Edinburgh

I figured out why we’re having a heatwave !!

HW

Bruleeing the Creme de la Creme?

I hope I get better at taking pictures.

Hmmm. I believe those are real chevrons. I better not tease him.

Categories: Edinburgh

Hot City, Killer Shoes (Edinburgh, festival season)

Castle

The Castle (which I’ve decided reminds me of Wurm)

If I look left from my temporary home’s front windows, I can see the entire top part of this big pile of secrets. It’s on an extinct volcano, there are secret entrances and tunnels. It belongs to the military too. You can walk around in some areas though.

My move was brutal but mercifully short, move number one now completed. I shall be here while builders do unspeakables to my home. I’m perched in the rooftops¬† very near Princes Street in Edinburgh, and the Festival is underway – I think. The Festival has so many parts, it’s hard to tell where it begins or ends. There are books and science and err theatre, comedy, film, music and more I’m sure. The Interactive Festival (includes games) is disappointingly cancelled this year but I don’t think I’ll be short of things to do somehow. Very soon now the Tattoo will begin and the early evenings will resound to gun and cannon fire (blanks I think I should point out), bagpipes, and fireworks.

And it’s hot, hot, hot.

Edinburgh in a heat wave is positively metallic. Princes street is what we used to call a bakoond (sort of a baking oven for bricks) in one of the languages of my youth, and all the tourists who expected fog and mystery look like prawns by the end of the day. I use lessons learned in that same youth to survive the heat, ambling out for long walks in the early morning and retreating to some interior coolness for the day. Siesta when possible and emerge again later if it’s not too hot a night.

Below my flat here are restaurants and clubs so that my front door is defended by bouncers – I feel very safe. It is noisy revelry at night and I sleep right through the racket with no trouble at all. One of the gifts of age ūüôā Which brings me to the shoes. This year the shoes are quite astounding. High, impossible, gorgeous, magnificent, lethal in all possible ways. I’m sure they make amazing melee weapons. They are also a hazard to the tipsy if worn. We have cobbles. And a tram being built. It must be quite a skill to get across a road in those shoes – and then of course they are total and utter traffic stoppers. They are more beautiful than cars. The shoes on women in Edinburgh this year are amazing. And I love looking at them! An unexpected bonus to being here.

Of course, I personally wear sparkly flipflops or chinese-old-man-shoes.

Then, there’s things you discover. I know I live here, but I don’t travel to the heart of it all that often. New businesses open, old ones fold, old buildings are renovated or more often destroyed, glass and concrete things spring up and I don’t notice a lot of it. So I’m enjoying the rediscovery.

Early in the morning, when I meander out not much is open. After an hour or so though, I am in need of a rest and refreshment so I look out for little places, open early where a cup of tea is on offer, and a seat. Treasure. I’m going to do a longer piece on Social Bite (Rose Street). You may or may not know what Social Bite is (your cup of coffee pays for one for a homeless person) – I’d never heard of it.¬† Anyway I like both the idea and the neat little cafe, conveniently close where I intend to pause again.

Then yesterday my feet took me towards Leith. My favourite internet cafe wasn’t open yet, so I stopped at Qupi (near the bottom of Leith Walk). Apparently this has been here for 12 years without me noticing it and it’s lovely! My nose led me in – it smells of delicious things with undertones of rosewater! Yesterday morning the temperature rose fast and early and I was grateful to find a place to stop.¬†¬† Tea was served with a cold glass of water, and I subsided on a red velvet chair with golden trim to well, subside. The decor totally charmed me, eclectic but not fussy. I’m no expert so this is just a vague guess I think some things were part middle eastern/turkish? and some were vintage. I have a daugher who will love this… Not too much of anything though, not clutter and the layout means that a cool, scented breeze runs through. It was like finding a little opulent magic oasis. I enjoyed my cup of tea very much and was fortified for the trek back up Leith Walk under the blazing star we call our own.

