Travel: Edinburgh + around

by little red pen

24 April: Dunoon
Patrilineal stomping grounds today. It was strange to see the old house — to see the name (Ben Corrum), the rhododendrons, the erica that my grandfather brought to his life in New Zealand — and to wonder at the impulse for the new, for chance and luck and opportunity that led our ancestors half a world away from these narrow little towns full of stone houses and old ways.

It’s a way to understand ourselves better, us Pakeha with our wandering eyes and makeshift moral codes, our easy sentimentality and deep, unspoken griefs, our lopsided, wry attachments, our quick building of traditions, our seeking of home in land and weather and sea and sky. Our way of living close to the elements, ready to catch a passing breeze.P1040615

25 April: Edinburgh
Bit of a nothing day. The pub was fun — random guests and relatives learning faces and names before the big day.

26 April: North Berwick
The Cat’s big day: the Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick. Saw eiders, turnstones, and gannets, plus a puffin on the live camera. Cute town, braced hard against the shore and the swift, glancing light. Lovely to see my boy in his element.

27 April: Dalhousie Castle, Bonnyrigg
Wedding day! An odd morning waiting to get dressed, then a rush to get kilts and frocks on, sort the hose and brogues, tie ties, and get belts, cufflinks, and sporrans all correct and in order. The wedding was in a castle set high above a stream, and the rings were brought in by owl — owl! A magical creature that flew in a long swoop from the top of the staircase to the best man’s arm, then turned to scan the room with a steady, alert eye. The Cat danced up a storm. He was unsure to start, but the sight of his mama and his aunt attempting Gangnam Style was too much for him. It was so much fun dancing with him; I want to do it again. Have a wedding, somebody.