Friday, 24 September 2010

An Edinburgh day

It's been a while since I last posted. This was due partly to continuing renovation works in my home and partly to a period of readjusting after the great adventure of the Camino.

But then there was one particular day that just seemed to be the perfect day.

The sun was shining, the sea was flat calm and the leaves of the trees where turning into their autumn colours. My favourite one has to be the horthorn in the garden, who's autumn colours are that of fire, starting on the edges, gradually taking over the whole leaf. There was a smell and temperature that I particularly associate with autumn and it brings about a positive feeling within, inspiring me to make the most of the day. So I started with a great latte at my favourite coffee shop on the promenade, The Beach House, before returning home and packing a rucksack.

Less than one hour later I was setting out from Flotterstone Inn car park in the Pentland hills. The first section was a steep ascent over Turnhouse hill. At the top the wind was blowing strong and I stood for a while looking south across the towns and villages of Penicuik, Roslin and Auchendinny, looking as windswept and interesting as I could. It felt good to be back in the hills.

From there it is virtually a ridge walk, with the path making a short descent and ascent up and over Carnethy hill, down to the saddle below Scald Law, then descending to Loganlea reservoir. A number of fishermen were out on the reservoir, silently bobbing up and down in their little rowing boats. Further on cows were nursing their newborn calves and a family of shags were busy stretching and preening themselves on the shores of Glencorse reservoir.

It was midday by the time I sauntered back into the carpark at Flotterstone, and decided it was time for lunch. I thus tucked into a fine reward for my efforts of roast beef and yorkshire pudding at the inn.

In the afternoon I wandered the streets of Edinburgh with a small shopping list of little items, ticking off each one as I went, enjoying flitting between each shop as I successfully, and very satisfyingly, completed the list.

Later that day I went to the Cameo cinema to see an animation called The Illusionist, by French filmmaker Sylvain Chomet. It had first appeared in the Edinburgh Film Festival but I had missed it. It details the story of the demise of the traditional stage magician, taken over by emerging rock bands and seemingly more exciting acts, and is set in the late 1950's. The animation is beautifully done in warm gentle colours and is mostly set in Edinburgh and the Highlands of Scotland. The renditions of the city were astounding and gave me a warm feeling of pride to live in this city. All this, together with beautiful music and virtually no dialogue, made for an immensely enjoyable experience. The film ends with umbrellas going up and rain falling on the streets, creating silver lines as it runs down the window panes.

As I emerged from the cinema it had started to rain and people's umbrellas were duly being deployed.

It seemed an appropriate end to my perfect Edinburgh day.

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