My nephew moved in with us a few months ago, all the way from a Pyrenean idyll in the south of France. It’s really interesting seeing someone discover Edinburgh, it reminds me of all the compromises we’ve made along the way as well as the rewards of the move. It’s also interesting living with a ‘new’ person full-time. It holds a mirror up to everyone’s personalities and quirks and asks whether you’ll each change or grow the things about yourself that are suddenly more visible. Mostly, it feels like an excellent challenge.
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.
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.
I’ve been thinking a lot about framing, about context and how things can simultaneously be different things to different people, depending on how experiences are framed.
Sometimes Edinburgh feels like The Truman Show. Boat times on Eigg were like that too. Ritual and repetition are framed scenes in touristy places, I guess.
A good view nearly always has an amazing, sometimes understated frame. Layers, texture, colour and cross sections sing to me when I’m trying to understand places.
I think it’s the same process for choosing cake – senses lead, recognition follows.
To read more about #52and39, click here.
On a damp, cold morning in February I drove across the ‘burbs of Edinburgh to walk the dog at Portobello. I needed light, air and coffee in my face – nothing unusual there.
Near Cameron Toll, I thought, ‘why not…’, and spontaneously picked up charity hitchhikers. It was a great opportunity to hear a story and throw a positive dice.
The hitch was in aid of The Rock Trust, who are working to prevent youth homelessness.
They’re currently running a smile inducing, affordable and inspiring postcard art auction at Summerhall creative hub.
Portobello reminds me of going to Saltcoats with my Grandparents when I was wee. It was an epic, stressful passage from East Kilbride.
Then….. Sea. Sand. Chips. Sun. And the shows.
By all accounts Portobello’s changed a lot over the years. Until the 70’s there was a heated outdoor pool. Less appealing is the thought that just over a century ago there was a human zoo here, featuring 70 Somalians, shipped in for paying visitors’ amusement.
I love noseying at life and homes, grabbing a take away coffee and beach wandering.