I think that’s my brain empty for now. I’m not much of a camerawoman, but I’ll try and take some pics as I go.

Categories: Edinburgh

Freedom to protest peacefully is a rare and precious thing

So rare nowadays that there is much shock expressed that it actually happens¬† hahaha. I think “hahahaha” just about sums it up how I feel about a politician been heckled in Edinburgh anyway. Put away your brown-shirts nobody got hurt and no missiles were thrown, no arrests – (hahahaha!), people, (real ones!)¬† just, you know…. protested…loudly in a public space.¬† Anyone remember what that’s about or are we all so sense-dulled that a very basic human right now ‘reads’ to our brains as a “surely-it’s-a-crime?”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/may/16/nigel-farage-edinburgh-protesters-van

As I wrote before, freedom of speech is as neutral as gravity. You can say what you like, but it’s probably not a good idea to jump off a cliff. Or try to do a¬† PR shoot¬† in an Edinburgh pub – you’ll get told what people think in return,¬† loudly and very clearly. We also headbutt terrorists up here btw. (I’ll get in trouble ūüôā – Glasgow headbutts terrorists ūüôā is what I meant to say).

Categories: Edinburgh, Oddments

Beltane 2013

I  skive off going these days, but I always like the pics:

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/edinburghs-beltane-festival-1863046

Categories: Edinburgh

Meanwhile, under a car park in Edinburgh

http://www.scotsman.com/edinburgh-evening-news/latest-news/7-more-skeletons-found-near-old-town-knight-grave-1-2908534

The things I walk on top of daily. Nobody does upmarket-creepy like us!!

Categories: Edinburgh, Shorts

Love from Leith

I am scrabbling this out not in my usual cozy nest, but from a nice internet cafe in Leith – this is the life! I have just photocopied a yooge form, with some help from the proprietor (how kind!) to keep the pages in order and work the machine, and now, by the Gods of Technology here I am blogging my blog from not home. Hehehe. Little things make me happy!

My webhome in Leith is the Citynet Internet Lounge (267A Leith Walk) and very pleasant it is too – no purchase of coffee required, just use the net is fine. It’s always good to come across good places – happy to plug ūüôā

(Enlarged day after ): I was glad to find this. Walking, which I love, makes my old back hurt after a certain point and rest is required. The Internet Lounge has nice comfy seats. It was busy while I was there, with all the computers being used. Though it’s called a lounge, it’s not a loungy lounge, like a coffee shop or anything. Just an internetty place with terminals screened off from eachother. I like that. I was able to do what I wanted to without feeling I had to do loungy-eaty things. Computers and food dont really go together anyway. Leith isn’t on my list of oft visited places but maybe now I’ll visit there more oft. Incidentally since it was snowing when I set out, I was firmly in demented tramp meets pom pom outfit (comfort>everything) but was treated like a perfectly respectable human being nonetheless.

Once you start with the walkabouts, they become addictive. Due to assorted rocks and hard places I’m Mrs Shreddynerves just now, and I don’t mind spending time just walking. It was out yesterday I realised that I’ve done what I can about life’s little problems and if things go awry although it will not be nice, some really stupid situations will cease too.

Stress level plumetted like a stone on that cheery thought.

Categories: Edinburgh

Told ya something was up with the meat

Although I don’t think my roast pork was horse. Still, tighter labelling¬†ftw – whatever they did to meat up here over the Christmas period, it wasn’t on the pack. I haven’t bothered buying any fresh meat since. It really was awful. But I’m having fun with gammon on the premise that it’s already loaded with preservatives and they won’t need to add/spray on more. Or whatever it was.

Categories: Edinburgh, Oddments

Never mind all that

Happy New Year !!

The Scottish Annual Orgy¬†has now officially begun and I am at home behind sandbags waiting for it to finish, woolly hat firmly on¬†– I don’t mind I haz soup.

