Tag Archives: Edinburgh

An Edinburgh Adventure

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Last Thursday the opportunity arose for us to pack our bags, bundle the kids in and head north for a weekend with my father in law.

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I love Edinburgh. So grand yet so comfortable. Castles, mountains, culture, food. It has it all. What I had never appreciated before was how much amazing coastline there is within a short drive. This is Gullane beach and was a complete revelation. Wide stretches of clean, sandy beach with rock pools full of things to discover.

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The Little Man was in his element covering vast distances as he walked back and forward from our camp down to the water to drop a pebble into the sea.

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Unusually for us we indulged in a selection of bought treats from Gullane’s little treasure, the German Bakery Falko Konditormeister courtesy of my lovely father-in-law. The Little Man and I shared the raisin brioche bun above whilst hubby had a rather fancy continental sandwich. For afters we shared raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake and bakewell frangipane. So good!

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The beachy agenda was agreed before we set off from home so we remembered to pack a few trusty buckets and spades in preparation. I love the fact that many of these were used by my sister and me 25+ years for our own castle creations. Happy memories!

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Saturday saw us head indoors to escape the howling gales but Sunday saw the sun come out to play so we once again headed to the coast. This time we were on familiar territory as we returned to a favourite haunt, Queensferry.

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I love it here with the Forth Railway Bridge spanning the water and the boats clanking in the (permanent) breeze. As I couldn’t safely carry the Little Lady over the slippery rocks I once more had the luxury to indulge in a bit more seaside hooky with my South Bay Shawl. Bliss!

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The Little Lady did come out to play as well. She was fascinated by the feel of the pebbles and the sound they made as she threw them. She is such a happy baby and so interested in the world around her. Everything is new and exciting when you are 6 months old!

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Before long I got somewhat distracted by the brightly coloured sea glass that literally littered the beach. It wasn’t long before we were all sifting through the pebbles. The Little Man was especially proud of his haul, bringing each piece to me for my approval. He favoured the larger pieces and spent the rest of the day rooting around in his pockets to rediscover his hidden treasures. Bless.

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Thank you for joining us on the beaches. Next time I shall share our Saturday adventures with you. See you soon!

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Edinburgh

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I love this picture. Not because it is particularly good or interesting but because it holds so many memories. Not only does it remind me of our lovely stroll around Edinburgh last Friday but it also represents all of the other times we have visited the city over the last 8 years.

This time was particularly special as it was the Little Man’s first trip to Scotland. We were visiting en route to our holiday destination of Loch Rannoch but decided to break the journey here. My lovely father-in-law was particularly obliging as we (hubby, me, the Little Man, my sister, her fiance and my parents) took over his home.

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Over the years we have done many of the tourist attractions in and around Edinburgh but it has been a long time since I just wandered around the streets admiring the architecture and soaking up the convivial atmosphere. This time, however, we did just that.

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We walked along the Royal Mile where the statues and spires were framed by a beautifully blue sky. Above is the particularly striking St. Giles Cathedral, with its crown topped spire that can be seen for miles around, and below is the former ‘Tron Kirk’.

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No longer used for worship I believe that it served as a venue for last Summer’s Fringe Festival.
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This is another picture that brings back fond memories. Soon after hubby and I began dating he returned home to celebrate Christmas with his family. As requested, he took some photographs of his travels, one of which was very similar to this. Unsure as to what it actually was I labelled it as ‘House on the Hill’. Imagine my surprise when hubby informed me that this was actually Edinburgh Castle!

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Of course, the castle does look somewhat more impressive from the other side, standing sentinel over the city, but we do share a giggle whenever we see it.

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In the centre of town the Christmas Fayre was still in full force, having remained for the Hogmanay celebrations. We took the opportunity to stop for refreshment in the form of a hot mulled cider.
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Nearby, Scott was sat on his plinth, imperious as always, although looking somewhat incongruous amongst the flashing lights and fake snow.

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The Scott Monument is one of my favourite structures in Edinburgh, standing proud and tall in all its Gothic glory (according to here it is the tallest monument to a writer in the world). We climbed it on my first ever trip and the views from the top are amazing, even if they were accompanied by gale force winds.
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The sun was setting as we ambled back to the car and the city skyline was silhouetted before us. So quiet, so peaceful. A lovely stroll in a lovely city. x
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Eta the photographs which had disappeared!

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Magic Moments – 1/52

Happy New Year! Hope 2013 has started well for all of you, my lovely readers.

After seeing Heather’s and Jacquie’s recent posts I have decided to embrace the current craze running through the blogosphere which involves appreciating the magic moments in life. Every week I shall choose 4 snapshots that represent happy times during the last 7 days. The challenge for me shall be limiting the post to only 4 photographs but I shall do my best, so here goes!

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The New Year was heralded in with a decadent trio of chocolate mousse made by my lovely sister. (The recipe came from this rather delicious book). The ‘big night’ was spent at her soon to be brother-in-law’s house where we enjoyed a relaxed, friendly evening with yummy food, games and plenty of Christmas sock appreciation.

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I cannot tell you how much I love my new dresser. Having been struck down with serious furniture envy after seeing reading about Jacquie’s recent acquisition, my wonderful husband helped me acquire this fabulous piece from Ebay. Hours of pleasure have been spent bringing out my husband’s family china, decking it out with tinsel and baubles and generally just gazing in adoration at its splendour.

