Edinburgh, Oh Edinburgh, previously the city I had visited with nightclubs reaching far down into the bowels of the earth, sweaty melting pots of loved up late teens, early twenty year old revellers. Emerging, confused and blinking from into the murky winter daylight from the Hedonistic Hades down below. I fail to remember the names of the clubs, there was the Last Drop pub on the Grassmarket, my friend, who was at university there had lived in the middle of what was widely known as the “Pubic Triangle”, 3 late night bars with exotic erotic dancers gyrating on the bars.
To be honest those weekends, 25 years ago or so were a long way from where I am now; well i’ve got a family to be responsible for now, and kids aren’t allowed to set foot in those type of establishments, many, many pubs don’t let kids in at all, more so will if you are eating but as soon as you’re done, you’re out.
This time we stayed with my cousin and her husband, a very successful Scottish Artist; Chris Bushe, check him out he’s brilliant, really thick textual oils on canvas of wild Scottish seascapes and mountains, the essence of the western islands and the highlands. We spent a really lovely 3 days, visiting the modern art galleries where I saw Picassos, Henry Moore sculptures, and many other pieces, don’t ask me who by, I have no clue but really wonderful places to visit and I don’t think the kids hated it, in fact maybe one or two pieces may have piqued their interest, I just hope they remember some of it.
Pictures of pictures are never much cop really, and so feel free to ignore them, I think I prefer a good sculpture, more tactile see, and bigger, I think I like bigger, unless they are a Dali; some of the classic abstract pictures blu takked to the student walls, many an hour spent stoned delving into the pool of swans with reflected elephants, or the “Metamorphosis of Narcissus”, the melting clock. In reality these pieces are tiny, as impressive tiny as the sculptures are large.
The Henry Moore, “Reclining Woman” I think it’s called, brilliant and wouldn’t look out of place in my garden.
We spent the time before lunch telling the kids that we are not going to go to “Ask” Italian or “Pizza Express” those chain restaurants are invariably mediocre, inherently lazy and generic in their decorations, offering a real Italian experience which is obviously bollocks and I guess families are their target demographic, well not this family, the older I become the less tolerant of the vacuous I am. Some folk, including myself, may say I’m becoming really grumpy, not true, I’d just rather spend my time doing different things, if my daughter wants to go to these places with her mates, then thats fine, its better than McDonalds which is a rotten place and equal to masturbation in that its fine for the time its happening but is inherintly unfulfilling 10 minutes after the event. Over Salted Shite.
We visited a wonderful family run Italian, had some beautiful pasta and a bottle of house white, the kids loved it and it was cheaper than the corporate monsters which inhabit the High street, you feel like the money is going to the owners who were working the bar and the floor, thats how it should be.
My boy and I walked the steps and hills of Edinburgh, up the mound and up the Royal Mile towards the castle, not going in, its a lot of money to do so. The sides of the Royal mile bathed in tartan and whisky shops, souvenirs for the tourists, yuk, take some photos and talk, people watch but don’t be afraid to pop your head into the odd record shop, thats a given!