My weekend.

After work on Friday I stayed in. I toyed with the idea of heading out to see if anyone was around, but in the end I couldn't be bothered, so I stayed in and fiddled with stuff instead. This included putting new ends on a length of coax for the TV, now that it's a lot nearer the socket. After plugging the machines back together I looked at the paper and realised there was nothing on, so I watched some Not the Nine O'Clock News instead.

On Saturday, morning I read the paper, and then in the afternoon I wandered around a few bookshops, mainly looking for a copy of "Bodies in motion and at rest", which I've mentioned before. Halfway down Lothian Road I bumped into purplerabbits and sibelian, and on George Street dryad_wombat and grahamb, which were both very welcome meetings. After narrowly escaping a record fair I hadn't realised was on I went back into the old town and happened across a second-hand bookstall next to the Tron Kirk. It had a couple of copies of the Rubaiyat, but they weren't as nice as my parents' copy, so I didn't buy either of them in spite of the very reasonable price-tags. Three bookshops later I didn't have a Rubaiyat or a copy of "Bodies in motion and at rest", but I did have a book of Eco essays, which should be fun.

Later my brother called, and we went over to the Hoose for a couple of pints. dragal23 was there, so we spent the next couple of hours chatting with him. Afterwards Pete went home, pleading tiredness due to unsocial working hours, and I went over to Teviot for Vain. This was quite fun, with various people hanging around to talk to and a few unexpected musical treats.

Sunday morning, of course, involved breakfast and the Sunday papers, and then heading over to Calton Hill for some more Torchie rehearsing. There were a dozen of us, so numbers are gradually picking up towards where they need to be. A vague suspicion about a Gav that had been mentioned on Thursday returned when I saw his surname written down and where he worked.

First we played daft warmup games for a few minutes until other people were ready, ourselves and then later with the White Women. Two Blue Men turned up and indeed Gavin turned out to be my old practical partner Gav from my honours year. It feels very odd that people I know keep turning up. I know a Red Man (who's a woman) and a White Woman (who's a man), a processional drummer and a Blue Man. It's starting to feel like a family gathering. In a good way, I must stress - I haven't seen Gav in about eight or nine years, so it was a joyful reunion indeed.

So with the May Queen and the White Women and two of the Blue Men we rehearsed the opening of the procession on the monument and then followed the course round, with explanation, information and much effort (mostly successful) avoiding getting hit on the head with the various sticks that were waving around. Towards the end we were joined by the whole mob of Red Men to run through another important part.

As if this business wasn't odd enough, it was a cold and misty day, which made the hill seem even stranger - and making Calton Hill odder is quite a feat. For those of you who've not been there, it's dominated by the rather imposing frontage of, it is popularly but wrongly supposed, what was going to be a full-size copy of the Parthenon. Actually, it was intended to be as it is but this doesn't make it any more mundane. There are more photos of the hill here, but bear in mind that due to the mist hardly any of the surrounding city was visible from most parts of the hilltop, so it felt far more isolated than anywhere in a city-centre should really manage - it's right next to the end of Princes Street, as you can see in some of those photos.

After that, as on the previous Sunday, we went to the pub for a bit. We didn't stay as long this time, and I was away soon after six. On the way back I bumped into gingiber and anonymous_seth, so I had a cup of tea with them and a chat before making it home. I'd already picked up a Dead Can Dance DVD (essential research for the gig), so after begging off another drink with Pete on the gounds that I was far too tired to go out, I watched that, listened to some more Neubauten and went to bed.

  • Current Mood: Alive. Awake.
  • Current Music: Einstuerzende Neubauten - Vanadium-I-Ching
There are a few Rubaiyats of varying cost and quality in that bookshop in Blackheath, if you get time when you're next in London it may be worth a look. They are all behind glass though, so they might be very expensive.
True, but even so it still sounds like it would be well worth visiting. I rather regret not having done so before.
This is in no way related to your post, but my pet streaming audio channel has just played me a delightful cover: TV On The Radio's a cappella, doo-woppish cover of Mr Grieves.

And I thought that might be the kind of thing you might appreciate.
Oh, I'm so glad I found this post again in the annals of the Internet! It had been on my mind for some time, and as I was flipping through the latest issue of History Scotland (Vol. 5, No. 2), I recently came upon a piece about unfinished homes and monuments in Scotland, penned by Geoffrey Stell, former head of Architecture at RCAHMS.

According to his article, the Archiseek page is not accurate. He claims that the rumours are true:

The promoters of the scheme to erect a National Monument on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, envisaged a facsimile of the Parthenon standing above the 'Athens of the North'. Although they managed to raise only some £16,000 out of the estimated £42,000 required, in 1826 they decided to press ahead, employing the distinguished architects, C.R. Cockerell and W.H. Playfair, and using the very best materials and craftsmen on a difficult site. Not unsurprisingly, by 1829 the money had run out, and, in the words of the one of the architects, the work came to a 'dead halt'. Only one colonnade and adjacent parts were built, albeit to a very high and elegant standard. Now looking like a deliberately incomplete and pleasing folly, the unfinished result is in some ways an intended improvement on Cockerell's original ambitious and visionary scheme.

Interesting, this. The legend is so legendary, even the rumours are now rumours!

Thank you.

I've seen it stated elsewhere also that the surviving plans only show a frontage, but I've not seen said plans myself. The story has obviously outgrown its origins.