Up in town on Friday. I really enjoy Edinburgh's multi layered old town so happily strolled down into the Grassmarket for lunch at Blackcherry, a tiny wee caff. from there, back up towards Lothian Road, via some proper old-fashioned secondhand book shops. Found a water colour manual and a book by Eric Newby called "Slowly Down The Ganges". Too many years ago I read his "A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush" and I'm looking forward to travelling with him once more. You couldn't wish for a better companion. I also spotted a Collins guide to eggs and baby birds which I thought the Rangers might like. They've since told me that these old Collins hardbacks are quite valuable, so that's a bonus. By this time I felt in need of a rest, so I went to the nearby Filmhouse and saw "Invictus".
Now, I've had a crush on Clint Eastwood since Wagon Train, so I may be biased, but this film deserves all the awards it will surely receive. Great performances by everyone, a really relevant story and a soundtrack that'll knock your socks off. I came out singing.
On Saturday I had a very different walk; getting lost in misty woodland was like entering the Twilight Zone. I saw a wonderful grove of sycamores, eleven trunks in a circle which were originally one old tree. Standing in the centre I couldn't quite touch them, and thought what a nice wee house you could make. Nearby a little snowmelt stream burbled over the stones. I wandered on, eventually, and following a line of fresh molehills I found myself back at the path we call Cardiac Brae.
The sight of the moles on the move reminded me that Spring was on the way, so since then I've been clearing away the debris, potting up seedlings and generally zhushing the place up. No doubt Winter won't let go without a struggle, but it is the beginning of the end.