We waved off this weekend’s guests a few hours ago - five friends from back home in North-East England who’ve spent the last couple of days with us - and we’re starting to get back into the rhythm of just the three of us (Sasha, Charlie, and me).
Living in Edinburgh, it was inevitable that we would end up hosting guests in our flat more often than we would have had we chosen to live in most other cities in the UK. It’s the biggest tourist location in the country outside of London, and with the twice-yearly festival seasons (July-August for the International Festival and the Fringe, and November-January for the Christmas markets and Hogmanay), we’re rarely short of people wanting to stay with us.
It was a conscious choice though, one we knew about when we were flat hunting a couple of years ago. For the two of us, even with Charlie, we don’t really need a flat the size of ours. A single bedroom flat would probably suit us fine, but we like to have visitors, hence the second bedroom. We bought our sofas with hosting in mind too; both convert into double beds for when guests come to stay, as they did this weekend. That’s six guests we can fit pretty comfortably in our little Edinburgh home, although we do have airbeds for if we have extra (11 people including us is our record so far, for New Years Eve 2015).
Fortunately, Charlie is a very sociable dog and loves having guests over as much as we do, as it means he gets plenty of extra attention (we don’t enjoy the scratches behind the ear though). Having guests over so often was also part of the reason we started our mystery date nights tradition; to give us a wealth of options to take our visitors when they wanted to try somewhere new in this city, along with obviously getting the opportunity to try new places ourselves (and occasionally with Charlie).
We have our own hosting traditions by now too - our morning breakfast production line is well-rehearsed, and everyone who stays with us expects one at this point. Square sausage, potato scone, fried egg cooked over-medium, and a wee pinch of haggis in a morning roll. Not one to put in your MyFitnessPal without crying, but a quality Scottish hangover cure when paired with a tin of Irn Bru nonetheless (our fridge isn’t big enough for everyone to have their own glass bottles unfortunately).
We’re slowly getting better at being tour guides too. Not quite as much this time around in fairness, but we do try to take our guests somewhere new when they come to visit. This weekend, we took our friends along the Water of Leith to Canonmills with Charlie - the lazy bunch protested a little at the distance, although in fairness I do sometimes forget not everyone has a Border Collie and aren’t necessarily used to walking long distances without issue. We also took them out in Edinburgh on Saturday night - I wanted to go to Hive, but was outvoted, probably correctly. Maybe next time…
We actually don’t currently have any plans to host any guests for the next couple of months - a lull before the Fringe festival I imagine. Usually, we have at least one weekend a month booked out, so we’ll probably enjoy the peace and quiet before the summer season gets into full swing.