I slipped a card under my husband’s pillow this morning – nothing slushy I promise, but soppy enough to bring a smile to his face. And our granddaughters spent much of their Saturday sleepover making Valentine cards, not for their class crush, but to give to each other.
It seems that 14 February is no longer just for that special someone. A high street retailer, never one to miss a marketing trick, now promotes kids’ pyjamas as a Valentine Day’s gift alongside traditional bouquets of red roses and indulgent chocolates.
If I were to choose someone – or something – other than my husband to be my Valentine for 2022, it would have to be the city of Edinburgh.
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A recent Tripadvisor poll suggests our home town is one of the best places in the world to visit. It was rated the 12th best city in the world and the seventh best city in Europe, putting it in the same league as London, Paris and Rome.
Travellers cited the Old and New Towns, and of course our festivals, as just some of the reasons why they love spending time in Edinburgh, which got me thinking about why I love this city so much.
Confession time. I am not a native of Auld Reekie. I moved here in 1979, but after 40 years I feel as much a part of Edinburgh as Greyfriars Bobby. I don’t even live within the city limits any more, moving to Fisherrrow and the seaside a few years ago when Portobello became too expensive for my limited budget.
But thanks to Lothian Buses, I can be in the city centre within 25 minutes – it used to take me 40 minutes when I lived in Wester Hailes.
Lothian Buses is one of the reasons I love Edinburgh so much. It is, quite simply, the best bus company in the UK. And the best thing of all is that Lothian Buses is still in public hands.
Jenners is another of my city crushes. I am bereft it is closed, awaiting a multi-million-pound makeover. I even used to enjoy getting lost on the back stairs. I can’t wait for it to open up again, even if it will be a very different retail experience to the one I used to love so much.
I adore the Edinburgh skyline, particularly at night. From my bedroom window, I enjoy a panoramic view of the city with the Firth of Forth in the foreground. It never fails to lift my heart.
For a history geek, the city’s past is irresistible. Wander round the grounds of Holyrood Palace, and you can almost hear the swish of Mary Queen of Scots’ skirts. Marvel at the architectural brilliance of the New Town as you head down to the village of Stockbridge.
I could go on, but I won’t. Suffice to say that later this evening I am going to raise a glass of Valentine Day bubbly to the (second) love of my life… Edinburgh.