Things here have been extremely busy, but in the midst of everything else we took a wee trip to Edinburgh. This was in order to renew the Dafter’s US passport at the American Consulate. Because the Dafter is so unwell (with ME/CFS), we took a day to go down, spent the day of the appointment there, and took the next day to come back. The North Sea was very beautiful as we drove south on Monday:
We stayed in Leith, a first for us. The Dafter was able to go out for dinner, which was great, and we ended up at a restaurant with an amazing view. Here is the Royal Yacht Britannia:
And here’s the view from our table if you turned to the left. The snow made the quayside very pretty:
We took a taxi to the Consulate on Tuesday, in good time for our appointment. However, as they were running late, we were asked to wait outside along with people ahead of us in the queue. It was cold! Notice the bollards – no vehicles can come in front of the Consulate. Not even, apparently, the grocery delivery truck, seen speeding away here:
We played Simon Says (also known as Publically Humiliate Your Parents), and I took a photo of the view across the street:
Going to an appointment at the Consulate is not the easiest way to spend a few hours even if you’re well. Luckily the Dafter is not wheelchair-bound, as there is no wheelchair access, only a flight of stairs. Once we were allowed in, we had to turn over anything with a battery in it: cameras, iPod, mobile phones, car keys with plips. I won the argument with the security woman about keeping my knitting with me, pointing out that the needles were wood and not metal. Then you go through an airport-type scanner. And then you are allowed into the waiting room, which has a big sign on it saying “There are No Public Restrooms in the Consulate. The nearest restrooms are located in the St James shopping centre.” Too bad if you’ve already waited quite a long time outside!
Inside the waiting room there was a friendly atmosphere, as people waited, were called up, asked to wait again, and occasionally left. People were very kind and gave up chairs for myself and the Dafter. The staff there are always friendly, I must say. The Dafter eventually made up a game where we thought of characters on tv shows, and decided which people in the room were most like them. After an initial trip up to the window, at last it was Michael’s and my turn to stand, raise our right hands, and swear that we are who we are and that the Dafter is our daughter. She found it hard not to giggle. And then we were back outside, heading as you might imagine for the public loos at the St James shopping centre! It all took just under three hours from the time we left our hotel.
When we left, the Dafter said to the doorman, “Bye, see you in another five years!” (when her child’s passport runs out). He replied, “I’ll no be here!” I suppose he was near retirement age.
The Dafter and I rested at the hotel, and Michael went to explore the Royal Yacht Britannia. He was most impressed by the various specialist ironing tools in the laundry room! That evening we had tea with Our Son, and had a very nice visit:
We arrived home on Wednesday afternoon and a few hours later showed the flat for a second time to an interested party. Yesterday morning someone phoned asking to come at 5, so it was another day with lots of cleaning and tidying. The Dafter was extremely tired, of course, but is used to being a bit neglected while I do all the necessary preparations. That was our 15th viewing. I do pray someone will like the flat enough to make us an offer soon, but 15 viewings in 5 weeks isn’t bad.
And, would you believe it, I hope to be able to go back to Edinburgh tomorrow on a knitting-related adventure!