Born and brought up in Glasgow, I was raised with an instinctive mistrust of all things Edinburgh. Edinburgh was East Coast – cold, hilly and windy, full of lawyers and bankers who made money rather than made things. The people were like their city – buttoned up against the cold, unfriendly and ungenerous. No-one talked to you on the bus and, it was said, if you fell down in the street, Edinburghers would step over you with their noses in the air.
In spite of these awful warnings, I went to live in Edinburgh for a while in the 1970s and found that it wasn’t that bad. I had my first real job in Edinburgh, I bought my first car from an Edinburgher, I bought my first flat in Bruntsfield and I met my wife when we worked together in the Grassmarket (although she’s an Aberdonian, not an Edinburgher). I enjoyed the pubs and the fact that I could walk everywhere. The centre of the city was magnificent and I climbed Arthur’s Seat in all weathers. The people didn’t seem that bad although I never fell down in the street, so never got to test what would have happened.
For work reasons, I moved on and for the next 20 years or so, we only visited the city occasionally. We retained a lingering affection for its streets and pubs and was delighted in 1999 when my daughter decided to go to Edinburgh University. Both our daughters finally settled there and we split our time between Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire so we’re East Coasters now.
As a part-time resident, I visit the city at all seasons and in all weathers. But I hope that I avoid the over-familiarity of locals who walk past, without noticing, sights that people travel thousands of miles to see. So, the images here are a mixture – some familiar tourist sights along with what I hope are slightly different perspectives on the city.