An eight and a half hour train journey from Plymouth to Edinburgh – we could have flown the Atlantic in that time. A few very pleasant days though and Edinburgh always stirs up special memories for me and it was the first visit for Daisy my 9 year old granddaughter. I am still bewildered by the architecture of the Scottish Parliament building which sits opposite Holyrood Palace with Arthur’s Seat looming in the background.  We spotted about six kilts in all mostly worn by tour guides and made ourselves feel a bit sick after consuming far too much delicious homemade fudge from a shop on the Royal Mile.  A critique was waiting for me on my return and I am looking forward to doing that. My writing friends in Barnstable are going to produce an e- book of our short stories so watch this space.

Dinner last night  in Bude at La Bouche Creole. Fabulous fish dishes and attentive staff. Today my son drove me to Lanhydrock, a magnificent National Trust  property with 40 or so rooms to wander through. Very Downton Abbey with servants’ quarters and huge kitchens contrasting with the splendour of the upper rooms. A maze of corridors and little flights of steps leading you here and there. A fascinating family history but just too much to take in all at once. Needs another visit another time. Off to Scotland again tomorrow. I don’t visit for years then it’s twice within a few weeks.

A return visit to my birthplace, Preston for The Park School reunion staying with an old friend I have known since primary school days and a catch up with family. The town, now city, has changed so much that sometimes I struggle to unearth a memory. My childhood house looks much the same in the middle of a redbrick terraced street, but there are now saplings growing along it (good thing) and the street is one way and packed solid with parked cars (not so good).  The old Dock area has been transformed into a Marina and we took a pleasant walk all the way round in lovely autumn sunshine. I can return to the north in my stories and in my head even though I now live so far away in Devon – that M5 motorway seems never-ending although we, my son and I, did the journey in just under 6 hours which is something of a record.