Dorms

Sep. 10th, 2009 11:41 pm

The dorm here is quite interesting. The personality changes very noticeably as people move in and out.
The number of people using computers, how early you get up, when lights are turned on or off, etc. I suspect that a psychology student could get a full disertation out of it.

Today

Sep. 10th, 2009 06:59 pm
Today, I have done little.

Breakfast was the same as yesterday, but for some reason it didn't seem quite so special. On the way into Edinburgh, I passed a woman's shoe that was lying on the ground, or rather on a white slab. I suspect that someone lost it last last night, and some passer by thought that it would be fun to place it on the slab as if it was a piece of art. It actually looked quite good, and I have a few photos to upload later. On the way home tonight, the shoes had been moved off of the slab, and was now on the grass some way away.

After breakfast, I started off by visiting the Museum on the Mound, which is basically HBOS banks personal headquarters and museum. Not bad, but small. There appear to be a lot of small museums in this area.

After this, I just wandered around the "normal" areas of Edinburgh. This was partly just to look around, and partly to find and have a look at a shop that does plus size boots.

After that, I wondered a bit more, popping into a few interesting shops, including the local comic shop. While it wasn't the worst of all comic shops, it was less than inviting.
I then dropped back into the hat shop to try on a few hats and possibly buy one or two. Unfortunately, they either didn't have the ones I liked from their website, or they were for a smaller size head. :(

However, they did have a couple of nice hats that I am very tempted by. I can't describe them, but one was a sort of day hat (a simple black with a red ribbon with 'side' bits), while the other was a bit more stylish and "evening" wear type (a bit like a tilted top hat with feathers). I am so, so tempted by the first.

I was planning to visit a comedy show tonight, but the website for booking tickets requires you to create an account before you can buy them, and it's probably not worth it. I might go past tomorrow, and see if I can get a ticket on the door.
Now I'm off to find some food - probably Japanese, as that restaurant is reasonably close.

Yesterday

Sep. 10th, 2009 06:15 pm
What did I do yesterday?
According to twitter, I basically walked the Royal Mile, which actually takes more effort than you would expect.
I started with breakfast at a place called "Peter's yard", where I had the "Breakfast Basket", which, despite the name, does not come in a basket. What you get is a plate with 3 big chunks of bread, some sort of crispbread, some sliced cheese and some fruit conserves. Delicious, but I'm not sure what you're meant to do with the cheese.
After this, I headed off to the Royal Mile, and started walking down the hill.
I managed to find the Writers Museum, after realising that the map was quite wrong. The museum was OK, but it had one of those circular, stone stairs that scare the life out of me, and it took a lot of effort to get down.
Next was St Giles cathedral, which was a cathedral - you can tell that this sort of thing doesn't interest me much.
As I continued down the road, I got caught by a street magician doing the standard tricks with 3 cups and balls, though they were well done, and he had the patter down quite well. At the end, I got slightly confused about the getting money out of the crowd bit, and threw a pound in his hat before he was ready :).
The Museum of childhood was quite good, with all sorts of toys that I remembered from my childhood, and a lot of older ones.
Next were the "People Story" and "Museum of Edinburgh", which were pretty much as you would expect. The major thing about the Museum of Edinburgh was that the floors were incredibly creaky.
Reaching the end of the Royal Mile, I briefly considering going into the Scottish Parliament, but decided not to.
The Palace of Holyrood wasn't bad, though I went through it a bit quickly as it was approaching closing time, and I had also purchased tickets for the Queens Gallery.
The Queens Gallery had a show on called "Conversation Pieces", which is basically groups of people having conversations.
They were actually very interesting, and much better than the palace. I'm actually tempted to try to track down one of the pictures - a piece by Landseer called Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

After I finished with the castle, I started back down the Royal Mile. The first interesting thing I encountered was the camera obscura. Despite this sort of being deprecated on AFP, I went in. As the weather was bad and camera obscura's don't work too well on inclement weather, I got a discount. The CO itself actually worked quite well and was interesting. In addition, they had a museum of optical toys, etc that was also worth the price. The only problem was the long climb to the top and then back down again.
After this, I had a quick look at the wool mill exhibition, which was a bit of a disappointment.
I then decided to try to find fabhatrix, which wasn't that hard. I had done a bit of wandering earlier, and missed the hat shop by a simple corner. They had a nice selection of hats, and while I didn't buy any this time, I think I will go back and buy a couple. There were a variety of hats there - some very close one ls that remind me of the sort of thing that flappers would wear, and some that were more like top hats. I think I am in love.
Dinner was at Monster Mash again, but I had the steak and kidney pie, which was frankly disappointing.

Got up

Sep. 8th, 2009 01:24 pm

There appeared to be a game of chicken in the dorm, relating as to who would be the first to get up. I didn't lose.
After getting up, I showered and headed out to find breakfast, but didn't find the cafe I wanted so carried on walking to the tourist information to pick up some leaflets.
After that I decided to walk half the royal mile to the castle, bit got intercepted by a cafe doing breakfast of sausage, bacon, haggis, potato scone, etc.
After breakfast, completed walk to castle. Not bad as castles go and I just managed to catch the one o'clock gun, but the weather is wet and windy, so the entire world looks very grey.

After dinner, on the way back to the hostel, I was acosted by a young lady who wanted to know the way to somewhere. After saying that I did not know, I remembered the map thing on this, and with some work, we found her address. Further along, I passed some people playing with fire poi, just a they put them out.

Dinner

Sep. 7th, 2009 09:10 pm

Have found dinner - lamb sausage, mash with green bits and onion gravy. Om nom nom nom.

After arriving at the railway station, I decided to walk to the hostel. Generally a good idea, except that the instructions provided for people new to the area assume a certain amount of knowledge of the area. With the aid of google maps, I was able to locate the right starting point for following the map and started the walk. It wasn't to bad a walk except for the thing I think I am going to have to get used to - this is not East Anglia, and has a lot of up and down bits. Tiring, but I expect the exercise was good for me.
Checking in was easy, except for a previously unmentioned credit card surcharge.
I am in a six person dorm, and there are four other people here. At least two of them are university students. though I don't know if this is a permanent stay or just while accomodation becomes available.
I think it's time to find food and shower gel, the one thing I forgot to pack.

Hats

Sep. 7th, 2009 08:09 pm

One thing I did not expect to be doing up here in Edinburgh was to be buying hats. However, I have discovered a fabulous looking hat shop that may cost me money and trouble in carrying the hats home.

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Simon Callan

September 2014

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