Cake…with Frosting.

I think that I’m finally settling in here, and feeling very much ready to hunker down for the next six weeks and spit out some serious academic shit. I’ve been tremendously enjoying the unbroken DetectiveMode that my work currently affords me, and my dreams have been taking on the countenance of the eighteenth century. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but it goes towards showing that I’m at least on the right track subconsciously.

After five solid months of being in Edinburgh, my thoughts no longer commonly wander towards nostalgia from home, missing friends and pets and fog and sushi. Okay, the sushi-deprivation is still there. But my focus is back, and I think it was having people visit me out here that really dissipated the longing for old days, and the old routine. I would attribute it to my natural Taurean inclination to resist and accept change if I weren’t so sure that making such a transition was very difficult, I would think that I was being a pansy about it until now. But I’ve been really excited lately about the connections I’ve made here, and that I would feel comfortable if I ever decided to come back for a longer stint. As I was speaking with my friend the other day, who just moved from New York back to San Francisco, moving around affords the ability to feel at home in many different places, and the benefits that come with that ability…good friends and connections around the world, wherever your travels should take you.

We finally woke up to a shallow but lovely layer of snow in the city yesterday. In a way, it’s very exciting to someone who has been living in California for the past 15 years. The rest of the country is swathed in powdery, crystalline goodness (no, the OTHER one) and we’re clear and wet–until the other morning. I call it “guerilla snow* around these parts, as it kind of mildly flurries for a bit until you look out the window to marvel at the exquisite and mesmerizing drifts descending from the sky…and then it quickly stops. You go back to what you’re doing, it starts again, you run to the window, it ceases. So you go to bed, wake up, and find that while you were sleeping it has puked forth a lovely layer of post-Christmas goodness. Guerilla snow. Remember that.

I bundled up and trudged out to alter my surroundings for a while. Being in the house for the past three days kind of puts a damper on any notions of photosynthesis…and my leaves were starting to crackle. Went down to Elephant House to flip through some sketches of contemporary caricatures from the Penicuik area over tea and unacquainted company…

Lovely landscapes, lovely people…clear skies with frosty pavement. After a good couple hours of study, I marveled at this thought before jumping back out into the chill: I LOVE having the ability to say, “Hm…think I’ll take a stroll through a 400-year old graveyard on the way home.”

In the middle of the city, Greyfriars Kirkyard remains open all night, with more variety than your local convenience store.

The graveyard was quite peaceful in the early afternoon, and snow crunched beneath my boots as the cake-layers of Edinburgh loomed.

More quaint than anything in the world. The convergence of living and dying.

Not a table I’d want to eat dinner at, but lovely nonetheless.

I swear to you, there was a lone goth, writing poetry (or sketching) and crouched on the wall right near this conglomeration of cement slabature.

Dead soldiers, in more ways than one. This is like the death of death, so to speak…

24 Responses to “Cake…with Frosting.”

  1. zoo_music_girl Says:
    January 29th, 2004 at 7:06 am

    Gorgeous. I wish I were there, they don't handle snow well down here and it's not as picturesque.

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 1st, 2004 at 5:20 pm

    Well, we're waiting when you do visit us again.
    Snow and all, which is no longer here. 🙂

  3. sleepycinderell Says:
    January 29th, 2004 at 7:12 am

    Hullo there,
    Looks like you picked a beatiful day to explore the area. If you have any more photos of the graveyard I'm trying to get hold of a photo of one particular wall monument and I'm hoping that someone with steadier hands has already snapped it.
    There's a healthy approach to that particular graveyard; local playgroups and nurseries use it for picnics and there's not a hint of the fear/ disgust/ superstition factor for the kids. Probably the best implicit lesson they learn that term.

  4. sleepycinderell Says:
    January 29th, 2004 at 7:14 am

    Re: Greyfriars
    I meant beautiful..

  5. mxhaunted Says:
    January 29th, 2004 at 8:08 am

    Re: Greyfriars
    … and rather haunted!

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 1st, 2004 at 5:23 pm

    Re: Greyfriars
    I agree with your assessment of how Greyfriars is presented. Other than the "spooky haunting" in Covenanters' Prison, I think the place feels pretty wonderful, and benign.
    I do have some more photos, but if not of the one you're needing, I'd be *more* than happy to venture out again and snap some good digitals for ye. Just say the word, and what you'd like.

