The haggis pie has finished cooking. A simple dish like a shepherd’s pie but using haggis. I still have two more dishes to try before Burns Night on Tuesday. Although many people have been celebrating over the weekend, I am holding out for the 25th.
I have been looking for anything that might help pull me out of this lingering heaviness and feeling of disconnection with the world. In Scotland in the winter, the damp cold pushes through the stones of the buildings and into our joints. People so often think of Britain as a green place, but where I am living now is at a similar latitude to where I once lived in northeast British Columbia.
I understand now why so many Scottish people take sun holidays in the winter. But for those who can't afford that kind of a getaway, there are other small ways to splurge in order to acquire that warmed-to-the-bones feeling.
This spa includes a hydropool, which would normally be my favourite because it is an outside heated pool that includes a curved metal rack of bubbly wonderfulness, set beneath the Edinburgh sky.
But with the frosty temperatures and the wind whipping over the water, the heat is simply sucked away and if you stay out too long you can get a chill. I still managed to amuse myself by sitting up tall to bare my shoulders and arms in the cold air until I couldn’t take it anymore and I plunged back into the suddenly blissfully balmy water.
My favourite rooms were the saunas, particularly the hammam with the warm tiles to sit on and all that heat to ease through my body until I could feel a little button of warmth pulsing in my low belly. I just sat there breathing in the steam and trying not to think of how quickly the feeling would evaporate as soon as I was back outside again.
If you’re visiting Scotland in the winter, try to work in a visit to a spa. And if any Scottish spa owners require a sensualist writer to peruse the pools, send me an email.