Strategic retreat

Trip Start Dec 31, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
The Harrison Flat, Gladtone's Land

Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Woke in the night with a full blown class A head cold. Sore throat, plugged nose and chest congestion. It's bad enough when someone you share a bed with wakes you up by snoring. Much worse when just as you begin to nod off, your OWN snoring snaps you wide awake again. If I could have crawled off to the couch and left me there to sniffle and snort all night like a feral hog, that's what I would have done. And good riddance. As it was, I couldn't even suffer in silence. If this sounds like self pity, you haven't hit wide of the mark.

Finally give it up and read until 6 drinking tea and after breakfast, I'm out the door by 7.20 as though I were having to work for a living. Find a WiFi connection at the cafe in the Radisson further on up the Royal Mile, sip 6 worth of coffee (two cups) and read until The National Gallery opens at 9.30.

Chilly day with hazy sunshine which is an especially good thing as I discovered when I left the flat this morning that I have once more donated my umbrella to whichever luck soul found where I had left it.
I could sum up my life with the admonition, "Abandon all personal belongings, ye who enter here." It's another of my secrets for traveling light.

At the Gallery there's a fine exhibit of Turner watercolors, 38 in all, which belonged to a collector named Vaughn who left instructions in his will that all 38 be displayed free to the public each year for the month of January and be stored away in the Print Room of the British Museum for the rest.

I have haggis with whiskey gravy and mashed potatoes and mashed turnips for lunch at The Dome, a Victorian former branch of the Bank of Scotland and now a cavernous restaurant and bar. Delicious and I didn't even need to chew.

Visit several drug stores in a vain search for Nyquil or something like it, but all that's on offer is labeled "non-drowsy." I want drowsy. Drowsy is the whole point. I want to medicate myself into a lovely coma tonight and have a 12-14 hour nap. But the drug companies here are apparently all owned by Lutherans. Clearly, I will need medicinal whisky in sufficient quantity.

It's time to regroup. I buy another pork belly and a salad at Marks & Spencer and retreat up the hill by 2 to drink a pot of tea and nibble shortbread by the fire in my tenement, do a laundry and hang my shorts and socks up to dry in my living room. Discretion is the better part of squalor.
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