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Monday, December 28, 2009

Retail Therapy In Edinburgh II

About this time last year Debra and I headed up to Edinburgh for a wander round. Being a stickler for tradition (especially where the vicinity of a branch of FOPP is concerned) I was keen to do the same again this year .

Newcastle's Central Station can always be guaranteed to be colder on the inside than outside and today was no exception...




Sight-seeing over, Debra leads the way to the train...



An hour and a half later we'd arrived in this beautiful city. If I had to chose another place to live in the UK it would be Edinburgh, a city where times old and modern seem to be able to run next to each other in relative harmony...



The view from a bridge...




After a bit of walking round we found ourselves in 9A Hollyrood as suggested and recommended to me by blog chum, Cloudland Blue (aka as Mr. CBQ and David Reilly).


Then it was out for a bit more walking around, gazing up at rooftops and down into innumerable closes which lead off to intriguing locations. You could spend years following them...




Also on the Royal Mile was this trattoria where I think I shared a cup of tea and bite to eat with Keith Morris and Gev Pringle some time in the early '80s when our group, Shaking Hands, played at an arts centre somewhere in the city. Interesting that I can remember where we ate but not the location where we played loud squeaky-bonk free-jazz to a bunch of bemused Japanese tourists...




It was time to meet up with Mr. CBQ and his wife, Anne. It's funny because although this was the first time we'd ever met, I've been reading Mr. CBQ's blog on a daily basis for several years now and consequently I feel like we're old pals.

It was marvellous putting faces to names, chatting about cats, houses, cities, buying habits, listening habits, downsizing, and Anne's dislike of The Beatles! Despite this obvious character flaw we had a lovely hour and Debra and I vowed to come back to Edinburgh later in the year when it wasn't so nippy.

Anne and David walked over to Princes Street and left us conveniently outside of FOPP...

If record shops are meant to be dying out then nobody has mentioned this to hundreds of folks packed like sardines into every nook and cranny of the shop. As with last year's visit, there were several goodies to nab (I snapped up a couple of live Miles Davis albums) but the haul was down on my previous visit.

The retail therapy part of the visit concluded, we went out into the cold night air and watched what seemed like the whole world going somewhere very fast...




After a wee dram in the Doric (again another suggestion of Mr. CBQ), we headed back to the station for our train home.

There's something wonderful about coming in from the cold, snuggling down with a good book and being homeward bound. It's nice to travel but so much nicer to get home!

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Christmas morning started for me at around 7.00 a.m. At around 11.00 a.m. I was joined by the rest of the gang for a hearty brunch...

Then it was out of the orange room and into the red room, where fantastic opportunities to recycle lots and lots of paper awaited...





After the excitement of all that recycling we step out on our way to Bernardstrasse...



...where yet more recycling opportunities abound!




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