Monday, November 19, 2012

The sea, the sea

This is Auntie Daughter 2 and Grandson by the sea yesterday in Joppa, the eastern suburb of Edinburgh where we go to church. What's he looking at?

This! The tractor that goes along the beach every morning removing any rubbish and smoothing the sand. Grandson is a great fan of vehicles. I think he must be a boy.

This is the same sea, but west of Edinburgh, ie up river (it's a tidal estuary) at South Queensferry, where I went today to visit a friend. You can see the famous Forth Bridge.


This is the main street, built before the days of cars.

The bridge is very much a presence in the town. Even where the shoreline has buildings along it, you catch glimpses in gaps between them. My friend's house is higher up the hill and her kitchen window looks straight out on it. I'm not sure whether it was thought beautiful in its early days but somehow we're so used to it that it's thought of as an attractive rather than blotlike.

At the bus stop on the way home, a chap asked me what the fare was to Edinburgh. I didn't know because, as an over-60, I get free bus fares now. I detected a slight foreign accent so I thought I should be friendly to offset the uselessness of my fare knowledge. "Where are you from?" I asked.

He frowned slightly. "Here, for 25 years," he said. (It seemed strange to me that his bus knowledge was nevertheless so insufficient, but I let it pass.) "I have another home in Warsaw," he added. "I commute."

"That's a long commute," I said.

"I have another in New York. That's even further," he said. And the bus arrived and we got on. He went upstairs and I sat downstairs.

South Queensferry, Warsaw and New York. I bet that's unique. I had a lot of questions in my mind but we'll never know the answers now.


  1. We drove right along those streets last Easter! What a cosmopolitan life that gentleman doth live. I think it makes me grateful for the two square miles within which I live and move and have my being!

  2. Homes in Scotland, Poland and New York and he's taking a bus? Eccentric millionaire?

    I love the pictures of those narrow streets and old buildings. Here in North Carolina, if it's old, tear it down. The cars can't get down the street? Widen the streets and tear down the buildings. The mindset . . .

  3. Thank you for the Bridge pictures! Spent quite a lot of my childhood and teen years crossing the Forth by the ferry, somehow the bridge was never quite as exciting even though Uncle Tom worked for the one of the civil engineering companies that built it!

  4. International man of mystery.

  5. His bodyguard/chauffeur must have Sundays off. You're lucky he didn't tell you more... It could have been hazardous to your health.

  6. On the outskirts of South Queensferry is a factory that used to belong to Hewlett Packard. It was sold to a firm called Agilent who later moved their office elsewhere (Edinburgh Park) and the factory site is being redeveloped. They also have offices in New York and Warsaw (and many other places) so it may be that your mystery man works for them. Or not.

  7. Perhaps you have an engineer in the making.
    When one of my nephews was about three, his mother pointed out a JCB as they were driving. He was quite scathing. "That's not a JCB. That's a Drott!"
    Now, he designs heavy agricultural machines for a living!

  8. Love Karen's comments about an eccentric millionaire, and widening streets so cars can travel along them!
    I greatly enjoy your photos of Edinburgh and surrounding areas. As you say to me, you'll never get to Australia, likewise I'll never get to Scotland, so armchair travelling via blogs is the next best thing!