Saturday, June 9, 2012

528.0 kms: Peebles-Eddleston-Leadburn-(Bonnyrigg)-(Edinburgh).

Two sets of brackets! At The Leadburn, as I refuelled on cappuccino and sponge cake, I got talking to Jimmy and Mary at the next table. They were out for a Saturday ride, a bevy, and a look at the Pentland Hills. Jimmy came through from Glasgow fifty years ago and didn't go home. Mary was the quiet type. I said goodbye to them and headed off down the road for another jaunt pre-catching-the-bus. Five hundred meters later they pulled alongside me and stopped traffic (which was fun as I was a little over traffic at that stage). I had told them I was staying in Morrison Street, and as they got up to leave they recalled that the bus that leaves from where they live goes straight to Morrison Street, and they could take me to the bus. I'm rarely, if ever, offered a lift. It would be rude to say no. I protested. I cited 'cheating'. They told me that they wouldn't tell anyone. They drove me to the bus terminus and wouldn't leave until it arrived and Jimmy had told the bus driver to remember to tell me to get off at the right place. I am in Edinburgh. I am in my apartment in Edinburgh. It is surreal. 

I tried really, really hard, over and over to get off the road. I had two options in my northbound route today—the A703, its three numbers doing nothing to diminish the amount of traffic swooshing up and down, or the dismantled railway. I persisted as much as I could with the railway despite its locked gates, blocked and concealed entrances, diversions, just plain aborted bits, nettles, boggy earth, mud and cow poo. But in the end the railway, or the farmers who owned the land it went through, beat me and I trudged alongside the road hoping I wouldn't die. I had just turned onto the better road when Jimmy and Mary picked me up. It is interesting to see everything swish past from a car again. In the distance I could see Arthur's Seat. It is a volcano (one of many) on the outskirts of Edinbrgh. I was telling Jimmy that we have one too. He doesn't think it was the same Arthur (King), although he believes that Edinburghians would not hesitate to believe Arthur made it as far as Dromana.

It is tomorrow now and I am in the Queen Anne Tea Rooms at Edinburgh castle. It seemed the most apt place to indulge (I am going to explode) in a traditional afternoon tea—three tiers of scrumptiousness: cucumber sandwich, egg and cress sandwich, ham and mustard roll, scone with jam and cream, and three little cakelets, chocolate, almond and marmalade, and cherry bakewell-esque sponge. Oh, please dont talk about it anymore. I got to be the person who stands around a historic site like a gormless idiot listening to the audio guide. I really didn't want to give it back in the end because it was keeping my ears warm. And guess which fool walked away with tears streaming down their face from the arguably best kept part of the castle, the dog cemetery. In the evening I went on a Literary Pub Tour of Edinburgh. It was this mad dialogue between twos actors who showed the duality of the Edinburgh persona through its literary history—the old town and the new town, the seedy and the respectable, the drunkard and the teetotaller, the ego and the id. I had too many beers too quickly and a fabulous time.

Tomorrow, which is the day after tomorrow depending on how you read it, I am hoping to go on a ghost tour which allegedly has been proved to be one that is often visited by a poltergeist. I have made myself three nights worth of spag-bol which I have when I get home after these nights out. I am enjoying a bottle of Gallo White Zinfadel (which is pink) with it, but have kept the lion's share for tomorrow night when I may be scared out of my wits and need help sleeping.

Good night to Auld Reekie, good night to you.


1 comment:

  1. Well I would have cried after visiting the Dog Cementry too.
    I am keen to hear about The Ghost Tour, Paranormal Mac Activity.