into Teviot was strange as well as again it was 30 years since I’d been there. My first adventure away from home in the Highlands and not as prepared as they seem to be now. Spent a fair bit of time there on my first year before discovering the West End Hotel, shinty, lager and vodka…late developer.
After the pint it was back outside for a couple more shots and the gown was put back. Off to the B and B after arranging to meet up for a meal at 8pm. MacEwan Hall had quieted down a lot by the time we departed.
Eight o’clock saw us at The Apartment on Bruntsfield and a good meal we had too. It is always difficult when you eat out coming from Applecross. You have to compare with such a high standard. But the venison and lamb were very good and that was followed by an excellent pave. We were sat by a window which looked out over an over grown courtyard and on the window sill was a blackbird’s nest. There were five chicks in it and we watched he/she feed them for most of the evening before settling down for the night. Today saw us head back up the A9 to Applecross and a quick trip out to the boat for some large prawns was followed by a shift at the Inn. Hard to get into the scene but a couple of hours later it was all okay again. The evening started with a booking of 22 and that set the scene for the night. All went well until suddenly at 8.50pm there were 4×4 and 2×2 waiting for tables. A rapid shuffle and all worked out although it meant the chefs were still cooking at half nine. The comments were ranging from great food to the Austrian couple in the dinning room describing their meal as perfection. Seemed a long way away from the grad scene and I suppose it is. A memory provoking couple of days but this week it should be back to prawns and shifts at the Inn with a wee diversion to Ullapool midweek for a HIE event. Life as usual is varied. Can’t resist another picture of the graduate and hope all he desires comes true. It may be further studies, this time in Auckland, and I thought Edinburgh was far.