Playing hookey

red capri pants and striped top
Cramond Island
Cramond Island

[Capri pants: ASOS // tank top: River Island // shoes: gift from my parents // glasses: eBay // cardigan: shop in Orlando about 8 years ago // Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs c/o Shopbop]

Back in the days when I used to dream about one day being self-employed, I thought the best thing about it would be having the flexibility to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I imagined there would be lots of spontaneous day trips, for instance: times when I woke up and thought, “Hmm, don’t really feel like working today: I think I’ll have the day off!” I also thought that my house would always be immaculate because of all of the extra time I’d have to clean, and that I would spend rainy days curled up by the open fire with a book, rather than chained to my desk, working.

I was pretty stupid, huh? Especially given that we don’t even have an open fire.

The fact is that in the five (!) years I’ve officially been “my own boss”, I’ve hardly ever taken an inpromptu day off just because I felt like it. (And the house is never ”immaculate”, because, well, we’re in it all the time, making a mess. Also: Rubin.) As my fellow self-employed people will testify, working for yourself is one long guilt-trip, in which you’re scared to take any time off AT ALL, because you know that if you do, your business will instantly fail, and you will be sent to the workhouse to eat gruel and wear rags. Or something like that, anyway.

This summer, though, the non-stop rain (hey, did I mention that we’ve had non-stop rain?) and generally gloomy weather has prompted us to change the way we work a little: to be more flexible, so that when the sun does decide to peek out from behind the clouds for a few minutes, we can just drop everything and run outside to bask in it. And I mean that literally: we’ve had so little sun over the past month that the few times it HAS come out, Terry and I have both downed tools and run outside, to sit at our little picnic bench (HA!) and gaze up at the sky, like a couple of country bumpkins seeing our first ever horseless carriage.

With all of this in mind, then, when the weather forecast informed us that this Wednesday would probably be the only dry day this week, and might even be sunny, we knew we had to take full advantage of it. Otherwise we would probably get rickets and die.

We looked forward to Wednesday the way most of you look forward to Christmas. We worked extra hard on Monday and Tuesday, so we could take the day off, and we talked excitedly about what it might be like, this “sun” we had heard so much about. I barely slept on Tuesday night, I was so excited.

Finally, the blessed day came. We woke up on Wednesday morning and… it wasn’t actually that sunny. Oh.

Undeterred, we got ready, and headed off on our planned adventure to Cramond Island, which is an island (the name kinda gives it away, doesn’t it?) in the Firth of Forth, near Edinburgh. It’s one of those islands you can reach via a causeway during low tide, so you get that slightly eerie feeling off walking along the sea bed, and knowing that in a few hours time the path you’re walking on will be under several feet of water, and you’ll possibly be stranded on an island which has nothing on it but an old ruined cottage and some World War 2 fortifications (also ruined).

And actually, that would’ve made for a much more exciting blog post, so let me just quickly lower your expectations by telling you that no, it didn’t happen. Instead we had a little picnic, and enjoyed the amazing views of Edinburgh and the Forth, while wandering around the island, which is possibly the most “Famous Five” kind of place I’ve ever been. Seriously, they would have LOVED it there. They would have camped out overnight, and had a “ripping” adventure, featuring smugglers and circus folk, and at least one unnaturally intelligent animal. And then they would’ve gone home to a huge cream tea, with potted meat sandwiches. It would’ve been ace.
view of Edinburgh from Cramond Island
Berwick Law from Cramond Island
causeway to Cramond Island
On Cramond Island


As for us, we finished our sandwiches, packed up, and headed back across the causeway and into Edinburgh, where we engaged in the not particularly adventurous, but still very enjoyable, activities of “drooling at the shoes in Harvey Nichols” and “having dinner at Jamie’s Italian“. It was a good day. It was a day we will no doubt look back on and describe as “summer 2012″.  And not a single dot was worn that day…

Forth Bridge from Cramond Island
(P.S. Yes, I wore low wedges and stood briefly on sand and OMGROCKS. And the world did not end, and nothing bad happened, because they’re really comfortable and easy to walk in…)