Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Out and about

On Monday we went up town to the rebuilt shopping centre at the east end of Princes Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh. Or - it was the main shopping street. Currently it's quite a sad sight, since there are many empty shops - some having gone to the wall during Covid, and some having notices in their windows saying that they've moved to the St James's Quarter - the new shopping centre above, which has very recently opened.

The shopping centre is ... fine in its way. Smart. But it could be anywhere, couldn't it? (Not that I've been everywhere. But it's very anodyne.) Princes Street, by contrast, has the beautiful view of the Castle and Gardens on one side and could be nowhere but Edinburgh. Really, Edinburgh planners? You think this is a good idea? 

We went to the revamped John Lewis to buy a large cushion but they didn't have any large enough. Then we inspected the fabrics because I think it's (more than) time to retire my 32-year-old kitchen curtains - but there were very few rolls, mainly just samples of sitting-roomy ones on hangers. 

However, before I turn into Old Mrs Total Grump (things ain't what they used to be) here's a photo of the real flowers in the John Lewis coffee room, which is much better than their previously revamped one, in which you had to stand in one queue for a beverage, another for food and a third to pay.  

Their new wall-covering doesn't seem likely to last well, though. (I didn't do this!)

The Edinburgh family is back from down south so we've been having a nice time with the children, for example at the local (to them) playpark yesterday and the local (to us) tram station (with views of trains) today. 

Big Granddaughter and I left the boys to their vehicle-spotting and walked home. She inspected all the gardens along the way, awarding them imaginary grades: a token for making a bit of an effort, a certificate for doing a reasonable job, and then first, second and third prizes for the best three. That's my girl. 



  1. I agree about the shopping centre! I love a good bunch of shops as much as the next person, but that could be anywhere (even Australia :) luckily you have wee ones to refresh your perspective! I think there is a career to be had in garden judging...

  2. Future teacher! Shopping centres(malls?) have little character and as you said, can be anywhere. I prefer the smaller and more unique shops. (but it must be harder for them to stay in business)

  3. It must be so disheartening for those small 'boutique' businesses that just couldn't make it through Covid. New Zealand's lockdown was very brief, especially in comparison to yours, but still, even with big government wage subsidies, quite a number went under.

    On top of the lockdown woes, there are serious supply issues here, as the big container ships can make far more money doing about three trips to and from the US in the time it takes to do one NZ trip. So the containers just aren't getting in, and therefore they're not exporting either. Difficult times. Our son and DIL are planning a (much needed) kitchen renovation and the choice of appliances they can be sure of actually getting is limited. (Get a GRIP I say!! We're safe!!)

  4. I had written a lengthy comment here which was swallowed by Blogger - maybe due to my technological ineptitude or maybe cancelled for being too wander-y and irrelevant. No energy to re-write. Suffice to say I enjoyed reading it.

  5. As it was raining yesterday, I got restless and ventured to our local Mall to just walk. MISTAKE! Everyone and their kids were there. Very few empty shops so that is good, but I saw virtually nothing that I would buy. And walking was difficult as it was so crowded, so I made a note to myself... ONLY go to walk there before stores open! (most shopping malls here open the central doors for people to walk as early as 6am). There used to be a lot of Senior age paeople walking in the mornings, but they closed that off during Covid. I wonder if they have reopened early for walkers? I need to check. I won't go at 6am, but 8:30 is nice.... This is especially good in wintertime when it is too cold and slippery to walk outdoors.

    1. How interesting. I would never go to a mall just to walk! Surely you can't walk very far inside? But then, we have a temperate climate. It's only occasionally too hot or too cold to go for a walk outside.

    2. Edinburgh's new mall isn't (as I understand it - I haven't actually been there yet) actually totally indoors. It has a glass roof and screens at either end to stop the rain lashing in, but I think it's actually open to the fresh air. There are a few like this in London too. It makes for a more pleasant shopping experience on a rainy day, while being cheaper for opperators as they don't have to heat or cool them.

  6. I completely agree about the mall -- I'd so much rather be shopping along beautiful Princes Street with views of the gardens and castle than in a mall which looks like it could be here in my town. And I love the bit about biggest granddaughter grading the gardens -- what a fun walk and discussion the two of you must've had!

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