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Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Lunch at Newhaven

I lunched at the Loch Fyne Oyster bar the other day, but I didn't try the oysters! I don't know that I could pour raw oyster down my throat, and I'm not sure if they serve them any other way. Instead I had scallops, beautifully tender, cooked in garlic butter with a little serving of green salad and balsamic vinegar, accompanied by boiled potatoes! Dee-lish-us!
Oysters! For centuries oysters were gathered from the Firth of Forth, till at last they must have been fished out. None left here now!

It was quite a spur of the moment visit to Newhaven, so, sorry Bondbloke, I didn't have time to get in touch beforehand!

I had gone up to Edinburgh, about 25 miles from home, to meet Linda for lunch, and she suggested the Oyster Bar as an option, which I readily agreed on. It is located in the old fishmarket alongside Newhaven harbour, on the Firth of Forth, and all its huge glass windows look out onto the harbour and the lighthouse at the end of the harbour wall.

The morning had started beautifully with sunshine and blue sky, so my first photo, of the lighthouse, taken before lunch, was in lovely weather, but as we ate we could see the weather changing... and not for the better. The sky grew grey and dull, and the views into the distance were lost in mist..... for a while only, as later we were able to see again the two bridges some few miles up the Firth.

After lunch I wanted to take a photo or two so while Linda set off to walk to the lighthouse, I took a wee walk over the main road to look at some of the mixture of buildings that make up today's Newhaven. In days gone by, it was a small fishing village outside the city, famous for its fisher folk, the women particularly, in their colourful costumes, who took the fish their men landed at the harbour to Edinburgh to sell. I remember when I was about 3, probably about the last of them coming to our front door with wicker creel of fish, and mother choosing the day's dinner. (After some reading I think this fisherwoman was more likely to have come from Fisherrow, further east along the Firth of Forth.)

I have maybe included this scrapbook page of a group of fisherwomen before but it is interesting in that the photographer, D.O Hill, was my great grand-uncle and the elderly man on the right of the photo was my great great great grandfather, though it was 60 years before the two families were to come together in a marriage!

Some of the old Newhaven buildings remain, but a lot of the old buildings have been demolished and replaced with new housing. One particular little courtyard was rebuilt in the style of the old with the outside stairs to the house on the upper storey, and stores of nets and fishing gear below at ground level.

I'm not sure how old or even how modern some of the buildings are in this next photo, but it still has the air of the 18th/19th centuries.

From here I recrossed the road and looked at the harbour where the incoming tide had quickly set the boats bobbing. I saw this boat last time I was at Newhaven and was curious, and here she is again. She is called the Robina Inglis. My dad was Robin Inglis! I'd love to know who Robina was/is! Not a relation I shouldn't think.

I retraced my steps past the old fishmarket and continued along its length before turning towards the lighthouse, meeting Linda on her way back. It was kind of breezy out there. Quickly I reached the lighthouse and took another couple of photos, looking back to the Oyster Bar and the slipway, and further to the right to the old church that now houses a climbing wall.

I have to tell you that my friend Colin in Yorkshire, started up a climbing wall in the north of England, and on one of his visits north to Peebles, we found ourselves driving up to Newhaven to take a look at "Alien Rock"! I have to say, I laughed my socks off at the guy who runs this wall and Colin having a verbal "Keeping up with the Joneses" over whose wall was superior!

"We've got this kind of surface." whatever it was.
"Well, we have this and this." whatever this was.
"Ours is so high."
"Our longest climb is this high." (higher)
"We can accommodate so many climbers."
"We can take this many." (more)

It reminded me of a song sung many years ago by Julie Felix, about two little boys who are arguing about their dads! It was called My dad's better than your dad! So I made up a little ditty on the way home called My wall's better than your wall! Wish I could remember it all now but I teased Colin with it all the way home! You survived though, didn't you, Colin?

Talk again soon.

1 comment:

bondbloke said...

excelllent post Evee, and most illuminating, great photos as well.