The wind in my wheels has brought me to living for a space in the tower of a former school in Edinburgh – part of which accommodated the headteacher’s study. The building was seconded for military use during the Second World War. Today it houses comfortable homes on the very edge of Holyrood Park beneath a long extinct volcano, close to one of Her Majesty the Queen’s fine residences, and at the heart of one of the most beautiful and beguiling capital cities in the world.

And the staircases echo. The ‘eyes’ of the huge, tall windows have been gazed into and gazed out of by innumerable people before me: schoolchildren who learned here that Edinburgh has survived a history of thousands of years. There’s been wealth and poverty, sickness and strength, vivacity in all forms – and vivid architectural imagination. And there have been soldiers on these stairs. And now there are writers and engineers, students and visionaries, a cosmopolitan mix who, were we all able to assemble in cheerful conference tonight, could tell a million stories of our shared contemporary life to add to the detail – some still sharply remembered, much more lost in the mists of time, of the echoes in this place.

How privileged we are. How very fortunate I am – given serendipitous opportunity to soak it all up as I tramp the cobbled streets with gladness and delight. Sunshine, deep snow, reading, crisp, brisk bracing walks, painting, poetry, watching, meditating and waiting, and an Edinburgh-evening wander likely after supper tonight. In these locked-down times, soon to be absorbed into history, one may hear history’s echoes while we both create, and anticipate making some more …

some more at gardenstudiogram (instagram)

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