Friday, October 29, 2010

Alone, alone, all, all alone. Well, apart from the cats.

Daughter 2 is off with Mr Life to admire narrow-gauge rail steam trains in Wales. He often goes at this time of year and this year she decided to accompany him so that he wouldn't be lonely. Of course he was delighted, since she's a lovely companion and she's also mildly interested in engines, unlike me. She arrived last night with these flowers and chocolates as a consolation for me, being left alone with the cats. As she came in the door, she sang, "Happy No-Us to you..." etc.

They left early this morning. She took with her the ghost that her sister recently knitted (see earlier blog post). I bought the original ghosts some years ago (well, you have to buy a knitted ghost when you see one, you'll agree) and last Hallowe'en, Daughter 2 commissioned Daughter 1 to produce a replica set. Somehow the situation didn't seem urgent at the time, but spectre-creation has recently taken place. The other one is now finished but not in time to be handed over for the Wales trip. However, this one can preside over Mr and Miss Life's Hallowe'en celebrations. (In fact I imagine that it will constitute the sum total of their Hallowe'en celebrations.)

Some of us had to go to work. However, I enjoyed walking home among the autumn colours. This tree is in the college grounds.

As is this one. The air was mild, if a trifle fast-moving.

We used to have lots of rabbits in the college grounds, too. We more or less had to wade through them to get to the front door. However a new sports hall (of appalling ugliness) is currently being built in the rabbit area - Watership Down 2 - so there are currently fewer bunnies. Here's one, though. Quite cute, really, though not if it was in my garden.

Cotoneaster berries as I walked through the car park of the warehouse next door to the college. Looking for beauty in everything, that's me.

On I walked.

Across the park. Corstorphine Hill in the background.

Looking back towards the Pentland Hills. I can never quite decide whether I love hills or the sea more. We're not far from either here.

The Dower House, which dates from the mid-17th century.

I tried to take a close-up of some yellow rowan berries but it was windy. Quite modern-arty, don't you think? Maybe I should enter it for the Turner Prize.

Then through the grounds of the even more elderly Corstorphine Old Parish Church. I felt positively young in comparison but reflected ruefully that in 30 years, when I'll probably not be around any more, it will look much the same. Hmm.

There it is.

It's bigger than me, too.

All those people, once alive and now dead. I like to be cheery.

And on to the main road. I nearly ended my life even sooner by taking a picture through the traffic of this aptly named Wee Shop. That's the size of it: a door's width. According to the Corstorphine Trust website:

The "Wee Shop" situated in St John’s Road is claimed to be the smallest shop in Scotland. It measures about 40" at its widest point, the front door, then tapers back to about 18". It is about 4’ 6" long.

At one time the premises belonged to the Corstorphine Temperance Society, but ownership passed to the Corstorphine Trust in the 1970s.

A variety of tenants have leased the shop over the years. In the early 1940s it was rented by a Mr Thomson who was a tobacconist and confectioner. Rent was £10 per annum, and the rates were also £10.
Mrs Grundey ran her personal corsetry business* from the shop from 1952 to 1959. A watchmaker, shoemaker and coal merchant have all rented it at some time. It is currently leased by a local firm of solicitors, Messrs Dickson, McNiven and Dunn WS.
* I imagine that fat ladies would find it a bit cramped. But then I suppose even thin ladies might go in feeling reasonably dainty and then immediately get the impression that they were huge. So possibly this was good for business.
And now I'm sitting in a quiet house... it's slightly spooky, since I so seldom am alone at night. But hey, I have my furry friends. Not to say all you cyber chums.
Have a good weekend, everyone.


  1. Lovely pictures again - funnily enough I took a series of pictures on my walk this morning too. Think I've been influenced by previous posts of yours. Enjoy your 'me' time. Zxx

  2. Hi - found you via Slow Lane Life.
    Thank you for showing me your lovely walk home. I always enjoy seeing a slice of daily life in place I've never been with some flora, fauna and history thrown in. I am curious how the solicitors use the Wee Shop - is it just for advertising? And the personal corsetry - ahaha!

  3. Spectre-creation.......I like that!
    Makes me think about getting going on my crochet again. You are right to look for beauty in everything...hope you had a good evening.

  4. Yes, I think it's just for advertising these days. It would probably contravene Health and Safety laws to cram workers in there now!

  5. Great pictures, Isabelle. Like Kate, I immediately wondered how all the solicitors fitted in to the shop - and I love the idea of ladies going there to have their corsets fitted (memories of going with Gran when I was a small child to a lady with a high piled hair style who spoke in hushed tones about lacing and stays.)

  6. ...enjoy your solitude - it always takes me a while to get used to it, then when L gets back I feel like I haven't had enough of it...

  7. Those skies certainly give the impression of impending coolness. The autumn colours are lovely.
    My garden activity for the last couple of days has been to pick ominous looking orange beetles off my kaffir lime tree. But perhaps they are preying on the white flies rather than on the tree? Who knows.

  8. Och, so much to comment on - where to begin?

    The rowan berries. Am sad that they came out blurry (though very artsy) because I'd like to see what my baby rowan tree, Aonghus, will look like when he grows up!

    The graveyard - love, love, love old graveyards.


    Have debated several times planting cotoneaster (and how to say it - "cotton-easter"? "koe-toe-nee-ASSter"?), and now that I've seen your photo I am definitely getting some.

    The wee shop. We have a wine store nearby called "Down the Rabbit Hole" which would rival that place. It's basically a door that opens into a short hallway with a register desk at the end. The left wall is covered with only chair rail molding and above that, mirror. The right wall holds the wine bottles. You have to turn and sidestep down the shop to see the goods (which are lovely). 8-)

  9. Even our local housing estate looked great this morning when I went through it on the bus - it's a mature estate and with so many trees, all different colours. Looks amazing. Really cheers up the usual drabness.

  10. Anonymous4:06 pm

    I so envy you your walks... I need to find a way to walk to my school each day.. rural road, only about 1.5 miles.. I should be able to do that? Hmmm.

  11. Are all those solicitors in there at the same time? If so they must get on very well!

  12. Love the pics, I seem to remember that walk from a while ago?? Still gorgeous and well worth a revisit.

    You have inspired me to get my latest photos onto the computer and post a couple too although I don't have all my lovely programmes to play with. But thanks for inspiring me to make the effort after a long while!

    Lesley x

  13. What fun seeing what you see on your walk home from your school. I love the charm of your buildings.

    Enjoy your alone time! It can be a wonderful time to pamper yourself.

    Hugs to keep the ghosts away!!

  14. Reading your post reminded me of when Ken travelled interstate for the company he worked for, and was away for a week sometimes. It was indeed lonely, even though he phoned me every night, bless his heart. And I didn't have blogger buddies to keep me company back then!
    Lovely photos again. Glad you enjoyed my post about Ben Hur. I've added a link tonight, with better photos.

  15. Some of the firms I worked for when I was a practising lawyer would have crammed about 20 or so trainee solicitors into that shop, I promise you.

  16. What a sweet, thoughtful daughter to bring you, not one, but two bouquets of flowers, plus chocolates! Not a bad consolation. It sounds like a fun trip but I know you'll be more than a wee bit lonely without them.
    There's much beauty along your path homeward. Thanks for always looking for it and sharing it with us.
    Edinburgh is so full of history and lovely old buildings...and those hills! Love the wee shop :)