Hey friends, lend me your ears. You may wonder what I’m doing writing a blog post. I normally leave that to the human types. Well, you might have read what they produce, and frankly I think you’ll agree I can do a better job. Also, this bloke offered me a sock to write this post for him so he could take the afternoon off. And here we are.
Now, I’m a dog of the world. I’ve been to places you wouldn’t dream of, and I’ve seen some things that would make your tail curl. I saw a man hug a cat once. A grown man. It disgusts me to even think about it. Nevertheless, I’ve seen some pretty cool stuff too.
I’ve also hung around near the UX team long enough to know what people like. I’m a real empathetic puppy when it comes down to it. So, when they bribed asked me to write this blog post, I knew exactly what had to go in it. So, here are my list of reasons why working in Edinburgh is the dog’s… erm… knees.
I lived in London for a little while. Nearly bankrupted me, and I was in a tiny little kennel miles out from the city centre, but I put up with that and the 90-minute journey to work because I had a chewstick habit to feed.
Since I moved to Edinburgh, though, I live in comparative luxury. Mum has a nice flat, and I get so much space to move about, and at a fraction of the cost. Not only that, it doesn’t feel like I have to travel through 13 countries to get to work. I know that’s probably an exaggeration, but I have little legs. I like to be close to where I’m going.
When I was in London it felt like every other bark was a cough. Choke, splutter, dirty air, yuck!
Edinburgh, on the other hand, while having a reputation for being poor compared to the rest of Scotland (well, most – I’m looking at you, Glasgow!) is much, much cleaner than London. If you don’t believe me, you can see the numbers here.
Pollution is not just dirty air, though. Noise pollution is low in Edinburgh, water pollution is very low, and there are loads of green spaces and light. If only they would do something about all the cats, but you can’t have everything.
I already mentioned that you can probably afford to live close enough to work to walk here, but if you want to live further away, then commuting is pretty easy. I’d much rather be on a sparkly, efficient Lothian bus than on the stinky, sweaty Tube. The buses here are frequently ranked as the best in the UK.
Not only that, but you can drive here. There is, at least for now, no congestion charge. Also, you can set out in your car on one side of Edinburgh and arrive on the other side ON THE SAME DAY! Just try that in London. I bet you daren’t.
Now, I’m not saying London doesn’t have culture. You have the Queen after all, and she is cool because she likes dogs too. But, where does the Queen live when she gets bored? Edinburgh, that’s where. And we have loads of other culture too, and all very affordable.
We have the Museum of Scotland, the Museum of Edinburgh, the Museum of Childhood, the National War Museum, the Scottish National Gallery, the City Art Centre, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Our Dynamic Earth, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and loads more.
Why not check out this thing I made last year (with help from human colleagues) for This is Edinburgh.
We also have the world’s largest arts festival (you’ve probably heard of the Festival Fringe), which is actually not the real Edinburgh International Festival, which we also have that happens at the same time. In fact, we have dozens of different festivals through the year, from acoustic music and jazz to science, books and films. Not to mention we have Mela and Hogmanay and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It’s always party time, unless you stay in at home with a nice tin of dog food, which I like to do as well.
We also have one of the world’s most famous statues of a dog. I like to call it the Dogtue of Liberty, but most people call him Greyfriar’s Bobby.
The job market in Edinburgh is vibrant, especially in digital. I easily got my job here as the literal digital dogsbody as easy as pie. Admittedly, I’ve got some experience, and that greased the wheels a little. Also, have you seen me? You’d need a heart of stone not to demand I immediately start working for you.
Nevertheless, in London there were so many other dogs going for the same roles. Every day I’d be at the groomers making sure I looked my best, writing letters and signing them with my paw print, travelling all the way across the city on the stinky Tube to go to interviews. Just so draining. I’d never be myself in the interview. I bit a man once for asking me what my weaknesses were. I think he found out the hard way. Not so much in Edinburgh, it’s way more chilled out.
There is so much history in Edinburgh. All cities have history of course, but so many cities just knock it down and build some ugly car park in its place. Come and take a walk along the Grassmarket, the Cowgate or the Royal Mile, and if it weren’t for the traffic, and the street lights and the fact that you’re looking at your phone instead of the buildings, and you could be back in the 16th Century.
We have pubs named after people we chose to hang, like Maggie Dickson and Deacon Brodie. We have John Knox’s house, a big Castle, which is still occupied by the military, and historical monuments galore.
And graveyards of course. One famous for a dog that ended up being a statue.
Now, I’m not criticising Londoners. Lovely people, each and every one. But, I sympathise with you. Being on that sticky sweaty Tube trying to get four light years across a city to get to a job that barely pays your rent is enough to put a dent in anyone’s sunny personality.
Scots in general though are lovely jovial people. Not only that, but Edinburgh is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that oozes friendliness from every pore. A nice ooze, though. Not like a Tube ooze.
Cost of living
I’m not going to say much here, because frankly when someone else is buying your dog food for you, you kind of let the cost of living thing pass you by.
However, I did take a look at these numbers, and had to go and have a lie down for a bit afterwards. You spend HOW MUCH on the buses in London?
Beautiful city with beautiful views
Once again, I don’t want to be critical of London. You have some nice buildings. Some are spectacular in fact. But, you surround them with the rest of London. And I mean that in a nice way, but it’s true. There is only so much a poor dog’s eyes can take.
What would happen though if you took the nice buildings in London, and just turned up the nice a bit and see where that would take you? It would take you to Edinburgh, that’s where. Just take a look at some of this stunning architecture! But, don’t just take my word for it.
It’s not just the architecture though. To make Edinburgh even more pretty, there’s a nice big hill in the middle called Arthur’s Seat. Climb that (or, pro-tip, get mum to carry you) and from the top you can see for miles and miles and miles. On a clear day, you can even see Ben Nevis from here and it’s over 100 miles away!
A short drive to the country
If, while you are up Arthur’s Seat, you spot a nice bit of countryside you’d like to take a look at, it takes such a short amount of time to get there.
The Pentland Hills are just outside the city to the south, the beaches of East Lothian are also just outside the city. You can also head into West Lothian for country parks, including Almondell, Calderwood and Beecraigs. Across the water is Fife with rolling hills and quaint seaside towns.
And my favourite place, Portobello Beach, is actually PART OF THE CITY! Bliss.
If you’re more adventurous, it’s only three hours to the West Highlands, Glencoe and Fort William, or to the Caingorms and Aviemore.
Finally, my personal favourite thing about Edinburgh is how dog-friendly it is. So many pubs have signs to welcome dogs and a few cafés too. There are loads of parks and open spaces to play in, with separate children’s areas, so I don’t have to do my unmentionables in the sandpit. And Edinburgh is such a nice city to walk in. It’s literally a dog’s paradise.
I say if you’re getting sick of working in London, or perhaps you’re just looking for a city where you don’t need to do your business in a sandpit, come to Edinburgh.
Even better, come join the team here at Storm and meet me! Check out our current vacancies or send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org