Switching Off in Edinburgh

Completely unrelated to my obsessiveness with blogging, I’ve always struggled to switch off. Back in the pre-baby day, my mind would be full of a million work thoughts…it would be hard to slow it down when the out of office went on and invariably took over a week for me to relax. Nowadays I have the same problem and just can’t relax until I am forced to, akin to someone throwing my iPhone in a river.

But last weekend was different. There was no forcing me to do so. On Friday we travelled up to London and then onto Edinburgh with my partner’s family to celebrate his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. For some reason, I switched off. I left my phone in the hotel room. I waited a little before charging it again when the battery completely died. Instead of snapping photo after photo, I enjoyed the weekend. For those few days, I didn’t think about my job or my blog – I laughed with everyone, I chatted properly to my other half and watched as Emma bonded with her family. I wondered why I don’t do this more – sometimes I need to stop and just be.

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img_2891I was so excited when the family announced we were going to Edinburgh as I had only been on a fleeting visit once before. There was so much I didn’t know about the city – around every corner was a little more history; I loved rambling around and finding out more. We managed to pack quite a lot into the weekend as well as keep the 4 older kids entertained in the process…there was quite literally something for everyone. So here are just a few of my highlights:

Open Deck Bus Tour to Hollyrood House

To start with, a group of us went on an open top bus tour around the city and were driven through the Royal Mile and onto Grassmarket, where people would be hanged decades ago. It was quite shocking when you recreate that image in your head that it was here that thousands of people would gather round to watch a hanging, as a form of entertainment. It got me thinking about London and where this would have happened, something I’ve never thought of. My brother-in-law mentioned that it was Marble Arch and that the bodies would be taken to a mass grave in Farringdon. We went to a little coffee shop called Deacon’s Cafe which was steeped in history surrounding Brodie Deacon who was a cabinet worker but also a secret burglar. Afterwards we headed to Hollyrood Palace, which was beautiful and so very grand. It was interesting to walk around and find out more about the palace that I knew nothing about, but is where the Royal family often have stately meetings. We all found it hilarious that we rode the bus on the top deck, as we admitted that in London and Brighton we always laugh at those ridiculous tourists who insist on sitting on the top deck when it is freezing! But I’m glad we did as Edinburgh is so hilly and the view from a higher point is worth it.

Bonding with Family

My heart just melted a little more than I knew it could, seeing Emma bond with her family. I could see that she knew her grandparents after spending our week together in August and she just adored the one-to-one time. I didn’t have grandparents who lived near me during my childhood and I saw how important this is for young kids. Grandparents always take that little extra time to just talk to kids and enjoy time together, rather than us parents who keep worrying all day long! I feel like a stuck record saying this, but Emma’s love for her brother is just like no other. So many times over the past 4 days, I have felt so lucky to have him; starting with him jumping onto the back seat to feed her dinner while we were stuck in a traffic jam on Friday night, to holding her without question when she was upset.

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Breaking the Routine

If you read my blog regularly, you probably know already what a stickler I am for the routine. Bedtime is at the same time every day, which is great until you want to enjoy some time away! As we approached the Edinburgh trip, I was so worried about Emma getting in the way of the plans for the family and having to be in the hotel room with her away from everyone else. I’m not saying that in ways that didn’t happen, but this weekend really showed me that I don’t need to be so worried about it. Emma is so adaptable and by the end of the weekend, she had already changed to taking a longer nap so she could last all the way to the end of dinner at 8:30pm. What a little trooper!

Everyone Together At Last…

This one will always be the number one highlight – it was amazing to get all of us together (a group of 14!) and spend quality time together catching up. Especially for my other half, it gave him the chance to really chat to everyone as we haven’t been making enough effort to socialise with our friends and family. We both agreed that it was a wake up call that we need to change this. My other half’s sister also organised a professional photo shoot so we could give the grandparents pictures of all the grandkids against the Edinburgh backdrop – it was an inspired idea and I can’t wait to see them. The weekend also made me really excited to head over to Australia; for ages I have been daunted by the journey. But actually I have to remember that it’s so much more than that.

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The Caledonian Sleeper Train to London

For a while now I’ve been wanting to try out the sleeper train and this weekend it was time to put the dream into action, as I travelled from Edinburgh back to London Euston on the Caledonian Sleeper train. I arrived to a little cabin with a bed and little table for my bags. It was tiny but very cosy and had everything I needed to get a good night’s sleep. At first I really struggled to get to sleep due to the noise and the motion made my stomach churn very slightly, but soon enough I drifted off and the sleep was pretty good! At 6:20am I got a knock at the door with my breakfast and soon enough we arrived in London, well in time for me to go to work.

