Getting deep in thought in Edinburgh

I had a great time up in Edinburgh seeing family. The problem was catching a bad cold once I got back to London that had me in bed for a couple of days when I was planning to post about it. I am back down in London now on my days off work with enough energy, so hello again!

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I know the trip to Edinburgh pretty well now, being my sisters current home and my mum’s birthplace. You may know it well now too, as I have posted about it many times. It is a great city. Beautiful, not too busy, easy to walk around… I am always happy to give it another visit. And from my mum’s home in Durham it isn’t a long journey at all. This will cause a little deja vu in some of you that have seen previous posts from Edinburgh, but it isn’t a city you can go to and not talk about again and again.

As I was checking the train times I noticed on the screen that trains were delayed. Pretty standard really. What I haven’t seen before however was a description as to why they were delayed, in particular on this specific and tragic occasion.

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It actually told us that someone was hit by a train between Grantham and Newark North Gate. It is very sad to hear and we have no way of knowing if this was fatal, although the chances of course are very high. I was surprised that it mentioned exactly what happened as I would have just expected a ‘due to an incident’ kind of message. My mum and I had the person in our thoughts as we waited for the train, this gave us a reminder of how precious life is. I hope the family are okay.

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So many people, it is impossible to know all of the struggles people go through. And despite seeing something like that on a board it is still hard to become too emotional. I have no idea who the person is and what they look like… Is it a boy or a girl? Young or old? Was it someone loving life and were incredibly happy that simply had an accident, or someone that couldn’t live for another moment? All we can do is read the text and try to imagine how awful this news would have been for their family that day. A reminder that just because we can’t see or know about other people’s problems it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Or that we are the only ones that have problems. This helps me to get by when times are hard.

A peaceful train journey was had, and we arrived at our destination.

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A cold and cloudy day, but this didn’t really matter too much. It gives the streets more of a dramatic feel, the statues looking down to us below a dark sky that reminds me of a darker history.

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Red telephone boxes losing their red over a time when telephone boxes are more for photographs than for calling. They have become pretty useful for those wanting to advertise brands or send out messages to the world in the form of stickers.

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Below, the golden toe of philosopher David Hume. It has become tradition for passers by to rub his toe for wisdom or luck. Some do it just to keep the pastime going.

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As travel often does, we arrived quite peckish. We met my sister and decided to find somewhere that after midday would still serve breakfast as we were hoping to be there and eating a little earlier. We found this friendly pub (not the one in the above photo however) that would happily do this after the bartender checked with the chef.

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I mean who wouldn’t want to go into a pub with a Scottish monkey as a mascot?

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We sat and ate, I went for the Scottish breakfast. A little variation from the full english, the weird things you can see on my plate are as follows:

Haggis– savoury pudding, ingredients include sheep heart, liver, lungs and stomach. Interestingly looking this up I learned that traditional haggis has been banned in the US since 1971. Apparently no food consumed in the US is allowed to contain sheep lung.

Black pudding– also popular south of the border. A blood sausage consisting of pigs blood, mixed with oats, herbs and spices.

Tattie scones– (seen underneath my fried egg and toast) basically a potato scone, ‘tattie’ being a sottish term for potato.

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It is certainly not for vegetarians/vegans, and I felt a million miles away from this whilst eating it. As I get older I am looking into vegetarianism/veganism more, and although I haven’t set out to be one I think I may at some point give it a go. It is hard changing up a lifestyle that I am used to, but I guess today is easier than ever.

Having this breakfast is like a time machine. In that old pub I felt what it would have been like to eat such a meal with family in the warmth by the fire whilst the cold, dark nights roll in.

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Speaking of tougher times, we headed up the Royal Mile to the castle where I discovered a little memorial to those poor souls that were literally burned for witchcraft.

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The castle is amazing as it sits right on top of an extinct volcano. The rock formed after an eruption 340 million years ago and later (much, much later!) provided a suitable place for a castle.

Here I am getting my castle fix.

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The sound of bagpipes flow through the streets and it is a great sound. It is a reminder of the proud history Scotland has and the patriotism still seen today. And I can’t walk past the monument below without taking a moment to take it in and grab a few shots as I do. Scott Monument is my favourite structure so far in the city, it just looks awesome.

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At the time Remembrance Day was taking place for fallen soldiers, hence the poppies and crosses on the grass around it.

