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Edinburgh Castle © FreeFoto

July 3 – Summer in the City
Return to Laurieston

We pass through an area of shops that reminds me of San Francisco in the late 60's. Windows hold tie-dye shirts, mobiles, posters, incense and CDs. Eventually we pass beneath the mound from which the Castle watches over the city. I crane my neck up for a final look.

Pedestrian and automotive traffic is very light which is a blessing, since we get a bit turned around in the one-way scheme on the way out of the city. Soon we have righted ourselves and it's smooth sailing back to Laurieston, with the bonus of a quick glimpse of Linlithgow on the way.

Back at Oaklands, Penny tells us of her relief about Scotch, her poorly cat, who has had a visit to the veterinarian today. He does seem to be feeling better, seems more alert as we pass him on the stairs. On my bed I find the short stack of laundry Penny had kindly done while we were gone, smelling fresh, neatly folded and ironed.

I stash away all of my new purchases, pleased that everything fits with little effort. I had thought I might need to use the spare carry-on I'd brought with me, but it remains flat in the bottom of my suitcase. Robin and I settle in, writing in our journals; it's a task quickly completed. We then look at each other as if to say, "Now what?" It's not what we'd consider late just yet, not completely dark, but getting there.

This is our last day in Scotland and we want to make the most of it. We haven't discussed our departure tomorrow, and the havoc it's wreaking on our emotions, but we tacitly agree to make an effort to squeeze this sponge, this trip, this perfectly proper holiday, dry of everything that can be had.

"Now what" turns into an attempt to repeat our midnight ramble at Melrose. This time we head to Callendar House, which Robin visited during a trip last winter. We've seen it through the wooded park that fronts the property several times, driving in and out of Laurieston, but time has not permitted a visit to this Georgian mansion which features recreated working kitchen, general store, printers' shop and watchmakers' workshop.

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