You know that I’ve been following the Paleo way of eating since January? Well, two of my “gurus” have been Jeremy and Louise Hendon, of websites, PaleoMagazine, and the Ancestral Chef, who just happen to be husband and wife. Jeremy is American, the one who is more involved in the science side of Paleo, and Louise is of Chinese descent though brought up in England, and she tackles the cooking side of things with many delicious recipes on the website and an ebook or two available on Amazon. Recently they combined their blogs to become Paleomagazine.com.
I was interested recently to see that the two of them were in Edinburgh, so I emailed them saying I would like to meet them. After a few emails back and forward we had arranged a meeting for last week. I met them and their Californian friend Jen, at their rented flat in the city, and took them on a tour of some of the places they wouldn’t see on a tour bus. So here are the three of them at Cramond on the shores of the River Almond where it meets the Firth of Forth (the estuary of the river Forth). Jen, with the sunglasses, was visiting from US for a few days, so was surprised to be on an unexpected tour!
and here are Jeremy, Louise and myself in about the same spot. Tide’s out! Way out! The causeway out to Cramond Island in the Forth was clear all the way, but not knowing how long it would be before the tide came back in, we decided not to risk the crossing, though there were a couple of people out there! The causeway was built during the second world war as a deterrant to boats and potential German submarines from passing on the landward side of the island. There are far better photos and a bit of history on the website I keep going back to – undiscovered Scotland. Take a look here.
The main village of Cramond is facing the river Almond and is now a popular spot with visitors. Again. looking at this website I learned more than I knew before about the village. It had quite an industrial past, as well as having had prehistoric and Roman settlements. I wonder if these buildings were part of the industrial past. Normally I’d expect a little village on the shore to be a row of single storey cottages! There’s an upper part to the village too, where the road descends to the shore. Steps connect the two parts, which may well have been built for workers in the village to reach the ironworks more easily. Now the white buildings are little galleries and restaurants, though I expect some parts are now residential.
So, onward, to South Queensferry to see the Forth Bridge. It was very busy with visitors even on a Monday. Here are Jeremy and Louise posing beside an old Victorian post box, with the Forth Bridge , the railway bridge, in the background. For a while it was having lots of repairs done to it, but now the “bandages” are off and the old girl is back to her former glory. I love it! Once again I turn to Undiscovered Scotland for info and photos. See here! Of course there’s the other bridge too, the 1964 road bridge, which I watched being built when just a kid, and now you can see beyond it, to the pillars for a third bridge, another road bridge because this one was never expected to have to cope with the amount of traffic there is today! It is to be called the Queensferry Crossing – the Queen was Queen Margaret, wife of the Scottish King Malcolm Canmore and is how the village got its name. I remember the old ferry boats before the first road bridge was built. Here’s a bit of info from the BBC on the progress of the new crossing!
We managed to park the car for a short while in the village of South Queensferry itself, and took a walk along the main street. Yet again Undiscovered Scotland comes up with the goods, but here are one or two of my photos too.
We had a giggle looking in through one of the gift shop windows on the terraced walkway. It purported to be selling “haggis teeth! Now that’s something I haven’t seen before!!!!! We had to find out more, and met Fred who showed us the “teeth” he had for sale on leather thongs. He told us the usual stories we Scots tell of the Haggis, and of how they live a very long life, with their teeth growing all the time. He showed us long “teeth from a very old haggis” and some shorter ones which were “from a young haggis”! Can you make out what they are? I zoomed in to my photo of Fred to see if it could appear clearer, but it hasn’t, so I think I am going to have to shatter the illusion that these are actual haggis teeth and tell you that they are tips of deer antlers! There, I’ve given the game away! If you see Fred yourself, don’t tell him I told you! Just enjoy the fun, just as we did!
Onwards once again with “tea to go” from a Queensferry cafe, for a drive round the outer city – up to the Braid Hills, past the back of the late 19th century Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill (photo by Dave Henniker Edinburgh Photography), and eventually to the hill in the background of Dave’s photo, Arthur Seat, which sits right in the middle of the city that now encompasses so many small villages that were once considered well out of the town. We drove around the hill on the Queen’s Drive (designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria) , past Holyrood Palace, and round to man-made St Margaret’s Loch, below the ruin of St Anthony’s chapel. The Queen’s Drive continues uphill and round to the south of the hill where, once you pass the second artificial loch, Dunsapie Loch (pronounced as if there were two Ps – Dun-sappie), you get wonderful views to south and east. Once more I recommend you look at the Undiscovered Scotland website for more photos and information here.
That’s Salisbury Crags in the background of this photo on the left, while on the horizon behind the trio is the Royal Mile. You can probably see some of the steeples of the Old Town. The photo on the right is the view to the east, right down to North Berwick in East Lothian, at the point where the Firth of Forth is becoming part of the North Sea. If we had had time we might have climbed to the top of the hill, but there were tickets for an Edinburgh Festival Fringe show in Louise’s wallet, and time was getting on.
We headed on down to the street called The Pleasance where the show was taking place in one of the University theatres. I managed to get a ticket to join them at “The Only Way is Downton”, a one-man show based on the characters of the TV series Downton Abbey. There’s a revue and clip from the show on this website. Luke Kempner was very funny in all the parts - The Dowager Duchess, Lord Grantham, Cora, Mary, Matthew, Miss O’Brien, nasty Thomas, Mr Bates, Mrs Patmore and Daisy – holding conversations with himself from different angles, depending on who he was at any one point!
To finish off the evening we all went for a meal at the Mosque Kitchen – a lovely curry with kebab, mostly Paleo but with rice which we don’t eat too often. It had been a lovely day, and as I dropped the three off at their flat, I felt I had made three new friends that day. Hopefully we‘ll meet again before they head off back to the US. Louise did suggest they might come down to look at Peebles when Jeremy’s mother comes to visit. Now which of our lovely tearooms will I take them to?
Talk again soon.