A week ago, I spent a super day in the company of the Wolfarth Family from Atlanta GA. Dennis his wife, Laura and 3 beautiful Daughters, Kristin, Karen and Kimberley. I knew from Laura’s first and subsequent E mails that we were going to get on well. At that time, though, I never could have guessed we would get on so well. I met them at the Barcello, met first Laura and Dennis, and we waited for the girls. Then 3 lovely smiling enthusiastic and friendly young women came down the stairs to join us and this great start led to just about the most wonderful day’s touring ever.
Starting tours from the East end means that I can cover the Geological events which led t Edinburgh being as it is now. It also provides a chance to walk through Princes Street Gardens in all their late Summer glory. I always refer to the people who engage me to be with them as, my ‘friends’. the aim being to make it less of a formal tour and more like having a friend show them his home town. With Dennis, hopelessly outnumbered by females, but knowing exactly how to handle the situation, Laura, eager to know everything and jumping ahead in her eagerness and the 3 lovely sisters, each with different characters but with common denominators of charm and humour. I certainly felt I was in the company of friends and was having the time of my life.
Lunch in Deacon Brodie’s Tavern at a window seat overlooking the Lawnmarket at its busy, mid Festival best, The usual questions about what haggis was, how it was made and what ingredients were used, cropped up and I ordered Haggis Neeps and Tatties, to let them try some. (Its not only America that breeds Southern gentlemen, we do not bad in the Scottish Borders where I was born, too) Did they like it? Well, as we say in Scotland ‘the jury’s oot’! On down the Roal Mile, exploring the secret corners, experiencing the unique atmosphere of Edinburgh in August and watching these super folks falling love with the city I love so dearly. When it came to when the tour was to end, they asked me to stay with them for another hour. I was having such a good time I readily agreed and we went on, finally finishing at the Guildford Arms for a farewell dram (or 3)
Some friends of mine play traditional music in The Guildford Arms at this time of year so we agreed to meet up after dinner. Yard Of Ale, the band, were on great form and the atmosphere was electric. The evening came to an end with Auld Lang Syne and Flower of Scotland; with the family, especially Karin, getting right into the spirit of the songs, although some other spirit might have been involved as well. Fond farewells with lots of hugs, kisses hugs and promises to make this happen again. Oh and 3 new Facebook friends. They pay me for this? I’m a very lucky man.
Haste ye back my friends,