28 Nov 2010

Book winner and winter adventures

Sometimes the strangeness of blogging drops into my mind and stays for tea. For example it strikes me as bizarre that while the snow is falling and the temperatures in Scotland are below freezing, I will soon be posting a book about Edinburgh buildings all the way to Brazil, where it is currently 30C in Rio de Janeiro.

More than 30 of you lovely people put your names in the hat for the copy of David Torrance’s new book: Inside Edinburgh. I have loved reading the descriptions of the buildings around the world that have inspired you.

Nathália was the lucky winner chosen at random from the magic number thingy I found on the Internet. Nathália listed Brazil’s Imperial Museum as the building that most inspires her. I’m not surprised; I took the virtual tour on the museum’s website and I nearly swooned. 

Parabéns, Nathália! (That’s congratulations Nathália in Portugese). Thank you to everyone who shared stories, and again to Birlinn Publishers for sponsoring the giveaway. For those who have added Inside Edinburgh to their Christmas lists, it is also available on Amazon.

Now we leave the comfort of warm interiors behind and we venture out to where Scotland’s capital city is blanketed in a fresh layer of snowy white. The Christmas markets opened last week and this afternoon my beloved and I went for a wander through the mayhem.

From some angles the gothic spires of the Walter Scott Monument look to be caught in the spokes of the massive Edinburgh wheel. But turn towards the old town and you could be convinced that nothing has changed in this city for centuries.
Dotted here and there around the market, standing to attention in the middle of the pavements or propped precariously on handrails, are the snowmen. By the time we were leaving some of them were already starting to melt, taking on that drooping demeanour that will eventually spell their doom.

We spied one woman who was engaged in creating what turned out to be her first ever snow sculpture. Using branches for antlers, she lovingly shaped the body of her snow reindeer and its frozen cartoon grin.
When it is cold and dreich like this, it is the people who keep the warmth flowing through the cold air. The weather can be as bitter as it likes, but you will find no shortage of cheer as you make your way past the wee huts selling everything from glassware to a seemingly endless array of Scottish and German food treats.

Hot spiced wine? Check. Excellent selection of winter hats on display at the beer garden? Check. The happiest pretzel sellers in the land? Double check!

My favourite photo of the day is the simplest. Perhaps I love it because it makes me feel quiet and at ease. While walking home we saw a bush of ice-covered berries outside of St. Mary’s Cathedral.

The plump buttons of warm flamingo pink against the backdrop of ornate stonework was the perfect ending to a day in Edinburgh in the snow.

Stay warm, everyone.

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