A Sort Of Edinburgh Adventure

At the moment we have family staying with us from away & when planning their trip a few months ago, we decided it would be nice to get away for a few days to a different part of the U.K. Our chosen place was Edinburgh & after scrolling through Airbnb for quite a while, I came across a lovely apartment for us to stay in. This was planned before all the Herxes happened & so as the going away date drew closer, my anxiety about actually surviving the trip heightened.

Now I've crossed numerous County borders & the Welsh border a couple times but in all the years I've been alive living in the U.K, I've never crossed the border into Scotland. So I was determined to get there & kept telling myself that I'd be okay if all I could do was get there & stay in the apartment.  It looked like a nice place to have M.E & deal with the Post Excursion Malaise that I would undoubtedly have from the 3 hours plus journey.

The week before we went, I pretty much did nothing but rest as much as I could as I needed all the energy & strength I could get. I made a packing list {yet somehow I still managed to forget my ever faithful long boots, which I really could have done with!} & began slowly packing a good few days earlier than anyone else that was coming so I could at least have the day before we went to rest properly.

The journey there was pretty straight forward & heading north on the M6 {my favourite stretch of that motorway} the scenery was gorgeous through Cumbria & then we crossed into Scotland & it became even more stunning & then just when I thought Scotland couldn't look any more beautiful, we came off the motorway & onto the A road leading to Edinburgh & it was breathtaking! I kinda lost count of how many times I said the word wow! From the few places I've travelled to, I've never been anywhere that I would happily move to, {I love where I live} until I got to Scotland. Even though I only saw a little bit, I fell in love!

Scotland you are Stunning!

I was so happy when we arrived at our home for the week {well 5 days} There were a number of stairs to slowly navigate going up to the apartment, which was on the first floor. However, once in, it was just as lovely in person as the pictures & was definitely as nice place to have M.E & killer PEM. I had already planned to do nothing on the Tuesday {we arrived on the Monday. afternoon} So with help, I got in my pyjamas & while the family all went out for dinner, I rested on the sofa. Once they came back, my mum helped me into bed. I was so exhausted & sore from being the car for so long.

Chester Street Apartment

Although I knew before going, I wouldn't be able to do everything I wanted, it was still hard being left on the sofa while the family went off exploring the Castle for the day on Tuesday. As much as I love history, I knew it would be a no no for me as I simply couldn't have walked all the way around it {I also stupidly left my crutches at home} So I just vegged out on the sofa trying to help my poor exhausted Mitochondria gain as much energy as possible so I could try & go somewhere on Wednesday. My amazing mum did bring me back the Castle Tour guide book, so that evening, I got to go round the castle too!

Now if you know me well or follow my personal Instagram, you'll know I love all things tartan! So my goal was to try & buy something tartan to come home with but I was a bit worried as I knew I didn't really have the energy to be in & out of shops all day looking for something. Thankfully, one of my friends came to the rescue & told me about the Tartan Weaving Mill, right next the Castle entrance. This was an absolute life saver & I messaged my mum to scout it out for me while she was out on Tuesday. Planning ahead is always a must when your chronically ill, it helps to save energy & helps the anxiety to know what a place is like before going. I also found the shops website, so I could get an idea of the things they sold & the prices.

Edinburgh Castle, taken on Friday morning before leaving.

Wednesday I had a restful morning, got ready slowly & after lunch we all headed out to the Weaving Mill. There's no way to drive right to the door, so I had to be dropped at the bottom of the hill {the start of the Royal Mile} & slowly hobble my way up with my mum's help. Once inside you are greeted with the magical {well magical for me} sight of all things tartan! From clothing, to teddies to mugs to keyrings. As we slowly wandered around I soon began to realise that having an allergy to Lambs wool & cashmere completely, in want of a better word, sucked! All the wearable items I came across were either lambs wool or cashmere & I can't wear them {the irony of this allergy is that my surname is Shepherd!}

So I'm looking around at the things that I would love to wear & we come across a sign with a list of surnames next to a table with a pile of books on it. my surname isn't on there but as I read out that "If you can't find your name here, just ask" a man appears & said "that's me" & then asked my surname. I then found out that I have one of the rarest & oldest types of Tartan associated with my Surname. {Info about it here, if you're interested: Tartan Register } So rare that you can't find it in the Tartan Weaving Mill! It's a black & white check type tartan, but he said that I could wear any type of black & white tartan because that's what my name is connected to. So I decided, that even though I wouldn't be able to wear it, I wanted a black & white tartan scarf to bring home. My mum found a lovely one & I'm going to hang it from my bookcase. {Also I already have black & white check pj bottoms, I've been wearing a version of my tartan all this time & never knew!}  I also got a gorgeous tradition teddy bear wearing Harris Tweed which was handmade in the Outer Hebrides, I've named him Wallace. After an hour or so being surrounded by all the tartan, I was taken back to the apartment to rest while the family went off our for dinner.

Sir Walter Scott's Monument.

I really wanted to get out on Thursday but decided against it, I was too exhausted & in too much pain. I also knew I had the journey home to get through on Friday, so I stayed in while the family again went off to explore. It's funny, when I'm home & it's just me & my parents, or even when I go away with my mum, I never really think about what I can't do or have that "missing out" feeling too often. But having others with us & they're going off places, it's kinda hitting me now & then how little I can do compared to the healthy people around me. You don't get a holiday from your chronic illness. But anyways, from their adventure to spy out HolyroodHouse & Arthur's Seat, I was brought back the guide book for the Palace {which I still need to read}

Part of Thursday was spent directing my mum while she packed my case & then getting a shower so I was clean & kinda shiny for the journey home. Friday morning I got ready & then my mum & my brother gave me a tour of Edinburgh so I could at see some of the old town properly & take some photographs. Seeing the Scott Monument in person was a highlight, along with stopping at a set of traffic lights right next the The Conan Doyle Pub! Then we picked up my sister in law & our cases & headed 3 hours back south down the M6, the scenery was just as stunning seeing it for a second time.

The game's afoot!

The journey home wasn't so great, pain & anxiety wise. I don't like motorway travelling at the best of times & there was a lot more traffic & trucks & stupid drivers on the way back, which didn't help & this all kicked off the adrenaline so I spent most of the 3 hours feeling pretty rough & was very glad to see home, my bed & especially my cats!

Even though I couldn't explore Edinburgh the way a healthy person can, I really did enjoy time away. Although I only managed to do something for a couple of hours on 1 day out of the 3 full days we had in Edinburgh, the change of scenery was just what I needed after the horrendous few months I've had. Yes I've had PEM {that was to be expected} from it to deal with & today is the first day I've managed the stairs & felt okay enough to sit in the living room, it was worth it.

I hope you're all as well as can be & are taking care. If you want to see some of the photographs I managed to take, please feel free to have a nosey & follow my Photography Instagram: @loelizabethphotography

L x