Friday, 28 February 2014


On a cold but dry winters night, as darkness fell upon the City of Edinburgh, Pauline and I met up to view a recently installed outdoor art exhibit of lights by British artist Bruce Munro. He first came up with the idea in 1992 when touring Australia.

Right in the heart of Edinburgh lies St Andrew's Square. Constructed in 1772, and as part of the New Town of Edinburgh design by James Craig, it became the most desirable place to be seen. The gardens are surrounded by busy roads now, and more recently a terminus for the newly engineered trams.

Dominating the centre of the square is the fluted column of the Melville Monument, commemorating Henry Dundas, the first Viscount of Melville, and it is around this monument, and covering the entire gardens, that the art installation called The Field of Light, appears.

It consists of an astonishing 9,500 illuminated glass spheres on two foot stalks with ribbons of fibre optic trailing away to central points. Gradually the lights change colour and so the view is forever changing. It is very immersive and shows off St Andrews Square in a new way. However, I wanted to get a better overall view, which meant gaining height.  Nearby is the Harvey Nichols store and I made my way to the 4th floor, rather expensive looking restaurant. I quietly asked the Maitre-de if he would allow me to photograph the exhibit from their windows. Better than that he said, and duly opened the massive sliding glass doors that lead to the balcony. A tremendous view with Edinburgh picked out in the remains of the days light as a backdrop.

This is the installations first venue, and remains in Edinburgh until the end of April win it sets off on a UK tour.

Leaving the restaurant and all it's delicious smells, I was now quite hungry, and so we picked up our bicycles and headed toward a small fish and chip shop near to Pauline's home, called the Marchmont Takeaway.

This is not just any fish and chip shop though, this is a sustainable and environment friendly fish and chip shop.  It is now well documented that half of all the fish caught in the North Sea are thrown overboard, dead, because of quotas for certain fish. As their part in trying to discard this madness, this little chip shop offers varieties of fish other than the bog standard cod. On the menu this night was Rock Cod, a far more tasty and firmer version of the normal Cod, and Mackerel.  I've had the Rock Cod before and this time opted for the Mackerel.

It is a naturally oily fish so I was a bit apprehensive with what deep frying in palm oil (from the Green Palm Sustainability Programme) might do to it.  They generously serve up two fillets, but I would have been happy with one, maybe paying slightly less. That said it was delicious, and yes, it was noticeably oily but not too much. I only managed to munch my way through one and a half fillets before feeling very full.

Very yummy but not exactly the lightest experience of the day.

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