Saturday, 17 April 2021

The Cruellest Month

Not really the cruellest month. Just a bit cold at times.  Here we are making up Edinburgh runs. For this one the plan was to run up the Water of Leith and back by the canal for about 13 miles. It was the Easter weekend and the sun was out.

Statue of Hestia at St Bernard's Well - fittingly she is the goddess of health and well-being and is seen here holding out a lovely cabbage.

This was my second butterfly of the year - a peacock this time! Peter declared it a bit raggedy.

We had a coffee and cake stop 7 miles in, at the Water of Leith Centre. It was a bit confusing. The lady asked me if I wanted instant coffee or a cafetiere? I said was it a cafetiere for two? She said no it's in a plastic cup. "Just give me the coffee already and stop with the funny stuff" I didn't growl at her.
Those cakes look huge but they were really titchy little things. I ate most of them because Peter had packed himself with muesli just before we left the house. He has a capacity for running on a full tummy, and famously, back in the day, had a bowl of soup at Emma Barclay's mum's house just before running a pb at the Kinross Half  Marathon, with no ill-effects. Also he says what I do 'isn't really running'.

Anyway, life took on an extra dimension after the sugar and caffeine hit and morale soared. The skies were blue, the flowers were spectacular.

We continued down the canal instead of coming off at Gilmore Place and were impressed with the murals and a set of paintings by children from a local school. I declared it the best ever art exhibition because it was outdoors and there was nobody about and nobody breathing down your neck and nobody talking pants. Apart from me, and I'm used to that. I don't mind it.

Is it just me, or is the house scared of the swan?

You kind of have to hope that 'Oma' falls in the canal and gets eaten by some of the charming and characterful animals depicted above.

Actually some of it was pretty psychedelic. I had to question whether I was having some kind of Easter-driven religious experience and to be honest I'm still not sure.

Eventually we came down and found ourselves in central Edinburgh.

We were not the only revellers, drunk with the Easter sunshine and the Glories of Spring. On one of the park-benches there sat a cheerful looking gentleman of the streets with a sun-weathered face, many, many plastic bags of possessions, three quarters of his way through a full bottle of whisky. I gave him a grin and received a toothless one in return. A little later he found his voice and began to sing. It was inspiring! Better than any saccharine flash-mob - his voice rose up and filled all the gardens with a rich, incomprehensible baritone. I swear I was tempted to go back, and sit down beside him, and join in.

We rounded off the run with a quick look at the heather along Waterloo Place to see if there were any butterflies. There were indeed two Tortoiseshells chasing each other round and round in the air, leaving Buchanan in a state of agitated frustration.



For Easter Monday, Peter had managed to book us both tickets in the Botanics. The temperatures had plummeted but it was a beautiful day. I had several layers and a duvet jacket on but couldn't take much more than a couple of hours.


A chaffincher, having a wee song.


And then last weekend we went around the airport run and then through Cammo. It was still cool and so very little butterfly action - not too much in the way of birds either - but the paths were nice under foot.

We saw this one tortoiseshell, quivering away with the cold. I scared it away as the flash went off on my camera. 

I didn't have any trouble from the bees but something DID bite me and I've had a big horrible red lump on the back of my leg ever since. I reckon maybe a horse fly. Nick and Peter got bitten by something that gave them lumps the weekend before.


So there we pretty much have it.

This was another day during the week. I went a run round the perimeter of the park and started to feel like I was being watched.


In Covid news; people were just allowed out of town starting yesterday. I stayed in town today. My hope was that if everyone else was leaving town, I'd get it to myself - and it was much much quieter. It was cool and sunny and bright.

I took my lightest, cheapest camera, so just took note of where I saw butterflies for Peter later. They were moving too fast and I didn't want to stop. I only stopped once, in fact, in Niddrie, to take in this astonishing garden scene. 

Like garden ornaments much?

Okay. Es tarde. Tengo que limpia la cocina ahora.