Today’s guest picture comes from my daughter Annie who is working abroad. She says it is a hard city in which to take pictures with her phone in portrait mode.
An excursion to Edinburgh was the order of the day and to give ourselves a bit more time than usual in the city, we drove to Tweedbank and caught a train on the new borders railway line rather than going to Lockerbie. It was raining as we left Langholm in the morning and it was still raining when we drove back in the dark so it looked like a good day to be somewhere else.
It wasn’t raining in Edinburgh (except for a very brief shower) so Edinburgh turned out to be a good somewhere else to visit.
While Mrs Tootlepedal did some enjoyable shopping, I went for a walk.
I admired the newly painted sides to the road up from the station.
This is a purely cosmetic frontage for there is nothing behind it and it simply serves to stop the impertinent traveller throwing orange peel or peanut shells onto the passengers waiting for trains on the platforms below.
Princes Street gardens boasted a host of chionodoxas as I walked towards the Scottish National Gallery…
…but my camera did a very poor job of capturing their beauty.
An overenthusiastic gardener has ruined the view of the National Gallery from the east by planting a tree smack in front of the middle of the building.
I wonder if he/she has relatives who plant trees in front of picturesque bridges.
I walked up the hill from the railway line through Milne’s Court, one of the many dark and narrow wynds that give the Old Town so much of its character.
And this took me up onto the Lawnmarket, part of the Royal Mile from the castle to Holyrood House.
On my way I could see the Camera Obscura…
…and one of the many curiosities which lurk to attract the attention of generous minded passers by.
As it was, I did have time to go into an old church….
…which has been re-purposed, as they say, and is now used as a centre for the Edinburgh Festival and called The Hub.
I thought that it was rather smart inside and stopped to have some haggis and a cup of coffee for my lunch. The haggis was very upmarket and was described on the menu as ‘bonbons of haggis’. Little balls of haggis had been covered in toasted breadcrumbs and they were perched precariously and incongruously on small mounds of mashed potato and neeps surrounded by a creamy whisky sauce. Although the dish looked rather comical, it tasted really good so I shouldn’t complain.
I went up to the castle esplanade after my lunch…
…and since I had taken a picture of the Castle from Arthur’s Seat on a previous visit, I took a picture of Arthur’s Seat from the Castle today.
Looking over the edge of the esplanade to the north, it was obvious that the city fathers had put their hands unusually deep into their pockets when it came to the purchase of daffodils.
I started to rain so I walked down through the daffodils towards Princes Street. I had to glance back as I went, because the daffodils were so astonishing, even in the rain.
Back down at ground level, I took another look back to the house perched on the edge of the castle rock which might make me nervous about looking out of the window if I lived there…
…and then walked down to the top of Leith Walk to meet Mrs Tootlepedal.
Edinburgh is a tourist hot spot and there are hotels tastefully inserted into many buildings which had former lives but this piece of unconvincing and rampant facadism with a glass box hotel stuck on the back of a slender frontage, is quite the oddest.
We were tempted by a very inviting opera bill on the front of the Playhouse….
…, especially by Musetta’s dog, until the alert Mrs Tootlepedal realised that the majestic war horse and the magnificent black stallion might be one and the same animal. The cheapskates. What a swizz.
We took a back route down to Matilda’s and this gave us a different view of the upstairs Greek temple at the end of London Road which defies any architectural interpretation.
There has surely never been a Greek temple with so many chimney pots and its columns resting on the roof of another building.
Although Matilda’s parents were both suffering from colds and were not at the peak of their condition, Matilda was very jolly and joined wholehearted in a game of Pelmanism as well as the more familiar Snap. She is a dab hand at both games.
This was followed by a dance demonstration and some solid nursery rhyme work so we were quite ready for a roast chicken for our tea which Mrs Tootlepedal had thoughtfully cooked for us all.
After tea, Matilda settled down to a little painting before her bath.
In a sign of the digitally aware age we live in, when I asked Matilda if I might take a picture of her, she laughed out loud and shouted, “Cheese!”
The effect was very good, I thought.
No flying bird today although I did chase a magpie through the castle daffodils in vain.