Spacious, airy and bright, the daylight pours through the tall window of our bedroom and highlights the wrinkles and contours of a white duvet cover which hasn’t been ironed in months. Fifteen CD towers punctuate the walls like a piece of sheet music – two sit left of the wardrobe (quaver) and one to the right (crotchet); all in alphabetical order and placed, rather obsessively, according to genre. A childhood toy of Simba from The Lion King sits on the bed looking rather lonely and tatty but nonetheless adorable, diffusing an air of maturity that I’d like to think engulfs this boudoir. In the corner a black framed poster of the movie Jaws stands out from the ivory colored walls depicting the memorable image of the oblivious swimmer at the water’s surface and the monstrous shark ready to strike from beneath. On the mantelpiece sit chunky books on Steve McQueen, Fritz Lang, Auschwitz and Richie Benaud, next to my boyfriend’s dusty cufflink boxes.
In the distance, where the Forth Estuary and Fife usually are, is an obstructing fog that eerily creeps over the rooftops of Edinburgh’s new town towards me. The curve of Randolph Crescent and its cobbles and buildings border a mucky green garden in which an energetic canine tirelessly chases a ball his owner throws. The tricolor hangs limply outside the French Embassy, hardly moving at all in this misty landscape, while an urgent looking lady, dressed in a fashionable black raincoat, rushes in high heels (clip clop) to catch a busy 41 bus – could she be Craighouse bound? The bright windows of offices stand out beside dark residential ones and I observe a small figures sitting at desks by computers. The Georgian properties of the new town are commercial termite mounds from up here.
A young couple huddle in a surprisingly clean and graffiti-free bus shelter with a bag of chips, the neon lights of the chip shop spilling on to their faces and the wet pavement between. I look up to the top of Queensferry Road and see the Caledonian Hotel lit up, looking red and impressive against the navy night sky. Five towering double-decker buses are queued at the traffic lights and a gang of pasty-faced youths make obscene gestures at me from the upstairs of one of them. I gesture back. The traffic lights turn to green and the buses thunder past into the night, tires on wet tarmac throwing up a soggy and knowing hiss.