December 16, 2019

9.30 am: Late breakfast. 10.15 am: Onto the cold sunlit streets towards Holyrood and Arthur’s Seat via Greyfriars Kirkyard (again):

We noticed on the upper-wall of a shop overlooking the yard: ‘Harvey’s Furniture Store’. ‘It’s a sign!’, I exclaimed. A faultless deduction on one level:

From there, via a coffee shop that sold a very decent fruit scone, we headed for the Scottish Parliament building. It’s a dreadful piece of architecture, in my opinion; too many ideas, and few of them good. It makes the Senedd look like the Guggenheim Museum:

We began our ascent to the summit of Arthur’s Seat. The gentle track at the outset gave way to a slippery, muddy track, rocky steps, and, at the end, a craggy climb. While not as steep or high as its Welsh sister (Cader Idris), the last leg was the more demanding. But the view from the top …

After a coffee break we explored the Palace of Holyrood (another photography no-go zone). So much of the furniture, painting, tapestry, and silver and ceramic ware was of European origin. The local talent was decidedly tawdry in comparison.

We left the palace via the Abbey, which Louis Daguerre had photographed:

A final evening walk into town to pick-up foodsie things for Christmas. There was a homeless young woman outside a Starbucks. She looked gaunt and pale — like a Victorian waif. The shelters were full. Unless Kimberly could raise £10, she’d be sleeping on the street tonight. I was in a thick coat and already feeling the cold. Me, I was heading for an up-market restaurant with the prospect of a warm bed ahead. The contrast was uncomfortable:

Home, passed the lap-dancing club, which has served as a convenient geographical marker on this trip. There was a bouncer in the doorway:

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December 18, 2019

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