Random recent scenes

Princes Street this evening on the way home, basking in late sunshine; outside the oh-so-posh Jenners department store a bagpiper in full highland dress is jamming with two black musicians playing some sort of ethnic variation on tom-tom drums. They’re clearly all enjoying themselves as are the locals and tourists who stop to listen to this mix of African and Scottish. It sounds brilliant.

On my way in and out to work I pass some spectacularly beautiful displays of bright, colourful, fresh flowers in Princes Street Gardens and the crescents at the West End; in the bright sunlight the flowers almost glow. The council mismanages a lot of things in Edinburgh but kudos to the gardners for creating such beautiful, eye-catching displays that just make your day nicer by being there.

Making the most of the sudden burst of warm, summer-like weather we head down the coast where near the beach at the Fidra Lighthouse I bump into my friend Claudia with her visiting parents. After a very long walk all the way down the beach to North Berwick we’re licking our yummy ice creams when my big cousin and her husband suddenly appear.

Bus to work on Monday; as I am getting off one of my friends from the book group is getting on although I only have a chance to say hello to her as we pass. Clearly it is my week for randomly bumping into friends and family as I go about. Who will be the next Guest Star in the ongoing soap opera of life?

Walking down Middle Meadow Walk a temporary wooden wall hiding the building works in the old Royal Infirmary which has been covered with posters for Fringe shows is now peeling and torn, scraps flapping in the breeze now it is all over. The grass of the Meadows still shows the marks of the recently departed marquees and big top from shows.

Hot, sunny day, warmer than most of the summer – great. Except it is too hot and dreadfully airless at my desk at work and I’m dying for some fresh air all afternoon – a good excuse to meet a friend and sit outside a pub on the way home drinking cold beer in the fresh air and watching the sun slowly dipping towards the horizon.

Sitting in Beanscene with Mel, enjoying coffee and cake I notice they have details on how to buy the antiqued leather sofas they have in the cafe – the sign advertising this is simple but brilliant “order a sofa to go”. Oh yes, please, can I have a skinny latte, triple choc muffin and a sofa to go?

It’s snowing flower petals

The blossoms are out in force on the trees for spring; today has been quite breezy and pink and white petals are fluttering from the blossoms, down from the trees, swirling around on the pavement. The road gutter is full of petals, as if a huge wedding procession had just been by. I pass all the blossoming trees in Princes Street Gardens on the way home and the contrast of the white and pink with the resurgence of deep green as the trees come back to life is gorgeous. A couple of hours later sitting at home and the wind picks up; the blinds rattle near the open window and looking out of my third floor I can see what looks like flakes of snow.

Actually they are petals, blowing from the trees on the other side of the tenements opposite me, being caught and blown up several stories, over the roof then down again into the street. As anyone who has ever lived in a Victorian tenement are knows the long, high stone structures create a criss-crossing urban canyon with swirling wind directions all their own. Tonight it made blossom petals dance outside my windows several floors up in the air as the sun was setting. Beautiful