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I have been frantically packing and planning for my upcoming trips for the last few days.  Today, I found myself with very little left to do.  I did a little pacing and wrote more lists of things I might possibly forget and then went out the door to meet Hannah and her visiting family for lunch.  Tea, friends, and a nice brisk walk soothed my frazzled nerves and now I face my approaching adventures with slightly more zen and less overly imaginative paranoia (besides, it’s not paranoia if the ninjas really are out to get you).

Did I mention that it snowed again yesterday?

Also, there has been a crazy monk with a bell lurking in the courtyard outside my window.

But I think he’s harmless.  He’s just out to get the tourists.  (Before you begin to wonder just how safe Edinburgh really is, after observing the monk from my window, I can affirm that he is actually part of the tour experience.  Yes, deranged, bell-ringing monk will redefine your authentic Edinburgh experience!)

I am so over the snow.  It would have been charming in January, lovely in February, not utterly unwelcome in March… but April?  Easter?  I will have none of it.

Tomorrow I leave for London, then Dover, then Canterbury, then Chesterfield.  Four days of delightful touring in southern England (where apparently the weather is no warmer than it is here… I’m delighted).

Hannah’s family, jet-lagged but cheerful, are here for the Scotland experience, which Hannah plans to give them in full measure.  We took a nice walk around the city as a taster for things to come.

Yes, aren’t the mountains just ever so lovely?

All snowcapped and… snowy.

And here, you may witness joyous abandon captured on camera.  Clearly, they are not appropriately offended by the cold and distant snowiness.

We walked around on Calton Hill.  It was, of course, windy and freezing, but it has some of the best views of the city.

I tried to sneak a photo from behind, but somehow Hannah knows… she is not a fan of my sneaky camera ways.

Now I am all prepared, doubly prepared, and prepared once more just in case for my trip tomorrow.  Nothing could possibly go wrong… right?  Yeah… I guess we will find out.

Stay tuned!