Odd Auld Place

Weddings, however they appear are unique set pieces. This weekend just gone we spent four days in Edinburgh at the wedding of the daughter of two old friends. David, the dad, and I go back to our very first day at university, sometime in October 1975. He was drunk and very happy. Much like Saturday.

The venue was at one of those somewhat drear baronial houses that Scotland does so well. Inside it was cosy, decorated in earthy tones and with a touch of the stag and the stallion, betraying a need to tilt the Tam o’shanta to those with a excess of testosterone.

The ‘happy couple’ more than lived up to that appellation. It’s hard to think of two people who grin less. They should be in the business of selling smiles; the dental wattage was staggering. We had a splendid time.

We haven’t been to Edinburgh since the pandemic. It’s still the same bulky, hilly, in your face affluent delight. The roads are exceptionally awful, the shops beaten by recession and yet it’s vibrant. The train up – mid morning Friday – had a 1970s Indian vibe to its cramped popularity but we sat, snoozed and stared for the requisite four and a bit hours.

Our hotel – the Indigo – had all the needed features, though, so efficient was the use of space in our room that they appeared at first to have forgotten the floor and require a skill in clambering to access all the facilities.

We’ve learnt not to book food. Edinburgh has many charms and one is the terrific range of eats. This time our fav was the Edinburgh Larder, easy to miss as its steamy windows both hide the cosy welcome but also cried out for some finger graffiti. The porridge with a multitude of trimmings paid tangential homage to Dr Johnson’s definition of oats:

Oats (n): a grain which in England is used to feed horses while in Scotland feeds the people.

He didn’t really sell his love of Scotland, the Scots and all things Scottish. Viz: a lot can be made of a Scot if caught young.

Fully replete we used the time when not celebrating nuptials to explore. Variously we:

  • Visited St Giles Cathedral. V. Impressive. Edinburgh does have a surfeit of churches. Too many well heeled Victorians looking for somewhere to bank some credit and gain access to a draught free cloud and self-tuning harp.
  • Paid a discrete homage to Adam Smith who is still coming to terms with the concept of a financially literate Liz Truss and David Hume who appears to dispense his wisdom as once did Sarah Ferguson via the expedient application of toe polishing.
  • Took in a Dr Who exhibit. Well, I did. The Textiliste found some full Croatian weaver of more interest. I bet he didn’t have ten varieties of sonic screwdriver, the loser.
  • Walked the waters of leith to the MOMA.
  • Modern art has its detractors but this was a rather splendid pot pouri . Even the entrance challenge the imposing facade, though burying some miscreant in the drive in the name of art seems a step too far.
  • And took in the hidden gem that is Dean Village.

Now we’re heading south. And everything was going so well, until it turned out our train tickets weren’t valid on the train we caught. Something about small print and discounts and Saturn hassling Jupiter with his black rod rampant. Anyway, my linguistic dexterity proved as naught on the intransigent ticket vendor and I’m £100 quid lighter and doubting there is such a place as Bonny Scotland. Dr Johnson clearly foresaw the advent of the omniscient guard.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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43 Responses to Odd Auld Place

  1. Darlene says:

    Did Star Wars steal some ideas from Doctor Who?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. willowdot21 says:

    Looks and sounds like a great weekend, all those fabulous sights plus a wedding excellent. You did amazingly ..even the black dog didn’t soak you. Its about five years since we went to Edinburgh for a wedding, stayed at Dalhousie Castle.
    Never mind ‘Dickhead Holidays ” only got you in the end.
    Seriously they always get you with the small print, on the up side at least the trains were running!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. noelleg44 says:

    We plan to be there a year from this September and your pictures made me even more excited about the trip – well, maybe not some of the art!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JT Twissel says:

    The Scottish sure are weird! No wonder my ancestors left. Not that they weren’t weird too. Great tour – thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was last in Edinburgh in 2018, and this was a lovely reminder. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You certainly made good use of the time there. Oh for a standard fare for journey on a train. Not even the staff can keep up with all the variations.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. tootlepedal says:

    I like that walk along the Water of Leith. You certainly ‘did’ Edinburgh while you were there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ourcrossings says:

    Edinburgh is such a beautiful city with so much to see and do. Can’t wait to go back one day 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ooo
    I want to “do Edinburgh” too.
    That island of yours clearly requires a couple of years to tour properly. I must see to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. joylennick says:

    S Some the stuff of nightmares…Some great shots in between the weird ones! Certainly kept you clicking! Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Did it reek?
    The Scots are right about oats – a must in anyone’s diet!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Fairy Qu33n says:

    This is a wonderful city 😍😍😍I hope to visit it one day 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Widdershins says:

    What a glorious set of photos. Thanks. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bridgette says:

    Wow! I can’t even pick a favorite location, so many amazing photos here. From the castles to the artwork and the Doctor Who stuff—thank you for taking me somewhere exciting this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

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