Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Edinburgh 26.6.09: Skating Parsons and Spinach Gnocchi

Now in Leith with the Gilmours. Such lovely people. A Zambian friend, Albert, is with them, to graduate shortly from a university in Glasgow. The South Leith congregation assists him and the school at which he teaches.

Still jet-lagged. We slept long last night, 12 hours, but I still feel tired. Feet and hands terribly swollen. I begin to wonder if I’m reaching a point in my life when travel will become too arduous.

In the entryway of their house, Donna has put a vase of lilies, which are so fragrant that their scent fills the whole house. I woke in the night and got up and could smell them fragrancing the upstairs. I remember just the same variety of lilies, with the same beautiful scent, in Lennoxlove House in Haddington on our last visit to Scotland.

Apprehensive about Sunday. Ian told us today Queen Elizabeth had been invited and apparently wanted to be at the event, but some mix-up may have occurred in her schedule. Then he said that I will replace her. Though he was being facetious, of course, the thought alarmed me. I do have friends who would find that observation—Bill Lindsey as queen—hilarious.

Ian took us for a wonderful driving tour today past Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Craig. Wonderful views—soft Scottish colors (browns, blues, greens, grays) spread in pleasing panorama below the highest places. We looked down on Duddingston church with its loch where Reverend Robert Walker famously skated in the Raeburn painting.

And then he took us to the National Gallery, where the Turner exhibit we had hoped to see was gone. So we had lunch in the café attached to the museum—Steve gnocchi in a spinach-tomato sauce, I a salad of broad beans, ricotta, and nut crumble. The menu promised olives and tomatoes, but none were to be found in the salad.

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