Monday, September 01, 2014

Feeling scenic in Edinburgh

Edinburgh from the Botanical Gardens

Well, I am just back from a few days in Edinburgh and feeling rather scenic.  You can't fail to feel scenic in Edinburgh as it really is the most attractive of Britain's larger cities with almost every street in the centre of the city offering views of characterful buildings, hills or the water.  Really, we went up to have a look at Charlotte's flat which she is living in for this year.  After twenty minutes work in the hallway outside we actually cleared a path so that we could get into her room.  Another twenty minutes saw her flat packed shelves assembled so she had somewhere to put the years worth of Kerrang magazines which were all over the floor.

Everybody loves a flexible girl

Anyway, that evening we attended an Edinburgh Festival Fringe event.  My heart would normally sink  at the words "Edinburgh Fringe" as it inevitably reminds me of pretentious "drama" types from university.  Indeed, there were a fair few street theatre types indulging in the sort of behaviour which would, in the past, have had them locked up for being an annoying loony.  However, the Old Bat had arranged tickets for an acrobatic/gymnastic/circus performing show called Circa.  In this a bunch of the most flexible Australians in the world did impossible (and dangerous) things with their bodies.  I have seen Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas and these people were better.  Most impressive!

Imagine you can travel back in time...

Having done most of the major tourist attractions on previous visits the chosen attraction for the next day, the Botanical Gardens, was not exactly filling me with enthusiasm either.  I think one of the biggest wastes of time and money in the domestic environment is gardening and Gardeners' World's Monty Don is the most annoying man on television.   However, the Royal Botanic garden was a marvellous place with 12 glass houses full of exotic environments.  My favourite. of course, was the pre-historic looking area which was full of plants from New Zealand, largely, in an evocation of dinosaur foliage.

Camellia Sinensis

Even more exciting (tragic, I know) was seeing, given my earlier post, this tea plant!  An Assam bush, to be precise!  I can't think that I have ever seen a tea plant growing before!  The tea I had in Edinburgh was uniformly excellent and it made me wonder whether the water had something to do with it.  We live in a hard water area whereas the water in Edinburgh is softer.

Outside one of the glasshouses was a small raised bed of Alpines (as gardeners call them) and this, to me looked like a splendid basis for a rocky wargames board.  I think the imminent completion of my Afghans has got me thinking about some appropriate scenery.  Perhaps its just that many other bloggers are working on exciting scenery projects at present and I, as usual, am not.  This is just the sort of thing I would have wanted to get my Airfix US Marines onto when I was small. Perhaps I liked it because it reminded me of our rockery at home!

Well, thinking about some pirate games I ordered this box of plastic palm trees and they look like they will be useful.  I read once about a man who made scenic items using CDs as bases and wondered if I might try something like that with these plus some other "plants".  I am a bit worried about them looking too regular but it may be worth trying a few bases out.

While in Edinburgh I was very impressed with the Games Workshop store's Goblin Town diorama in the window.  This really captures the 3D nature of the terrain in the film but I shudder to think how many sets of decking they had to use for it!  The chap in the shop said they had a really impressive Goblin Town layout in Warhammer World now.  More pictures here.

I've been away much of the last ten days so really need to catch up on everyone's blogs!


  1. The NZ 'bush' as we call it here is certainly an setting evocative of ancient eras - with all the ferns and larger tree-ferns... also called 'Pongas' here (the trunk are often used for gardening purposes...

  2. Legatus you can base trees and other items on cds they work pretty well. You can use plastic, CA or hot glue on them though its best if you scratch up the cd surface. If you need help you can email me and I'll take some photos so you can see how its done.

  3. We were up in Scotland last week too but in Glasgow rather than across in Edinburgh. Not much sight seeing either [apart from a day out to Loch Lomond] as we were visiting friends and family. We did manage a trip up to Dundee to look at the Uni as that's where Callum may well be headed in a couple of years and it happened to be their open day while we were up.