Thursday, 17 January 2013


You just can't beat your friends can you? I mean, you can if they make you reeeeeally angry but generally it is frowned upon. JUST KIDDING. (As all Dazza’s friends start backing away and arming themselves with various kitchen implements against her. Kitchen implements would never stop me. The whisk is my friend.)

ANYWAY, what I actually mean is that nothing compares to hanging out with good friends, laughing until you wet yourself (I’ve definitely done that. Thank you Tena Lady.) and sobbing on their shoulders until you’ve left snail trails of snot on their new Warehouse jumper (Definitely done that too. Thank you Kleenex.)

So my three best friends from secondary school and I- Denmark Road High School for Girls Gloucester, dontcha know! It sounds posh but it wasn’t- we were a bunch of ragamuffins who rolled our skirts up and drew penises on each other’s science books. Speak for yourself Dazza. Alright I will.

So we decided that instead of having a hurried one night reunion, where we normally drink too much and don’t chat enough, that we would treat ourselves to a long weekend in Edinburgh. I shall now refer to it as Edders. That’s right. The scots hate me.

We booked ourselves in to a loooovely apartment (a cross between Hitch’s black and silver batchelor pad and a show home- perfect) to ensure a good chunk of quality time and chatter and quickly settled down to cook ourselves a roast chicken and LOADS of mash. LOVE. MASH. MMMMMM.

The trouble started when I had to book us a taxi. Now, I often have the tendency to go into automatic pilot when I'm on the phone or texting, throwing away ‘Love you’s!’ and x’s like there’s no tomorrow. Work colleagues and tax collectors have often been puzzled by the sheer volume of affection bookending our correspondence. 

And this time was no different. I was on the phone to what was potentially William Wallace, having taken up a second career in taxi driver management and was attempting to book us a car into the centre.

Firstly, due to the chameleon like nature of my accent, I started picking up his lilting Edinburgh tones- BAD MOVE. DEFINITELY OFFENSIVE. Secondly, I couldn’t really hear him on the end of the phone so to remedy this I was speaking really loudly. EQUALLY OFFENSIVE. And then finally, I rounded it off with a ‘TAKE CARE, LOVE YOU, BYE!!’ Silence. He did not love me back.

After dancing around the kitchen like mentalists to some hard core 90’s RnB, reliving our teenage years with the likes of Usher, J-Kwon, Terror Squad and the Backstreet Boys (Camilla Barnes’ fault.) we got the forsaken taxi into town and headed straight for Arthur’s Seat.

For those of you who have never been to Edders or read David Nicholl’s book ‘Once’, Arthur’s seat is the main peak in a group of hills overlooking the whole of Edinburgh and it is a challenge which must be undertaken.

Now when we were at school, all four of us had a very distinct aversion to P.E. It may have been the kilted sports skirt that our P.E teacher insisted on wearing or the sheer fact that hockey in the freezing cold at 9am on a Monday does nothing for hair which already has a tendency to frizz… Either way, be it menstrual cramps, migraines or acne, we were determined to get out of it.

And now, having grown up, we decided to climb a big fuck off hill. It was never going to go well. 

We started off fine, great pace, minimal sweat, pleasantly flushed cheeks and a spring in our step. But as we got further up, the sweat became less minimal, more maximal and the pleasant flush became beetroot.

We paused half way up for a comfort break and were taking in the view when we noticed a hill opposite us… with loads of people standing on the top. Our stomachs and our sweat glands sank… I flagged the nearest dog walker down and wheezing asked him, 

‘Are we (WHEEZE) walking up (WHEEZE) Arthur’s Seat?! (WHEEZE REPEAT TO FADE)’

‘Och no Luvvy!’ He laughed, ‘This is Salisbury Crag!’



The four of us looked at each other. And resignedly picked ourselves up, wiped away our sweat tashes and walked back down the hill. 

But having grown up in Gloucester; you learn a certain resilience to life and gain a grim determination in many things; be it hiding from chavs or getting into Liquid under-aged, you become hardened. 

And so there we were, four intrepid explorers intent on reaching Arthur and his seat.

And we did! After a gruelling hike with many slips, stumbles and swear words, we stood at the top of Arthur's Seat, perused our lands much akin to Mufasa and we smiled.


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