Thursday, 25 November 2010

Skywatch Friday - gilded morning

The Edinburgh skyline on a gilded morning of frost and sun.

More skies from around the world are at Skywatch Friday.

Updated to say that a touch of illness means I won't be blogging for what will hopefully be a short while.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


On a summer visit to my home village these pillars were a bit of puzzle. We thought they were maybe the supports for a new bridge across the burn. But as this shot from September shows, trees have been planted where a bridge would touch the opposite bank. We have concluded sadly that the pillars are Art.

I may be guilty of the exile's fault of wanting everything to stay just as it was, but I feel rather sad that what was a wild, natural burnside has now been primped and planted up and studded with pointless aluminium pillars.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Ready to turn

All that's missing now are the gondolas, and then the big wheel will be ready to turn.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Big wheel construction

Halfway through November, so of course it must be time to get Edinburgh's Winter Wonderland set up. The Big Wheel was taking shape in Princes Street gardens yesterday afternoon. I wonder where it hibernates all summer?

I would have got a much clearer shot if I'd stood in the middle of the road between traffic light changes, as for my gothic spaceship shot, but even I'm not feel* enough to risk that on Princes Street on a Saturday afternoon.

*Feel: Scots for 'stupid/lacking in common sense'.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Latin or Scots?

New street signs have been put up in my home village. Some of them formalise the affectionate names given to little lanes - many named after local characters. Others refer to local landmarks. Most of them are in Scots.

So this is the hill (brae) leading up to the minister's house (manse). Apparently a very Scottish street name, but 'manse' comes from the Latin word 'mansa', or dwelling. There are two manses at the very top of the hill. The new one, dating from the 1990s, and the old one, built in the early 1800s and now owned by Glen Grant distillery.

But in my childhood this hill was called 'the dominie's brae'. 'Dominie' comes from the Latin 'dominus' - teacher - and the schoolmaster's house stood at the top of the long straight stretch. I don't know why the schoolmaster predominated over the minister, but the name was used by children and old people alike.

I am now conflicted. Manse Brae has a good, solid, Scots ring. But I know it's really The Dominie's Brae.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Skywatch Friday - gothic spaceship

The Scott Monument on Princes Street was described by Bill Bryson as a 'gothic spaceship'. Against a backdrop of exploding contrails this was exactly what it looked like on Saturday morning.

It wasn't easy to get this shot, trying to hold my wee camera steady against a southerly gale. And while standing in the middle of the road between traffic light sequences.

More bloggers risking life and limb for a shot of the sky are at Skywatch Friday.

And an update for Kelly, who asked about the Gaelic pronunciation of 'Bheniamian' (Benjamin), in my post Language lessons. I consulted an expert, and it's pronounced 'Venyamin'.


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