Everyone’s a tourist, up Calton Hill. You can see in all directions and take in the various curiosities providing perfect photography props.
You can grab coffee and cake then wander through art.
I was reminded of Berlin, up Calton Hill. Different accents, space for everyone; no tension between worker bees and butterflies. The National Monument, our memorial to lives lost in the Napoleonic Wars, stands in its long since abandoned state of grace as people climb up it to smile and laugh for iconic photos and memories.
History & modernity at a peace.
Read more about #52and40 here.
In Scotland, another place is never far away if you need a change from where you are. When we first moved from Deeside and started exploring Edinburgh and surrounds my kids nicknamed East Lothian ‘California’.
East Lothian was how they imagined life on the western US coastline to be – sunshine, beaches, big skies, ice creams and ocean.
I like being close to farmland and watching the seasons dictate different things to people.
So on away days when we need to mix sand and soil with the city, we go to Scottish California.
If you want more info on #52and40 you’ll find it here.
When I’m actively writing I immerse myself in whatever art and humanity I can find. I talk lots. I fill up with music to wallop my right hemisphere. Notably, for mid-project fuel, I rarely read.
I do a thing with accents and writing; I unconsciously temporarily meld with whoever’s engaging me. It’s a chameleon-like habit since childhood – we moved a bit and Scots accents vary a lot. Maybe I’ll develop immunity as my writing voice gets clearer?
For now, I remain, the worst read and most accidentally ambiguously accented writer in Scotland.
This week’s photographs were taken in and around the beautiful garden at Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre. Curious about #52and40? Read more here.
2015 has been the year for highly serendipitous experiences.
No sooner have I thought one thing then related things have happened, leading my thoughts to necessary places or confirming hunches that what I was thinking was right or wrong after all.
This last fortnight I’m hit repeatedly by thoughts of mismatched perspectives. Two people can experience the exact same thing and recount it in jarringly oppositional or wonderfully eye opening ways. Our eyes have different filters, our minds apply unique emotional processing, memories and logic.
Everyone has their truth – and their stories.
This post is the very last in the 52and39 series. The first post in the series is here. Thank you so much to everyone who has commented, shared and read these posts that have given 2015 such subtle but powerful writing purpose for me. Watch this space for my new blogging series for 2016.
Slainte, Heather xx
Strangers are stranger, in someone else’s city.
The smokey stains that gather on stonework seem darker and the chewing gum stuck to the pavement seems stickier and more defiant, in someone else’s city.
The dirt that collects in dried tide on walls, windows, bus stops and doors seems dingier.
People seem colder, ruder, less helpful, too forward or just never quite right when they’re not your people.
Cities are untrustworthy, frightening and to be hurried through by people who don’t love cities.
Like life, cities live up (and down) to expectations.
We chased the light yesterday, finding it first in Helena Emman’s incredible work from Skye in The Line Gallery at Linlithgow, then leaving it at the Forth.
We stood at Port Edgar, freezing, looking up and out at a world of massive Lego sets, listening to the ba-doom, ba-doom of traffic crossing the joints on the road through the sky above. We said occasional hellos to life-jacketed people from yachts and the distance between Scandinavia and Scotland felt tiny small, in those moments.
Then we drove home, chasing warmth this time.
We watched the chimneys at the decommissioned Cockenzie Power Station being demolished on Saturday. They touched, then fell together.
Years ago, a friend had two huge pieces of art in transit. Each was on chunky canvas, about two metres square. I loved them before I even knew what I was looking at. One featured a crane; yellow, powerful, enormous. It looked limited, a tight muscle ready to be directed in careful dance. The other was the red rivet and line detail of treated steel: a new building emerging amidst city shadows.