Wednesday, February 21, 2024

My grandfather may have mentioned him.

At this time of the year the courtyard outside the house is home to five partridge, seven quail and a solitary male pheasant. As we set off on our morning walk  they fly away amid much squawking and beating of wings. I'm amazed we can be ten minutes from a University town and still feel as though we're somewhere really remote.

The tide is out this morning. The layers of tilted sedimentary rocks that shield the beach clearly visible. There used to be scores of old stone circles in the fields below the raised beach. Every so often a surprised dog walker or tractor driver unearths an iron age tomb. The discovery of human bones mean the police have to be called.  I'll wager the reason this was a holy site is that standing stones could be chiseled out of the rock layer and easily dragged over the shore  to the fields inland. That , at least, is what I'd do if I was a Druid in these parts 3000 years ago.

Looking back down the coast the spires of the town catch the sunrise.

Yesterday, we popped down to Edinburgh for 'The Font ' to do some pre- Japan trip shopping. Angus heads off to buy a new i-Phone. The young lady sales assistant at the Apple store has a Polish accent. She comes from Szczecin. Have you ever been to Poland she asks ? I tell her I studied at the Jagiellonian in Krakow when General Jaruzelski was President.  " I've never heard of him " she says. Then after a pause she cheerfully tells me  " I think maybe my grandfather mentioned his name " . After this shock to the system Angus settles down in a bar that is decorated for rugby fans visiting the Six Nations games. The old i-Phone is traded in and valued at £250 which makes the new phone merely eye wateringly expensive.

Before heading home we try out Gordon Ramsays restaurant on St. Andrews Square. Lunch comes to £17 a head which by current standards is a doddle. The food was on the right side of ok. The place is probably heaving in the evenings. 'The Font' has a beetroot thing as a starter and an even healthier Quinoa thing as a main course. Angus has battered cod bites followed by chicken Parmigiana - these , it is pointed out, disapprovingly,  are less healthy.

Dog biscuits in the ticket hall at the station. The sign above them on the wall  emphasizes that they're not for humans.  The presence of the sign implies that some people eat them. There seems to be an industrial dispute on the London trains. One minute the departure board says they're late the next minute they're cancelled. No one seems to be sure. We pay to go back on ScotRail. Our train has the heating full on which makes the hermetically sealed compartment happily soporific. We're home before we know it.

We thought of going to the cinema to see The Zone of Interest but it's too good a night to be indoors. A group of students are on the beach digging a deep trench with large orange snow shovels. We stand and watch them for a few minutes but sand shoveling students can maintain ones interest for only so long. What could they possibly be doing ? Anyone sane is wrapped up against the wind but the students are in tee shirts. We shall go the cinema when it's raining.  I'm told the movie bears no relation to the Martin Amis novel.

We discuss this article on the train down to Edinburgh although, if the truth be told, Angus has little useful to bring to the conversation. This is one mean corner of the universe he intends to steer well clear of :

Useful for village quiz nights. What was America's first capital ? :

Yes. This is indeed a thing :


Linda said...

Perhaps the digging students are practising for mudlarking on the Thames? This came to mind because one of my current library books is 'Mudlarking' about just that subject. I didn't know that there's a secret Society of Mudlarkers, probably all male, and that their deep digging is ruining the tidal river shore. Emotions are running high in the mudlarking community.

WFT Nobby said...

Thank goodness the hermetically sealed Scotrail compartment was not so soporific that Angus and the 'Font' overshot and woke up in Aberdeen!
I remember so well having a discussion about General Jaruzelski and the situation in Poland with my great aunt Muriel in, I suppose, the early 1980s. She was the only one of my six great aunts to have had her own career working overseas and unlike the others was not be preoccupied with what I then saw as bring domestic trivia!
Cheers, Gail.

jabblog said...

Lucky rail-travelling dogs.

WendyAnn said...

Heavenly sea and rock pics for me to study!
We always look forward to your daily doings every morning.
Wendy (Wales)

Jake of Florida said...

Not my Liberty Bell. Not dear Betsy Ross. As if truth today wasn't already so tattered! I remember my 11th grade history teacher at the Philadelphia High School for Girls saying "Ladies, you will learn that history has many interpretations."

Lisa in France said...

@Jake, I was about that age when my social studies teacher told us that Abraham Lincoln was not a one-dimensional saint - it was the first time history ever seemed at all interesting to me. I enjoyed the ten false facts - it's always good to be reminded we are not as smart as we think we are!

Jake of Florida said...

Lisa, my history teacher told us the same thing about Lincoln!

Travel said...

I found that I was about the same age, as the grandparents of the law students interning in my office before I retired. I have a scottish wool sweater (jumper) older than said students.

Anonymous said...

Your blog and observations and photos are treasures, and I'm a native of one of those various early American capitols- Annapolis, MD. "THE BEAUTIFUL MARYLAND STATE HOUSE is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use and is the only state house ever to have served as the nation's capitol. The Continental Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber from November 26, 1783 to August 13, 1784. During that time, George Washington came before Congress to resign his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the Treaty of Paris was ratified, marking the official end of the Revolutionary War."

Angus said...

Travel - The fact she knew nothing about martial law and Polands Communist epoch says volumes about how quickly times change.

Coppa's girl said...

If those dog biscuits are as hard as the ones I sometimes buy, the humans need very strong teeth!