Tag: Scotland

Considering 2015 For The Sake Of Old Times

So what were you doing when 2015 arrived? Not surprisingly, many of us can answer this question without missing a beat, whether we were sleeping, partying or perhaps praying. After all, the coming of a New Year is a momentous occasion.

As for me, this year I gathered with a group of Happy Brits at a quaint hotel in England’s Peak District and as the clock struck midnight, we kept with tradition and joined hands and sang Auld Lang Syne. As I sang cheerfully, suddenly I got thinking about the song’s meaning. What does it all mean? Are we pledging something here and will we honour the pledge, even if we never see each other again? Thus, I turned to Paul and popped the question.

 ‘For old times sake,’ he answered, ‘in gist.’

What a relief that I hadn’t made a commitment to my new acquaintances but the singing had stoked memories of days gone by with old friends. How I longed to reach out to them, in that moment, to reminisce. So I attempted to whiz off a few, select text messages shortly after midnight. Normally, I send out many well wishes as I wish everyone well, but this year as I considered Auld Lang Syne, I was selective with a view to add special meaning.

Sadly, the mobile service was lousy so I had to send an email instead via a spotty Internet service and as such misspelled ald, so frustrated. Never mind. If you were a recipient of the my short Happy New Year’s wish, forgive my typo if you will, and accept my extension of good will, good health and so on for the New Year, for the sake of the cherished times we have shared together.

And for those special friends and family who didn’t get my message, blame it on technology. In the meantime, interestingly enough, I have sang the traditional Scottish song many times on New Year’s Eve and must have known that its author, the treasured Robert Burns, had not written exactly the world famous song that New Year’s celebrators sing today. Other Scottish poets before him and perhaps afterwards might have had a hand in it too – the debate goes on.

Still, Auld Lang Syne is unequivocally Scottish in its wording, its title in gist meaning ‘for the sake of old times’. And its meaning of remembrance and goodwill, whether sang at New Year’s, graduations and so on, has global notoriety. Check out the lyrics here.

So for old time sakes, I sincerely wish each and everyone a Happy New Year!

In the meantime, just what were you doing when the year’s changed hands? Post your messages here.



Missoni Checks out of Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a cool city —pretty cobblestoned streets, majestic hills, sweeping valleys, and a smashing choice of fine restaurants.  We loved The Honours. Not much in choice for cafes and bistros, if you ask me, unless you like pizza, pizza and pizza.

I thought we were in Scotland. Still, I love going there, if for no other reason than to stay at the Hotel Missoni, described by the summery dressed Scottish woman, whom I sat next to on the plane, as very American.

Have I got  news for her?  It’s Italian, not to mention that the weather is not summer yet, not even spring.

Never mind. In any case, the Hotel Missoni is leaving Edinburgh, not the hotel per se, but the design house is taking its name off the five-star hotel sometime in June this year.

Previously, having bagged two great buys at a quietly closing Missoni store in Westfield Shopping Centre in West London, a month or so ago, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that Missoni must have been on the decline. My heart ached, as I have so enjoyed the brand over the years and feel as if I am just warming up. Not now, please!

On the contrary, the massage therapist, explained as she caressed the stress out of my back.

While the fate of the Missoni empire does seem a bit hush hush—closing shops and only trading in department stores, at least in London, and taking their name off of a remarkable hotel—it’s well known in the industry that co-founder, Rosita Missoni, is likely to retire in her early eighties.

Daughter Angela has been creative director for years now while her mother headed up a new home collection and opened a few luxury hotels, the flagship one in Edinburgh, a few years ago. Somewhere along the way, Rosita might just have loss her soul, understandingly, having lost her son and his wife prematurely in a plane crash in 2013 and then her beloved husband and longtime business partner a few months later.

Though the epitome of modern design in one of the world’s most traditional cities (aside from the onslaught of pizza places) Hotel Missoni will be missed, if only by me.

I’ll just have to find another hang out in Edinburgh. I do like the city.  While strolling around the Old Town you can easily slip back into time while climbing a mountain of stairs to Edinburgh Castle or making your way back to lower ground, where there are gorgeous cathedrals such as St Giles, the old government buildings, and several narrow historical buildings that have become museums of sorts or fine restaurants. And the entire time, your ears ring to the sound of bagpipes.

But if you’re not much into that sort of old thing and you prefer the new scene, Edinburgh has much to offer there, too, even if a festival isn’t going on.  Last time, we went to the new Scottish Parliament, and this time, visited the Museum of Scotland. Impressive!

And no trip to any city would be complete, not for me, without a bit of shopping, though I find the scene in E-burgh lacking. While Harvey Nichols doesn’t have a patch on their flagship store in London, I managed to find a really cool local designer and walked away with some gorgeous knitwear. Got some for my BFF, too!

Enchanting is the word that springs to mind. Speaking of spring, it was spring when we arrived–so there, the florally dressed Scottish woman on the plane actually had news for me—but sadly for her, it was winter when we left.

That’s old news, right. Still, we had a great time.