A couple of months ago, Cheryl asks me: “Hey, fancy going to Edinburgh for the day?”
Well, there’s only one answer to that question, so I got up at 4am on Tuesday to make the 6.30 flight, and by 8am we were on the airport bus watching a beautiful sunrise over the city.
Our first stop, at an hour that really was too early to expect such wonderful hospitality, was with Karen from Cornflower. Karen welcomed us into her lovely home with tea and a delicious passionfruit cake that was light a creamy and sweet and mmmmmmm. (and some lovely Scottish angora yarn that’s deciding what it would like to be). I’ve been reading the Cornflower blog for a little while now, and I suspect that some of my reading material for 2009 will be based on recommendations from there. Thank you so much for having us to visit Karen, it was lovely to meet you.
Our next stop was a short bus ride across the city. Ok, It was walkable sort of, but we had bus tickets, and a long day planned, and the bus went right where we needed it to. So. Justification over. Our next stop: Fidra Books. Oh boy, am I glad I don’t live near here, I don’t think they’d ever get rid of me. Ostensibly a children’s bookshop, Fidra also has a small but extremely well selected (to my mind) choice of
adult books books for adults too. The shop was welcoming and friendly, and Vanessa, Malcolm and Teaga all lovely. Teaga (the dog) is quite big, so I think they would have noticed if I’d tried to sneak her home with me, but I was very tempted.
Fidra also have a publishing arm, for classic children’s books. The editions are lovely, and if you’re a fan of classic children’s adventure stories or books about ponies do check them out. They also have the later books in the Trebizon series, that I didn’t know existed. I may need to see if my local library has the earlier ones, as I haven’t read them since I was a child.
Now, when we’d arrived in Edinburgh, the very helpful lady at the information desk told us about a German christmas market and a highland market that were on in the city. These were down by the Scott memorial, and also featured a ferris wheel. Hmmmm, is all I have to say about that.
The market was, well, small. A couple of stands, some hot wine or sausages, and that was the German market. The Highland market was pretty similar – tablet, fudge, or hats knit in Nepal with the Scottish flag on them. Oh, and crepes. Meh. It was raining at this point anyway, so we didn’t linger, and instead visited the National Gallery of Scotland for art and lunch. There are some fabulous pieces there. I especially liked the fact that their famous painting of the ice-skating preacher, The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch, by Sir Henry Raeburn, might not have actually been painted by Raeburn, was probably painted ten years after they thought, and doesn’t seem to be of Duddingston Loch.
Anyway, refreshed from our lunch and culture, we ventured up many steps…
…and down more, to K1 Yarns, which is a lovely and friendly shop with a small but nice selection of yarns. I’d imagine it’s a lovely place to hang out and knit.
By this time it was about 3.30, and we were flagging a little. Coffee, shortbread and knitting were required, and we spent a very pleasant hour in Always Sunday, a bright and comfortable cafe on the Royal Mile.
A very small shop later, and a stroll along Princes Street, and we were ready for home.
I fell in to bed back in Dublin at about 11.30pm, very tired, but very happy.