Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Lovely Days

 Yesterday Natalie sent me off with a crudely drawn treasure map of the city to find my way. If all else failed, I could call her on my mobile. As you see, I made it back in one piece. It is rather nice to explore the city on my own. It gave me the opportunity to wander at will, to meet people and look at things without feeling rushed. Natalie also insists that I talk to everyone in my line of sight, which I suppose is rather true. I did speak to two very nice policemen, the lady in the map shop, and the barrista at Cafe Nero.

  A map to adventure

 I walked up the Royal Mile and stopped at some of the stands and contemplated buying a pair of peacock feather earrings. 

On my way toward the Palace, I bought some Spanish cherries from a local fruit vendor and ate them as I meandered down through the streets.

In the window of the fudge shop

I stopped in a store that sold vintage children's books, particularly British and American series published in the earlier part of the twentieth century. I found some lovely copies of the Hardy Boys and Enid Blyton's Noddy and Famous Five books. And of course, one mustn't forget other favourites like Biggles's adventures and the Bobbsey Twins and Bomba. I bought a copy of C.S. Lewis's The Horse and His Boy from 1961, which now sits safely on my bedside table. In the little cart outside the shop displaying cheap books, I found this particularly riveting piece of fiction, selling for three pounds--Captain Cain by Percy F. Westerman. With a name like that, one can only expect the very best.

Any book that begins with the words "treacherous," "mutineers," "thundered," "pirate," and "submarine" has to be worth a read.

 I visited a garden that had been closed last time I was in Edinburgh. 

 One could say that when one garden closes, another one opens.

 Bumblebee in flight: a miracle in itself

The Palace was closed due to an upcoming royal visit this week; I was a little disappointed as I had hoped to wander about the rather expansive gardens surrounding it.

The People's Story is a museum that attracted me with its Free Admission sign. Also, they provided a a place to rest for my aching feet.

 I wore my newly-purchased poet sleeve blouse.

I finished the day with a hot chocolate at Cafe Nero, enjoyed in the good company of Shasta and Bree and Aravis. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed The Horse and His Boy. I also realized why I have always found the book particularly appealing--Shasta is just like me, or rather, I was just like him. I was fair-haired and fair-skinned in a land far away from my birthplace. Perhaps I too am secretly royalty?

My hot chocolate was apparently prepared by one of the finalists for Barrista of the Year 2011. I asked him about it, and he told me he didn't make it all the way; but I felt honoured nonetheless.

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