6-3-17 Sun, Sky, Sand

Monday came round with a promised visit with my friend Krista. Despite my having just been there the day before in dreary weather, I agreed to give the weather a chance to redeem itself and headed down to Portobello beach. I figured since I only had two days left before my trial day at a potential job, I had better make the most of it by getting into shenanigans. (As if I hadn’t been doing that the entire time!!)

Lucky for us it was a fantastic day weather-wise. We met for delicious food at the appropriately named “The Beach” where we stuffed face while also watching out the window as one lone madman attempted to surf the Scottish waves. The beach also features a lovely promenade that showcases cafes, shops, and even an old-fashioned arcade. It’s an excellent place for a stroll, people watching, or taking the dug out for a walk (or admiring other people’s dugs and wondering how easily they can be stolen).

One feature of Portobello beach that I love is that the extremely smooth, wave-dampened sand sometimes creates an almost perfect mirror image of the sky above. Here’s a picture of Krista, basking in the sunlight like the solar-starved creatures that all Scotland residents inevitably are!

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There were also loads of shore birds out and about. I did snap a few photos of the ever-present gulls, but am totally stumped as to what they even are. All gulls look more or less the same to me–even worse, they all have different plumage depending on how young/old they are, and even the season! Ah well, we’ll save them for another day. Instead, here’s a photo of a bird called an oystercatcher, a common water bird round these parts. I think they’re quite dapper dudes.

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Did I mention there’s loads of dogs?? As it happens, if you take off your shoes to wade through a bit of rushing beach-stream, and later sit down to get all the sand off your footsicles in order to put said shoes back on, a lot of dogs will come over to investigate what the ground-level human is up to. I know Scotty dogs are a bit of a stereotype thanks to Lady and the Tramp, but come on. How cute is this guy! (No, his name was not Jock!)

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It was several hours of wandering in, when Krista and I had headed down the inevitable path of “the future of humanity is doomed because we’re all terrible” discussion, that we glanced ahead and saw… this.

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No matter how grim you may think the state of the world may be, seeing some dogs on wheels having the time of their life on the beach just makes it seem like it’s not so bad, doesn’t it?

 

EDIT: When I looked up Jock from the film, I found this clip online. It’s funny how you pick up tidbits you never noticed before with time or random chance. For example, in the movie Jock is shown singing a little song to himself as he finds his bone burying spot. I now can recognize the song as a particular traditional song that everyone here knows for sure–The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond! Mom, Dad, you should remember it as well!

To explain: “This song was written by a MacGregor of Glen Endrick, who was jailed, along with a friend, in Carlisle England in 1746. The author had been condemned to death for his support of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 1745 uprising, while his friend was going to be set free. The song tells of the old Celtic myth that the soul of a Scot who dies outside his homeland will find it’s way back home by the spiritual road, or the low road. So he condemned man says to his friend: “You take the high road and I’ll take the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye…”

It is actually a lovely heart-wrencher of a song, as most good folk songs are. Go figure that ol’ Jock would be making up his own doggy lyrics to a Scottish classic!

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