Sunday, 21 April 2013

Arthur's Sikh

Bit of a ruckus in Leith Walk today. Drums, marching and colourful outfits. We were busy following all the Londoners running in the muggy smog but I managed to grab the camera and pop along to record the procession. I thought it was the Mela but in fact it turned out to be Vaisakhi, a Sikh Festival signifying the new year and the beginning of the harvest season. However it also has special significance for Sikhs as it was at Vaisakhi in the year 1699 that the Khalsa was created. That's as far as I've got with the literature. I was much more taken with the orange fabric, swords and bare feet. No Vibrams here, this was absolutely minimal footwear.

Some of the folk in the photos look a bit po-faced but the atmosphere was upbeat, fun and friendly. I might read the rest of the leaflet soon but I also intend getting a haircut this week so might have to postpone my Sikh journey temporarily. I see they must abstain from Bujjer Kureits. The four chief vices: Removing hair (shaving, waxing, cutting etc.) Eating meat. Intoxicants (fags and booze). And adultery. However I do like the orange robes and swords and bare feet.

After we saw (on the London Marathon website they had a very good virtual course map where you could watch animated running figures representing clubmates,) most finish their 26 miles, we went for a run over Arthur's Seat. Mary used to be good at running up hills. It was her strong suit. Now (since her procedure,) her powers are considerably diminished (she tells me) and running hills puts her in a filthy mood. The sunshine and flat bits did a certain amount to improve her state of mind, but a lot of the time she was less than chipper. It is a real shame and no amount of counting blessings or being grateful for the remnants of her running career is any sort of compensation. I played the fool to cheer her up but I'm not sure she noticed the difference.

Just after we arrived in Holyrood we got a quick shower. I was most put out as I'd taken the decent camera and hadn't thought to take it's rain hat. I tried to keep it dry under my top but a/ there's not much room in there and b/ its not the driest most protective camera housing ever. Happily it stopped raining before we got halfway up the hill.

tufted ducks

Coming off the Crags I noticed my shadow in front of me was unattached between bounds so tried to take photos of it separated from myself. This is not as easy as it sounds. Another thing I failed to get a great photo of was a Kestrel that was hunting along a ridge of Whinny Hill. And a chaffinch / bull finch that isn't worth posting but was singing at the top of his voice. Other than that I had a lovely run thanks and didn't even bother taping feet or toes and the new shoes are still great.

Here's a thing though: I often take a photo on a sunny day of the drain covers along the street. I know, not everyone's cup of tea. However the designer thought embossed stars would be nice and I like this. And the way they are wearing and catch the sun. However often the 2 holes either side of the centre would, in photos, look convex when they are (like ashtrays) concave. It took till today to solve this optical anomaly. The light is generally from the South and therefore lights the drain covers from “below”. Rotating the photo 180' makes the light appear to come from the top of the picture and the brain reads the 2 dips as dips not lumps. Well that's a weight off.

Happy Vaisakhi!

lit from below - convex

rotated 180' - concave (as in life)


  1. I like orange, too. Funny. Yesterday I wrote a Hindu post apropos of bugger all. Well, I saw a barge on my dog walk that had a Ganesh on it and it reminded me of the museum tour I went on recently. I like multiculturalism.

    I do sympathise with Mary. Losing something, even an edge of something you used to be good at is a terrible blow.

    I like the drain cover. All the stars.

  2. Thanks Elaine.

    “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

  3. nuts! concave................convex