Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Edinburgh, Scotland (23 Great King Street)

I’ve certainly have been enjoying my time in Edinburgh. I’m staying in a flat where I’ve rented before, so I don’t have much to get used to. Everything is where it was from last year.

I’ve been consistent with going to the gym, except for my weekend visit to London a few days ago. I’m trying to add more to my workout, at least those things that don’t mess with my back or legs. Mostly more time on the rowing machine, stretching exercises and work on my upper body.

While in London I visited a friend and took part in the Remembrance Day activities. After I got into London on Friday, I took the underground to the Tower of London to see the 10,000 candle lights in the old moat the surrounds the tower. Very busy on a Friday – even with the wind and rain. But I did get a few good pictures which I posted on my new Instagram page. (See link below.) More visiting on Saturday and then on Sunday before I left I went down to the Cenotaph to see the Queen, but didn’t get within a block of where she and the royal family were, but I heard some of the music that was being played. So many people! By 2:00 I was checked out of my hotel and on my way back to Edinburgh.

Today, at noon (called “midday here) I heard the cannon from the castle go off and wondered why it was so early. Normally, the cannon is fired at 1:00 p.m. every day. Then the cannon went off again and again. I looked it up via Google and it was to celebrate the Duke of Rothesay’s birthday. Who? I found out that is Prince Charles’ primary title in Scotland and today was his 70th birthday.

I’ve been keeping grocery shopping receipts to report the cost of food. Here is a sample of what I’ve bought, the cost in Pounds and in U.S. dollars.

Bread (Whole Wheat)  £ .95   $1.24
Milk (1 Quart)                   .85     1.11
Cheddar Cheese              3.00    3.90
Onions (3)                          .75       .98
Dishwash Liquid              .55       .72
Celery (Bunch)                  .79     1.02
Carrots (Package)             .30       .39
Rolled Oats (Package)    2.00     2.60
Whole Chicken                3.95     5.14
Butter                                1.80     2.34

I figure that when I was through eating the chicken and used the bones (with carrots, celery, and onions) to make the broth and added the remaining chicken meat, the cost was $7.53. I included the cost of the whole chicken to offset the cost of the noodles I had previously purchased. That $7.53 covered the cost of two lunches and two dinners. My favorite snacks are apples with cheddar cheese and also toast with a little sugar and cinnamon on top.

Most of my time over the past two days has been organizing pictures. Since I didn’t transfer a few months of pictures to OneDrive (my cloud service) they were lost when I lost my carry on bag. Fortunately I could recover pictures from Google and my website, but that has not turned out to be as easy as I thought. But I’m working on it. My fallback is to copy pictures one at a time from my website, but I doubt if it will come to that. I’ll get what I haven’t uploaded to OneDrive before I leave Edinburgh, so if my current hard drive fails, I’ll have my OneDrive as a fallback.

I’m getting much more (and better) sleep since I’ve been working out. Also what has helped was a conversation that I had with my financial adviser. I admitted to her that I overspent this past year as a result of my extensive traveling during the first nine months. Next year I will stay longer in more affordable housing in Cyprus and Malta during the first part of the year to offset my overspend this year. She also confirmed that after 70, my monthly income will be more (not a lot) than my planned spend, with a healthy reserve. Over the next year I will decide how much longer I will be traveling in Europe. At this point, two more years at least.

Speaking of next year, I’ve decided for sure to come back to Scotland for most of June, July, and August to avoid the heat. I’m confirming with my friend Mary in Stornoway, Scotland and my hosts here in Edinburgh. I’m thinking of staying in Edinburgh for June and July, Glasgow for the first couple of weeks in August. Then either Stornoway or Inverness for the remainder of August, perhaps into September.

On Friday I’m moving to my other place in Edinburgh where I stayed last year. I’ll be there until the 7th of December. My hosts for this flat also own the other flat as well and they give me a bit of a discount.

I’ll post another blog update in a week or so. I’d like to report that my pictures are now all secure in OneDrive. I should have mentioned above that I had tried out using Google and Amazon for backups but wasn’t as satisfied as I am with OneDrive. Because of this extra work to restore some of my pictures (over 8,000 so far), I’ll be more careful performing backups. But, I was able to prove that my backup plan (overall) has worked. Nothing has been lost, just the painful part of restoring is certainly giving me something to do this past week.

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