The heart of Midlothian

I’m in Edinburgh. Jessica is here for a translator’s conference and I thought it would be fun to tag along for the ride, seeing as I’ve never been here except for an in in-utero visit which doesn’t really count.

My, what a place! The architecture here is extraordinary. Wherever you look, there’s invariably a building or ten steeped in history.

I’m staying in a hotel in the new part of town. New is relative. This is the Georgian part of town. Just about every house is built in that classical Georgian style that Dublin likes to pride itself on (sorry Dublin, you’ve got nothing on Edinburgh). The cumulative effect is like stepping back in time.

Then there’s the old part of town. Here, the feeling is medieval. Stone buildings, narrow alleyways, winding steps, and of course a great big huge castle overlooking everything.

After meeting up with Alan White for a chat yesterday, I went for a wander around the old part of town. There’s a real pleasure of discovery in coming across the house where Boswell met Johnson, or going into the Writers’ Museum in a narrow 17th building.

I haven’t been able to capture much of this city’s splendour in pictorial form because the weather has been fairly drab and rainy. It all adds to the atmosphere, I suppose.

Actually, I’m kind of glad that the weather has driven me back to my hotel room to take refuge. I can stop procrastinating and get on with last minute preparations for the Refresh Web Standards Conference in Orlando, Florida next week. I’ll be giving a half-day workshop on Ajax and a presentation on microformats. If you want to come along, there are still tickets available for a mere $395 — and that includes an open bar at the end of each day!

So tomorrow I fly back from Edinburgh down to Gatwick. Then, the next day, I’ll be back in Gatwick to get on a transatlantic flight to the sunshine state.

Right now I’ve got old buildings and bad weather. In another two days I’ll have new buildings and good weather. It seems that never the twain shall meet.