Now, let's go back in time. I didn't write in my journal on the Thursday, so this installment was written on Friday, and covers both days. Friday wasn't a good day for me. I really cried at one point, sitting alone in the Princes Street Gardens, remembering...
Friday - 7:15pm
Sitting in the George Hotel lobby waiting for Miles and Avril.
It's been a busy, and fraught, couple of days since my last entry.
Thursday was my "take care of business" day. I met with George, my solicitor. One of my main reasons for visiting him was to thank him for all his help after Alan was gone and I was lost in the red tape of British bureaucracy. It was a great hour-long meeting. He gave me excellent advice and counsel on a number of issues: real estate in Edin, financial planning for my future, cost of living for a single woman, etc. When we finished I asked him how much I owed him. He smiled and said when I came back and needed his help in purchasing a place, he'd get me then. Bless him.
I dawdled in some shops on my way from George's to the Royal Bank. Bought a wonderful book at Anthropologie about being a One. It's beautifully done and very insightful.
Against all expectations, the RBS experience was brilliant. The woman helping me with some difficult transaction details was so great, and now, in any future dealings with the Royal, I should have no trouble at all. What a difference in handling something in person as opposed to over the phone, 6,000 miles away!!
Around the corner from the Royal is Multrees Walk, and Valvona & Corolla, a place where Alan and I often had coffee. I was hungry and it was getting into the afternoon, so in I went. I sat upstairs at a lovely table overlooking the Walk. Had the best Artichoke soup I have ever tasted, plus the waitress talked me into a small glass of Prosecco. Lunch was followed by my favorite Italian coffee. It was a very nice interlude.
Back to my room--new room actually. I moved this morning and am much happier and closer to the center of the hotel, plus have a great view out the back, away from the chaos and confusion of George Street. And what a nightmare that is!! They have just re-routed all the Princes St traffic to George and holy crap, what a mess.
I was still full from my late lunch, so I snuggled into my jammies, watched some telly, had a cuppa, and read my new book. Felt very accomplished getting all my business stuff dealt with.
Today wasn't so great. I got a fairly good night's sleep, made it downstairs to the hotel breakfast, which was excellent, then headed out on a wonderful, sunny day to look around town.
By early afternoon I ended up at Princes Street Gardens, sitting on a bench in a quieter area, soaking up the warmth in the sunshine. The castle loomed, in all its glory in front of me. And suddenly, without warning, I was back in time, talking to Alan about going to the Gardens to take some shots of the daffodils on the Mound in the April sun. We drove into town, and I took several photos. As I sat there today, I realized I was right in that same spot!! I was overwhelmed and burst into tears. No, actually, I was sobbing uncontrollably. It was awful. I was in public. And buggers, as usual, I didn't have a tissue. That made me cry harder because Alan always had to lend me his handkerchief in an emergency, and I could just hear his voice saying, "You never have a tissue!" as he laughed at me. I cried and cried, so much wanting my old life back. Why in the world did we ever leave here, Alan?? Disgustingly, I ended up blowing my nose and wiping my face in my scarf!!
[FYI: This is one of the photos I took that long ago day in April 2007. The bench where I was sitting on Friday was this exact view, minus the daffodils, of course]
Somehow I got back to the hotel, and my room. I cried some more as I washed out my scarf in the tub, then dropped with exhaustion into a long nap.
Tried to have dinner at the hotel restaurant, but being Friday @ 6:00pm, the place was packed full. Went across the street to Hard Rock, but same story, so returned to room and ordered room service. Pea & Ham soup, with fresh baked bread. It was delicious. Alison called as I was dressing to meet with Miles and we made arrangements to meet tomorrow @ Noon.
Talked to Lorna this afternoon as well--we're meeting at Noon on Monday.
It seems as long as I'm busy, I can handle things, but wow, on my own?? What an agony of loneliness assails me. I'm not sure if Alan's closer to me here, or if the memories are too much in my face now that I'm back where we spent our lives together. I feel very fragile today for some reason. Well. For many reasons, I'm sure.
Miles and Avril should be here any minute. Going to sign off and sit back and watch the comings and goings around me here in the hotel lobby...
Ugh, that Friday was so painful. It hurts to remember. It was my first--of three--breakdowns during the course of my journey. It was like my grief was made fresh all over again; like I had to grieve for Alan in the place where we lived, and loved each other; a place far more "us" than Roseburg could ever be.
The only saving grace to that day was meeting with Miles and Avril, who showed up just as I was putting my journal into my purse. But that's a story for tomorrow...