So the weekend was different. There aren’t as many pictures of our weekend together as a result but it was wonderful to be together, and feel really welcomed into my partner’s family. I’m glad I switched off this weekend – it was important that I enjoyed the time away and took a break from all the things that usually fill my mind day and night. And now I’m back feeling more refreshed than ever, looking forward to our next trip away!

41 Comments

  1. November 2, 2016 / 10:20 am

    Sounds like the trip was exactly what you needed – I love Edinburgh and this has made me really want to go back! Beautiful photos and well done for ticking the sleeper train off your bucket list
    MouseMooMeToo recently posted…#55: The Pain au Chocolat StoryMy Profile

  2. November 2, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Sounds like a pretty amazing trip…great to just switch off from the business of life for a while and appreciate those around us. My partner and I went to Edinburgh 15 years ago before we had the children and have never been back. Your post has encouraged me to look into taking a trip back there…so thank you!

  3. November 7, 2016 / 12:33 pm

    It was lovely reading this, because I agree that it is so important to be able to switch off. I was like you – I used to find it impossible, but I think that I’ve got better at it recently. I love Edinburgh and I’m so glad you had such a lovely weekend with your family. Thank you for sharing. Alison x #BigPinkLink
    Alison (MadHouseMum) recently posted…Shit will still happenMy Profile

  4. November 8, 2016 / 6:16 am

    Sounds like you had a fabulous and amazing trip! I totally agree with you that sometimes we need to disconnect to connect, to live in the moment. I am obsessed with taking photos and jotting down ideas that I miss being in the moment. I love hearing stories of sibling love and it lovely to read about Emma and her brother – it’s lovely when the kids get along and when the older one would look out for the younger one without prompting. Mmm, a public hanging? That would have been interesting place to visit – gruesome but it would have been intriguing. The UK is so steeped in history – I would so love to visit one day. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink
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  5. November 8, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    I love Edinburgh, although I’ve only spent a very quick weekend up there once for the fringe. My friend does stand-up and does the festival every year. It’s somewhere I really want to go back to. Its a beautiful city. I’ve always wanted to go on the sleeper train as well. I’m glad you actually relaxed and Emma adapted to the change and family so well.x
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  6. November 15, 2016 / 7:11 am

    Oh I’m so glad you had a good time. A secret burglar sounds interesting! And it;s lovely to hear how Emma is being looked after by her big brother and also becoming closer and closer to her wider family. My kids’ grandparents live really far away and I still remember that first time, as babies, that they recognised their grandparents straight away and ran to them for a cuddle straight out of the car. I’m glad you had a good trip. Being able to relax can make a huge difference (I’m not so good at it either) #DreamTeam
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  7. November 15, 2016 / 7:20 am

    We went to Edinburgh last year and it was without a doubt the nicest city I’ve ever been to! I am so glad you switched off and enjoyed yourself – it’s so important to do this even if it’s hard to do. Good for you chick xxx #DreamTeam
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  8. November 15, 2016 / 7:36 am

    I was sure I had commented on this post – sorry! Anyway, how lovely that you got time in Edinburgh with your family. It is a truly beautiful city. Your post brought back happy memories for me as my long term boyfriend went to university in Edinburgh and I had many a happy time there. Well done you for taking some time off blogging too – you deserve it! #DreamTeam
    An imperfect mum (Catie) recently posted…Parenting from a Special Perspective: Upside MumMy Profile

  9. November 15, 2016 / 7:48 am

    Oh well done you. I know how hard it is to switch off but those moments that we leave our phone side and actually engage with our family without glancing to see if there’s a notification on your phone are so important. To actually live in the moment. So many bloggers write about needing to switch off and the benefits but we are so so bad at putting it into practise. I, like you, have loved the times when I do so I wonder why we don’t more often. The sleeper train sounds fun and the bonding with your family sounds perfect xx #DreamTeam

  10. November 15, 2016 / 8:13 am

    Perfect weekend! Reminded me, we should do something similar soon, while routine is becoming quite boring;). Great family bonding! I love this kind of trips!:))
    #dreamteam

  11. November 15, 2016 / 8:23 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to Edinburgh and have wondered what it’d be like to go on the sleeper train! It sounds really cool! It’s nice to switch off sometimes, I tend to do it when we go down to Devon with friends, my phone stays in my room and I don’t even think about it when we’re busy. Hope you’re feeling refreshed after your break! #DreamTeam xx
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  12. November 15, 2016 / 8:29 am

    Edinburgh is such a beautiful city, and perfect for exploring…loads of little windy streets! It’s so important to fully switch off from time to time and spend quality time with your family…I love turning my phone off sometimes! #DreamTeam

