Today’s guest picture was taken by my brother Andrew on his recent visit to Delft. He remarks that the weather was perfect for ducks.
We had another brilliantly sunny but chilly day today and as we drove over to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh, the snow covered Lake District Hills and Criffel looked wonderful. The countryside that the train ran through wasn’t so spectacular but it was pretty enough to interrupt my study of the crossword from time to time.
When we got to Edinburgh, the day was so good that I left Mrs Tootlepedal to walk down to Al and Clare’s alone while I took a short tour of the Old Town.
I walked up Fleshmarket Close (seen on the left in the double picture below)…
…until I got to the Royal Mile. Up the hill is St Giles’ Cathedral and the castle…
I eschewed the Royal Mile and walked down South Bridge until I got to Chambers Street. Walking along Chambers Street,on one side of the road I passed Guthrie Street, where I first met the future Mrs Tootlepedal in 1962 and on the other the fine Museum building.
When I was a student here and feeling peckish, I would assuage my hunger with a mutton pie or a cream doughnut. An expert once suggested that the most nutritious thing about the 1962 Edinburgh mutton pie was the paper bag that it came in but I thought that they were delicious. Today I bought a pain au chocolate. It was quite nice.
Near the top of George IV Bridge, I turned down the steep hill of Victoria Street and the West Bow…
I didn’t meet or eat but turned into the Cowgate, the evil twin of the Canongate. It too leads to Holyrood Palace but by the low road.
It passes under George IV Bridge….
…and beneath an impressive array of gargoyles…
I must have passed this way many times without the light being quite the same because I have no memory of seeing this church before. I think that that the stonework has been cleaned. In my youth everywhere here was the dull grey colour that you can see on the tower.
I arrived at the Scottish Parliament, an expensive and leaky testimony to the vainglory of clients and architect alike….
I didn’t have long to sit down when I got to Matilda’s because Mrs Tootlepedal and I volunteered to take her for a walk to give her parents a few moments of peace.
These few moments turned into an hour as our walk stretched out in the sunny weather. In the absence of Edinburgh’s usual biting wind, it really was a lovely day for pushing the baby about. I didn’t take my camera with me as I thought that I had taken enough pictures but I wished that I had had it with me when we came to a small frozen loch in a park and stopped to watch some coots practising their ice skating. One bird leapt onto the ice from the bank and skidded neatly across the ice until stopped by a tree. It stood up looking very hard done by.
After lunch, we sent some time being entertained by Matilda, sympathising with Clare who is a bit poorly and chatting with Al before leaving to catch the train home.
In all, I walked about 6 miles split into three sections, during the day so quite apart from the views and the pleasure of meeting Matilda, it was a really good day out with my knee.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I played duets in our customary manner of mixing a lot or perfect notes with some that weren’t quite so spot on.
In the absence of a flying bird, a skating coot caught on my phone will have to do.