A Real Sand Castle

Trip Start Jan 26, 2007
Trip End Jul 23, 2007

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Monday, April 23, 2007

I had such a great weekend.  Starting Friday afternoon when I walked home the long way with Arnob admiring the tulips, watching the football players, and generally discussing philosophical subjects.  I cooked dinner for three of us which I thought turned out pretty good (baked breaded fish, broccoli, and red lentils with green onion).  Then us three (Rich, Arnob, and I) walked Genieve to the bus station to send her off to Croatia on a high note.  She said she really appreciated us seeing her off and I know I always feel good to have people take me to the bus station, train station, or airport.
Saturday was a bit of an odd day with going to work early to play piano, visiting the Museum of Edinburgh on my split, working very late, and sleeping in the next morning (what they call 'having a lay in'.)
The weather was warm and mostly sunny so that I spent the full day on Sunday in a tee-shirt and my jandles (that's the kiwi word for sandles/flipflops/thongs.  It seems the vocab for this footwear is different almost everywhere around the world and is controversial enough that it can inspire a conversation with random strangers).  Michael, Michelle, Rich, and I took the train to North Berwick.  This is a lovely seaside town where you can smell the salt in the sea breeze and dip your toes on the water on a sandy beach.  The tide creates bumpy and wavy designs in the sand.  We built a sand dam.  We had a picnic lunch of sandwiches and canned peaches along a stone wall by the Seabird Centre overlooking the water.  There are thousands of birds living on the rocks off the seashore (at least 21,000 pairs of one species, I think they were Fultons).
We walked for an hour through a glen, past butterflies and ladybugs and old mill ruins, along farm roads to get to Tantallon Castle - a real sand castle!!  It is made of sandstone that is so soft you can touch it with your finger and grains of sand will rub off.  The castle ruin was reddish brown and had lots of spiral staircases and lots of walls and windows and steps that had disintegrated in the wind.  I looked down into one of the deepest wells I've ever seen and could just barely see the bottom. The well had an echo and I wanted to sing the Snow White song into it.  The four of us climbed right to the top, through a five storey maze of hallways, winding staircases, and rooms with both descriptive and imaginative history.
I stayed in North Berwick by myself that evening as the other three went home in the afternoon.  My hours there were peaceful.  I bought myself a Magnum icecream (thought of mom, those are your favourites right?) and ate it while walking along the sandy beach with the sun setting.  I was reminded of a sunset beach walk I took by myself in Cuba.  I used my icecream stick to make designs in the sand and then I walked to a lawn surrounded by flowering trees and lay in the grass watching clouds roll in the sky.  Also, I went to the 6pm service at St. Andrew's Blackadder Parish where I met a very nice couple from Belfast who told me all about their grandchildren and journeys to Canada. We sang Amazing Grace and some of the congregations got up to talk about a Spring Harvest Festival and receipt poems. I'm pretty sure I found a haunted cemetery adjacent to the church.  What a day! As much as I love Edinburgh, it was really healthy for me to get out of the city to stretch my legs and see something different.
I really wanted to climb the tall steep volcanic hill and spend more time at the beach, but I ran out of daylight hours and the last train for Edinburgh left at 2220.  I thought I would have missed Brodie's Sunday dinner but when I got back it was still underway so I put my 2 in for the cook up and enjoyed a baked chicken, roast veggies, potato salad, green salad, and chocolate cake.  A highlight was the three people who onto other places in the city stopped by for a visit so it was really nice to see them again and catch up.
Needless to say I slept well last night.
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