Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Sunshine on Leith

It's a wonderful day for a long walk: sunny, mild, not too windy, hardly a cloud in the sky.

"How was Mass?" asked Benedict Ambrose when I phoned him from the bus home.

"Was that today?" I moaned.

When you decide to walk seven miles to Leith instead of just continuing the final two miles to Fountainbridge, it kind of erases the morning. Besides, I can't believe that was just seven miles. At least two sections of the path were closed, and so I had to take detours which probably added to the tally.

Just so I can prove my mind has not turned to mush, here is what I did today.

5:15 Woke up naturally. Why, oh why?

6:00 Woke up again, to alarm.

6:50 Left the house.

7:13 Caught the train. Yay!

8:00 Mass in the Extraordinary Form. St. Antoninus today.

9:00 Coffee in  'Noir' while reading Kazio i szkoła pełna wampirów. I will not be upset if I do not finish this one. It is just wrong for Poles to take vampires lightly. I hope the book has been denounced on some church bulletin board in Wielkapolska.

9:38: Train to Edinburgh Park

9:50: Bought two-man tent. At last, at last B.A. and I have a home we can truly call our own. I paid for it myself, out of my own earnings. No mortgage necessary. That said, it comes with only a two-year guarantee, which is like buying a cookie cutter "dream home" in some ghastly Toronto suburb that was arable land with cows six months ago.

10:15: Reapply sunblock. Begin to walk along Union Canal, in direction of Edinburgh, with tent sticking out of my knapsack. Pray rosary for first twenty minutes, hoping not to encounter Orangeman, Hearts fan, or, worst of all, bitter ex-Catholic with scary dog.

11:00: Take break at Water of Leith Conservation Centre. Drink tea from thermos flask. Eat homemade fruit and nut bar with gusto. Reapply sunblock.

11:15: Decide to walk the 7 miles along the Water of Leith to Leith.

12:15: Realize I can just pop up a flight of stairs from the path and have a delicious salad, water and a rest at the Modern Art Gallery--all for £4. Eat, drink, reapply sunblock.

12:50: Continue march to Leith.

1:15 ish: Reach Stockbridge which has its usual distractions. Buy pretty rose-spangled skirt from favourite charity shop, 100% cotton, £5.49. Could not have fit into it two weeks ago. Let no-one tell me low-calorie diets do not work. Yes, will quit after eight weeks are up. (Looks shifty.)

1:45 ish. Canon Mills and the "Earthy Store". Buy big bag of Hummus Chips "for B.A."

2:00: Start wondering if I will ever get to Leith. Drink tea from thermos. Reapply sunblock. Sunblock has leaked into ziplock bag. Yay me, for having put it in a ziplock bag in the first place!

2:30: Shore! Shore!  Put out fire in cigarette butt section on top of trash bin with remains of tea. Toddle over to Martin Wishart to see how much the "Tasting Menu" costs. £80. Woo. Do not expect to be taken to Martin Wishart any time soon. The ordinary lunch looks quite reasonable, however.

2:35: Where is bus? There must be a bus to the Historical House around. Must find bus.... Walk around hopefully until see sign for Ocean Terminal. Walk with resignation to Ocean Terminal

2:45 ish: Ocean Terminal. Just take a bus going in the right direction and trust to luck, which turns out to be good.  Get out on street I recognize and take second bus.

3:30: Home! Strip off boots, socks. Grab water, hummus and handful of hummus chips. Fill plastic basin with cold soapy water and place beside sitting-room couch. Put in feet. Ahhhhhh!

Update: I completely forgot about Traddy Tuesday. Well, training for the Chartres Pilgrimage counts as traddy, I hope. Not being a fan of pain-for-pain's-sake, I sincerely hope it is not "more traditional" just to rush in and walk 40 km the first day with baby-soft feet.

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