2nd April 2020 – It’s my mum’s birthday today, so Happy Birthday mum. I don’t know when I will see you next in person, (oh that makes me sad,) but we will keep on Skyping!
Me and Mum
Two gals out
But much more – mother daughter
Friends, always best friends.
For me, birthdays separated from loved ones and the cancellation of The Edinburgh Festival, Fringe, and Book Festival have been oh so sad. BUT, there’s no point on dwelling on disappointments, we must all look to the future – beyond what is happening now.
I’d like to share with you some of my photos and poems about Edinburgh.
We all have events that we were looking forward to – weddings to go to, concerts, birthday parties and the like, but the most important thing in our diary at the moment is TO STAY SAFE and WELL and to ensure THAT EVERYONE STAYS SAFE AND WELL TOO.
Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties. Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press. When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct. After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.
It’s my last day in Edinburgh, sigh… Sad to go today, have had a wonderful time visiting my mum, dad, brother, mum in law, and friends. I’m managed to pack a huge amount in six short days. My highlights have been going to see the kelpies, a fantastic theatre show at the Pleasance #EdinburghFringe – The Curse of Cranholme Abbey – https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/curse-of-cranholme-abbey
Eating lots of scrumptious food both at home (my mum is an amazing Malaysian cook!) and at local restaurants. Walking around the fun and unusual shopping streets, I’d definitely recommend Cockburn Street for its quirkiness!
The final talk that I attended at the Book Festival was on Sunday 23rd of August, The Poems of Iain Banks, with Ken Macleod, a Scottish Science Fiction Writer, and lifelong friend of Iain Banks. The event was chaired by Stuart Kelly. It had been an interesting talk, suggested to me by fellow blogger, Stephen P. Blanchini, his blog is aptly named The Earthian Hive Mind: http://earthianhivemind.net/
I learnt a great deal about Iain Banks from this talk, and was struck by Ken Macleod’s obvious sadness that this lifelong friend that he had had the pleasure of knowing for such a long time was no longer with us. Very sad, it must be extremely hard to discuss a friend you have shared so many memories with over so many years, in such a public way particularly when you have had so much in common. I shall be delving into Iain Bank’s writing, and his poetry to find out more, but at this juncture I don’t feel I can do him justice by writing an in-depth article about the talk as in truth I just don’t feel I know enough about him, yet…. The fantastic thing about these talks is their ability to make you curious, and encourage you to read the author’s work which can only be a good thing. Ken mentioned that Iain’s strangest novel was A Song Of Stone, this features heightened prose, and a strongly dislikeable character. Iain was apparently disparaging about his final novel The Quarry. Ken suggested that The Quarry demonstrates a gentler revisiting of themes that appeared in his earlier novels. Ken said that there is almost an alternating nice hopper, nasty hopper with some of Iain’s books such as Whit, (about a young cult member,) Stonemouth, (this follows a man returning to a small seaport town after leaving due to a sexual scandal,) and Quarry, (which deals with an autistic youth, Kit, and his father, Guy, a misanthrope who is dying of cancer,) fitting into the nice hopper. The Hydrogen Sonata, a science fiction novel set in a techo-utopian Culture universe is possibly more optimistic too, though it takes part in Hell!
Sadly, Iain Banks died of Gallbladder cancer, as a token of the esteem he was held in the asteroid (5099) Iainbanks was named in memory of him shortly after his death. His dying of Gallbladder cancer got me thinking, I myself had a polyp in my Gallbladder which was discovered last year and I was operated on in October 2015. For a long time my symptoms were misdiagnosed, it took a trip up to Edinburgh, and a Scottish doctor to diagnose it immediately. The polyp was most probably benign but still it does make you think, that tiny polyp gave me so much trouble I’m so glad I went ahead and had my Gallbladder removed. Poor Iain.
