Tuesday, 9 February 2016

A Rather Blustery Day.

Okay wind, I'm bored of you now. Not only have you been causing absolute mayhem all over the country for weeks now, you're also going to be following me by hitting England while I'm there over the next week. Please, go away. You're wrecking my hair.

Sundays are fairly boring, let's be honest. I usually spend the entire day lying around in bed, but this past Sunday was much better than usual. I started the day off by meeting a really cool and interesting girl, and taking her amazing dog for a walk. It sounds pretty weird, but I'm going to be visiting this dog and 'borrowing' it once a week from now on, in the hopes that it'll get me out and about more, and also just cause she's cute as heck. More about that soon, I'm sure!

After that I met up with my brother and my husband, and we went for 'a drive'. All three of us are unbelievably indecisive, which I know is intensely irritating, so we were just drifting around the city in the rain at first. We ended up in Morningside, so we decided to pop along and visit one of the weirder things in that part of town...

Hidden away behind Morningside Road is a small side street that is home to Edinburgh's Wild West. There was a furniture shop here that specialised in American Southwestern style goodies, so the owner recreated the scenes from many cowboy movies, in order to give the area some ambiance (and promote the store, I suppose!) There were lots of other units rented out to artists and the like, but sadly the Wild West is now looking slightly down on it's luck, and most of the original detailing is gone. Still, it's great for a quick visit if you're passing by, as I didn't even know it existed till a few months ago and I've lived in Edinburgh for 26 years!

Our next stop was out at the Pentland hills. I absolutely love Edinburgh for many reasons, and one of them is having these hills on your doorstep. I used to have a beautiful view of them from my bedroom at my dad's house, and I love the fact that the city is so small that you can escape to 'countryside' relatively easily. I don't take enough advantage of them, although Sunday probably wasn't the day to start. 

The wind. I can't actually describe how bad it was up these hills. At one point, Jamie and I were clinging to each other to try and stay upright and get up the (very small) slope we were climbing. Admittedly, this may just have been him being nice, seeing as approximately 30 seconds after we arrived he turned around to see me lying flat on the ground, fully face down in the gravel, because I'm an idiot who falls over all the time. I hadn't even actually made it through the gate onto the hillside, that's how bad I am. He was probably just making sure I didn't wander off onto the nearby military firing range...
Photo credit: Scotstarvit.
We'd braved our lives climbed a very short distance to go have a look at another feature I had no idea existed - Castlelaw Hill Fort. As you can see, the fort consists of three concentric rings of defensive ramparts and ditches. This fort is over 2000 years old, and from the site both Traprain Law and North Berwick Law, both significant centres of interest in the Iron Age, are visible. The best part of the fort to visit now though is the souterrain, or earth house.

The souterrain consists of a 20 metre long passageway, now fully equipped with concrete walls and ceilings, which also feature glass panels to let some light in. It's hard to picture this as it would've been, dark and (I assume) a lot less spacious, but it did offer us a lot of shelter from the bloody hurricane outside, so it makes a lot of sense that the earth house was used to store grain for the people living in the fort.

Just off the main passage, there is a small opening leading into the main chamber of the souterrain. After a bit of persuasion, I managed to crawl through without falling into the puddle - go me! It's strange how big this whole earth house is, I may only be 5'2" but I was quite relieved that it was so spacious, as - shocker - I get terrible claustrophobia. The idea of freaking out and that tiny crawl-space being the only way out isn't ideal. 

Oh, and just to continue my winning streak, on the way back out of the chamber I slammed my head against the large stone holding up the arch. Excellent.

Later on we met up with Jamie's boyfriend Jason, and travelled down to Musselburgh. We are all big fans of Luca's ice cream (and particularly their hot chocolate fudge sauce) but we felt we really had to earn a treat like that by going for a wander. Jamie told us about this "really cool place" we should go see, so we trekked over a massive playing field of mud in very inappropriate footwear in order to look at... a pond. 

Okay, that's unfair! Levenhall Links is a very interesting area for birdlife and wildlife, and I'm sure if there was even the remotest possibility of sunshine and warmth it'd be lovely. As it was, we got to the boating pond before getting distracted by the Cheltenham Trials going on at Musselburgh Racecourse. We decided to put a little bet on (despite knowing nothing about racing or horses) and headed over to watch from the outskirts of the course. My horse came 3rd! The boys magically managed to pick the last, second last and third last horses between them. That's talent.

We finished our day off with a fantastic meal, and those 'well-deserved' ice creams at Luca's. All in all a very successful day.

What do you get up to on Sundays? Are you lazy like me, or do you like to get outdoors?


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