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The sun decided to come out and really made a difference.

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Now I know the Scottish like to drink, but this is on another level. I decided to go for a drink with my mum after we said our goodbye’s to my sister and waited for the train back. We headed to a hotel bar providing nice views of the city.

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As I headed to the toilet, I kid you not some guy left his trousers on the bathroom floor.

Trousers!! I must have deleted this picture from my phone so I went back into my Instagram story.

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It looked like they were taken off in a hurried manner as change spilled onto the floor. There was no one in the bathroom, however when a housekeeper came in he looked just as confused as I was. I decided that I didn’t want to get drunk enough to forget my own jeans so left after one and headed to two of the cities museums.

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A little further down Princes St are two buildings opposite one another. The Scottish National Gallery displaying historical paintings and the Royal Scottish Academy of contemporary art. As I do not know too much about art I preferred the Scottish National Gallery, as the artworks made more sense. They were created by talented artists and I could see the effort that went into them without any further knowledge needed.

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Contemporary art is more hit and miss for me. Some of it I liked, like the sculpture below.

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Others not so much, such as the colourful thing below with a very hefty price tag.

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I try to be open minded but if something doesn’t blow me away on first looking, it has to do really well to impress me after that. I didn’t catch the meaning behind the one above, but looking at it I feel I could achieve that. I just have to assume that there is something more to it that is above my comprehension, or a meaning that is so clever it has to be interpreted in this very way. Maybe if I knew the meaning I could understand just how perfectly the sculpture represents it and respect it a little more. Who knows.

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In the space left on the floor I couldn’t help to think what if I brought along the guys abandoned jeans? Place it in the centre of the floor, change scattered around it and see who takes interest. See what meanings would arise. I mean everything has a meaning, I would call the piece ‘despair’.

Art of the times, our fast paced lives, the way we live and the contrast to how we want to live. The struggle to get our lives in order when the easier option is to grab a beer and slowly forget with each sip that our lives aren’t in order. Wearing jeans is a cultural but not a physical necessity to get through life, alcohol blurring the line between what is needed and what is accepted. The small change representing our willingness to waste many tools that help us, not realising that what seems minuscule and a burden in our pockets are small grains of sand that form a beach. A beach isn’t possible without these grains of sand.

That will be £11,000 please.

Sam,

Art seller

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29 Comments

  1. I didn’t realize that sculptures of windows screen savers were in vogue.

    Great and thoughtful post. This covered a lot of ground. From mortality to witches, to fine art to scottish monkeys. Really enjoy how you capture the full breadth of what a person can experience in not that much time.

    AMDG
    -Scoot

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I was just referring to Edinburgh! Although I didn’t do as much as I should have in Australia either!!

        And I am not following you? I thought I followed last time we talked… also when I am clicking on your site it is asking me to log in and won’t let me, so I will have to sort that out first!

        Like

    • Agreed 😦

      And possibly, that is a very good explanation! Maybe he was going to a wedding or something and had to quickly change into the traditional clothing. That would explain the jeans in the bathroom for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post! Thanks for taking us for another visit. I thoroughly enjoyed your commentary as well, and I love your thought of adding the hastily abandoned pants and change to the art gallery…although I’d like to see it in context of some pub-like bathroom tile, sinks and a stall door. Left in the gallery would give it a quite different spin than where it was actually found.
    I didn’t know about Hume’s toes. He was my favorite Western philosopher when I studied them all. The perspective of your photo was fun and fabulous. It makes me want to go to Scotland even more! I’m currently writing a novel set there, so have been longing for the experience of the places directly. Nothing fits into immediate plans, but if I get there, I will definitely plan in time to rub Hume’s toes and enjoy Edinburgh.
    Have a wonderful day, and I hope you’re well over your cold soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, that is great to know you are writing a novel set there! That’s awesome. Walking around the city sure gives a lot of inspiration, if you come here I am sure it would help you with the writing process a lot.

      To be honest I know very little about Hume, very coincidental that I decided to write about him after walking by! Glad you were able to read this post and see his mention. I will have to look up some information about the philosopher.

      Have a wonderful day too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Really? Small world indeed. I also found it very interesting that they would describe what it was exactly, very sad what happened. Thank you for the kind words to the post too, sorry this response is delayed.

      Liked by 1 person

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