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Well another year, another international assignment. This time we've ended up in Edinburgh, Scotland for 1 year.

We found a small rental house, on a quiet street of post-war homes in a village in the south-west outskirts of Edinburgh.  The house and yard was completely gutted and renovated before we moved in.  Well, mostly renovated but that's a much longer story. Let's just say that 6 months later we still have to run an extension cord from the kitchen to the garage to dry our clothes....[Update: we no longer need the extension cord, but the back roof is caving in...]

Here's a picture of the back yard. There's an incredible amount of flower beds and we've had a gardening company come in twice so far and give it a complete clean-out.  We were desperately trying to find a house with as little lawn and garden maintenance as possible, but the relocation agent showed us the only 3 houses in the greater Edinburgh area that would work for us and we choose the lesser of the evils.

When I arrived I bought one -very- small car at the local second-hand shop, which the dealer agreed to buy back from me at the end of our time here (at wholesale of course...) If you need a car, go to Hope-Scott Garage in Currie and tell Tony I sent you. He and his staff are more than fair on price and wonderful to work with. 

I decided to get a scooter to use as my work commuting vehicle.  My first work location was only about a 10 minute ride, but then I had to go right into the city centre and that's about a 30 minute ride.  I leave the house at 7:15 AM and come back home at 4:00 PM to avoid most of the traffic.  The ride is generally fine, but on cold, rainy days it's not very pleasant!  The drivers around here are generally excellent, but I always keep an extra watch for "White Van Man". WhiteVan Men are tradesmen who drive generic white utility vans, hence the name.  They are notoriously bad in traffic... I firmly believe the road system here grew out of sheep paths from the year 643 AD.  Due to the extraordinatry number of one-way streets, no-right-hand turn intersections and bus/taxi-only roads, there are times when you literally can't get to where you want to go without warping space-time...

The people in our neighbourhood took great care in their gardening.  This picture on the right is the entrance to our neighbourhood, right at the peak of the cherry tree blooms. The picture below shows the overlap of the cherry trees and the tulips at their best. It's too bad the day (week (month)) was so cloudy because you're missing the full impact.

I tried my best to keep up with the gardens on the street but I couldn't hold a candle to some of the beautiful plantings.  Two of the lawns could have been used as backup greens at St. Andrews...