By the time you read this, I’ll be in Belgium. Trying very hard not to panic about a conference presentation.
The Christmas markets should help with that. And I’m told the local winter beers are very good.
You can tell when the sun is out because the pictures become nice and crisp. Scotland seems to provide a particular challenge for photos because the amount of light doesn’t correspond particularly well to the settings you would normally use. Most places get darker when clouds block the sun, but somehow in Scotland, the light just gets more diffuse. I never thought to distinguish between ‘light grey’ and ‘dark grey’ skies before I came to Scotland. Here, though, ‘light grey’ skies characterise many nice summer days. Sun is the best, of course, but I’ll take what I can get.
Some cities have pigeons. St Andrews has crows.
Last weekend NTs and I met some friends in St. Andrews for breakfast and a turn around the farmers’ market. Then NTS and I poked around. A lot.
St. Andrews is tiny and charming. It’s possible that I have now been inside all of the shops save large clothing and shoe stores. It may be just as well there weren’t more, or NTS would have had to get cranky.
At the end of the main streets is the ruined Cathedral of St Andrews. The original section was started in 1158 on the site of the older church of St. Rule, whose square tower still stands. In fact, you can climb to the top of the tower still… provided you don’t run into anyone coming down. The stair is an impossibly narrow spiral. We were lucky, and only ran into someone when we were quite near the single landing and had a place to squeeze by.
This is the first post of several. I took a lot of pictures.
After wandering through Stockbridge Market and along the Water of Leith last Sunday, we made out way through the Botanical Gardens.
Eventually, we pulled out a wool rug and a flask (thermos) of hot tea to keep our biscuits company. It was, after all, four o’clock, and tea time is always four o’clock.
We also nibbled on one side of a mushroom. Things were rather large after that.
But really, we were only a little mad.
Sunday, NTS and I went on an Adventure.
First to the Stockbridge Market. Lots of organic, handmade, tasty, etc.
So much paella.
I enjoyed my first apple of the season. Apples never taste so good at any other time than they do in fall.
Unlike in the US, when local apples aren’t available, there seem to be only 3 varieties: Gala, something yellowish, and sometimes Pink Lady. They’re not a bit like the real thing (although Pink Lady are pretty good, once you get past the sugar). I will happily eat apples in quantity all autumn.
And make no mistake, I’m pretty sure it’s autumn here. Summer happens in June and early July, and then we start a gentle descent toward November rains.
Once you’ve made up your mind to fall, though, you get a long and lovely one.
After loading up with sale raspberries, local apples, and a Christmas present or two, we headed out past the most fanciful Pizza Express I’ve ever seen…
and down along the Water of Leith.
In the early spring, this was quite the torrent, but now it’s settled down.
It reminded me of the river behind our house Fall was always the best time to pick our way up or down it, from rock to rock, catching frogs. We always came back with wet feet or shoes and trousers full of burs. It was the best.
Once past the Water of Leith, we made our way to the Botanical Gardens, where we enjoyed our tea.
But those are pictures for another day.