A month since the last post, mainly because there’s not been not so much going on…
Three weeks ago we got up reasonably early on Sunday and went along to the final day of the Edward Munch exhibition out at the Dean Gallery, or MOMA2 or whatever acronym it’s oficially called these days!
Some very good pieces, including a small b&w Scream, although there was a lot more than that to see. As it was mainly prints, sometimes the repetitive sequences of minor differences in colour, etc. seemed a bit redundant but overall very good.
And afterwards the coffee & scone included in the price added to the experience!
After that we caught a bus down to Cramond and, M having already checked the tide times, walked out the causeway to Cramond Island. We hadn’t done that for years and enjoyed it a lot, although as a bird resere it seemed awfully short of birds! Some fascinating remnants of the wartime defences still remain, blocks to hold down submarine netting, etc. And huge mudflats making you think you could walk (very muddily) all the way across to Barnbogle Castle on the Dalmeny Estate. But the channel of the River Almond flows through them, so it’s obviously not feasible, and probably dangerous besides!
A nice day out, even if it was clouding over and getting a bit windy by the time we got back to the Cramond Inn for a pint and some rather late lunch!
Last weekend we were back at the zoo, for the first time in months, and saw some great giant anteater action, as one of them bounded about, and close-ups of the two aardwolves out in their enclosure.
Sadly, several critters seem to have moveed on; the Red River Hogs have gone off to a private collection, but the Bongos, Stanley’s Cranes, the Cloud Rats and the Cuscus all seem to have gone too. We did see Sofus the Sealion briefly – but we would have spent longer watching him if we had known he was about to be crated up and shipped to Poland within a couple of days! No more sealions at Edinburgh Zoo; having only one is frowned on, and if they have more apparently these days they should have two pools so that one can be isolated from the others for whatever reason…
And apparently the Wolverines might be on their way to Aviemore – another of our favourites going north!
This Sunday was Doors Open Day (in fact Saturday was as well, and M was on duty at ICMS all day coping with the hordes wanting to know arout the converted church they’re based in) and we managed to visit three pretty interesting, but quite different, buildings.
The first was Summerhall, which we have already been to quite a lot in the past couple of months! This time some of the artists’ studios were open and we got to see a bit more of the complex, from empty basements with giant cuddly toys waiting to be served in a deserted and defunct cafeteria, to looking out over the roofs several stories up, and seeing all sorts of stuff in between (including coffee and a muffin on their terrace). Then it was a stroll through the Meadows to St. Michael & All Saints’ Church on Brougham Place.
Fascinating, with incense burners, candles, icons, centuries old pulpits, etc. It’s a nice, airy space, with a great high roof and, considering that it was originally built to cater for the more disreputable masses of the Tollcross area, rather than the gentry of St Johns at the West End (who paid towards it building costs originally) it’s really rather nice!
Onwards again, down Lothian Road, through an underpass I had never been through to Rutland Square (where I worked for years, but before the area was anything like as developed) and on to Melville Street and the Trades Maiden Hospital building opposite St Mary’s Cathedral.
It’s the current centre of the various ancient Edinburgh Guilds and the three rooms open to the public had loads of history on show!
The little procession for the Kirking of the Deacon of the Candlemakers that I saw recently was mentioned here, and the lantern which was part of the ceremony was on display. As were all sorts of other letters and artifacts, including the Blue Blanket, a flag brought back from the disasterous Battle of Flodden in 1513.
Also portraits, crests, banners, a Breeches Bible(!) and more. The only drawback was that it was completely mobbed, with easily a hundred people there all the time we were there. And it had been that busy all day apparently! After that, along to the West Room for a rather expensive drink and a light and very late lunch, followed by coffee up at Filmhouse on our way home…
The only film we’ve seen this month was Dredd! Good fun, and true to the spirit of the comic strip. He and a rookie Judge (Judge Anderson) get trapped in a megablock with all hands against them as they try to take down a crimelord!
I thought they might have done more with the slo-mo effects, especially when the slo-mo lab blew up, but, in any case, it was ation all the way!
I read various other books, including A Winter’s Night by Valerio Massimo Manfredi, a historical novel which covers a very tumultous period of Italian history, from around 1910 to 1950, covering 2 wars, the rise and fall of fascism and the post-war troubles between the socialists and the right as they fought for control after the war. As the initial brothers die off and their sons and daughters take over the plot (such as it is) it seems rather perfunctory at times, with a recitation of how they’re all doing rather than more involving prose. Interesting to see the development of modern Italy though.
A bit of a change from his classical period historical novels, such as the lightweight (but fun) The Last Legion, about the last Emperor of Rome and his relation to Arthur King of the Britons! It was turned into a film a few years ago, which was also quite fun. John Varley‘s latest, Slow Apocalypse and a Scarlett Thomas reprint, Bright Young Things also got read.
Currently, though, I’m making my way through Acacia, the 1st volume of a trilogy (another trilogy!) by David Anthony Durham, which seems very good so far. I met him a few months ago and have been meaning to check it out ever since…