My first time in Scotland I was the guest in Edinburgh of the Cohen Family Jennifer was my waitress 20 years ago at the Spring Mill Cafe when she was a student at a local university. She has now three children and they attend Fettes College which is the inspiration for JK Rowling’s Harry Potter.
I had numerous small adventures while I was walking the streets of Edinburgh. I visited Mary of Scot Palace in Linlithgow. I visited Andrew’s Golf Club at the very strong request of my teacher, Michael Caplan. And I returned with many pictures for him. I visited Sir Walter Scot residence in Abbotsford. I visited the hometown of Mr. Andrew Carnegie (the Carnegie of Carnegie Hall), Dunfermline.
On a cold afternoon I needed a tailor to sew my buttons back on my cape so I entered a lovely hidden shop and I was very curious at the work of art on the walls. And I guessed that the tailor was an Iranian from Isfahan. Since I had visited his lovely city of fabulous mosaics I spent an hour in the back shop chit chatting about Iran.
Edinburgh is a very green city with many gardens and parks, beautiful cobblestone streets, but I wanted to see the other big city of Scotland, Glasgow. And I went to the Glasgow School of Art to be given a tour of the Mackintosh School of Architecture and a lecture on the man and his influence. I had a student as my tour guide and after the structured tour we took a tour of the bohemian side of Glasgow with a lot of thrift shops, funky stores, and pubs.
On my return to Edinburgh I taught Jennifer how to make chocolate mousse and beouf bourguignon. And on my last day I needed a tailor again for a hem and I stumbled upon an Italian young man called Sergio who used to design costumes for American Idol contestants. He lived in Argentina and was crazy about tango so we proceded to dance with his mother and assistant as spectators.
I felt that after these two experiences with tailors I would encounter another one. And as it was predicted, when I arrived in Paris, I tore my jacket when lifting my suitcase off the belt. So, in Paris, in the 14th arondissement I found a charming Lebanese man who fixed it for 3 euros. We enjoyed a great conversation about Byblos and Balbeck where there is every year a famous international music festival.
Off I went to Tours to celebrate my mother’s birthday, and mine, in a small chateau near Villandry. I wanted Villandry because I wanted to visit the famous vegetable gardens.