THE FLOUR QUEST

edinburgh labyrinth

The fog rolled in this morning half hiding the university buildings in the distance. The Meadows is a lovely part of Edinburgh and a great place to go for my morning jog. As I made my way to the entrance of George Square Gardens, I stumbled upon the Labyrinth. Before entering the area, I read the description and guidelines on how to approach the maze.

It was quite fascinating though I walked at a pace too brisk for contemplation. At first I wondered when I would reach the center. Then I realised it was not the path which mattered as much as the journey along the way.

Once home, I readied to continue with my day after my call with my boyfriend. Being in the same time zone is much easier. After our chat, I headed out the door and made my way to lovecrumbs. My intention was to order a fruit scone with cream along with a cappuccino. However, when I saw they had a courgette, orange, poppyseed cake, I knew the scone could wait for another day.

courgette orange poppyseed

I arrived at noon but the place was near empty with a mere five people including me. I sat at the large round table at the front of the coffeehouse. It was not long afterwards that the place started to fill up. The cake and coffee arrived and I noted the perfect sweetness of the cake. It was unlike any of the overly sweet cakes in the States which you dare not attempt to eat so early in the day, if at all.

Taking my time to savour the cake whilst sipping the cappuccino, I wondered if I would get the chance to exchange a few words with strangers. Four girls sat at my table but they were not interested in a conversation outside their 'circle'.  

An hour and a half later, I left for a walk. I was on the great flour quest, determined to find a store which sold the flour I needed and in a small bag as opposed to the large bags which I would have a difficult time using over the next three days.

autumn path

Whilst at the coffeehouse, I brought up a map on my iPhone of the location of the other Real Foods shop in city centre knowing I would have a difficult time finding Wi-Fi in order to track my movements. The shop was somewhere around Calton Hill on Broughton Street.

I saw the signs informing people of the closure of the street but somehow I did not find the street. I considered asking a passerby where the street was located but thought I might be met with quizzical looks as I pronounced the street name incorrectly. Looking at my iPhone was of no help since I could not zoom in to see the street names. So, I wandered.

At St. James Centre, I should have turned left left towards the chapel on the corner. The store was one street down. Instead, I continued straight which led me on an hour-long trek with my camera, two lenses, and two books weighing me down.

broughton street

Along the way I saw Edinburgh in all its glorious autumn colours. I climbed up one street and then back down as I looked around for any hint of Calton Hill or any other familiar landmark. I saw none. I was determined to find the flour so I could bake a cake and make pizza dough for one of my dinners. I continued on my great flour quest.

autumn leaves closeup

On Earlston Place, I came upon a small Polish shop. I hesitated but figured I would find flour. The shop reminded me of the one which used to be next to my boyfriend's flat in Ennis. It was about the same size and filled with all things Polish.

I found the section with the flour, noting the Type 550 written in English which I knew to be plain flour from my experience in Germany. Along with the flour I bought poppy seeds and full-fat butter. Then I continued on my way until I saw Easter Road which I remember from the map on my iPhone.

Somehow I made it back to city centre where I found the Real Foods on Broughton Street. It was 15,00h by then and I walked in to see a greater selection of foods than the shop on Brougham Street near the university. The Doves Farm flour was not in stock so I was glad to have bought the one at the Polish shop.

As I made my way around the shop, I found beluga lentils which were also absent from the other shop. I grabbed a small bag of those along with the golden raw caster sugar. I wondered how I would transport all of these items to Dublin seeing how my bag was already over the weight limit for my Aer Lingus flight Friday. Somehow things will work out, I reasoned.

Clouds swallowed up the sun tonight. There was no visible sunset for me to record and the Labyrinth was already in the dark when I returned to make a photo of it. From walking a maze made by man to my walking around in a maze of streets this afternoon, I enjoyed the opportunity to simply be able to walk amongst such beauty.