I did do an Edinburgh Hogmanay one year, when I was younger and I survived, as did the 5 freezing Malaysians (may have been Indonesians, it was a while back, pardon my memory)¬†we found lost and heading away from Edinburgh and their hostel, into the countryside when me and my second cousin and friend rolled home in the early hours of some day after the 31 December. Well they were agricultural students so they might have survived but it was below zero, and I brought them home. They all wrote to say thank you some months later, which I appreciate very much –¬†I am¬†glad to know they eventually recovered.

Categories: Edinburgh

For friend Julian (RIP lovely)

As the year draws to a close I want to write a short tribute to Julian who killed himself a while ago now, leaping from the North Bridge. He is not the first of my mentally ill friends to commit suicide in the past four years – he is the fourth. I am friends with many mentally ill people because a seminal experience in my life was being in a¬†mental ward, as a patient, after a harrowing experience. I was there¬†for a long time, and it’s something of a blur now but I got to know many extraordinary people.¬†That was where I found out why I¬†have never been able to cope¬†as easily with some fairly innocuous things as other people do – a really sad thing sent me over the edge and I was diagnosed (finally) in my late thirties with clinical depression and it was a huge relief.

The result of all that, some 15/20 years ago now, is that I am probably mentally healthier than most people I know, being aware of triggers and able to spot the beginnings of trouble and take action long before problems arise. I have not needed to return to the ward once. They did an astonishingly good job of putting me back together. Julian was not a depressive, his disorder was more intractable. He was a paranoid schizophrenic. All the suicides took their fear and turmoil out on themselves, not on society, and certainly not on small children. They were good people and kindly, and had a lot to deal with – more than “normal” people can guess.

My friend Julian was a talented artist, and had got as far as exhibiting at the School of Art here in Edinburgh. I have a picture he made for me and my baby (at the time) hanging on my wall. I am one of the few people to posess one of his original works though many from his exhibition were sold as prints. He used to babysit for us as any friend would. We trusted him that much, alien invasion and all. He’s gone now, and I miss him.

While the time in hospital was excellent for me, and the time directly afterwards too in the days when aftercare¬†services actually existed, the time recently for mentally ill people has been apalling. “Care in the Community”¬† is more aptly called “Neglect in the Community.” Some¬†people that just can’t do it are simply left to sink or swim as best they can. And they sink.

So what? Well society as I wrote is slowly degrading around a nexus of lending and debt, and one of the degradations is the losing of good people whether they are well or ill for the sake of some specious cost-cutting. In this case also there is also the loss of a superb (if not great) artist. Loss to me personally is just that someone I liked has moved on, is gone. leaving a gap, a space, a … where once there was a person. I do not wish to live alone surrounded only by moneygrubbers and dullness. I want to be with people who know there is more, far more to life than money.

Julian was one such.

Categories: Edinburgh, Things In General

Usher Hall o/ (Edinburgh)

Hmmph! Well, the burgess look needs some tweaking anyway. One sock kept falling down, I filled my handbag with water inadvertantly in the ladies (autotap in the sink) while applying a suitably bland lipstick and someone asked me to go out with them for a drink. Clearly not quite repellent enough. I may accept that offer at some later point. I know the gentleman slightly and he has wit, (also his own establishment and does not collect women like beads), which means a fair chance of just plain an enjoyable evening in a pub, nothing more. And that would be nice.

Otherwise had a very splendid evening and can recommend the Usher Hall, the staff are lovely! The seats are comfortable, I could see everthing though I am a vertically challenged person, and yes, was very nice. Since I’ll be out in Edinburgh more than usual from now on I thought I’d write about whatever I come across. It’s a beautiful city, which I live in but don’t know all that much about. It has some fabulous ghost stories, I do know that.

I am currently waiting for dates and times to be arranged regarding my move so at something of a loose end. Today I’ll do a tidy and yes, yay and multiple woops, work on PlanetGardenshed. I think it’s becoming a sort of comic. Fair enough.

Categories: Edinburgh, Things In General | Tags:

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