Sunday, March 8, 2009

And Then Came Friday...And Saturday

After the tremendous day I had with Samantha and Scot, I woke up on Friday morning, had breakfast -- and immediately crashed again. Apparently the jet lag, the adrenaline crash, and an oncoming cold finally converged into one day -- and in the midst of this incredible trip, I wound up staying in bed nearly all day. Now what you need to know about this bed is that it was in the middle of the living room of the self-catering studio apartment I had rented for the week. Yes, in the middle of the living room. Actually, that was only at night most of the time. The rest of the time, the bed resided in the wall. I think these were called Murphy beds at one time. Whatever they are called now, a bed that folds up into the wall certainly makes making the bed much easier!

So, after a day of lollygagging, I was determined that Saturday was NOT going to be such a bland day. The first stop of Saturday morning was the K1 Yarn Shop, where they had some really wonderful yarns from Scotland and around the world. I had to have some St. Magnus yarns, a plush mix of angora and wool for some socks that must soon be made. I had also been commissi
oned to purchase yarns for a couple of knitting friends. There is something to be said about starting your morning with an hour or so of fondling soft yarns...

The next order of the day was a trip up to the Royal Mile. My little apartment backed up to Edinburgh Castle, which I could see from the kitchen window. I walked from one end of the High Street (aka the Royal Mile) to the other, then back again. Near the Castle end of the street was a street performer dressed and made up as William Wallace of Braveheart fame. He had the kilt, the furs, and the blue warface on. He was allowing tourists to take pictures with him for a donation to the Leukemia Foundation. I didn't get a photo with him, but he was highly entertaining! With a nod to the movie 300, at one point he declared that "This is not Sparta! This is SCOTLAND!!"

Just down the street, in front of one of the many "all things Scottish" shops on the Mile, a prote
st was happening. One of the animal rights groups was protesting the use of furs for the making of sporrans (those handy man-bags that hang in front of the kilt). Why they were at only one of the shops I never did figure out -- but I did notice the rest of the day how many sporrans are made of fur, real or faux.

My exploration continued with a trip to a pharmacist for some cough drops, all the way down to Holyrood and the Scottish Parliament building, and to the World's End Pub in the middle of the afternoon. This was the Saturday that the Six Nations Rugby Matches began and I found myself there just as the France v. Scotland match began. With some interpretation from Mark and Debbie, a lovely couple from Newcastle area who were up for the weekend, I made a
bit of sense of the game. In short, I discovered that sports sound a lot alike whichever language they are played in. Cheers and moans are pretty much interchangeable. Scotland lost, by the way. It was a grim day at the World's End in those terms. Still, I got my picture made with a painting of Flora MacDonald behind me. For those who may not know, she was the person who smuggled Bonnie Prince Charlie out of the country after his return effort failed. And for my Outlander friends, I never could figure out where Jamie might have hidden Mr. Willoughby and his smuggling operation!

One lost rugby match, one great conversation with Debbie and Mark about church life in their town and the boxer dogs that are part of their family, and two lattes later, it was time to head back to my little flat. I was reminded once again that "peoples is peoples" wherever we are. We may have different languages or accents, but our hearts are much the same.


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