After the talk the weather was so nice that I felt it would be a crime not to stop for an ice cream, so I stopped right by the large advertisement for the Book Festival that you can see at the top of this blog post. I had a feeling that I should wander on a bit and find somewhere that sold S. Lucas ice-cream, but there was no certainty that I’d find this wonderful childhood favourite which we used to eat in Musselburgh. So I settled for an ice-cream van at this spot, I fancied a chocolate wafer, a Scottish ice cream delight but was a bit disappointed to find that they’d run out, so I had to settle for a humble ice cream cone! Still it was very tasty and I lapped it all up. Of course, the inevitable happened I found a place along in the gardens that sold S. Lucas ice-cream, too late, I should have listened to that psychic voice telling me to wait! I couldn’t really justify buying another ice-cream so soon after the last!
As I ambled my way along Princess Street gardens taking in the sights I came upon the magnificent flower clock, this is a must see if you’re ever in Edinburgh, it is really pretty, especially on a sunny day. The floral clock can be found half way down the stairs into the gardens across from the National Galleries, at the foot of the Mound, commissioned in 1903, it was the first of its kind in the world. Oh, and amazingly it tells the correct time in flowers! How cool is that! Unfortunately my photographs could have been a bit better, there were a few shadows lurking about but still it does give you an idea of how lovely it is. I like how this wonderful display of flowers celebrates Books, Words and Ideas. Of course Edinburgh, my old home town, is the first UNESCO City of Literature in the world, and deservedly so.
So it was time to say farewell to Edinburgh until the next time. Time to go home and see my hubby and my daughters!
I do hope you have enjoyed all of my Edinburgh posts, I have bombarded you with so many of them but my excuse is simply this, I used to live in Edinburgh, I grew up and had many memorable teenage years there.
A fantastic motto to live your life by, Martin Creed’s message: Everything Is Going To Be Alright. Keep positive folks…. Yes, Everything is alright, my mum is doing really well after her operation, I’m so pleased, and relieved. She’s such a strong lady, I’m in awe of her really I am. My brother mentioned that he thought he’d have to wheel her out of the hospital after her operation but no my mum was up on her feet telling the nurses she wanted to go home! Amazing!
I thought I’d share with you this visit to the Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art. It was one of the highlights of my trip to Edinburgh as I got a chance to go out with my mum, just the two of us, which was a treat in itself. She is still a bit delicate after her operation, no dancing for a while yet, so we had a coffee and a chat in the café and afterwards I did a super fast tour, while she read a book and had a well deserved rest.
I always like to pop into these two art galleries when I’m in Edinburgh. This time I just managed to go to Gallery One, but that’s alright as Gallery One is my favourite, it’s always full of inspiring art, has a lovely shop, and a coffee shop too. It is well worth a visit if you are ever in Edinburgh. Currently there is an exhibition of Roy Lichtenstein’s work at Gallery One, as part of Reflections, which is on until 10th January 2016 so still plenty time to see this free exhibition. The gallery is located at 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR, and is easily accessible via bus.
These images caught my eye as I went up the stairs, I liked the idea of looking through the window panes and seeing the view divided into six panes of awesomeness! So I nipped down to the café and told my mum that I wanted to take some photos, and then I popped up the stairs to snap these two images. Yes, I was running around that gallery like a sprinter. We were on a tight time frame, it really was a flying visit, as I was going out later in the day to the …….. yes you guessed it, the Book Festival.
Here’s another view of the same spot from the outside, with a Miró sculpture in the foreground.
Oh and on the way out…. I came face to face with the Sunken Statue, on the way to….. the bus stop!
Kind of sinister isn’t it? This is what happens to you if you spend too much time in art galleries you sink into the concrete of life and partially disappear! That unsuspecting lady and her child making their way out of the gallery better watch out, they’re heading for a Doctor Who moment if you ask me, they’re following the straight line to oblivion! Poor unsuspecting fools. Yes, the sunken statue doesn’t look too happy does he? Can’t blame him, whatever has happened to his nipples? They look hammered in. Must be the shock, poor chap!!