Pale light

There’s a milky look in Lakeland today: sunny and bright but also a pale, beguiling, restful quality of light. The apple and pear trees are blossoming. There’s rain in the weather forecast for the next week or so – and when I’m tempted to be a bit grizzly about that I look at blossoms, flowers and green-ness and reckon a bit of rain’ll actually be alright!


Packing my bags today for return to the Lakes tomorrow. I’m struck by the thought that it’s usually Edinburgh’s ‘ordinary’ scenes that remain in my mind’s eye while I’m away, if any Edinburgh scene could ever be called such a thing. Summer should be in the air when I return here in June …



Yesterday, as Mimi suggested, Edinburgh had a decidedly Brontë-esque feel about it – and all was fanned by a chill East wind. Today the blossoms, tranquility, warmth and peace to be found in the centre go some way to explain how and why so many of us – near and far – make heart and soul-felt connections with Scotland’s lovely capital.


A Canine Connection

Edinburgh and San Diego, California, share a twinning link with a unique twist. Each city is home to a famous dog. Edinburgh’s loyal and beloved Greyfriars Bobby and San Diego’s equally beloved vagabond dog Bum: In recognition of these canine heroes, a statue of Bobby was presented to San Diego and this statue of Bum was gifted in return. The dogs represent the spirit of a twinning link: friendship, loyalty and shared experience.

Bum died 1898, Aged 12 years
Sculpted by Jessica McCain, USA
Presented to the Citizens of Edinburgh by the San Diego Edinburgh Sisters Society
In association with E Clampus Vitus, John R Squibob, Chapter 1853, on 19th July 2003


The sculpture of Bum is to be found within the walls of St Cuthbert’s Kirkyard, beneath the Castle, just off Princes Street Gardens.

Hard Rock

A happy first-time visit with my brother and his family to the Hard Rock Café tonight. Great company and meal – but all four of us now feel a need to sleep, to fast for ten days, and to do something very athletic tomorrow!

From the first coffee

Sometimes you can feel it’s going to be a great day right from the first coffee. (Thank you Round Square Coffee House in Morningside).

On then to a whole-day workshop with some fabulous new friends which was so uplifting, on so many different levels (thank you to every one of you), that I wondered whether I might fly – or float – home under my own steam instead of hopping on a bus …

… and all day I also had the pleasure of knowing that my brother and his family were heading North to arrive in time for supper. Their apartment here sent us on our way to Mamma Roma’s (thank you to them, and to our lovely hosts there) with encouragement to enjoy every moment …

We did. And arriving home near the RSA with a heart full of reflections on just a single Saturday in April, I know that I’ll sleep now like a baby! (Thank you, Edinburgh) 🙂


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Edinburgh looks and feels beautiful to me in all weathers and seasons but, my goodness, the smiling crowds, the street music, the flowers, the blue sky and sunshine, the relaxation of mask-wearing rules – all these add up to the city’s being a more than usually fab place to be right now. I’m endlessly fascinated by how much sunlight and fresh air lifts everyone’s spirits. Like communal liberation 😊🌱

A Royal Salute

Her Majesty The Queen’s 96th birthday was marked by a traditional ceremony at Edinburgh Castle. 

A 21 Gun Salute was fired by the 19 Regiment Royal Artillery from 12 noon.

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Elsewhere, Edinburgh is blossoming – a particular joy at this time of year in The Meadows …

… and sunshine streamed today through the roof and windows of The National Museum of Scotland …

And onwards towards a misty evening …

Time well spent

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I ‘read’ photographs in much the same way I read books: daily and with an eye to every detail. Memory teachers speak of the value in ‘attaching’ images to what we want to remember. I think I’ve always ‘thought’ primarily in pictures and poems but, while they’ve helped recall many things, they’ve been no use whatsoever to my non-existent mathematical skills!

I’ll revisit today’s collection of beach photos perhaps years from now – among hundreds of such collections of the same or similar subjects, and will almost be able to ‘feel’ the flashing of neurons: conversations half heard on the bus, temperature, cloud formation, the first lines of a poem in response to flashing past the familiar outline of Arthur’s Seat, the smell of the sun-warmed salted timbers of the coastal groynes, the extent to which the presence or absence of ‘the haar’ obliterates or magnifies Inchkeith Island set in Blackness Bay, the beach café and what I chose to eat, the evening light, the lines at the bus stop, innumerable details of all that I meet.

Words and imagery are, I suppose, external representations of the inner journals of our lives. While what we think shapes today’s reality and that of our future, that thinking is itself shaped by the ‘photographs’ of every second of our lives lived to date. So I believe that time spent with ‘good’ imagery is time well spent. Perhaps you’d guessed that already? 😉📷

Vignettes and blossoms


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Next to Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is a little oasis of a garden, open to and enjoyed by the public, that, filled with birdsong, looked pretty as a picture this afternoon. It’s hard to imagine or describe the measure of tranquility to be enjoyed in this relatively small space in the heart of a busy city.


The Church (1688) and the Kirkyard are themselves beautiful, and home to a Mercat Cross dated 1128. Calton Hill can be seen from behind the Kirk, and just across the road there’s easy access to Holyrood Park, Salisbury Crags, Arthur’s Seat and – presently – a million Spring blossoms.


Nearby, too, there’s a distinctive meeting between ancient and modern: the ruins of Holyrood Abbey stand next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Abbey Strand and the Queen’s Gallery; all of these opposite the strikingly different modern architecture of the new Scottish Parliament buildings, (link) the walls of which bear tablets inscribed with some of Scottish history’s poetry. Photographers like me wax lyrical about Edinburgh’s ever-changing skyscapes and the city’s distinctive skyline.


The five (clickable / swipeable) galleries in this post, each containing ten photos, are the result of just a couple of hour’s encounter with Edinburgh beauty and history in a single afternoon. And of course, as Jiminy Cricket would say: ‘there’s more!’


Happy Easter

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Quiet joy of early morning Easter Sunday – before a day full of life and energy in the delightful company of surprise visitors. So some lovely meals, a tour of Edinburgh’s ‘underground city,’ another of the Castle in warm sunshine and (for me, deeply moving) sight of ‘The Honours of Scotland’ (link) which include the crown that once adorned the head of Mary Queen of Scots. Finally, onwards and upwards for sunset on Calton Hill. All this added up to our having walked so far and for so many hours that three pairs of feet are quite worn out! That’s the joy of life’s ‘Eastertides’ in a million different ways – the gifts of ‘new life surprise’ (and – after a good night’s sleep, reenergised feet, I hope!) 🐣

The whole earth is the tomb of heroic men and their story is not graven only on stone over their clay but abides everywhere without visible symbol woven into the stuff of other men’s lives

St Margaret’s Chapel – circa 1130

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

‘at the end of the day …’