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Monday, 15 June 2009

Well, I guess you'll all have just about given up on me, so I do hope you see this! I don't know where the time went, that I should have been keeping up with my blog. Anyway, just a quick run through the past week, with some photos.

I attended a fantastic choir concert one evening in the Parish Church. The choir is called InChorus and its members have only been singing together for eight or nine months. They sing all sorts of music from classical pieces to a medley that includes the Muppet Show music! Their Adiemus by Carl Jenkins was wonderful, and O Fortuna by Carl Orff set the hairs on the back of my neck tingling! It was terrific. I loved their Bridge over Troubled Water, Bohemian Rhapsody, and the Leonard Cohen song Halleluia. I loved it all actually! The music director is terrific! He's often in the shop and I had no idea he was a musician. His day job is as a policeman. I'd love to sing with a choir like InChorus! It would be wonderful to make such glorious sounds. They are holding auditions next month so I was thinking....... Mmm! Don't know if I'd be up to it! And I'm going to be away for several weeks. I know they have a waiting list already so maybe the auditions are to join the waiting list!?

Morag and I have started going for short walks every now and again, though we feel we ought to do it more often. The trouble is though, that I keep stopping to take photos, so I'm not really getting my heart rate going very much faster than normal. Here are a couple of my flower photos, taken on one walk and some taken from the path beside the river.

Click to enlarge the one on the path beside the tree. There are several bunnies playing just ahead of us! As we crossed Fotheringham Bridge a group of youngsters had lit a fire and were enjoying the sunny afternoon by the river, while a fisherman casts his line in the middle of it!
Getting back towards Peebles again there was a beautiful shot just waiting to be taken. The church behind the trees with the reflections in the still water. It was idyllic - apart from the midges!

Another day I went back up to the National Library where I spent a few hours with JG and family, but at length, I found myself starting to nod off, which seemed to me to be a good time to leave them and take a walk outside in the air. More or less opposite is Victoria Street that follows the hill down to the Grassmarket. Above the street a terrace runs alongside it, above the shops and cafes, pubs and restaurants. A notice caught my eye, pointing out the Family history centre along the terrace, so I decided to investigate.
I was given a guided tour of all the little nooks and crannies of what must have been the barrel vaulted cellars of houses above. There is everything a genealogist could want to track down the type of lives their ancestors would have lived, as well as records of births, marriages and deaths from the old parish registers, that preceded the manatory registration of these that began in 1855. These records are kept in register house at the foot of the Bridges, but copies of everything else can be found in the FHC. I whiled away another couple of hours poring over old parish registers that have been microfilmed to protect the originals. Once you get into the swing, you soon find that the hand writing that seemed totally illegible at first is starting to make sense. In one register of deaths, I found a family that lost three youngdsters in the space of a few days. 16, 11 and 3 years old, they were. It doesn't say what they died of.

At the weekend I was invited to a birthday tea, for the young son of two of my favourite customers at the shop. Fergus was to be three! He and his parents, and elder brother live in a farm cottage not too far out of town - picture to the right. What a beautiful spot to grow up in. Mum and Dad are landscape gardeners, and have created a beautiful space out the back with woodland and lawn, not to mention a burn - a stream - trickling along at the foot of the garden - though of course that wasn't of their creation!. The flowerbeds are packed with colours, plants of varying textures and shapes, and a large green parasol nicely shades the table and chairs on the patio.

The toys in the garden were enough to keep the littlies happily occupied for long enough though there were the odd crying sessions when someone fell over - or was he pushed - or had climbed too high on the climbing frame and couldn't get down, and even the birthday boy wasn't immune as he tried to keep possession of the ball he had got from a wee pal.

Later a game of pass the parcel, or as birthday boy's bro calls it "Parcel Parcel!", kept them all guessing as each time the music stopped another layer of paper was removed, till finally the prize was revealed by the lucky winner!
Tea was quite an on the hoof affair, the kids going to and fro with sandwiches, cheesy biscuits, cheese strings and SHOCKING PINK-ICED FAIRY CAKES made by mum and grown up big sis. They went down well!!! The adults drank tea and nibbled at sausage rolls, and cakes at the table on the patio, until the weather changed and down came the rain, thunder rumbling in the background! The party switched to indoors and toys and television became the order of the day. Soon though it was time to go and mums and dads called to collect their littlies, and peace reigned once more.
I was heading for Edinburgh next, to meet Linda, but as I was a little early I detoured under an arch dedicated to George Harrison - not the Beatle - to reach the National Atronomical Observatory on Blackford Hill. There were good views from the hill itself so I started tp walk round to the right of the building to the path that leads uphill to the top. The better views were to be had from higher up, so I walked further up till suddenly the top was in view. Might as well go right to the top! So I did!
In the picture of Arthur Seat, on the right I can almost pinpoint where I grew up - well I can see the church we went to as children, so can almost work out which was our street!

On reaching Linda's, the delicious scent of the philadelphus beside her front door, wafted in the air. Mmmm! Gorgeous! The ceanothus behind it is also pretty stunning. We ate out Italian-style, and I eventually got home about 1 a.m. All was quiet!
Next morning when I went up to the street, the festive bunting adorned the street and pennants and flags waved gently. Beltane has begun!

You can read about it on my Peebles for Pleasure blog!
I have to confess to be going away on my holidays tomorrow, so I won't actually be here to take photos, but I have set up a series of Beltane entries that will get published each day. I do hope you won't mind that the pictures are from another Beltane altogether!
I'll blog again soon, maybe from Ireland where I am spending a couple of weeks. I fly to the west of Ireland tomorrow afternoon to begin my adventure!
Talk again soon,

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