Thursday, September 22, 2016

What one does in the retired life

I'm still trying to pretend it's not autumn, though today is the Autumn Equinox. But look: flowers in the garden. (Yes, all right, the one below is Sedum "Autumn Joy".)

The other day, Daughter 1, Son-in-Law 1 and I went with the children to the recently reopened Dalkeith Country Park. It was very enjoyable, though I wouldn't have liked to go there with fewer than three adults per two children: two to crawl after the children into the various tree houses and other structures into which they alarmingly disappear, and one to hold the bags and coats. This last person was generally me, I'm happy to report, though I did at one point have to scramble up this thing to get to the same level as everyone else:

As well as the alarming structures such as this tree house below - which actually had several storeys and the capacity to keep the children out of sight for a good ten minutes, argh,

there are also lots of smaller bits of play equipment such as this, below - much less stressful for the onlooker.

We were there for five hours (and it only costs £1 per child!) and the children were reluctant to leave, but then on the way out....

- well, to go back a bit, on the way in you have to cross this bridge and you can see this mesh tunnel affair that goes under the bridge and up the other side. The drop below, into the river, is about 30 feet. Grandson, who like his granny is a generally cautious soul, wisely decided that he wouldn't risk his life by crawling through it, as many other more foolhardy children were doing.

But then, as we crossed the bridge to go home...

he became braver. He went through it seven or eight times. Impressive, but bonkers. Granddaughter would have been game to have a go, but you had to be six years old to do it. (Grandson is actually five... .) It would be impossible, or at least very difficult, for an adult to go in to rescue a stuck child, though possibly the slender SIL 1 might have managed. However, this wouldn't be fun. Happily, no one got stuck and the tunnel seemed extremely popular among the children at the park (who clearly have no sense of self-preservation).

Then on Tuesday we went up to see Granddaughter M. I don't think Son wants me to show pictures of her so you'll have to take my word that she's beautiful. We took her for two walks and I got lots of cuddles. But then we had to leave her behind.

Yesterday Mr L and I went to see an exhibition, mainly of paintings by Charles Daubigny. I can't say I'd more than vaguely heard of Daubigny, but the exhibition was demonstrating his influence on Monet and Van Gogh, which does appear to be considerable. I'm not a huge Impressionist fan, but I thought Daubigny was jolly good. (I'm sure he'd be relieved to hear this.) His depictions of light are wonderful without being too blobby. (A career as an art critic was probably never going to be mine.) On the way in, we saw this girl in a white dress sitting on the grass in Princes Street Gardens, being photographed with her dress pooled around her. I thought at first that she was a bride, but if she was, none of the rest of the wedding party was anywhere near, so I suppose it must have been a fashion photo-shoot. (Why does there appear to be an advert for garden sheds at the right side of my photo????)

Afterwards we sat having coffee and looking out at the gardens and at this couple who were also admiring the view.

It must be admitted that some of the leaves were turning just a teeny bit yellow... .


  1. That all looks wonderful! I love that under-bridge tunnel (not for myself obviously, even if wide enough) - it is just the kind of thing the boys would like. Crazy.

  2. I'm a bit claustrophobic, so I wouldn't enjoy the tunnel much. I will be retired next year, but have no grandchildren, thus I will need to find other pursuits.

  3. Could it say "Gallery Shop Open" rather than "Garden Sheds"?

  4. You make retirement sound wonderful! I'd almost be willing to suffer your winters just to have all those beautiful places nearby to visit.....almost.

  5. Great fun! Can't wait till my wee grandson can go places like that.
    Down here we are having constant rain...spoiling the last of the daffodils . My flowering cherries are just out so I hope the flower last a few days.

  6. Looking at all your photos and adventures with the grandchildren give me something to look forward to. My little (only) grandson is just over a year, so we are not ready for adventures like this. But you DO give me good ideas of things to look for!
    I enjoyed your photos of Princess Street gardens. We will be in Edinburgh on Oct. 1, so I hope there is some color, but not all the trees have turned. They can be as pretty as the flowers!

  7. What a fun place for children. The tunnel under the bridge is genius and I know my grandsons would have made many trips through, too. Playing with grandchildren is one of the best perks of retirement!

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  9. I know it's up to Son of course but am very sad not to be able to "meet" the latest of your lovely grandchildren. We'll have to rely upon your word pictures instead

    Lesley xx