26th-30th of March, 2017 – Lauriston Feathered Speculations

Wednesday, 26th of March

Cold but lovely day! Krista and I visit Lauriston Castle, which is less a castle than an estate, but gorgeous nonetheless! I seem to take a lot of photos of my gal, but that makes sense as I adore her–and we just happen to have the same weekday off, which means time for shenanigans.

To be fair, we had high hopes for a beautiful, sunny day outing, but it was cold. Cold, and windy. And at one point (just before this photo was snapped) we were huddled under cover while it began to snow. Just what the heck, Scotland? It’s almost May!

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Anyway, isn’t she a great model? I think so! Lauriston Castle also was a pleasant surprise–there was happy birdsong everywhere, bluebells carpeting beneath the trees, a tiny wee cafe inside, people playing croquet outside (for real though), and of course, cherry blossoms!

Thursday, 27th of March

The only photos I took today were of a weedy yellow flower sprouting from a rock wall, and two seagulls sitting ominously on top of the Panda as I left work. Since both are rubbish, I’ll leave it to your imagination to fill in the details.

Friday, 28th of March

Went out for pizza at a fully vegetarian pizza joint in town called Nova with my gals Krista and Oa! And boy was it delicious. I would enclose a photo of my pizza, but honestly I’m not that kind of girl. (Although I did send Haitham a photo, because I am a cruel, you-don’t-have-pizza, taunting mistress.)

How cool is it though that not only I have access to a pizza joint with fixins’ like fake bacon and such, but friends who willingly suggest eating there? Thanks, Edi. You all right. ❤

Saturday, 29th of March

When I glanced out the window this morning into the garden, I spotted a female blackbird perched on one of my recently potted up containers outside. As I smiled and watched fondly, she leaned down into the pot, and began to cyclone dirt and plants out of the pot. “Hey!!!” I squeaked, watching incredulously as she made short work of my lobelias, hup! Out the pot they went, chucked right over the side!!

As I went off to work, I left Haitham to observe the fiasco outside throughout the day. He kept me updated with hilarious photos of our little friend wreaking havoc throughout the garden. Turns out, blackbirds use some mud to sort of cement the bottom of their nests–we glimpsed her with tufts of dirt and roots flying away countless times. She even took said dirt over to a puddle on the ground, wet it, and then left with her perfected nest material, which is just so darn cute. I wasn’t even mad–I ended up showing off the photos of our energetic little mum off to my coworkers during the day. She was busy!

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She seemed to quite like this tiny drainage hole in the middle of the garden as well.

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Like, really liked it. Good thing Haitham got his massive lens–all the better to spy on garden birds up to mischief with!

Later on I went to a wonderful party featuring my favorite, eclectic bunch of Spaniards. (Also featuring a few randos they have welcomed into the mix: Hungary, France, and me of course to name a few!) I had a great time, and was even more pleased when my steadfast chauffer valiantly picked me up via the Panda Express so I avoided the questionable late-night bus scene of Leith.

Sunday, 30th of March

Before I came over to Scotland, in one of the many long, sprawling conversations I was having long-distance with Haitham mentioned a garden he wanted to visit, but never could quite find the time to go, one with a funny name to boot. Not surprising, considering the Garden of Cosmic Speculation is only open one day a year!

So, one marriage license, a big move, and several years later–we went!

Right off the bat we could tell we were in for a treat. After rolling through the beautiful Scottish Borders, famous for their rolling hillsides (and lots of wee baby lambs of course!), we figured we were close when we rolled to a stop at the end of a massive, winding line of traffic, blinkers going, at a total standstill.

Excellent start right? Where were we? The entry queue into Bonnaroo??

Eventually we made it inside, where we streamed towards the entry gates amongst throngs of other people–loads of cute babies and screaming toddlers included. As we’d just driven over an hour to get to our destination, and had been told there were no loos within the garden grounds, we peered around for a spot to spend a penny.

How many portaloos had they rented, folks? For an opening of thousands of people?

Three.

I amused myself as I stood in line, trying not to pay too much attention to the shrieks of the child behind me about his dire need for a loo right now!!!!, by studying a small ginger boy in front of me crouched motionless with an extended stick in his hand, patiently allowing a slug to creep along back onto the grass.

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Props to that little dude. I mean, obviously he was just as bored as the rest of us. But instead of flinging the wee sluggy or crushing him or even squealing about how gross he was, nope, he just sat and watched him. I thought it was cute!

Anyway I could go on and on about how simultaneously lovely but also overwhelmingly crowded the garden was, but instead I will share three more photos.

Weather-wise, the day was pretty chilly. It was mostly overcast when we arrived finally inside. That said, upon entry we quickly noticed

the fairies

Yes, fairies. Someone had the bright idea to hire some poor wee high-school aged lassies to dress up like fairies and prance about barefoot and in tights (must’ve been cold). They babbled and pointed at babies and seemed to be wherever Haitham and I went. Oh, it was cringey. Even worse, this lady (seen below) followed them, hulking about in every photo of the fairies. Uhhhhh. I mean, what a cute moment I could have caught here… and yet.

 

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Next up: some of the scenery the Cosmic is famous for!

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Too bad you couldn’t walk up the windy staircase (psht).

And in summary, my favorite photo of our venture:

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Here’s Haitham pointing (rather inappropriately, not that I staged this shot in any way, of course I would never be so immature) at a feature called The Crack.

There you have it, folks. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, 2017, in a nutshell. Slugs, fairies, pretty scenes, too many photos, not enough loos, and butts.

(I should add that the GOCS is someone’s private garden that only opens once a year with proceeds going to charity, so despite my grumbles, I do applaud an overall cool thing that would be, say, a wee bit cooler with -some people +more loos in the years to come)

 

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