A welcome day off and a chance to catch up. Thanks to everyone viewing and adding comments to the blog. Reading your comments really does help, so please feel free to add comments and let us know you are reading the blog and give us your news too. To date the blog has been visited by 19 of you so do pass the blog on to others who might be interested or who find it difficult to sleep.
We walked to the nearest rail station at Kirknewton, because we felt we needed some exercise and fresh air (the tent being no place for fresh air after a curry the previous evening) and hopped on the train to the Scottish capital. It felt fitting to be in Edinburgh almost 10 years to the day since we were both together visiting the city. Our visit 10 years ago was to run in the Edinburgh marathon, which that year was held on 11 June, which is Lynn’s birthday. Lynn wanted to be as far away as possible that year as her birthday was a ‘big one’ ending in an 0. Those numerate among you will have worked out therefore that in a weeks time Lynn is also due a ‘big birthday’ and once again we had to be far away. The blog censor prevents any more clues being given as to the exact birthdays. Happy memories were brought back as we visited the marathon start point on Princess Street. In those days we could both run a little faster and Lynn did her second fastest ever marathon finishing in 3hrs 25 mins 50 secs and was 21st female overall and 7th in her age group. Steve ran it in 3 hrs 13mins 28 secs and got a banana. This visit we settled for buying an ice cream.
As ever our first port of call was a Wetherspoons and a grand one indeed called the ‘Standing Order’ and built within the old Union Bank of Scotland premises with each room named after a railway engineer.
It was sad to see the news on the TV reporting the death of Muhammad Ali, one of Steve’s sporting heroes. Steve remembers as a youngster watching many of his bouts on TV together with his Dad. Steve had the privilege of meeting him when Ali visited Birmingham in 1984.
At the time Steve worked for a nightclub owner as a general gofer and his boss had bought a table of tickets for a ‘Meet Ali’ black tie charity event hosted by the Birmingham Men’s Sporting Club to entertain the club’s best customers. His boss fell ill with a bad back and could not move so Steve had to host the table. The clubs clients all had plenty of money and knew how to drink – Steve didn’t. After a film of Ali’s fights was shown Ali invited questions from the floor. He would take his time answering but he always managed a gracious and entertaining answer. One drunken idiot at the back of the room got up and asked Ali if it were true that Angelo Dundee had deliberately cut his glove in the Henry Cooper fight (a cut glove allegedly causing the cut to Henry’ s eye which ended the fight, Henry having floored Ali earlier in the fight). The room went very quiet but in an instant the old sparkle behind Ali’s eyes turned on and in an unfaltering voice which left no doubt as to the consequences, Ali invited the man to come up to the top table and repeat the question. The room cheered and the room was Ali’s. A true sporting legend.
After more eating and drinking we did some final shopping for supplies and touristy wandering around, including the joint selfie as requested by Ryan. We had one final bit of shopping to complete. Readers might remember how seeing a dog on the trail wearing saddlebags had got Steve to thinking about a donkey to carry his rucksack, well today he found his donkeys. Regrettably negotiations with the owner broke down as the owner declined to split the two donkeys up so the search continues.
The campsite we are at is superb due in no small part to Jean and Jim who run the site. They have been extremely welcoming and could not have done more for us. Jim gave us a lift to the local pub were we enjoyed the aforementioned curries. Jean even offered to do our washing while we were out, but this would have meant a trip to Edinburgh in only our waterproofs, not a good look in a city centre. A special thanks to Jean and Jim and a deserved plug for Linwater Caravan Park – we will return.
Back on the trail tomorrow after an evening sat outside the tent in sunshine which even had a fly past from the Red Arrows.