Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Whistling Tortoise

This morning, Mr Life and I went to a splendid shop called "The Whistling Tortoise" - I've no idea what's behind the name but it sells more disability aids than I imagined existed - for example, a no-hands device to help you smoke your cigarette. That's a bit sad, don't you think? Anyway, we bought an adjustable thing to prop Mum up in bed (when she gets home) and an over-bed table/tray. Then we went for a walk round Stockbridge in lovely sunshine (sun two days running!). I don't know about you, but I often imagine what it must be like to live somewhere else: for example, I wouldn't enjoy having just a small flagged front garden but the above house obviously contains a keen gardener who crams as many pots into it as he/she can.

This is the area known as The Colonies. It's quite sweet, but not built for cars. Also, it's near the Water of Leith and of recent years, in the funny weather we've been having, it sometimes floods, which happened a week or two ago. You can see sandbags in the shadow on the right.

This is where they're trying to stop the flooding by building a big embankment which narrows the river. It doesn't seem logical to me - you'd think the river, if narrower, would be fuller - but according to Mr Life this will make the water scour the bottom of the river and thus make it deeper. Who knew? Well, someone, obviously. If they're right. Anyway, it wasn't finished in time to prevent the recent floods, alas.

It's a pity about cars, isn't it? This is a nice (and expensive) terrace of Georgian houses but it must be difficult to park outside your house and the cars don't really improve the view. I tend to think that cars should be banned from cities.

Not our car, of course.


  1. I do agree about cars outside older buildings. I often try to hide cars by taking photos from behind a well placed tree or shrub, and then I can pretend that it is still 1860 and a hansom cab is about to trot around the corner.

    "The Whistling Tortoise" sounds a very upbeat name for the disability shop , but maybe they are trying to help people achieve near impossible tasks and whistling is presumably impossible for a tortoise....? It would be hard to purse lips and emit a whistle with a tortoise mouth !

    Hoping that all is going well with preparations for your Mum`s homecoming.

  2. Perhaps there could be a convenient but invisible underground car park to keep the streetscape intact? My goodness the things you find that you didn't know you needed.

  3. Nor mine. Although we travelled by train today which was good for filling a school-less day.

  4. There's a big increase in car crowding in the 10 years since I left Portobello. When I were a lass most of our neighbors had one car, some had none, TWO CARS was pretty shocking and decadent. Now the norm is 2-car households, and many people in terraces have no garage or parking space off the street. Some take the drastic step of turning their front gardens into parking lots, much to my Mum's dismay.

    Of course I now live in car-centric California, in a city with atrocious public transport infrastructure, and we are a two-person, two-cat THREE VEHICLE household. A car each and Mr Riveter's motorcycle. Neither of the cats has a driving license. I won't try to teach them to ride a motorcycle even if it might make the third vehicle seem more justified.

    Some people here have a newer car they treasure, and a run down "beater" they use to commute, to save wear and tear on the nicer one. Mind boggling.

  5. You're too funny. You have mass transit there, so I would think it might be rather easy to abandon your car altogether. Well, except if you have purchased something heavy. Then it's a pain. Anyway, I always imagine living somewhere else. Mostly where you live!

  6. Was there a tortoise? If so was it whistling?
    Maybe the owners think a tortoise has a speed walking disability and because they have not been heard whistling have a disability there too....otherwise the name is just to make one chuckle.
    We have far more cars here per head of pop than you do but we don't have much public transport.
    I would not care to live anywhere that concrete looking...my soul need trees and flowers and green please.

  7. I'd love to live in the inner-city and not have a car - it's pretty essential here unfortunately. The shop sounds good, we too have a good local shop selling disability aids but the prices astound me - we've just had to buy an adjustable bed and chair and we could have bought a whole room full of furniture for the same cost.

  8. You'd get tired of the sunshine and heat, I'm so looking forward to fall when I can get out in the garden again.

  9. Agree with you about cars. They look incongruous outside a row of Georgian or Victorian houses. Bring back the horse and cart, I say.

  10. Perhaps the shop name is about going (slowly) about, and being cheerful with it, in spite of a disability?
    I often feel like that!

  11. It's a sad fact of living in this timeframe, that most of us depend on our cars. My family of two have four vehicles, and I have told the MOTH that once he retires, it will be down to two. Four lots of registration and insurance is NOT affordable on a pension!

  12. If people were banned from cities, they'd be much nicer, too. Quiet, peaceful ... and there'd be no cars!