Three films and a lot of haar

What a cracking weekend it’s been! I don’t think the weather gods realised it was a bank holiday weekend, way too sunny! Well, sunny once the sun burnt off the haar each day. Sunday morning I enjoyed a ramble up into a haar swathed park, no sign of Arthur’s Seat at the top, total white, er, grey out. It was almost noon before the Seat was visible and the sky blue, even then, looking down at Portobello the haar was still clinging to the coastline.

Joys! The cinemas are open again. Just as well I had a ganders last Wednesday evening, Judas and the Black Messiah was showing just one more day, phew, ticket booked. Two more films caught my attention, Raya and the Last Dragon and Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, tickets booked, god, I love having an Unlimited pass. So, just like the old normal I had to trot quite smartly to get to the cinema on time on Thursday afternoon! Even with the social distancing of empty rows and seats, as I often go when films have been on a while it looked almost normal to me – apart from all the masks.

Judas and the Black Messiah is a stunning film, so glad I caught it. Daniel Kaluuya was brilliant, now I see why he received so many nominations and won many awards for his portrayal of Fred Hampton. Lakeith Stanfield as Bill O’Neal had me constantly wondering how he’d play the situations O’Neal found himself in; the use of the real Bill O’Neal in interview and other historical from the time really brought up how real this all actual was. I found it a rivetting and chilling film, so much to take in and digest.

Saturday morning I was back in for Raya and the Last Dragon, a very different movie! I actually knew very little about it but hey, it’s Disney and there’s a dragon. There’s also a strange creature called Tuk Tuk, a giant armadilloey type thing, useful as a mode of transport for our heroine Raya and also her cute animal sidekick (a Disney staple); and in a quick googling sess, I discovered he’s voiced by the excellent Alan Tudyk! That guy has done so much stuff, looks like he’s Disney’s new version of Pixar’s John Ratzenberger, just more animal noises! The dragon’s voice wasn’t what I expected but my initial surprise was soon forgotten as I sat back and enjoyed the visuals and some fairly quick, funny dialogue. There were a few gripes but overall it was a fine film; the whole “trust” thing running through it may really confuse some kids, parents may find themselves in some tricky discussions afterwards.

Saturday night and back again for Demon Slayer: Mugen Train and this time I knew nothing, except that it’s anime and according to a couple of reviews it wouldn’t be too tricky to pick up without seeing the previous tv series. They were right, I just went with it, the best way with Japanese films in general! Another visual treat, very different for a newcomer to watch. I’d gone to a subtitled showing as dubbed versions are generally not as good in my opinion. Would I go see more anime films? Yeah, probably.

By the time I was walking home from the cinema the pubs were shut obviously not long shut as there were plenty of folk about, many steaming drunk! The Grassmarket was seeming more like it’s old self, only, it seemed to me there were more streams of piss running from doorway corners, like even more men than would be usual had forgotten the art of taking a piss before leaving the pub (well, it has been a while). I was surprised then when The Three Sisters was still open, and with a queue waiting to get in! Brewdog next door was closed and all locked up for the night.

Oo, I just noticed the time, and there was me planning to have an early night! I’ll tell you the latest on the Fringe next time. I shall leave you with a couple of pics of the Meadows on Sunday morning. Toodle pip!

At ten on Sunday morning there weren’t many about except sporty types.
The Meadows with the rooftops of Marchmont peeping through the trees.

a postcard from Edinburgh

Happy Easter from an eerily quiet Auld Reekie. It would usually be packed this weekend, the Grassmarket would be buzzing, the pubs full to overflowing, but, hey, the sun is shining and I have a packet of seriously delicious passion fruit truffle eggs.

For you, a few views…..

St Giles Cathedral and Walter Francis Douglas Scott (who?) the 5th Duke of Buccleuch and 7th Duke of Queensbury, apparently.
Victoria Street, looking up from the Grassmarket.
Victoria Street with Victoria Terrace above, it’s oh so quiet!
And back to the other end of St Giles and the Mercat Cross.

Of course, one place was hooching…. the Meadows. Everyone under thirty and their cousin turned up on Saturday afternoon. It’s just a shame they didn’t remember to leave only footprints when they left.

Ah, those fair meadows 💛

Last weekend would have been the Meadows Fair if not for the Lockdown. The Meadows Fair, as it says on the tin, is held in the Meadows a well-loved parkland area on the Southside of town, always on the first full weekend of June. I say always but in the last few years there has been some doubt as to it’s continuation as the council, well, behaves like it does!

See the Meadows Fair is just a lovely local event for local people, there’s no big sponsors or money in it, tourists don’t come for it – ah, of course, that’s why the council are so unhelpful, it’s just for locals! Not that you wouldn’t be very welcome should you be in Edinburgh, dear hearts, everyone’s very welcome but like I said, it’s not a big flashy event, it’s a free, volunteer-run grassroots affair; various stages with live music, kids’ activities, a dog show, performers, a beer tent, some of the best bric-a-brac stalls you will ever see along with plenty other stalls (and the usual overpriced food stalls) and a travelling fair always sets up beside it just off Melville Drive on the Marchmont side.

Apparently it was founded in 1974, and plenty of folk look like they dig out their old 70s gear to wear for it! Hippy Central it is. Many just chill out in front of the main stage, the odd few have a wee boogie-about, you can always stretch your legs by a wander round the stalls. At the other end of Middle Meadow Walk is a smaller but equally loud stage showcasing young upcoming local bands, worth checking out, the sets are quite short so if one band isn’t to your fancy, don’t worry, there’ll be another along shortly!

People come back year after year, the once young hedonists come back pushing buggies, trying to be hip-cool with their teenagers, sharing a beer with grown-up kids each reminiscing their times at Fairs gone-by. Of course, even though it wasn’t on this year I just had to take a trot up there and boy, the locals were out in numbers (all observing social distancing, I hasten to add). There were family groups, flatmates, couples, plenty sitting one chatting to another at the appropriate distance, it was really good to see. The whole area was dotted with folk enjoying a summer afternoon in the park.

One thing though, I’ll bet the folk on Saturday left all sorts of rubbish behind! I was always taught from very young to never litter, even if the bins are full, no excuse, take it home! At the end of both days of the Meadows Fair a small army of volunteers go round collecting up all the rubbish leaving the place spotless (frankly there shouldn’t be any on the ground as there are plenty of bins). There’s also donation buckets going around, I always give to help this marvellous institution survive another year.

Roll on the 5th of June 2021!

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On checking a few factoids I’ve noticed it’s officially called the Meadows Festival, well I’ve always known it as the Meadows Fair and thats what i intend to keep calling it!