A Week in the Life

Sunday: Earlier this month, the Scottish Party Leaders debated in our neighbo(u)rhood, at a former church, now event space called Mansfield Traquair Centre. We’ve been wondering what the interiors looked like since we moved to this flat. Well, the second we tuned in to watch the political debate, we knew it was time we visited the place.


Oops! Wrong image. These folks, who identify as “children’s entertainers,” were contestants on a gameshow called Pointless. Here’s the actual debate:

The moderator is at the middle podium, pointing to someone in the audience. And from left to right: Ruth Davidson (Tory), Jim Murphy (Labour), Nicola Sturgeon (SNP), Willie Rennie (Lib Dems). Photo: The Scotsman

The public has three hours per month (more during Festival) to get a look at what put the Traquair in Mansfield Traquair: The murals by Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852-1936). And are they stunners! Our visit Sunday was enhanced by an excellent tour guide who explained the artist’s technique and commitment, as well as the history of the Edinburgh-based branch of the now-defunct church.

Mural on coom-ceiled* section of Mansfield Traquair Centre.
Mural on coom-ceiled* section of Mansfield Traquair Centre.

Monday: We ducked out of a cloudburst while en route to see A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, the latest movie for pleasure. It’s no You, the Living, but we’ll take it.

Rainbows make rush hours a bit more bearable.

Wednesday: We got tickets for the Scottish Parliament Debating Chamber – see photo at head of blogpost – where the mood was both glum and lively. (The election was less than one week ago and the results have set the heather on fire**.) Scotland First Minister, head of the SNP, and professional pepperpot Nicola Sturgeon turned up about half an hour into the session. And yes, she shoogled*** ever so slightly like she does when she’s standing and talking.

Before the visit to Parliament, we had lunch at David Bann, well-regarded vegetarian restaurant on St. Mary’s Street. We appreciated not only the clean, delicious preparation of the food, but also the absence of piped-in music. Foregrounded here is a ravioli parcel, w/artichoke, chickpea, shallot, basil. In the background looms a mushroom strudel sitting on roast vegetables. Wine at lunch is an important health consideration.


Thursday: A second recital in the Live Music Now series. Today was Spencer-Strachan Duo (violin, cello) at the Scottish National Gallery. Inspired by David Roberts’ work on view, we enjoyed a program of Bach and Ravel.

NB: The Gallery has four gorgeous tapestries – tapestries – on view by…Phoebe Anna Traquair! This is the cheeriest one in the series, which is called Progression of a Soul (1895). It’s all downhill from here.


And speaking of downhill…

Friday: We walked more than 13 miles.


*coom-ceiled = domed

** set the heather on fire = caused great sensation or excitement (both in this case!)

*** shoogled = to shake, sway  or rock from side to side


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