If you think you’re having déjà vu, it’s probably because you’re remembering a photo that I posted a couple of months ago of The Shore in Leith.
I’m back in Scotland, back in Edinburgh, and in fact, back in the same apartment that I had before I left for Barcelona. I’m a creature of habit.
The first thing I did when I returned, after dropping my bags at the apartment, was to run to the Leith Market, which is only open on Saturdays. On the way back to the apartment, I stopped in at Cafe Domenico. The nice lady there had insisted that I leave my puffy coat hanging in their back room while I was away.
“But it might be several months,” I had argued with her.
“It’s not a problem. You’ll leave it here until you come back,” she’d asserted, so I did.
She wasn’t working last Saturday, but her father was there, and he recognized me as the owner of the puffy coat. “Ah, you’re back. You’ll have a glass of wine on me. Which will you have–red or white?”
I snuggled into my puffy coat at the cozy, red-checkered table and sipped my wine, contemplating Scottish hospitality.
From sunny, 65º days to gray 35º days gives a shock to the system, but we’ve had almost no rain or wind since I’ve been back, and this is a huge gift. If it were 35 and windy, I’d probably never get out of bed. As it is, I’m restocking the cupboards, running errands, and picking up where I left off a month ago.
My wool pants needed cleaning, so my first stop on Monday was the dry cleaners. I’ve only found one dry cleaner out here in Leith. It’s a tiny, one-woman operation. She sometimes locks up to make a delivery, go to the bank, smoke a cigarette, etc.
When the door was locked on Monday, I turned around and headed to the bar next door, where I knew the owner.
“Hiya, would you mind if I left my pants here? They need cleaning and she’s closed next door.”
She gave me a funny look, but said, “Sure, just leave them there on the chair.”
“Great, I’ll be back later.” I put the pants on the indicated chair, thanked her, and was out the door.
I ended up not making it back there on Monday. When I went back to the bar on Tuesday to take my pants to the cleaners, she said, “Oh, I already took them next door.”
I thanked her again and left, thinking again about kind the Scots were. Doubly so, considering I had asked her to keep my “pants,” which I remembered later means “panties” here. No wonder she’d given me such a strange look when I first asked if I could drop them off.