The house went on the market, and we found buyers within a few weeks. Ruby came back and together we went through the house, sorting and packing. We had one last party in our house inviting everyone we had ever known: old school friends, work colleagues, my brother and his wife, and all the Smith clan. I found good homes for all my Jaguar gear with the many car nuts I’d got to know over the years, and eventually we were down to two vehicles, my Jag and the mini that Ruby loved to drive.
Up in Edinburgh, we found a Victorian terraced house in Portobello with views of the beach. It had 3 small bedrooms, and seemed quite cramped compared to our Norfolk home, but it was pretty enough and did have a great location. We put in a low offer, which was accepted immediately.
Ruby took a job in the University library, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I had started to become a regular in The Malt Shovel, a pub a couple of miles from Portobello, which had a fun group of regulars. One evening I was introduced to Hamish, who told me about working on the tourist busses. It sounded interesting, so I asked if he knew if they had any vacancies. He said they were always on the lookout for good drivers with a knowledge of the roads around Edinburgh. I really only knew Princes Street and the Royal Mile, but really, I thought, how hard could it be?
Next morning I went to the address Hamish gave me on a tiny side street just behind Princes Street. We had a good chat, but to be a bus driver I’d need to get a Public Service Vehicle license. I had no wish to go to classes at that stage of my life, so it seemed that I had wasted my time coming up to town that day.
The office was just above a small take-out restaurant called “Snax Café” so I’d stop and get myself a cup of tea before heading back home. Coming out with my plastic cup I almost ran into a smartly dressed woman who was rushing along the street, and I started to apologize when I suddenly recognized who it was. “Angel!” I said, “Well I never expected to see you here!”
I knew that Angel and Dani had split up a few years before, and I’d not seen her since, although I had heard she’d moved out of the area. “Oh my God Tony!” She shrieked. “I heard you escaped the clutches of the Norfolk Mafia too, but I didn’t expect to run into you here. Listen, I’ve got an appointment at that hotel over there right now, but really, we should get together.” I smiled and said sure, but she said “No I mean it. Look, if you’re not busy, this meeting shouldn’t take long, what say we meet at the Voodoo in about half an hour?” Seeing my puzzled look she laughed, and then pointed to a building at the corner of the street, which was called The Voodoo Lounge. Having nothing better to do I agreed, and was soon sitting in a plush bar having a very expensive pint.