  7. lilitufire Says:
    January 29th, 2004 at 12:27 pm

    Sushi, well obviously there's Yo! on Rose Street, but it's Yo!.
    I've had nice food at Bonsai – not the sushi, but my eating companion enjoyed it. They do good lunch specials for a fiver mid week and it's on the same road as the Southsider.
    There's Yumi restaurant on the Glasgow Road, if you want real Japanese, but it's expensive, I'm told. Tatami room and everything.

  8. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 1st, 2004 at 5:24 pm

    Thank you kindly for the sushi connection suggestions. Can't wait to give 'em a try!

  9. lilitufire Says:
    February 2nd, 2004 at 11:49 am

    You're welcome.
    There's also Iskeban on Queen Street in Glasgow (next to Sainsbury's Local and upstairs) which is very good indeed if you're through there for any reason.
    Can you tell I love Japanese food? 😉

  10. kittynitro Says:
    January 29th, 2004 at 3:29 pm

    But my focus is back, and I think it was having people visit me out here that really dissipated the longing for old days, and the old routine.
    Glad to have weened you off your homesickness. (Are we really that awful?

  11. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 1st, 2004 at 5:27 pm

    Oh yes, and much more than you know. 🙂
    Of course you get that I meant "dissipated" as in "made my memories a reality" rather than "killed my desire to spend time with friends from home again."

  12. thedarkcyde Says:
    January 29th, 2004 at 5:29 pm

    you suck
    … i shouldn't have clicked on the pix.
    how can i be there without being there?? !!!
    -miss you
    me & tae discussing visiting my cuz & boytoy in manchester…. in the late summer.. stay tuned
    could be coming soon to a theater near you !

  13. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 1st, 2004 at 5:29 pm

    Re: you suck
    Sure, you should have clicked! How else can I get you to come out and see me? 🙂
    I would *love* to have you and Tae come by in summer. I could certainly use an "Artlyn Injection" at that time. Oh my! Did that sound awful…
    More pictures to come…

  14. lalochezia Says:
    January 29th, 2004 at 6:12 pm

    hello fellow taurean. i was instructed by a certain tall redheaded boi that i must partake in the goodness that is your livejournal and by extension you.
    so hello. nice to meet you!

  15. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 1st, 2004 at 5:31 pm

    And to you, Lalo. Thanks for giving me a try. I need all the Bull-dom that I can muster!

  16. blackthorne6 Says:
    January 29th, 2004 at 9:07 pm

    Great pics,as always.

  17. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 1st, 2004 at 5:31 pm

    Re: Damn..
    Cheers, BT. More to come, for certain…

  18. kratkrat Says:
    January 29th, 2004 at 9:13 pm

    Great shots, Darren! I just sent a link to this page to my friend Ryan. He and I would go traipsing about in cemeteries back home, marveling at stuff a mere 250 years old… I knew he'd love to see your pics from a place that trumps our old stomping grounds by more than a century. I wish he and I were there with you now!!

  19. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 1st, 2004 at 5:34 pm

    Well, until you ARE, the miracle of modern technology will stimulate your Vicarious Glands and give you lots of cool things to look at! 🙂

  20. Anonymous Says:
    January 30th, 2004 at 12:23 am

    One wee doggie…
    Those photos are *wonderful*!! Especially since one of my favorite things is seeing tree branches against the sky. Now, for an excursion into what some would consider schmaltz, for a moment — did you see the memorial to "Greyfriars Bobby"? It's not your period (Victorian), but honestly, the old Disney movie is actually a good one, even though it romanticises the story (as did the novel it's based on). Loyalty is loyalty, even when it doesn't lead to a battlefield…
    I mean, fourteen *years* — ! Gulp. Sniff.

  21. missstephanie Says:
    January 31st, 2004 at 5:54 pm

    Yeah, try Bonsai, on West Nicholson street. It's not great sushi, but it's the closest thing to the sushi I've had since I got here! 🙂

  22. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 1st, 2004 at 5:32 pm

    Definitely going to remember that, and just a skip away from me. Thanks!

  23. Anonymous Says:
    February 1st, 2004 at 10:09 am

    rc's two slips
    okay, kratkrat told me about this page. can you say "jealous?" i routinely skulk about graveyards. and take pics of the excursions too. of course the best i can do here in good ole pennsylvania is about 200 years. the best graveyards are christian church yards built on indian burial grounds. you can see the mounds interspersed amongst the newer stones.
    looks like you found yourself a very nice haunt.
    (grumble grumble, must cross the pond, must cross the pond)

  24. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 1st, 2004 at 5:35 pm

    Re: rc's two slips
    *pokepoke* You must cross the pond, you must cross the pond…

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