Edinburgh is the original “writer’s city” and once you visit you begin to see why. It’s a heavily layered city, an interesting and provocative jumble of stone, people and local colour that could inspire any heart.
It’s the sort of place you sit and drink whisky in tiny, damp pubs, surrounded by lost souls and tourists alike, plugging away at your latest novel or Scotland-inspired poem. Of course, the romance of the past had gone into hiding, ready to be sought out by the intrepid (or at the very least, the hipster).
Today, writers seek out any building with free WiFi and beverages, most often leading them to Starbucks, where they wait patiently for inspiration to seep through the heavily commercialised walls and reach them. To sound like a total tool; I don’t think that’s the way to go about it. I’m a big believer in making your own inspiration. It’s always nice, and feels kind of right, to sit in a pub putting pen to paper or finger to screen, but you can’t rely on that to get your work done. The romantic, Midnight-in-Paris-esque image of the troubled urban scribe is lovely, but not one that can be attained without living a cliché.
Drawing my own inspiration from the city and it’s surrounds, I decided to put my Edinburgh experience into a more creative form than usual. I do deny it a lot, but I am a bit of a hopeless romantic.
Above the North
The Scottish ideal of rugged independence and freedom is painted in the wilds they live in. Sharp and ancient cliffs, thrown up by rebellious volcanoes, dominate even the grand stone cities. On these sheer outcrops, sometime in the distant past, giants obviously walked. In some aeons gone, battles between man and beast and god took place, forming the landscape and the atmosphere that still lingers here.
Rolling green and brutal rock now live together in harmony, providing a challenge and a beautiful artwork for the climbers who brave them. But Arthur’s throne is a mighty one, commanding kingly views over the city beneath. Under Arhtur, Edinburgh goes on. Its ghosts, its authors, its rats and its battlements.
Edinburgh is a fortress of winding stairs and gothic spires covered in the shimmering regalia of the Christian’s holy day. But outside the heathen sleeps and waits in the wild. His breath is slow and steady and still felt by all.
The golden liquor of the Scots is the fuel of gods, deserved of the museum and servants befitting of it. Edinburgh houses this shrine, bringing together the country’s cultists of whisky to celebrate against the backdrop of the magnificent brickscape.
The people are rough and tough, with no love lost for lost teeth or hair, no airs and graces needed here. No London fancy, no Berlin eccentricity, just brutal honesty and love for the simply beautiful and true. It’s a stark and real place, a true canvas for the scribe to really work upon, free from poisonous influence.
But time is fleeting and I must be gone. Scotland’s wilds wait yet, patient as ever, for a return.