19 July 2011

The Kiss of Sweet Scottish Rain

I just returned from a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I met up with good friends, visited my old favourite haunts, pigged out on Scottish delicacies, and splashed out on new art supplies. Unfortunately I won’t be able to play with the art supplies just yet, because my luggage was lost coming home. I hope it’ll all show up soon, and preferably in one piece. I bought 9 bottles of acrylic ink and 3 bottles of textile paint, so it’ll be a veritable disaster if they break.

I spent a year at The University of Edinburgh 1995-1996 and another 6 months working as a warden (guide) at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in 1999, in addition to which I’ve visited the city a number of times, so returning to Edinburgh is always like coming home for me. Some things have changed over the years and some have stayed the same. I find my way around the city and my favourite shops are still in business. Here’s a short presentation of our trip and of Edinburgh.

At the Mercat Cross. We had a lot of rain, but also brilliant sunshine. The weather changes quickly in Scotland, and like the true gentleman, I never left home without my umbrella. This photo is taken at the Mercat cross on the Royal Mile, which is the long street leading from Edinburgh Castle down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe. I used to pass this shop every day on my way to work in 1999. Now we saw at least three shops that are specialised in all-year-round Christmas paraphernalia. Apparently Christmas can’t come early enough nowadays.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse. My workplace for six months. I loved working as a guide: you could hang around talking to people all day – AND GET PAID FOR IT!

The Scott Monument. You can climb to the top of this big monument over Sir Walter Scott. It looks like a medieval space ship, doesn’t it? Look at the thunder clouds in the distance. We were soaked on our way home to the hostel.

But not as wet and miserable as this poor pigeon, though.

Princes Street Gardens. The thistle is the national emblem of Scotland. The ones we found in Princes Street Gardens were the handsomest I’ve ever seen: a lot taller than me (ok, I’m not a very tall person, but anyway. Big.).

Edinburgh Castle. My former landlady and now dear friend lives on the other side of the castle rock, so the Castle used to be the first thing I saw when I left in the morning. Pretty neat, huh?


  1. Thanks for the lovely peek at your trip. Hope you get your art suplies back in the bottles and not on the clothes. Don't know if you caught the news story about the truck that overturned here in the States carrying textile paint from New York to California (Setacolor for Dharma Trading.) There's a pic on my Facebook profile page.
    Anyway, doesn't look like the rain spoiled your visit. I think that's better than the 90's and humidity we're having.

  2. Oh my goodness: that was one colourful truck. Perhaps you already saw that my suitcase was returned to me in one piece. It was a bit more mottled than when I left, but at least it wasn't painted in two sets of primary colours plus some metallics and pearlescent colours.