Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She saw a proud parent in Golders Hill Park. It seems very early in the year to me to be seeing ducklings (or perhaps goslings, I am not sure).
The new railway timetables for travel to Edinburgh from Lockerbie have affected us considerably. Because we now have to catch a train which leaves two hours earlier than the one which we used to catch, we don’t really have time to do much in Langholm before we leave, but we do still have time to get bored not doing anything while we wait to go.
There were not even any birds to watch while we waited.
When we got to Lockerbie, I was pleased to see a freight train waiting in a siding.
This meant that we weren’t going to be held up behind it and indeed, we got to Edinburgh on time, in spite of leaving Lockerbie a few minutes late.
The new timetable gives us time to spare in Edinburgh before Matilda comes out of school so we enjoyed a delightful lunch of Eggs Benedict and then, as it was a beautiful day, we walked down to Matilda’s at a leisurely pace.
Leaving our lunchtime cafe, we could see Calton Hill rising above the roof of Waverley Station…
…and we walked down the Royal Mile towards Holyroodhouse.
I love this 1884 clock, with its little corridor back to the building behind it.
Our route took us round the back of the Scottish Parliament building. I quite enjoy the elaborate architectural features but Mrs Tootlepedal finds them a bit fussy.
On the concrete at the side of the building, sets of verse are inscribed. Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of my favourite poets and I couldn’t agree more with these words …
…though Mrs Tootlepedal still wishes that it would rain a little less frequently from a gardening point of view. (Read the words out loud to see one of the reasons why I like Hopkins so much.)
Round the front of the parliament building, a group of protesting carers were being interviewed….
…and media vans with big dishes were beaming out procedings from within to news channels.
We walked on into Holyrood Park, passing the big house which is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. She must have a lot of friends to need so many rooms.
The park itself was looking very attractive in the sunshine and there were plenty of people making their way up Arthur’s Seat.
Mrs Tootlepedal remarked that there are many opportunities for people to fall off rocks in the park but fortunately, they mostly stick to the many paths provided for them.
We kept to the main road through the north side of the park and came to St Margaret’s Loch…
…which was almost covered at one end by swans and ducks hoping for food from visitors.
Leaving the park, behind, we walked down to Matilda’s, stopping to buy the necessaries which her father Alistair needed for our evening meal.
We got there shortly before Matilda returned from school, and had a good time being entertained by her to games of hide and seek, beggar my neighbour (guess who lost) and snap (guess who lost again).
We also did a jigsaw puzzle, watched some Highland dancing and worked with some useful counting blocks so we had a busy time. The evening meal was excellent as usual and, as it was still a pleasant day, we walked the one and half miles back to the station after we had eaten.
The train home was also on time and if the catering trolley had had any hot water or food on it, the journey would have been perfect. We were much entertained by a long suffering fellow passenger who had gone from Manchester to Perth and back for the day and had had to cope with a cancelled train in each direction. Now he had no hot drink or sandwiches to restore him. Under the circumstances, he was very philosophical.
The drive home from Lockerbie went without incident but we were pleased to be home.
The flying bird of the day is swimming in St Margaret’s Loch.