Four months in the north

03/Feb/2014

The novelty of living somewhere new has yet to wear off! I am loving it up here. Here are some highlights so far…

Eden Court is a theatre and cinema and restaurant and whatever else they can think of. I could merrily find something to see every night. Comedy, plays, National Theatre live screenings, photography workshops, yoga classes, stuff for kids; interesting and non-shite movies. Mary (who is doing well) and I had a blast at the ballet last week. I also went to a fantastic writing workshop, two hours of practical inspiration for all of £7. They also do capoeira classes which I have no interest in doing but I like living down the road from the possibility of them, y’know?

Plus, at night the building looks like an evil spaceship.

Eden Court

Leakey’s Bookshop is an incredible used bookshop and cafe. I’m yet to try the cafe because the books are so distracting. They’ve got interesting and weird and ye olde ones; not just 50 copies of 50 Shades. Best of all there’s a huge wood stove thing in the middle of the shop, snap and crackling away. The smell of toasty logs and old books is intoxicating.

Leakeys

(Image credit)

As mentioned before Velocity Cafe has the best coffee. I’ve done exhaustive testing around the town for you, but even if you never make it up here, you can sleep soundly knowing the work has been done.

Like so many places in the UK the high street is looking dodgy in parts, but there are also lots of interesting independent shops. There are two really great butchers, an ace fishmonger, two non-chain health food shops and the tiny but packed-to-the-rafters Saffron Oriental Food Shop. I love being able to walk up the road to find lovely ingredients, instead of needing a bus to Edinburgh! If that ever gets old, then kick me because I must’ve become an ungrateful git.

There is also a souvenir shop that sports a selection of jazzy skulls amongst the standard Nessie gear. And I can’t wait for summer to hit up this ice cream van…

skulls

One of the butchers always has this Dirty Carrots display out the front. The potatoes look equally filthy but for some reason they’re just labelled Potatoes.

carrots

I am arf the cakes at the moment but when I need a fix, Leachkin Bakery will be the place.

Leachkin Bakery

There are also some shops that you just don’t really get where we came from. Like the ones for all your wild beast stalking and salmon catching needs. This Christmas display must’ve freaked out the kiddies…

santa-jacket

The tiny tweed jacket above for the young squire can be found in the window of no less than three different shops.

I’m still loving the river walks, especially when you get to the bottom footbridge and look across to the snow-capped hills. They always take me by surprise. I forget we’re in the Highlands now… there’s going to be some lands with height, derr.

River Ness

I finally got round to exploring the Caledonian Canal, which runs kinda parallel to the river. The Caledonian is the fella that runs all the way across Scotland. Another one Great Feat of Victorian Engineering!

canal

And that’s just Inverness itself! Turns out there’s more goodness beyond.