Monday, 31 July 2017


And then it was the next day. I had a bit of a ponder about what would be good to do. I had an idea that we should do something that ended up at an art gallery or the Botanics. The main impetous for this was the desire to have a piece of cake somewhere along the way.
I quickly compared mental pictures of the modern art gallery (cramped, annoying people all around, laughable art) and the Botanics (ah that's better, a bit of space) and opted for the latter.

But where to run first to justify the cake?  

I dreamed up a route that took in elements of the 7 hills but going the wrong way; going up the side of Arthur's Seat, then over Blackford Hill, down into the Hermitage and up the other side to the Braids - then over to Craiglockhart Hill and from there onto the Water of Leith and back down to Stockbridge and on to the Botanics. In my Sunday morning haze I thought it might be about 6 - 8 miles (which is pretty daft as it's 7 miles from the Water of Leith Centre to home) - which is not a lot but enough to kind of justify cake.
Peter agreed with degree of sighing (he's always a bit disappointed when I don't want to run 40 miles through some never-explored wilderness - which means he's always disappointed, because I never want to.) 

Anyway, we set off, and after some initial inertia, maybe 2 miles into it, we got into the swing of it and it was quite good fun.

I used to run around Blackford Hill back in the day when me and Peter and mutual friend Jamie shared a flat in Morningside, and before Peter and I were an 'item'. Peter and Jamie used to concern themselves with whether they could get their empty beer cans from where they were sitting in the living room into the bin in the kitchen without standing up. The bin was round a corner so it meant hitting a spot high up the wall and getting the bin on the rebound. As far as I know it never worked. Anyway, I used to go for a run up Blackford Hill while that was going on. I didn't know it then, but I was training to be a hill runner.

So I know lots of paths around the hill there. And even though it was more than 20 years ago, they were still there. So we came down the Pentlands side of the hill, down a rocky path which drops into the woods, and were surprised to see 4 buzzards circling round our heads!

(I got a picture of one of them. Stay still damn you.)

We were trotting along fairly steadily so I took very few pictures en route to the Botanics.
I was struck what a nice view there was of the Pentlands from here though. 

The first few miles flew but after maybe 6 or 7 my legs and feet were declaring themselves done, so just got my head down until we got to the Botanics. As soon as I started walking I felt much better - and a visit to the coffee for Carrot cake and a pot of tea ticked all my boxes. Peter had quiche and a bottle of Bulmer's Cider. He was muttering about £5 for a bottle of cider but he looked very happy. Then we went on a flower hunt. We were there for 2 hours and Peter's Suunto, which he never puts off, said we covered 2 miles. It was entrancing. The weather was lovely - the flowers were phenomenal - and being outside I didn't find people nearly as irritating as I do in a gallery.
Peter remarked that I seemed particularly drawn to the yellow flowers. Me and the bees also.
Below is just a handful of the millions of pics we spent hours taking.

Open Mike Night. 


It's a cliche but it's true. There aren't enough hours in the day. Saturday we went running at Gullane. We arrived as the  organisers for the Gullane Triathlon were just packing up so we got to see the legend that is Scott Balfour. I've not seen him for a long time.

Then we went a run around the usual route. There were some atmospheric skies and we got an absolute soaking which was actually quite refreshing because it was warm.

Then we went to Tescos and got our shopping for the week and went home. It was too late and we were too tired to cook a proper tea so we had fish fingers and potatoes and watched two episodes of Orange is the New Black back to back.