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)

Beams and echoes

Photo at Pixabay

Happy round-table breakfast conversation between eight good friends this morning, followed by an atmospheric westward drive through North Yorkshire fog, aware of the occasional looming of the bones of ancient abbeys and long-lost husbandry in their granges.

RDT’s funeral at 1pm where his smile beamed over hundreds who loved and admired him as much as we did. And two of his eloquent grandchildren made everyone proud to know them.

Another hundred miles southwards. Another meal. Another friend – who’s the more special for putting up with us when we’re sleepy – a not uncommon state of affairs these days.

Another couple of hundred miles tomorrow. Long looked forward to visits with more friends, and on to my parents before, late in the day, I set a match again to our log stove at home. And there, all being well, I shall fall asleep in my chair, where dreams will thankfully re-echo a whirlwind few days.