Saturday, 1 October 2011


          Edinburgh knocks London into a cocked hat.  For that matter, it knocks Birmingham into a cocked hat.  And pretty much any other city in the UK that I’ve ever visited.
          Davy was born in Edinburgh, and I went with him last week, on a visit to his home city.  (We thought about going to Tunisia for a week, but then decided to go to Scotland instead.)
          We drove up, got B&B in a beautiful old town house in Mayfield, and spent the evening walking round the city.  We ate kebabs in Nicholson Square, near the University and then wandered past the magnificent neo-classical College of Surgeons, and little shops selling legal highs and student fashions.
          We climbed up to the Royal Mile and, as always, I was thrilled by those tall, gaunt buildings, so handsome and so Scottish, and the beautiful sweeping curve of the road down into Fleshmarket.
          As dusk fell, and the lights came on, we wandered back down towards Princes’ Street.  Arthur’s Seat looked very volcanic in the background; Scott’s Monument was Gothic and magnificent, and there were the floodlit Scots Baronial piles of the Balmoral and the old Scotsman building on North Bridge.
Nessie in national dress
          There is a buzz about Edinburgh that I don’t feel anywhere else.  I know that there’s plenty that’s grim about the place, both historically and now; but it is such an invigorating mix of broad boulevards and tiny steep closes; of grim ancient towers, grey neo-classical palaces, exuberant Victorian Gothic, and little caffs; of great art and cuddly Loch Ness monsters wearing kilts.  The people range from locals shopping for the kids’ tea, to year-round tourists from every part of the world, to students dressed in the most outré clothing they can devise.  (I offered to buy Davy a neon-tartan kilt and a tam with built-in red wig, so he could rediscover his roots, but he said he didn’t want to.)
The Hind's Daughter - Guthrie
          The next day, at the Scottish National Gallery, we had to descend deep beneath the ground in order to be amazed by the Scots Colourists and the Glasgow Boys.  Why these paintings aren’t in the entrance hall, I’ll never understand.  They are magnificent.
          Even when leaving this wonderful city, to go on to Fife, we had the pleasure of driving over the Forth Road Bridge, and seeing the Rail Bridge beside it.  Oh beautiful railway bridge of the silvery Tay!  I am very happy to say, and to post it here, on-line, that I shall remember this trip for a very long time.

Susan Price's website:
And here's Blot - woken up at last...


madwippitt said...

Aaaah ... so that's what a mews is for?
Sorry, but I do love a bad pun. Almost as much as I love a good wippiticism.

Leslie Wilson said...

Lovely post! Must go back to Edinburgh some time, you have whetted my appetite.

Joan Lennon said...

Our slightly demented cat makes those noises when she wants to know if there's anybody in the house - and then does the last panel EXACTLY when she finds out!