Tuesday, 22 June 2010

girly weekend

I had a lovely weekend in Edinburgh with my daughter and my good friend Caroline. It was the first long train journey I'd done with Hazel on her own and it felt like we were embarking on a real adventure when we set off on Friday evening. I love that journey, particularly the section from Newcastle and north. Suddenly the Tyne and the distinctive quayside buildings are revealed through the jumble of bridges. I lived in Newcastle for three years and I was born in the north east, so it always feels a bit like coming home. Then as you go north the coast in closer and closer and there is anticipation of the time you first catch a glimpse of the sea.

There are so many lovely places to go in Edinburgh and we made a good go of sampling its delights.

We went into the Dovecot Gallery, not knowing what was on but found the degree show for Heriot Watt University's textile course. Well that was a pretty good start to the day as far as I was concerned. There was some lovely work, imaginatively displayed. There were also students demonstrating weaving and knitting, which was a lovely way to engage people visiting the exhibition. Hazel went straight up to the loom and asked if she could have a go!

A highlight for both generations was the National Museum of Scotland. This is a stunning building. I'm sure the exhibits are equally as stunning but as it was such a beautiful day we vowed we'd come back on a rainy day to do the inside. We headed up the the roof where there is a roof garden and the most wonderful views across Edinburgh and beyond.

This gave me lots of food for thought in terms of one of my possible themes for my final year...

After a Swedish lunch we took a bus round to the other side of Arthur's Seat to a beautiful little haven of a garden. Dr Neil's Garden was created for the people of Edinburgh but not many seem to know about. It is quiet, apart from the activity of the birds and the rustle of the trees and the reeds that grow by the lake that the garden looks out over.

This certainly isn't a garden that has been designed to within an inch of its life. It is relaxed and simple with paths that wind around the slope and between terraces. There are numerous places to sit and enjoy the tranquillity.

From here it was a short bus ride to the sea! Fish and chips for tea at the beach at Portobello, followed by a paddle in the evening sunshine - what more could you ask for?

Edinburgh listening: The Starlets

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