We’re all Winners

Timing is both the gift of the lucky and the demise of those less fortunate.

Time injects meaning into geo-spatial location.

An infinitude of moments. Scoop and carry them as memory pearled, or crush them ‘neath careless meandering heels depositing the shifting sands of our past.

Perhaps the secret to happiness lies in knowing which ones to keep.

… time and Time…
And Time displaced
All these moments have passed through me
I have laid them all to waste

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So often timing is beyond our control, hence sayings such as ‘wrong place at the wrong Time’.

Planets revolve and align, the Milky Way drifts through the Universe. Our illusions of autonomy and control are just that, mere illusions.

The half hour spent waiting for the next train in Bannoch passes quickly and unnoticed. We are in no hurry, we discuss options for Edinburgh. As usual I have no plans and Pam has plenty.

‘It’s all good’.

Two train trips are needed to reach Edinburgh, we are to swap tracks in Queens Station, Glasgow.

Five minutes out of Glasgow Pam receives an email. We have won the online play review submission (as detailed in our ‘most excellent’ blog entry A Play, A Pie and A Pint) and now have to pick up the bottle of scotch from the Oran Mor.

Had we caught our intended train in Balloch we would now be between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

It is hard to get a train to turn around.

Our random timing is superb, we modify our plans to suit our evolving situation.

Pam stays in the warmth of a bar at the train station minding our bags as I head off for the Subway station. A kindly ticket seller advises me of the best route and in no time I am rushing along underground in one of the low roofed orange subway trains.

The tunnels are round and low and the carriages constructed to match. If I stand fully erect inside my head scrapes the inner roof. My new companions and I rush through the dark tunnel of the inner circuit.

Outside in the street after I alight the air is crisp and cool. The day has turned suddenly fine, grey clouds of the last week rapidly dispersing.

With a jaunty spring in my step I make good time to the nearby Oran Mor. I show the lady ushering people downstairs for todays performance the email on the iphone and she guides me to the bar to claim my prize.

The barmaid has detailed knowledge regarding scotch quality whereas I have none. When I ask her if the ten year old bottle of Jura Scotch I have been given is a nice drop she takes the cork from an open bottle, rubs it around the lip of a clean glass and hands it to me to smell.

‘Very nice’ I agree in response to her questioning gaze to avoid displaying my complete ignorance of scotch tasting and etiquette.

Retracing my steps does not take long, Pam is only on her second glass of wine in the bar when I return. I buy a pint and join her.

An hour or so later we are climbing into a taxi cab under blue Edinburgh skies. Local speech patterns are a little slower here and even I get many of the cabbie’s jokes as we make our way to the new B&B.

There is a state of friendly rivalry between the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Our cabbie feigns surprise that we have survived five days in Glasgow.

Doreen, our new landlady, is very welcoming and shows us many places of interest on the large Edinburgh map hanging on the foyer wall. Three flights of narrow stepped deep carpeted stairs later we enter our little room.

Pam has done her utmost to obtain affordable accommodation nearby to Edinburgh Castle. We will be sleeping on a 3/4 bed for the duration of our stay.

Mmmmmmnnnnnn squeezey.

First things first, I ensure the precious nectar we have won is safe. We rearrange furniture a little and manage to fit our emptied packs under the bed.

I guess the tent I now carry everywhere will be smaller still, we are yet to erect it.

Somehow we manage to leave the B&B without taking our map. Neither of us are willing to climb the stairs again to fetch it so not long after turning left from the end of our street at King’s Theatre we are a little lost.

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No matter as Edinburgh Castle rises above all the other rooflines. Turning right as we make our way down a sloping street the cliffs of castle rock topped by the walls of the castle itself make themselves blatantly apparent.

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Walking up Johnston Terrace around the base of the rocks with the valley of Grassmarket to our right brings us past the sooty black spired building The Hub that dominates the top end of the Royal Mile.

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Turning left we walk past the beckoning bars of the Witchery and the Whisky Experience towards the bitumen expanse in front of Edinburgh Castle gates. A section of the cobblestone street is under repair.

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Not noticing my interest in the repair technique, Pam is striding towards the castle gates and my efforts to catch her earn the resigned ire of a man whose sole role appears to be keeping tourists taking photos of the surrounding statues on the correct side of a traffic barrier.

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Edinburgh Castle atop castle rock forms the highest point of the city area, we have great views in all directions other than the West which is blocked by the castle itself.

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Turrets of George Herriot’s private school dominate the skyline above the hilltop south of Grassmarket.

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Today we are not entering the castle so after taking a few photos of the entry gate and surrounding vistas we retrace our steps down the Royal Mile and continue on downhill to St Giles Church.

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Columns rising from the floor fan out into sweeping cream white beams and a sky blue ceiling. Having paid a two pound donation on entry we are allowed to photograph the multitude of ornate stained glass windows lining the walls.

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Inside the pipe organ is being played as we wander around which dramatically adds atmosphere. If you are a stained glass and leadwork fan get thee to St Giles church, Edinburgh, you won’t be disappointed.

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Clouds have gathered in the West since our arrival and as the sun falls beneath the horizon they begin to release their load upon us in what is going to be a late afternoon daily cycle for the rest of our Edinburgh stay.

We are only a little damp by the time we arrive at a great Indian restaurant Tuk Tuk which was recommended by Doreen as one of the good local eateries.

Back in our little room I rest the Jura on a seat cushion.

‘Click’

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Pam and I touch coffee cups containing a little neat scotch.

‘Clink’

Cheers everyone.

PLL

Pam and Mick

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