For all that Helen's Bay is a leafy seaside village very different from the Northern Ireland we became used to seeing on the news over the years, it seemed odd that, a decade after he left his post as Ulster head coach, Alan Solomons has kept his base here.
The explanation, though, offers clear insight into how a job in Scotland's capital could tempt him away from South Africa's Eastern Cape, his true homeland where he had been engaged in a labour of love in setting up the Southern Kings franchise in the Super XV.
"Northern Ireland is definitely home for me," he said. "I really liked Northern Ireland. I liked the people which is the most important thing about the place and I liked where we lived. Helen's Bay is beautiful. We were comfortable and my wife had made good friends and so had I. I've also always thought that, particularly between the Northern Irish and the Scots, there are a lot of similarities and I must say I find being in Scotland very comfortable because it is similar to being in Northern Ireland."
His base there had worked well while he was a globe-trotting consultant with the International Rugby Board before a combination of opportunity and, perhaps, conscience took him back to the Eastern Cape to do a job that had huge social and political, as well as sporting implications.
Solomons believes passionately in the need to promote rugby in that area and while he is a soft-spoken, measured man, his anger at their elimination from Super Rugby after their first season's involvement has been well-documented.
However, South African rugby's loss is almost certainly Edinburgh's gain since the knowledge accrued down the years equips the 63-year-old well for the task of sorting out this dysfunctional-looking club.
"At a point I was always going to come home and then this came up. It seemed like a really good challenge and Mary [his wife] knows Scotland quite well," said Solomons. "It's close to Northern Ireland with a lot of similarities. I'm pleased with the decision. It is a big challenge. There's no bones about that, it's a massive challenge and there's a lot of hard work that has to be done."
He is also comfortable with being tagged a troubleshooter and ready to embrace the challenge.
"I have often been brought in to fix things up," he said. "So I have a lot of experience of that and I have a reasonable amount of experience in my background also as a practicing lawyer for many years. That's helped me, my experience with the IRB has helped me . . . all the experiences I have gone through in my life assist me in being able to deal with situations such as we find at Edinburgh.
"Would you not agree that western society is an instant gratification society? It's a press- a-button society. I'm not one for instant gratification. I'm one for thinking longer term and having longer-term strategies because if you get that right it will be sustainable.
"What gives me tremendous pleasure is looking at Ulster's situation now and having been part of the beginning of that process. Everyone has to be commended and it's been built over a long time, over 14 years. That's because I think they knew when I came in that it wasn't going to be an instant fix. We did make rapid progress over that period and then the people coming in have continued to build."
He sees another example of that just along the M8. "Sean Lineen, it seems to me, did a good job in Glasgow and Gregor's now continued to build on that and that's very, very good, so for me it is not a question of an instant fix," Solomons said. "Look, anything's possible if you've got the money that Toulon have got and you can bring in a team.
"I've coached the Barbarians on a number of occasions, we bring together fantastic players and they do brilliantly, but that's not solving the problem. It's not in Scotland's interests to do that. It's in Scotland's interest to build a strong, sustainable Edinburgh."
He accepts, too, that Scotland has to look to broaden its player base, leading to the arrival of a string of dual-qualified Australians in the capital on deals agreed before he took charge, which is potentially difficult. "It is what it is," is Solomons' assessment of that process, though. "It is an unusual situation. Normally the head coach recruits the players but it was merited in the circumstances because I wasn't here.
"So it is challenging to have that situation because you want to be actively involved in the recruitment but it couldn't happen. It wasn't feasible and therefore I have absolutely no problem . . . there was nothing anybody could do in the given circumstances."
In many ways, then, it cannot really be regarded as his team until the 2014/15 season since it will be difficult to make further recruitment this year, but he has seen enough to know what he can immediately demand.
"What I'm looking for this season is for this team to earn respect," he said. "I'm looking for people to respect and we need to have self-respect for our team-mates, respect for our team.
"I'd like the opposition to respect us, I would like our supporters to respect us and the public to respect us and the only way we can earn that respect is the way that we perform out there on the field."
Key to that is identifying the right leaders and while it will be a major surprise if Greig Laidlaw does not continue as captain, having led the team in both pre-season matches, Solomons has kept his options open as long as possible.
"Greig's a very good bloke, a very, very good footballer, he's got a very good rugby brain and he's got good leadership qualities. He will obviously play an important role in the coming season, there's no doubt about that," the new coach said. "I haven't made the decision on the captain for the season though because, jeepers, I've just got there, I've been there two weeks, so I plan to do that prior to the opening league match and we will do that at least having had three full weeks to get to know them."