Sunday, 4 September 2016

Finding Haddington

So, as many of my loyal readers know, I set off to Edinburgh in search of Haddington because I’ve set my prequel Palindrome there.  You will be pleased to know that after a bit of argy bargy (namely exploring the delights of Edinburgh) I did indeed find Haddington.

Along the way I also found Edinburgh Old Town – a place I now love as much as I love parts of Italy.  I vow to return to this part of the world once I’ve learnt how to speak Gallic so that I may more easily commune with the inhabitants of this fair city.  What the heck, I’ll come back even if I don’t master a single syllable of Gallic.

Yes, Arthur's Seat is up there
 in the distance
I pretended to climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat.  Don’t tell anyone please, I don’t want half the world to know this fact.  Urged by Sheffield best buddy, I went on board my first ever city tour bus.  In all my travelling adventures since I first discovered the art of travel in my early twenties, I’ve never done this activity.  But the commentary by the guides was so entertaining that I did it twice and also because the ticket was valid for 24 hours so why the hell not my lovely Sheffield bud and I reasoned.

Tempted by the look of the newly added wing to the Museum of Scotland, we ventured into its dim halls in search of how Scotland began.  There were Picts and Celts and Romans and Vikings. Then there was woodworking and stone working and weaving and…   Well, I think you get the idea.  I very much wished I’d studied archaeology or anthropology at university rather than English literature but only for the very briefest of moments.

Pangs of hunger forced us beyond the new wing to the original museum buildings and here we found a delight of colour and sound and a glass roof one would expect to find on the tropical greenhouse at Kew Gardens and a catacomb brasserie which served a spinach and potato soup worth dying for.

My one regret is that in the Old Town, I haven’t explored as many closes (alley ways) leading to amazing squares or walkways with vistas of the New Town below as I’d have liked to.  I feel this merely gives me the excuse to return in the future.  Best Sheffield bud is very willing in this possible venture so I will not be alone.

But wait, what about Haddington I hear you ask.  Well, the archive department was closed on the day we ventured there but a delightful lady who runs the museum gave me a very useful card with the number and email of a research facility provided by the local history department.  So, if I think of any burning questions I can simply contact them and hey presto, problem solved.  I took some photos of bits of the town but was aching to get back to Edinburgh to explore it further.  So that was exactly what we did.

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