Spring Unsprung

There have been a few signs of Spring in the garden: shoots from the many bulbs I planted, the Hamamelis mollis in flower and Iris George has bloomed. Jane would be particularly pleased with the flowers – last year we visited the Hamemelis collection at Kew. Previously we planted Iris George in the cemetery at East Wemyss with some of my father’s ashes at the family plot. DSCF2279.JPG DSCF2301.JPG

 So things were progressing nicely with some warm, sunny days until this weekend when it snowed, sleeted and snowed some more. Thankfully it wasn’t freezing so although the roads and pavements were pretty slushy on Sunday morning by the afternoon all were clear thanks to the combined efforts of thawing and City of Edinburgh Council.

Despite a snowy start to Saturday morning it was clear by 11 and I set off on my planned birthday outing to East Lothian. First on the visit list was the Museum of Flight at East Fortune. If I’m honest old airfields don’t really do it for me but I have wanted to see Concorde up close since I once saw it flying low near Prestwick. Apparently the airport was used by BA to train Concorde pilots. The aeroplane is iconic and impressive from the outside but the interior was dull, dingy, cramped and a bit of a disappointment. It looked strangely dated with no seat screens, standard loos and only the mach display to remind passengers of flying through the sound barrier. But the inflight menu was more luxurious and there was apparently plenty of free drinks and cigarettes to enjoy during the short flights.

I did visit two of the other hangars and was struck by the boxy, ugliness of some of the early commercial planes and the fragility of aircraft. Interiors had been stripped out leaving skeletal carcasses that accentuated the very thin layer of metal between people and airspace. Although in fairness the more recent aircraft had more curves, stylishness and looked a bit sturdier. But I prefer trains – great big solid thunderous beasties with their wheels firmly on the track.

Next stop was North Berwick for the now traditional visit to the Buttercup Cafe for lunch, a brief flaneur through the town and a walk with paddle on the beach. By now it was sunnily overcast, there were dinghies and kayaks in the bay and all would have met with Royal approval so I enjoyed it anyway despite the heart twangs. Fortified by a bowl of split pea and potato soup (an odd but tasty combination) and the last plain scone (alas no treacle ones) I wandered through the town finding a few wee items including a small ethnic rug for the cats to practice their claw sharpening on as opposed to the dining chairs. The walk along the beach was great dodging the small children and large wet dogs. On the way back I had ice cream pangs but as I didn’t fancy any of the local outlets felt sure I could drive past Luca’s in Musselburgh without succumbing. As I approached the harbour the usual Mr Whippy van was in position but as I passed it I saw a smaller van behind. It was from Luca’s so that was it, had to have a small vanilla 99 and no sauce thanks. Wickedly delicious and a fresh, crispy cone. 


Spring had sprung and according to the weather forecast should be back on course by the end of the week. It had better be because the grass is going to need cut before too long.


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