Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

Edinburgh Update

Well, I was going to direct you over to Seraphic’s blog for an at least partial account of my Edinburgh weekend but she’s done gone and taken the dagnabbed thing down. It’s just as well, as when she described the assembled guests at a long Sunday lunch by the sea in Portobello she finished her description with “and Andrew Cusack wearing something rumpled from Ralph Lauren”. In fact, it was Massimo Dutti, but there you have it.

Part of the problem of returns to Edinburgh is that one is a rather too busy seeing folk to do all manner of exploring that one would like. But then my Leica has been missing for nearly two years now, and it can be such a bore to go exploring without a camera with which to capture things. No, I do not have one of those blasted iPhones. My phone engages in telephonic communication, sends SMSs, and occasionally acts as an alarm clock — nothing more. (Sadly my geliefde Afrikaanse selfoon was stolen on a bus so I’m stuck having English as my operating language).

Arrived Friday morning, lunch at the New Club, which lasted most of the afternoon. Evening Mass at the FSSP, followed by dinner at B.A. & Seraphic’s Historical House™. Saturday: a bit of a morning rest reading the Marquess of Bute’s book on Scottish coronations with a cup of coffee and an occasional glance across to Inchkeith in the Firth of Forth. After lunch with an old uni friend, I enjoyed a glass of wine and an LP of old Italian peasant songs with another friend in his Old Town flat, reached by a very tall spiral stone staircase. (To heck with the Victorians: them Medievals knew how to build). Then to the Guilford, where a decent afternoon of drinks and conversation followed. An evening in, with a glass or two of wine.

Sunday — the usual 11:30 Mass. Rather sad seeing the late Fra Freddy’s usual spot empty. Then tea next door, followed by a G&T at the priest’s residence with the old gang plus some new additions I hadn’t previously met. Completed by the sumptuous Portobello feast our friends do so well, with an occasional firecracker prolonging the rambunctiousness of the previous evening’s Bonfire Night. A Pimm’s-like concoction in the sitting room, followed by dinner: begun with a vibrant borscht, on to the best cottage pie I’ve ever had, topped off with an apple crumble alongside the usual cigarillos and dessert wine.

Seraphic’s description was much better, but you will be deprived of it unto the ages. Needless to say, much was discussed, much was agreed upon, much was diverged upon, but everyone enjoyed themselves. And then an overnight journey back to London… and work the next morning!

This post was published on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 10:00 pm. It has been categorised under Edinburgh and been tagged under .
Seraphic Spouse
10 Nov 2011 6:18 am

Oh well. You never know. I may relent. And meanwhile I can always send you a copy.

Andrew Cusack
10 Nov 2011 10:38 am

Thank you, Lady Seraphic.

Also, from the copy you kindly sent, I see it was shepherd’s pie, not cottage pie! Mea culpa…

Dave Cooper
10 Nov 2011 2:40 pm

Andrew …

I reckon that all but a few here are going to know the difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie … (one is minced lamb and t’other is minced meat [ground-round to the Americans]).

All that stuff is coming back in fashion again in the British kitchen … even humble things like Cheese & Onion Soup, Suet Pudding, Spotted Dick, Gooseberry Crumble, Cheese-in-the-oven, and proper Yorkshire Pud!

But I think I would draw the line at Fried Bread in Drippings (bacon grease). Well considering the freezing weather down here in Limburg … maybe I would draw the line … maybe not.


Seraphic Spouse
10 Nov 2011 8:10 pm

It may very well have been cottage pie, but in my Canadian hoose mince and tatties was called shepherd’s pie, no matter which animal the mince used to be. My guess is that it WAS cottage pie, as defined by our cook that evening.

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