Capitalism with a Capital ‘C’.

Today was about attempting to fulfill my limited quota of X-mas shopping for dear friends, a very hard or easy thing to do in Edinburgh depending on what resources one has. SO many cool things to purchase, to own, and to have…to fondle and collect, to beam about and be envious of. A Sea of Stuff. Water, water everywhere – and not a drop to drink. So I had to settle for far less than I wanted. But isn’t that the way of it?

Thanks to a brilliant bike ride with AnonymousSeth down the Waters of Leith and into Stockbridge the other day, I thought I’d grab my camera to capture some of the scenes we had previously whizzed past, and do a bit of present-purchasing as well. Of course I was distracted by many wonderful things along the way…and seeing as it starts to get dark around 3:30 these days, most of the light time was spent navigating New Town and snapping photos along the bike path.

After capturing enough idyllic little visions to appease my sense of fabricated permanency, I headed back downtown to grab some stuff, surely a more appropriate venture for darker skies. Of course Princes Street was a madhouse, yet I still managed to be accosted by Dinky amidst the deluge of shoppers and we chatted and ate hot, roasted chestnuts and weaved our way through the teeming masses. I really don’t know that many people out here, so to run into one of the few in such a river of heads is impressive, to say the least – and quite fortuitous considering he’s leaving for home in just a couple of days. Good luck to the man; he’ll surely be missed. And if you’ve never had fresh, sweet chestnuts before – you’re missing perhaps the greatest thing in the world. I’m hooked after one time, and I’m going to be following around the guy with the little cart until he capitulates and gives me the entirety of his ambrosial stash.

The first day of shopping finished quickly, which soon gave way to a late showing of Return of the King, and I’m not even to *begin* to say how absolutely amazing this film is. Just go. Right now. No spoilers for anyone here, but you can expect me to blabber on about what it did to me sometime soon. Finally, thank you thank you to the boys at the old Gamescape store for taking care of me this X-mas. Even in the middle of retail hell, they found a way to ship me a huge box of stuff (for survival purposes, of course) that should arrive shortly after the holiday. I only wish I could have been there to help them out a bit, but I’m proud and pleased that all is going well back at the clubhouse. S’hard to let the baby go sometimes…

A wintery vision of the old Victorian path along the Waters of Leith. Burning piles of leaves down the way hung a soft smoke in the chilly air and filled flaring nostrils with smells of caramel and mesquite.

Just at the other end of the path…the moss was wet and springy and wonderful. I tried to collect enough for a pillow, but there was just no way of carrying it home.

A lovely picture of quaint Dean Village, tucked away on the west side of New Town. I’m totally in love with the architecture and colors of this area of the city. It’s its own little community, isolated yet wholly part of the bigger Edinburgh entity.

Another shot of a Dean Village building through a not-so pearly gate. I took a nose-dive off the bike near here just the other day. Mmm. Gravel tastes good…

My first destination of the evening, sadly underutilized as I was overtaken by spontaneous Christmas cheer. Stockbridge in December.

Sorry for the blurs; I didn’t have my tripod with me. Couldn’t pass it up though, shaky hands and all. The Castle at dusk, lights and jet trails and cars whizzing past. Jaw-dropping in its splendour.

8 Responses to “Capitalism with a Capital ‘C’.”

  1. kratkrat Says:
    December 19th, 2003 at 9:35 pm

    Some comments:
    1) My dad took me to see Return of the King yesterday. GAAA!!! [DROOOL] _LOVED_IT_!!!
    2) Tell the gang back at Gamescape that I say hi. Man, if I miss that place as much as I do, I can only guess at your feelings.
    3) Dean Village is… is… PERFECT!! If you want to fill my mailbox up with pics of that place, I won't complain a peep! THAT is what I think of when I think of Scotland!
    And finally, my friend: Happy Holidays! Though you're far across the pond and upward a bit, many warm thoughts are being sent your way!

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    December 21st, 2003 at 10:18 am

    1) Oh my gods, totally! Please wipe the keyboard now… 🙂
    2) I promise to tell them. Yes, I miss it terribly, but they've been brilliant with me even so far away, and we have some nice plans in the not-too-distant future.
    3) I will be sending more pics your way immediately. Glad you liked it so much.
    And a warm and pleasant Holiday season to you, as well! Thanks for your kind words and I hope your own settling process is coming along at a fine pace. Be well!

  3. Anonymous Says:
    December 19th, 2003 at 10:43 pm

    Photos of Edinburgh
    Thank you for posting them!!!! The shots of Dean Village remind me of a residential enclave in Berkeley called Normandy Village, built I think in the '20s; but yours are the Real Thing that such deliberate quaintness was trying to evoke. You lucky person!!!!
    P.S. No, gravel does *not* taste good. The beauty of your surroundings has induced hallucinations. 🙂

  4. sibelian Says:
    December 20th, 2003 at 3:45 am

    Lovely stuff…
    I *really* like the second shot of the Waters of Leith. Beautifully captures Scotland in Winter, I've never managed to get that wind-swept, green/grey feel. The trees look like respectable old witches, bedraggled grey hair, slightly disapproving, yet natural and ultimately benign. Everythings looks so *serious*!

  5. FunkyPlaid Says:
    December 21st, 2003 at 10:20 am

    Re: Lovely stuff…
    "Respectable old witches," indeed. Well said.
    Edinburgh *is* so serious, isn't she?

  6. original_aj Says:
    December 20th, 2003 at 5:52 am

    Most decent greengrocers will stock chestnuts for roasting at this time of year, if you want to pig out on a budget. Ideally you need an open fire to roast them over. You've got me tempted to dig our barbeque out now…..

  7. FunkyPlaid Says:
    December 21st, 2003 at 10:19 am

    Re: Chestnuts
    Good advice, thanks. If I smell the roasting coming from your neck of the woods, you might hear a-scratchin' at your parlour door…

  8. original_aj Says:
    December 21st, 2003 at 12:54 pm

    I'll let you know if I get some – you'll be welcome.

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