what will people say?
I noticed the above windowpane etching at the Inverleith House gallery, at the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh last week. I don’t know why it’s there, or what it means. It didn’t seem to be part of the exhibition and it was easy to miss. But it was a treasure to find on a walk last week, following the Water of Leith along towards Dean Village.
It’s not a straightforward route. Some of the signs are a bit Lewis Carroll.
I mean, which would you rather? Follow the river, or avoid the steps? We chose to follow the river because it sounded more optimistic and romantic. But it turned out that path actually ended in a disused industrial scrapyard and we had to turn back. So I’m not sure what kind of meaningful life message you should draw from that.
Quite a lot of the Water of Leith path is industrial, or a bit of a wasteland. It’s not a verdant oasis all the way along, by any means. But it has its moments.
And then a cut through the Botanics, pausing the admire the world’s largest hedge. Apparently.
I dunno, what do you think? Personally I reckon I’ve seen bigger.
I don’t want to jinx it, but… I think it might be spring.
After getting lost, walking up some steep hills and steps, short of breath and even shorter of temper, we eventually made it to Dean Village. It was once a cluster of watermills, but the industry’s gone, leaving a bundle of mismatched old buildings behind.
The name comes from the old word ‘dene’, which means deep valley… and, well, you definitely notice the ‘deep’ part when you’re coming back up. Or, more accurately, your legs and lungs notice, if you are me.
We found the above in Dean Cemetery, a place where the dead attempt to outdo each other for eternity with their fancy graves. This looked like a winner to me, but lots of them had engravings of the deceased’s face on the headstone and their earthly occupation – eg ‘ANATOMIST’ – written in big letters underneath.
They were almost all from the nineteenth century, which was apparently not such a good century for humility in Edinburgh.
Millstones? What a walk for a cold, bright morning right at the thin end of February. And, something I didn’t expect: Edinburgh talks to you as you go along, giving you things to think about, written into the windows and walls. It’s actually fairly chatty, for a city.
Definitely going to start spelling ‘onlye’ like that.