Yesterday felt like a busy day to me. After the longer than expected dog walk (Bobs had to chance to walk in a pack which I felt was good socially for him) I wrote my post. Then it was off to the swimming pool for training. I have to admit, I was in two minds about the exercise. I had swam the day before so I though it might be pushing my body to ask for two days in a row of training. In the end I decided to go and do something. How every many lengths I would do would be better than nothing I reasoned. It was whilst I was getting dressed after my shower when I heard my mobile ringing. Outside after cooling down a bit, I checked my phone. It was my partner wanting to know if I would meet her in Edinburgh. She was stopping off on her way back from Durham to meet number two child and wanted me to be there too. The fact that she would then get a lift home could be seen as a bonus.
My wife had spoken to me about this the day before. I think I knew in my heart that I would go but I hadn’t actually made the decision until the recorded message. I texted back saying that yes I would drive there and then called my son to decide where I should park the car. Having not eaten all day, I knew I should get some food before driving to the rendezvous. This would also certainly make me late though. I returned home and ate cold pizza whilst sitting in the sun with the dog in the shade under my chair.
Having filled up a bottle of water, I headed out the house. I felt guilty about leaving Bobby behind but a hot city centre is no place for a small fluffy dog. The drive south was uneventful. The short delays the SatNav indicated disappeared when I approached them and I was parking the car when the computer said I should be. I was indeed late. I was five minutes away from Haymarket and needed to be at Waverley in ten minutes. No way I could do that walking and no way I was getting a day travel pass unless I could guarantee enough trips to it to be a value purchase. I am a walker anyway so I set off, thinking I would ring my partner in fifteen minutes or so.
I was approaching the Lothian Road junction when someone approached me. She was looking for a certain hostel and asked me if she could get a tram there. It took me a while to orientate the map she show me and I figured out that she need to be up near the old Royal Infirmary site. No, a tram was not be appropriate. I walked with her and her husband until Lothian Road then told them to go as far as Bread Street on the left. To head down there and ask another person. They would be roughly in the right area then. It turns out they were from Argentina and had just landed in Edinburgh after changes in Madrid and London. She asked about the lack of people and I explained about the school holidays having just started in Scotland but that the rest of the UK hadn’t begun yet. The Scots tend to go away at this time and the tourists have yet to arrive in large numbers.
There were enough tourists to remind me that walking at speed along Princess Street is a frustrating experience. I rang my wife and we agreed to walk towards each other. In the end, I pretty much reached Waverley before finding them. They had detoured to the tourist information shop to look for a book festival programme. They couldn’t find one so it was back to the other end of Princess Street to go into a book store called Waterstones.
On the way we popped into the Royal Scottish Academy and looked around the Open Exhibition, an annual chance for local artists to reach a wider audience. We kind of got chucked out before we had finished as the exhibition closed for the day. We did however see two paintings by artists we personally knew and I had made marks on the 300+ strong paper list of exhibitors. These cycles would allow me to follow up the artists online and look at other things they had done. At least that was the plan at the time.
Book festival programme obtained, our minds turned to food. Number Two’s friend had mentioned a Hungarian restaurant, so we headed there and had some Goulash. Tasty and filling it was too.
I think it was getting on for 8.30pm when we got home. The dog was excited but all I wanted to do was to have some solitude. I played a few games on the console but the weariness got to me. I switched the TV off and put on a CD I got the day before. It is a live recording of an acoustic set done by Midge Ure with a couple of friends. I grew up in the synthesizer world of the 80’s and Ultravox and Visage played a big part in my musical choices. Midge was in both of those bands. The album Vienna by Ultravox is still one of my favourites. When he set off on a solo career, Midge and I lost touch really, aside from a greatest hits double album from a few years ago. He did a solo tour a few years back and a friend of mine when to see him in my home town. She thought he was great and having heard the live album, I regret not having gone now.
Any album that draws me into the lyrics of a song, pushes me to sing along, and makes me want to learn guitar must be good in my book. I am always impressed when a singer sounds as good, if not better live, compared to the studio recordings. There is no hiding in a live situation. I lay there listening to the lyrics, wondering about their meaning, and at some point dozed off. I awoke to the last two songs. Much as it was good to see Number Two and the exhibition at the RSA. Much as it was good to go swimming and help out some tourists. Listening to Midge Ure live and having the space and time to do this, was the highlight of my day.