It was the year of Live Aid and I was mopping the floors of the Bruntsfield Youth Hostel. I was keen to revisit my student days when I worked as a hostel assistant, back when I was younger ... and slimmer.
The Best Western Plus Bruntsfield Hotel is a privately owned hotel with 67 rooms that started life in the 1920s after being converted from private houses. My old youth hostel is just a stone's throw away.
Our room was a good size, with the added excitement for our 15-year-old son that he got his own room beside ours instead of a fold-down couch. Downstairs, the bar was a comfortable space to sit in, with the bonus of a copy of The Herald to read with my coffee.
Breakfast was a tasty affair, with a selection of options. The tea was a highlight as the hotel uses Brodie's Tea, although the water may have had something to do with it; it sounds strange but the tap water was delicious.
A bus into the city centre takes around 10 minutes but we walked through the Meadows instead and were at Greyfriars Bobby in less than 20 minutes.
When you often work in a city, you do not go and see the things you would as a tourist. Greyfriars Church and graveyard, which I have passed so many times, really was worth the look, although with the stories of Burke and Hare I might not hang around after dark.
Returning to the hotel after a trip to the Edinburgh Dungeon, I savoured the peaceful green spaces, beautiful tenements and town houses after the noise of the city centre.
I am leaving the best until last. Two minutes from our hotel is the Bruntsfield Links pitch and putt: a compact 36 holes with the Meadows across the road. It's free if you have your own clubs but The Golf Tavern bar will rent them for £5 with a drink included. A very agreeable option. I enjoyed an hour and a half pitching round with my son, telling seemingly endless stories of nights out, characters I had met and the joys of mopping floors.
Martin Shields was a guest of The Bruntsfield Hotel, 69 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh. September special: £70 per person per night for B&B for two staying for a minimum of two nights, including one night's dinner. See thebruntsfield.co.uk