NYC Alternatives, Day 3: Edinburgh

This week, I was supposed to be having my dream trip to New York. I have been wanting to go for the past 6 years, and finally had the courage to go alone, so I booked my flights, sorted a sublet and got EXTREMELY excited.

Then a hurricane hit, and so my trip got cancelled. Sad Smith.

I hope it goes without saying that my thoughts are with all those affected on the East Coast, and I wish them a speedy recovery. This, however, is what I’m doing to keep myself busy and not too sad about the whole affair.


Original Plan:

My second full day in New York, and one of the main intentions of the trip was to see The Lion King on Broadway. I wanted to see a musical whilst I was there, and The Lion King has been the top of my list for a long time. In fact, one of the first things I did once I’d booked my flights was to ring my parents and see if they’d buy me a ticket for my Christmas present. (Before I’d even sorted my accommodation!)  So the plan was to try and get that sorted, and watch that this evening.  The rest of the day was to be filled with more exploration – probably walking the length of Broadway, perhaps visiting Ground Zero or Time Square, and other such ‘Must Sees’.

Alternative Action:

Today, I travelled to Edinburgh to visit my wonderful friend Claire. More about her later (she’s ace).

So, my day started quite early as I hadn’t packed for my little trip. Then followed a ‘New York’ style breakfast of a bagel with cream cheese, before I said goodbye to Hendricks and headed, once more, to the train station.

On my trip North, I passed right past my cousin’s house in Morpeth and so waved (and texted) a hello, before arriving in the beautiful city of Edinburgh by about 1:30pm.

The weather was glorious (though very cold!) and as I turned left out of Waverley station and up Cockburn street, I soon found myself trying on beautiful dresses and trying to resist spending lots of money (they’re holding them for me until tomorrow!)

Heading up to the Royal Mile, I realised that I haven’t been to a Fringe-less Edinburgh in many many years.  It was funny to get up to the High Street and not see hoards of performers filling the street! I wandered along to the Castle, and was surprised to see the large tarmac space on the approach – last time I was up there was was at the Tattoo, which of course looked very different!

After, I had a mission: buy a Winter coat. Preferably vintage, and preferably cheap (but good quality!)

I headed back down The Mile, and took a little look around St Mary’s Street before heading to The Grassmarket, and a vintage shop called ‘Armstrongs’ that I knew from previous visits was potentially able to keep my attention for a long while!

As soon as I entered, I saw the coats. Then I saw THE coat. It was labelled 1940s, and it was £100 (eek!) I tried it on, and realised it needed a bit of work doing – someone had done something odd with the buttons…  I managed to haggle 10% off. But I still wasn’t sure about spending so much. The closer I looked, the more I became uncertain about the 1940s label. Anyway, long story short, it’s not from the 40s, but the 70s, and so (after I’d embarrassed the shop-assistant with the mis-dating!) I got it for £38. Awesome. Elly would be proud!

Then it was time to go to Jenners and meet Claire and have some cake.

I met Claire in the December of 2007, where we worked at Harvey Nichols together. She started coaching me in 2008, and very much changed the way that I view life and the challenges it may occasionally present.

When my trip to NYC was cancelled, she suggested I came to visit her and take part in her ‘Abraham-Hicks Process’ group. The last time I saw Claire in Leeds she made me smile so much that I didn’t hesitate. 🙂

The group consisted of 7 of us, discussing positive thinking and law of attraction and other such self-affirming beliefs. It was really great – everyone was very friendly, the conversation was fascinating, and the general feeling was very up-lifting.

It’s a funny thing to write about here, as I know that people will react differently to it – some will raise an eyebrow in scepticism, others will nod vehemently, and others will want to know more. I’m not going to wax lyrical here, as it’s late and I could go on for a while..! but I’m more than happy to talk to people about my work with Claire, and would recommend her to anyone struggling and wanting to ‘get back on track’. I will say this though – today has done exactly what I needed it to, and I am feeling very happy, smug (about my lovely new coat) and extremely positive about everything. Hurray!

– After the David Shrigley exhibit, and ‘The Reservation’ yesterday, and today (and tomorrow)’s time with Claire, this week is turning into a sort of self-development vacation; a holiday for the mind, body and soul! Very different, I imagine, to what I would have had in the States!


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