It does feel as if Spring is arriving at the right time this year and after the last two Winters, I can really make no complaint about this one. So I'll start this little blog of odds and ends that didn't make it into a blog all on their own with a quick shot of the crocuses coming up in Kirkcudbright. I must have shown you this before - they do have a rather good display.
I've been to the chambered tombs at Cairnholy on several occasion, so just a couple of pictures of them here. I bumped into an American chap, who spends a lot of time here, who pointed out a few cup and ring markings on Cairnholy I (below), and we had quite a natter about them. The markings are difficult to see in the pictures so here's just a basic shot of the cairn.
I find Cairnholy I more interesting and in the flesh looks better but for some reason Cairnholy II seems to be more photogenic and makes many more appearances in tourist brochures.
Well here we are back in Edinburgh. The buses on the North Bridge and just outside the station seemed particularly colourful.
Just round the back of the Royal Scottish Academy building on the mound (also by William Playfair who built the Edinburgh city observatory two blogs ago) is this. It's called Kandylaki (Shrine to abandoned christmas trees) by Juliana Capes. As far as I can see a kandylaki is a little roadside shrine quite common in Greece - I saw quite a few in Poland too last year.
This chap has appeared in a little grove in the Botanical Gardens. Though without any labels that we could find, it is Thomas Houseago's Untitled (Lumpy figure) from 2009. Back in November in my Edinburgh Mostly blog, I featured a sculpture I didn't know the origin of. Turns out this is also by Thomas Houseago and is called Rattlesnake figure (aluminium) - the botanic gardens say it is made of bronze on their website and in reality looks a lot like wood - they're trying to confuse me I see. There are a few others by Mr Houseago at the gardens.
Swans on a pond in the gardens
More swans on a pond in the Stockbridge area.
They do rather blow the graceful image when they're out of the water with those big rubbery feet. it's a bit like wearing Doc Martins with a wedding dress.
Just as we were loosing the light for the day we passed this grand entrance. There is no longer a market on the other side, just a street of houses, but the gate remains.
Clarinda was buried just round the corner from the tearoom in the Graveyard of Canongate Kirk, so we popped in to find her.
In 1782 Nancy had become separated from her husband due to cruelty and was surprisingly well educated for a woman of her time. When Burns became the toast of Edinburgh in 1787 she was determined to meet him. There was quite a spark between the two, leading to a lengthy correspondence. Unfortunately Nancy and Robert had slightly different ideas about how the relationship should continue. Burns would rather it was a bit earthier and eventually he found what he wanted below stairs - Nancy's servant Jenny Clow had a child to him in 1888.
Nancy never forgot Burns and in 1831, 35 years after his death, wrote "This day I can never forget. Parted with Burns, in the year 1791, never more to meet in this world. Oh, may we meet in Heaven!"
This poor wee bear was lost round the back of the station - at least he's still got a smile on his face.
Musically a good month as I've been coming to expect of late. At the folk club in Dumfries there was a fine evening of fiddle music and the occasional song from Carol Anderson and Rosie Lindsay followed by a session for an hour or two and of course the Old Wrinkly session in the Coach and Horses the day before (it's the official name of the session - mainly because being a weekday afternoon it mainly attracts retired people (and me)).
Musical highlight of the month though goes to Fairport Convention at the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh (with Kieran Goss again - he supported Eddi Reader there last year). The Queens Hall have their own Youtube channel so there's a bit of Fairport from the very concert we were at here.
Back in the Botanics, here's another unlabelled sculpture.
I've no trouble identifying this one though - it's an Andy Goldsworthy. Which seems a good place to finish as he is going to be the subject of my next blog in a couple of days time.