Tuesday, 26 December 2017

christmas eve, christmas day

The weather around christmas was pretty ordinary. Rather random runs; up Arthur's Seat on C Eve and round town on C Day. Here are a few photos.

Mary felt we should do some condensed hill training (2000 ft in a handful of miles - just checked and Suunto says 4698 of ascent. so what we take from that is it's all made up lies) and had us up all the long drags in no specific order. Almost as soon as we got up the back of the crags (to start with) she had us descend to Hs Bog and do the ascent up the Dry Dam. I think. I tried not to examine exactly what we were up to as it was a bit like all my least favourite Thursday eve sessions with the wintervals crew. We must have hit half a dozen of the regular torture zones. Not done at Winterval pace though, mostly jogging and I would probably have been complaining about christmas.

this is a metaphor for a lot that is wrong in the world

The summit wind must have been 40~50mph and people were holding on with their teeth. Mostly visitors rather than locals. There was a feeling of jeopardy that was very enlivening and folk were smiling and raising eyebrows the way you do when stroking out for the lifeboats.

Mary had told me about the miracle of the decorated tree on Whinny Hill. The decorations disappeared but then reappeared and there were even 2 strings of battery operated lights. Almost worth a visit in the dark. This is the only xmas tree (apart from the un-decorated one earlier on the crags) that I totally approve of. It was fabulous and as we stood there taking photos jesus made a rainbow behind it (very faintly on right hand side) to tell us he much preferred when folk celebrated his birthday without murdering trees then leaving them in the street 2 weeks later. The rainbow was also a sign he would piss like a racehorse on Edinburgh the following day for 24hrs for our sins. Well yours, I don't really celebrate christmas as such.

Next day and good as his word jesus did make water on the poor hungover people as they staggered around the city trying to flag down taxis, wondering where those trams were. Very chrismassy to see the homeless people in shop doorways. A surprising number of people mooched around Princes Street though god knows why as all the shops were closed and had S A L E signs up in huge letters, big enough for even the thickies to read, to make them return on boxing day and continue burdening their unexamined lives with material goods at discounted prices in order to fill the void created by such materialism. Many people all conspire towards this end though it's hard to know why. If they were out running instead of eating too much rich food and drinking too much they would feel so much better and not look so fat. People are weird.

some scaffolding in George St.

But it wasn't all bad stuff. Some shops are good. And some architecture is easy on the eye. We enjoyed the door of St Mary's (as well as the name) which looked attractive although we didn't try to open it - it was Christmas after all.


(photo Mary)

From the west end we dropped down to the Dean Village. Running back through we noticed the water was particularly high and blocking the way up to where I wanted to have a look at the weir round the corner. I climbed down over the left hand side of the bridge and Mary waited while I legged it up round the corner took a couple of pics and ran back and climbed back up. My thoughts on the millions of gallons of brown water sweeping trees and all sorts down through town: "yup quite good, but I've seen it higher" and then I immediately expected the riverside trail to be washed away with me on it, pretending I still wasn't impressed.

Further downstream and I saw this white throated dipper, an exquisite creature whose wings buzz like a hummingbird, rather than flapping on normal eye wave length. It was on the opposite bank and due to low light this was the best of loads of pics I took. (Since it was hosing it down I had the TZ35 which got so wet it stopped playing.) I must have a walking / photo trip of the WoL as I also was impressed by the number of goosanders further down the river and also failed totally to get any decent pics - there were about 20 of these lovely and curious duckies. (And they have TEETH!)

does this really say chlamydia?

So while there were nearly 20 over the other side of the water, this lady goosander had strayed over to my side and hadn't seen me sneaking in for a pic. Didn't really make any difference - no great pics would be taken today. Great birds though and I will be back in better conditions with perhaps some tins of small fish.

Bedlam Rascal Pancakes
(no wonder they went out of business)

loving the vandalism

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