Last week I ventured out to Edinburgh for the day to visit Our Son. The Dafter had been very low the day before and it was with a heavy heart that I boarded the train. But there is always something a bit exciting about getting on the London train:
A man on the train was complaining that he had never experienced fog for two days nonstop, and those of us who have lived in Aberdeen for some time merely smiled at one another in a knowing way.
I was interested to hear a woman on her mobile phone to her secretary say, as we crossed the Tay Rail Bridge: “Oh we’re crossed the Tay Rail Bridge, I always hate going across here.” I wondered if it was because she thought of the Tay Bridge Disaster in the 19th century, or if she just doesn’t like going over a long bridge in the train? The view is very lovely, though:
And what did I find in Edinburgh? SUNSHINE! Something I hadn’t glimpsed for a while. It was also warm, would you believe it?
By this time I was getting news that the Dafter was having a pretty good day in Aberdeen, so I was able to start to relax a little. It was Festival time, and the city was crowded with visitors (and no doubt locals as well). Look, here is a man wearing shorts! I would wager money he is not a Scot.
I met a friend for coffee here and had the strange sensation of worrying about the back of my neck being sunburnt. (One of my several shawls did the trick.) I then went to meet another friend for lunch! She took me to a lovely restaurant called Spoons. The windows there are beautiful:
In a previous incarnation as a coffee shop, this is where J.K.Rowling began to write Harry Potter. I’m always so pleased for J.K. Rowling – and I love that the entire story came to her in a single inspirational rush, on a train journey.
As you can tell from the light fittings, Spoons is into retro kitsch. Here is the ladies’ loo:
It was weird seeing these 1970s magazine pages, and actually remembering that time… look at Prince Charles!
I was taken by the lacy ironwork on top of these buildings on Chambers Street:
And I nipped into Jenners for a quick spot of shopping. The interior is very like that of Liberty’s of London. I really liked the strands of paper birds:
Our Son and I sat and talked on a bench, people watching. I like how the trees become almost indistinct one from another at this time of year, their foliage all kind of blurring together. In spring and autumn, they are more differentiated. This stately willow tree managed to stick out a bit from the rest:
We stopped to watch the floral clock on the hour. The cookoo in the little birdhouse comes out and from somewhere nearby there is a strange electronic cookooing noise! The floral clock is such a masterpiece of bedding. It must take enormous planning and skill to execute:
Our Son and I went to an art exhibit, to an amazing shop that I will tell you more about in a separate post, and then had some dinner. He saw me onto the 19:28 back to Aberdeen. I sat next to two hilarious and incredibly nice sisters who were full of their experiences at the Edinburgh Fringe. They even showed me the things they’d bought in the sales! It’s always particularly heartening to me to meet young people who are polite and clever and friendly. It gives me hope for the world.
The sunset on the way home was very beautiful. This was about 8:20 pm or so, in Fife not far before the Tay Rail Bridge. It looks as if we are gliding past water, but it is a wheat (or barley?) field:
I was home by 10:15, happy to have gone and had a fun day, laden with good wishes and presents for the Dafter and indeed for myself. And all was well!
I hope you’ve all had a good weekend, and that the last week of August starts well for you. (I believe there is some kind of day off south of the border, but here it will be business as usual.)