Short and sweet: Solo walks in the city

It’s quiet here. All I can hear are the melodies of the songbirds and the slightly more discordant squawks of the gulls; the distant sound of traffic (rather like a long exhale) and the cold tap of something, somewhere, in the skeleton of our tenement flat near the city centre.

Life has felt a bit lonely recently.

My other half is working in Europe for the summer, so until September our relationship is kind of relegated to the weekends. It’s funny: you don’t realise how dependent you are on another human being until they’re no longer there. Everything, from the mundane to the meaningful, suddenly becomes meaningless. Compared to other folk, our situation is fleeting. It doesn’t make it any less sore though.

This weekend, as I waited for him to arrive on the tram for just 48 hours in Edinburgh, I wandered the Old Town streets.

There was something in that early evening buzz that alleviated the loneliness for an instant. Perhaps it was the incomprehensible babble of foreign voices (I wasn’t the only one feeling like an outsider), or maybe it was the pre-festival optimism, or maybe even shared laughter as a tourist attempted to put change directly into a piper’s sporran as he played on the Royal Mile. During an Edinburgh midsummer, it always feels like there is a party just around the corner.

From here, I weaved across the Mound and traced the outline of Princes Street Gardens.

They’ve been bursting with colour since the start of spring but — as the mercury reaches the highest it’ll go in Scotland — the delicate poppies, the dying daffodils and the hardy geraniums were all beginning to wither. The only plant that stood its ground (pardon the pun) was the thistle, flaunting its patriotic thorns in front of the castle. A reminder to stay strong, even if that sentiment doesn’t always come out in your writing (belated apologies for the mild melodrama of this post!)

How do you deal with short-lived loneliness?

11 thoughts on “Short and sweet: Solo walks in the city

  1. Awhh even though I really enjoy my own company, when it’s not by choice it is so hard! But also, waiting for him to arrive, to spend 48 hours together must have been quite exciting? and I bet you made the most of 48 hours together and did lots of nice things! 🙂

    1. Hi Leanne! Oh, I am so rubbish at replying… *hangs head in shame* How are you?! The 48 hour visits are always lovely (but bittersweet when Sunday comes around!) Time with the other half is so important, and you realise that even more when you’re apart. So in a way, it’s making me appreciate things even more 🙂 Hope you’re doing well? x

      1. No worries! I’m good thank you – hope all is well with you! Awhh I can imagine, hope you don’t have to do it for too much longer! x

  2. “You don’t realise how dependent you are on another human being until they’re no longer there.” So much truth. (Melodrama is forgiven! Haha)
    This post really makes me want to visit Edinburgh and pretty much everywhere else around it. It does look quite gloomy but ah, what a gorgeous town. It must’ve been a lovely walk.
    Have a nice week, Laura. xo

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

    1. Joanne! I’m so sorry for the delay in replying. How are you? I read your comment when you posted it and though it was so lovely, thank you for taking the time to write 🙂 and for forgiving the melodrama HA! Edinburgh is so gorgeous, even in the rain! So lucky to live here – let me know if you ever visit? And have a lovely end of the week! xx

  3. What a lovely post! Your writing lifts my spirits, I can feel what you are feeling, and your attention to the details of writing help you imagine yourself there (at least for me). I miss Edinburgh (and Scotland) very much, thank you for your blog posts and photos, they brighten my day!

    1. Hi Susan! I’m so sorry for taking so long to get back to you, my poor blog comments have been rather neglected of late! How are you? Where are you based now? I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog post, I’m sorry it wasn’t as positive as it is usually but wandering around the city really did help 🙂 it’s such a beautiful spot. Hope your week is going well so far x

  4. Loneliness is an odd thing – I remember a summer back in the mid 2000’s when I was working in Glasgow and my other half was up in Oban, working a summer job between her Uni terms. At the time I didn’t feel terribly lonely – we never went more than a three weeks without seeing each other and enjoyed plenty of phone calls and texts in between times (back then we didn’t even have an internet connection in the flat!).
    But more recently (just last month, in fact) she was away for two nights and for some reason I felt terribly lonely and sad enough that I found myself close to tears a couple of times.
    I know what you mean about everything becoming meaningless – she was gone for less than 48 hours, I knew without a doubt that she was coming back and yet I felt entirely hopeless. Everything I did seemed pointless. I counted the minutes until she got home.
    When we first moved in together we joked that the best thing about it was that we could be alone and together at the same time – I might be on the laptop editing my latest batch of photos and she could be in the next room reading a book but we were “together”. That feeling has never changed, just knowing that the other person is there makes us feel better.
    I hope the remaining weeks apart go by quickly for you both.

    1. Hi Allan! First off, I’m so sorry about taking so long to get back to you. Been weirdly busy and weirdly quiet here, only now am I finding the motivation to get back into the blog! How’s things with you? Thanks so much for your lovely comment, it made me feel so much better just to know that it’s not just me overreacting in feeling this way. I told B about your ‘alone and together’ at the same time thing and he agreed ferociously. That’s just the thing, even when you’re not chatting away at least you have the presence of the person you love. That’s the main thing! Thanks for your best wishes too Allan, I am making the weeks go faster by getting myself a wee taste for craft beer and Mars ice cream (the finer things in life, I’m sure you’ll agree). All best to you & J 🙂

  5. It’s weird because when I went home for 5 months last year to apply for my spouse visa, it felt lonely but at the same time I was with my family so it was kind of okay even though I missed my Brit. But he felt so lonely! He kept telling me, he’d come home to our flat every night and every weekend and be so lonely, my absence weighting on him. To be fair, he wrote most of his doctorate in that time, so productive at least!

    1. Hey Camila! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you! How are you getting on, what’s new? 🙂 Aw that is such a shame. I can totally understand your Brit’s feelings, when you’re the one in the house that you usually share with the other half, but now it’s just you, it’s so strange! Feels very empty. I am feeling productive too! Haha. If you guys have any tips for us, send them our way! FaceTime is a godsend though haha xx

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