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First week in Edinburgh

Rod and I sat eating steak and ale pie today in a little restaurant called Mackenzies, with no children. It was peaceful. The noise of the last seven days had finally subsided and we could eat, talk in full sentences and stay seated. It was nice.

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The wallpaper in the wee man’s room was unexpected…

Not to say our first week in the capital hasn’t been nice, it’s just been a bit mental. The biggest problem has been the stairs. We have lived in a bungalow for the last three years, so the wee man has turned into George of the Jungle and KD has become a penguin, sliding down on his belly at any opportunity. It’s been tricky carrying boxes up and down and preventing A&E trips (again. See last post.)

We’ve had the inevitable sleepless nights as the big one plays musical beds and the wee one cries for no apparent reason, we’ve had the hourly shouts of “have you seen the…?” and we’ve been trying to only put things in the attic when the wee man is distracted otherwise he demands to ‘help’.

But now that everything is unpacked and the boys are in nursery for their first full day, Rod, who starts his new job tomorrow, and I can congratulate ourselves a bit. We’re here – we made it! We’re still standing and still married. We LOVE Colinton and we were pleasantly surprised with the size of the house, which actually fits all our stuff.

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We were delighted to discover a lane between our neighbours’ houses which leads almost directly to the Water of Leith and a fantastic playpark. The local shops, which we can walk to, include two pubs, two restaurants, a coffee shop, a post office, a dry cleaner and an art gallery (we are in Edinburgh after all). We walked up to the nursery this morning and we can drive to our fancy-pants new gym in 15 minutes. (I might give the gym its own post I’m so chuffed with it.)

I think, though, the best thing about being here has been the people. On Monday night we pretty much turned up at Karrie and Andy’s demanding dinner. They live a 12 minute walk away and we had only just got the keys and the kids were hungry. Their little poppet, who’s two and a half, even offered her booster seat to KD. Love.

On Wednesday my mum came through from Glasgow for the day and on Sunday my sister just popped by with her boyfriend – I can’t tell you how much I love that they can do that now. We even got a lovely welcome from friends we’d made on holiday this year who live in The Grange in a fabulous house they’ve recently extended. They gave us coffee and cakes and didn’t even fuss when the wee man mistook their daughter’s treasured snow globe for a bouncy ball and hurled it against the wall. Mortified, I helped search through Amazon for a replacement – only to click ‘buy now’ and casually charge it to our friends’ account. Guys – again – I’m sorry – we will make it up to you. *cringe*

Tomorrow I’ll wave Rod off with his new schoolbag, take the wee man to nursery and have my day with KD. We’re booked into a baby singing class at the gym (told you it was awesome) and then I’m looking forward to a long walk exploring my new city. I think we’re going to like it here.

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On the move again

I’ll need to change the blog tag to: Mummykimmy – a Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh blog.

On Monday we get the keys to our temporary new home in the capital and I am very nearly excited.

See, I thought we were doing it the right way this time, with Rod taking some time off between jobs and our Little Orange Book of Lists keeping us right. But life is what happens when you’re making other plans.

We haven’t sold the house yet, we only sorted the lease on the rented house today and my youngest child swallowed a glass pebble yesterday so we had an unscheduled overnight at the children’s hospital in Glasgow. We’ve also spent rather more time planning our social engagements than our packing schedule – do you think I could ask the babysitter to empty a few cupboards once the boys are asleep?

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Bright as a button after the glass pebble was removed under general anaesthetic

Basically it’s all on Rod. In a dramatic role reversal, I will be in the office tomorrow while he stays at home organising. He loves a trip to the dump so I’m prepared for some of our stuff to disappear forever. He also thinks packing just means chucking everything in boxes so I’m prepared for some of our stuff to get crushed and destroyed. Other than that, I’m delighted he’s doing all the heavy lifting while I have a farewell office lunch and get my nails done.

I feel I deserve this day – I did all the groundwork after all. I found the rental, the nursery and the gym, our top three priorities and only descending slightly in difficulty. The rental had to be in the catchment for the right school, be on the right side of the city, have three bedrooms, not cost the earth and be available this month on a 6 month lease. Tick – we’ve got a lovely, tiny, semi-detached in Colinton. The nursery had to be excellent, nearby and with availability for two children before Christmas. Tick  – we’ve enrolled the boys in a super friendly nursery a fifteen minute walk away. And the gym, well, it has to be David Lloyd, which has a creche.

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I’ll have this one please – it’s only £2m

Driving around Colinton last time I was down made me so happy. I still can’t really believe it’s going to be our home. Our plan is to buy a place in the area (if we ever sell up here) and I got quite carried away driving along Spylaw spending Monopoly money on a mansion overlooking the river. Just being in the capital, with its ridiculously located castle, its impenetrable traffic system and its boutique businesses in abundance, made me convinced the hassle is worth it.

Five days to go.

 

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Ten year time warp

My friend Karrie and I are celebrating our ten year anniversary this month.

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She informed me of this while suggesting a celebration – even though we both know organising anything with three kids to consider and 150 miles between us is a big ask.

Luckily I will see her in a few days when she becomes KD’s godmother – yep, that’s how far we’ve come since we first met on our post-graduate journalism course.

Karrie meeting KD for the first time. She got his first ever smile.

Karrie meeting KD for the first time. She got his first ever smile.

Being journalists, we both wanted to check the facts of our story – what exact day and time did we meet? Where exactly were we? What did we say to each other? Luckily a fairly solid source of information exists – my 2005 journal – which I climbed into the attic to find this morning.

Yep – there it was. September 28 2005.

“My course started properly today and I’ve already made friends with some lovely girls. Carrie and I have kind of bonded – after an hour of shorthand we went for a coffee……Carrie’s really sweet, she lives in Kelvinbridge so she gave me a lift home.”

I remember her wee curly head sitting in front of me as we listened to the course leader describe the module outlines and thinking “she has hair like mine, I wonder what product she uses?”

I read on to see what else I recorded, then went back to January and read about my whole year. It was a big one – I did my finals, I visited Chile and Argentina, I got a 2:1 with distinction in Spanish, I got engaged, I started my post-grad and met friends for life… Pulling my head out of that particular “penseive” was a wrench.

I sat on the couch pondering.

Ten years ago the only person I had to look after was myself. The only things I had to worry about were passing my exams, travelling safely in South America, getting into the post-grad, working on my coursework… me me me. Even though Rod and I were living together at the time I didn’t feel like I was looking after him. He was working on establishing his own career. We spent any extra money we had on nights out. I didn’t have my own car, I took the bus or walked. I didn’t spend much on clothes. I saved every penny for my trip to South America and then backpacked around. Long lies sometimes went on past lunchtime. The things that upset me were trivial – my sister’s perceived preferential treatment from mum and dad, missing out on a night out cos I was skint, lecturers marking too harshly…

And now?

Now my life is full and I am fulfilled. I mean, sure, I moan about lack of sleep and never having a second to myself, but my life is now a full paella, not just a prawn cocktail. All the groundwork of ten years ago has paid off. I got my post grad and a job as a journalist and now I’m running my own company. I visited the countries I’d read so much about, learned so much, and continue my love affair with the continent. I married Rod and we have two beautiful boys. Reading about my life a decade ago has made me realise how happy I am and how hard I’ve worked to get to this point.

On Sunday – just three weeks before our ten year anniversary – Karrie will officially join my family and I’m aware how blessed I am to have not only her, but all the wonderful people in my life.

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