Sunday 8 August 2021


Yesterday Benedict Ambrose and I went on a trip to Edinburgh's Morningside. We started, however, by buying two bacon rolls from a nearby cafe. I was interested in the fact that they cost £2 each, but B.A. was   much more interested in their (to him) excellence: soft white rolls; salty, lightly fried back bacon. Bacon rolls are a Scottish national dish. 

We went a certain distance by the Rough Bus, and I silently wondered at the black teeth of the young lady in the seat in front of us, and we alighted the stop by a certain pub so as to walk in the leafy, rather grand Marchmont neighbourhood. Marchmont abounds in enormous four storey stone Victorian houses, riotously floral front gardens and hidden back gardens of (I imagine) indescribable lusciousness. There is also a Michelin-starred restaurant, about which more anon. For the time being, we were walking to the Gillis Centre, which is where the Archdiocesan offices are,  The oldest buildings, including a large chapel, were designed by James Gillespie Graham and finished in 1835. 

Today there is also a young apple orchard and yesterday a group of pretty, slim young women, including two nuns, sitting on chairs in a circle near the rosary chapel. B.A. recognised one of the girls by her bright hair, and we pondered, in our gossipy middle-aged way, what cause the group was serving. Nobody expects the McLeans just to turn up at the Gillis Centre and sit on a bench, but there you go. The only time  I ever went to Morningside in a miniskirt, I ran into an older person, and it was all over the  parish news by Sunday. Don't trust anyone over 45, that's what I say. 

Anyway, after we tired of our bench, we continued our walk, luxuriating in the stately row houses and their bright gardens, walking past the Archbishop's Palace and its wreckovated chapel, and heading towards cozy Morningside. We popped into charity shops, making me feel ten years younger, but did not buy anything until we sailed into Waitrose. In Waitrose we bought a couple of pastries to eat on a bench; tea we had brought with us in a thermos. (We also bought a couple of small ersatz 'cannoli' in a new, very not-Italian pastry shop, and only honesty compels me to confess this.) 

B.A. informs me we have to leave for Mass in 15 minutes, so I will say only that we walked back though Morningside and then Marchmont to get our bus, and when we got home I made peanut butter brownies again. It was a very nice way to spend the day.

And yes, the Motherwell TLM has been totally cancelled, and I look forward to soon meeting the discommoded faithful young families being punished for their attachment to Catholic tradition.

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