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Every week is full of magic moments courtesy of the Little Man and this week was no exception. Having suffered from a tooth explosion recently he is now the proud owner of 5 1/2 pearly white pegs. This week he put these weapons into action by devouring a whole apple. I could have exploded with pride as I watched my beautiful boy (9 months yesterday) nibbling away curiously at attacking this exciting new food. Bless.

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Finally, a moment of peace and tranquility as the sun began to set over Edinburgh. More about that next time. xxxx

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A perfect day on the beach

In my last post I started to share with you some of my happy memories of our recent trip up North. I have been regularly visiting Edinburgh now for 7 years and if any of you are intending to travel there I have one piece of advice – visit Khublai Khans Mongolian Feast. This incredible buffet allows you to create dishes with the most phenomenal range of meats and spices, including springbok, zebra, camel and kangaroo. I cannot imagine a visit to my father-in-law without an evening here! 

Our next rendez vous was Stirling Castle. Unfortunately, the weather and my lack of photography skills have resulted in rather poor images of the castle itself, as it is quite difficult to see much of it at once. (By the look of it the creators of the website had a similar issue, which makes me feel a bit better!) It is an interesting place to visit, very different to Linlithgow. Whereas the splendour of Linlithgow was the sheer scale of the stone shell that survives, Stirling is a collection of buildings that have adapted to suit different functions over the centuries, most recently a military depot for the best part of a century until 1964.

 

Historic Scotland have since worked hard to restore and recreate many of the original features, including complete restoration of the Great Hall to its Stuart glory. Unfortunately, for me, this makes parts of it feel a bit too ‘new’. Instead, I think Stirling’s true splendour lies in its ramparts, which afford stunning views over the surrounding area.

The fire station reminded me of Fireman Sam!

I love the seaside. Living as far away from the sea as it is possible to be in the UK, the coast represents holidays to me. Whether it be industrial docks and harbours or miles of white sand, I revel in the magic of it all. We took a quick trip to South Queensferry to see the infamous bridge over the Firth of Forth and marvel at the sunlight glinting off the water.

 

Now for my favourite part of our holiday, the ‘perfect day’ that this post is named after. A few miles down from Edinburgh and we stopped off at North Berwick. I cannot remember a day that says blissful holiday more than this.

Glorious sunshine, walks on the beach, toes wiggling in the sand whilst quickly licking your ice cream as it dribbles down the cone. Perfect.

Stone skimming competition…I was the spectator!

Gotta love the Eiderduck bobbing on the waves!

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Linlithgow Palace

Greetings to you all! It has been a while. The end of term has been upon us and life has been a blurry haze of assessments, reports, classroom moving and farewells. I have missed taking time to retire into this little blogging world. I have so much to share with you! Cooking, crocheting and holidays have been occuring behind the scene amid the mayhem!

Hubby and I recently took a trip up to Edinburgh to visit his dad, so I would like to invite you to peek inside the photo album! We wanted to make the most of this holiday as we are not going away this summer so we took the opportunity to visit attractions nearby. Our first trip was to the charming town of Linlithgow (above) in which stands the rather spectacular Linlithgow Palace. We love old buildings, particularly castles and palaces. As I walk around I am transported back in time, hearing the ghosts of those hundreds and thousands of people who called this building home.

Linlithgow is a particularly large palace and I could fill pages with images of the intricate stonework and gravity defying arches, but I shall be selective…

The modern crown adoring St. Michael’s Parish Church, evocative of Christ’s crown of thorns, replaced an older stone crown above the steeple that had to be dismantled in the nineteenth century.

This palatial abode sits alongside a rather charming loch which was dotted with multiple fisherman rocking wildly in tiny boats. Not exactly my idea of fun! Whereas I’m sure those houses have a wonderful view on a sunny summer day, it must be rather bleak in the middle of a cold, dismal winter. I’m such a city chick!

This incredible fountain held pride of place in the central courtyard so could be viewed through the stone arches along the corridors and balconies at all levels on all sides. I felt like lady of the manor, walking along the eerie darkness, gazing down imperiously! I rather like Historic Scotland’s description of it as ‘a beautiful three-tiered wedding cake structure’.

This palace has the most amazing collection of staircases and fireplaces with really ornate stonework that has survived the centuries. I loved this fireplace because of its simplicity. Admittedly the ceiling is largely absent in the upper stories but, feeling the wind blowing through the rooms, I imagine that even these gigantic fireplaces probably failed spectacularly at heating this cavernous space!

My hubby is a very practical man, nicely complementing my total lack of such skills. Consequently, I am always in awe of people who can design and create monuments and buildings. Structures such as Linlithgow are even more incredible when you imagine how little mechanical assistance the builders and architects had. It makes the scale and intricacy all the more jaw dropping. Just imagine the man hours that it must have taken to construct this section!

I love birds. They really are a passion of mine. Not just strange or unusual birds but any feathery friend sitting about the place and this speckled beauty I thought was especially cute…

And three more sunbathing, how sweet!

I am the sort of person that requires regular feeding! Well in advance I like to know when the next meal is coming and from where. Outings and holidays are often characterised for me by the quantity and quality of food consumed! After a year of wedding and house buying, budgeting is a necessity. Therefore all food this week was cooked at home and had to travel with us. Sausage and egg pie, sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes, crunchy apples dribbling down your chin – yummy!

Mr Jackdaw did a good job finishing off the pastry crumbs! 

Although there were periods of radiant sunshine, the weather could only be described as bracing. When out in the open it was literally impossible to stay up straight! However, when sheltered by the walls there was a feeling of peace and serenity that was truly special.

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