Saturday, August 18, 2012


This year's Edinburgh Festival opened with a choreographed glowing night walk up and around Arthur's seat.  If you have visited Edinburgh, you will know that Arthur's seat is a predominating lump of extinct Scottish volcano that leaps out over Holyrood Park.
Arthur's Seat Picture courtesy of

The Princes Street Gardens take you to a relatively tranquil zone of busy central Edinburgh as a rule, though not by the National Galleries of Scotland right now, because  for Festival you will find half price ticket booths for Festival Fringe shows of the day, adjacent to the Galleries.  It is an area of seething humanity queuing to obtain tickets. There are street artists - some more magnetic and entertaining than others - groups of people advertising and touting interest for Fringe shows; there are refreshment booths and stalls selling all sorts of interesting wares.  Above all, there is a lively atmosphere.

We zoomed into Festival with only a limited time to  make the most of it.  All sorts of nooks and crannies open up at this time to public access.  You are offered a rare opportunity to see a different and hidden, behind-the-scenes Edinburgh.   While waiting at one venue for a show, we sat and relaxed on one of a number of created  terraces,  enjoying refreshment while people watching.  The ubiquitous cell phone kept these people totally occupied

Everything you required for your personal comfort had been thought of.

A meander up the Royal Mile is an absolute must.  It is surprising what you can find and see there.  Here are three ladies of the..... street, [?]  in one of the many alleyways

I got some tickets, at last minute, for an evening talk at the Edinburgh Book Festival.  I had no idea how sought after they are. The theatre was full.  Below is  Paddy Ashdown,  who is described as having had a distinguished working life as a diplomat and as a Parliamentarian at  Westminster.  He currently sits in The House of Lords and represents the U.K. interests at The United Nations Children's Fund, (UNICEF).    There were no prompts no notes, and for forty-five minutes the speaker regaled us with his thoughts on global power shifts, interjecting techniques of poetry and the use of characterisation  into the talk to illustrate finer points, his arguments and propositions.  He was an excellent lecturer.

The talk was introduced by a BBC Radio 4 flagship  A.M  News Programme presenter and journalist James *Naughtie,  who, you see on the right in this picture managing  questions from the audience after the talk.  There was a surprising amount of candour in the answers given by the speaker, (seen left) not something we  are used to hearing and seeing through mass media channels beamed into our homes. 
* N.B.Naughtie is pronounced  like 'Nochtee' the ch having the same clearing the throat sound you hear in the Scottish word Loch

A busy day over, here is a late evening train taking festival visitors to wherever home is, or, wherever they are staying.


Garden Girl said...

It sounds like you have a busy lovely time.

ZACL said...

Hi Garden Girl,

Thanks for visiting.

We had a really interesting, very brief visit and foray into Festival. Festival was fitted in around a different visiting purpose. We really should plan to have a longer run at Festival another year.

Flighty said...

Although I've been to Edinburgh several times it's never been during the festival.
Perhaps one day...Flighty xx

ZACL said...

Oh Mr F if you can manage to get to Festival, it is a unique experience. It's several years since I had an extended stay around it. It was great to revisit, even just to get a taster. No two days are the same.


Kathryn Braithwaite said...

That was interesting especially the photos

ZACL said...

Hello Kathryn,

Thanks for the comment.

Sometimes,the writer's and photographer's selection on both fronts may not generally appeal. I am happy you found the photos interesting.