  13. November 15, 2016 / 11:50 am

    Sounds like a wonderful break away! I love Edinburgh. Such a pretty place to stroll around. Great to be able to swtich off! The photos are lovely! #DreamTeam
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  14. November 15, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities – so glad you enjoyed it! I agree that it can be so refreshing to take a break from your phone/the internet every once in a while to simply connect with people and places. I love that when I travel abroad it’s too expensive to use much data on my phone, so it forces me to actually top and pay attention to where I am. #DreamTeam
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  15. November 15, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    It looks like you had an amazing time, were looking to go there in the summer!
    It’s nice to switch off at times and just relax that little bit more!
    #dreamteam

  16. November 15, 2016 / 1:56 pm

    Good for you! I have a hard time switching it off….my husband says it something i need to do, take at least one day a week and say NO to blogging or thinking about blogging…That’s particularly hard for me as I am a newer blogger trying to figure this whole thing out, but he is right anyway. #DreamTeam

  17. November 15, 2016 / 4:34 pm

    I think Edinburgh is such an amazing city – the perfect place to get lost together :0) I’m so pleased that you had a lovely time and that sleeper train sounds amazing! I didn’t know that they still did those? Perfect xx #DreamTeam

  18. November 15, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    Ah I’m so pleased you had a lovely weekend. I’ve been to Edinburgh just once. I was bridesmaid for some friends who got married at sunset at Hollyrood Park. It’s a really lovely place. #DreamTeam
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  19. November 15, 2016 / 7:14 pm

    So glad you were able to switch off. We LOVE Edinburgh! It’s the first trip that my husband and I took together and a place we always go back to, without the children! We are at a wedding up there next March and I can’t wait for our time together, it’s an amazing city with so much history and culture! #dreamteam
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  20. November 15, 2016 / 10:28 pm

    Oh wow what a lovely weekend away! I’d love to try the sleeper train and as you say, the photoshoot was an inspired idea! Great to share these moments with family. I agree about being forced to switch off your phone as I’m also a culprit for this, but occasionally we go to Mr Lighty’s bosses’ cottage in the Forest of Dean where there’s no wifi and no phone signal – it’s bliss!! Glad you had such a good time! #DreamTeam
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  21. November 15, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    Sounds like you had a great trip, Edinburgh looks amazing, i’d love to visit there sometime! One day!! #DreamTeam

  22. November 17, 2016 / 1:01 am

    We were forced to switch off when we had 4 days in a remote part of Tasmania in January. They had no internet there and oh y gosh it was so relaxing. It feels almost scary at first as we are so not used to it, but wow it is really relaxing xx #dreamteam
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  23. November 17, 2016 / 11:36 am

    Really beautiful pictures! I’m glad you had such a great time and we’re finally able to switch off. I have the same problem and am constantly thinking and on my phone doing blog bits. Sometimes it really is just best to wind down and forget it all 🙂 #DreamTeam
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  24. November 17, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    Sounds like a great trip. I was lucky enough to go to university in Edinburgh so lived there for 4 years and loved it, such a beautiful city. Spending time with family is great, I love seeing my kids with their grandparents and cousins, so special. Well done for switching off, it’s something we could all do with doing a little more x
    #DreamTeam
    Alana – Burnished Chaos recently posted…Words To Live By #7: Walk TallMy Profile

  25. November 17, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    I would love to return to Edinburgh, we had a fabulous time there and did an open top bus tour too!#dreamtem

  26. November 17, 2016 / 10:32 pm

    I have never been to Edinburgh, it looks lovely. what a fantastic break you had. I really need to learn to switch off too and worry less. Children are very adaptable and almost always suprise you by not reacting how you expect. Lovely photos too, glad you didn’t totally switch off 😉
    #dreamtean

  27. November 19, 2016 / 5:28 pm

    There’s nothing like switching off and taking a break from it all now and again. It’s so important to immerse ourselves in family life and connect with our loved ones enjoying the sights together.#DreamTeam
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  28. November 22, 2016 / 12:06 am

    Ah but the photos you did take were fab! I’ve only been to Edinburgh once…when I was 10! I long to go back. Well done for switching off from bloggerdom for a few days. It’s the flipping holy grail that one! #dreamteam

  29. November 22, 2016 / 12:06 am

    Ah but the photos you did take were fab! I’ve only been to Edinburgh once…when I was 10! I long to go back. Well done for switching off from bloggerdom for a few days. It’s the flipping holy grail that one! #dreamteam

  30. November 22, 2016 / 7:11 am

    I love Edinburgh! I think I need to swtich off more too and I am so impressed you did. Blogging has a way of taking over your life and eating up every spare moment! I do wonder what I am missing because I’m on my phone constantly?! Thanks for hosting #DreamTeam xx
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  31. November 22, 2016 / 7:11 am

    I love Edinburgh! I think I need to swtich off more too and I am so impressed you did. Blogging has a way of taking over your life and eating up every spare moment! I do wonder what I am missing because I’m on my phone constantly?! Thanks for hosting #DreamTeam xx
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…DIY Christmas Tree AngelMy Profile

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