After a bit, we went for a walk down to Duddingston. Yes, it did rain for a while, but you know: it's winter. Actually it was very mild and the air was soft and fresh. We passed the new Holyrood School building, which looks out on the view in the photo above, only from higher up because the school building is taller than I am.
Here's the school. It has balconies, presumably for appreciating the view (which looks better in sunshine, like most views). I was a teaching student at Holyrood School in 1973, in the old building, which was relatively new then (and was a nice building, unlike many 60s buildings which I would be happy to see demolished). I remember a class in which the teacher got the kids to study the Beatles' song "Eleanor Rigby" as if it was a poem. I think he thought he was being very trendy but in fact, in 1973 the Beatles probably seemed a bit old hat.
Today I felt very happy to be outside, looking at the school, rather than inside, facing a class.
Then we walked on and into Doctor Neil's garden, which I've blogged about before. There were in fact two Doctor Neils, married to each other, so it really ought to be "Doctor Neils' garden" but that's not what it's called. The doctors are now dead and the garden is open to the public, but Grandson and I were the only members of the public there today, possibly because of the rain (though it was no longer raining by the time we got there).
(I would find this post much easier to write if Cassie were not sitting on my knee and Sirius were not intermittently jumping up on my back. Ow.) You can just see the school at the top right hand side of the bush to the left of this picture. It must be nice for the teachers as well as the pupils, having something lovely to look at in that dead time between a teacher asking the class a question and... someone answering.
The garden is beside Duddingston Loch and Arthur's Seat, our city hill.
You can see - not in my photos but along a bit - the remains of terracing cut into the hill by Iron Age farmers over 2000 years ago. And Bronze Age artefacts - about 4000 years old - were found in the loch in 1778.
The heather is more recent, though.
I just love this place. I love the hill and the loch. I even like the soft smirr of rain which makes the grass so green. You wouldn't think you were in a city.