Saturday, August 14, 2010

Impressions of Edinburgh

(The view from our roof terrace.)

Was it only a fortnight ago?
* One of the first sights I remember on alighting the train: a young man with a t-shirt baring the legend "I only support two teams - Scotland and whoever England is playing." Welcoming, I thought.
* Fond as I am of all things tartan, the presence of pipers every few hundred yards could lead me to pipericide.
* Every kilt-and-heather emporium seemed to be run by men in turbans and little old ladies in saris.
* The dog with one blue eye and one brown eye.
* Meeting old friends from Leeds by accident on that street at that time. What are the chances?
* The capacity of the public to do anything they are asked by street entertainers. "If you two guys could just stand still, I'll stand on your shoulders and juggle carving knives." (Bruce the Aussie)
* The Mosque kitchen: wonderful, wonderful food at give away prices with no frills.
* Hardly a Scottish accent to be heard on the Royal Mile. Probably only every fourth person was a native English speaker.
* Parties of Italian teenagers are possibly the rudest in the world.
* Finding ourselves behind a party of 47 Chinese tourists going into Holyrood Palace.
* Every waitress or guide is from Poland or the Baltic states.
* "Do you have American cough-sweets?" "We cough with a Scottish accent here Madam. You'll have to have ours."
* The Royal yacht Brittania moored incongruously outside Debenhams.
* The incredible changeability of the Edinburgh weather.
* Volunteers from The Cancer Relief charity shop standing outside on a break smoking.
* Why aren't baby spiders told at bedtime to stay away from baths? Why do they never learn?
* The rabbit who we could see in the garden every morning. Rabbit Burns, as he became known.
* The South Koreans at the left luggage department in Waverley Station who found that a polite nod and a "Yes" didn't necessarily suit every occasion.
"Did you pack this bag yourself?" "Yes" (smile and nod) "Could anyone have tampered with it?" "Yes" (smile and nod). "Does it contain any weapons or explosives?" "Yes" (smile and nod). "O.K. Lets try that again....."
* Puting up the prices by 60% for the bloody Festival!

Already booked for next year.