After my brother Andrew’s artistic nut weevil yesterday, today’s guest picture from Venetia’s African adventure shows the real thing, dung beetles on elephant droppings. You can hardly get more down to earth than that.
We had a busy day. We just had time for a cup of coffee and a quick wave at the birds on our feeder…
…before setting off to drive the 40 miles to Tweedbank to catch the train to Edinburgh with my sister Susan. It is her 85th birthday tomorrow and she was anxious to celebrate this auspicious occasion a day early by meeting our two sons and their partners and especially Matilda whom she has never met.
We managed to combine this with some cultural activity and as soon as we had got off the train, we visited the City Art Centre which is conveniently right next to the station. Here we had some nourishing soup and sourdough bread in the cafe and then went to explore an exhibition of Edinburgh street photography of the 1950s and 1960s by Robert Blomfield, a medical student and later a doctor in the city.
We had been advised to see this exhibition by Sandy and his advice was very sound. It turned out to be wonderful. You can get a taste of what we saw here, though the website’s images don’t convey the full power of the prints that we saw.
After we had visited the exhibition, we were joined at the art gallery’s cafe by our son Tony and his partner Marianne who came from their work to see us. We had an hour of good conversation, tea and a fancy cake with them. I congratulated Tony on the many excellent photographs which he has taken while walking his dogs and whihc I have used as guest pictures of the day. When it was time for them to go home (to walk their dogs), we walked along the road a few hundred yards, crossing over the railway station and heading for the National Gallery under which the trains disappear.
On our way along Princes Street, I was struck by these hard working little fellows holding the world on their shoulders.
The Scottish National Gallery is not particularly large but it holds a delightful selection of works and I recorded some of my favourites on my phone as we went along.
This still life was painted in oils on copper and it gave it a tremendously vivid quality.
Some of us needed a moment to recover from the sensory overload.
We left the gallery and walked past the Scottish Academy….
…back down to Princes Street where we caught a bus which took us down Leith Walk where we met Matilda, who had kindly brought our son Alistair and his wife Clare to have a meal with us at an Italian restaurant.
Once again, we enjoyed good conversation while we ate. The restaurant is very well adjusted to coping with children and gives them a sheet of puzzles and some crayons to pass the time while their elders chatter on. Here we can see Matilda explaining the finer points of one of the puzzles to her mother.
After we finished the meal and before we parted company, Matilda showed us her latest dance routine in the street while her father moved along beside her, playing the music from his phone.
She is going to her first dancing competition next month and has learned her routine very well already.
As she danced off to go to bed, we caught a bus back to the railway station, jumped on the train back to Tweedbank with a minute to spare and enjoyed a trouble free journey home to round off a most satisfactory day where everything ran like clockwork for once.
We have to thank my sister Susan for suggesting such a good way to spend a day.
Today’s flying bird is having a quiet moment of peace as it wonders if there is a screw loose somewhere.