She lies there, quiet and seemingly at peace, cloaked in the sophisticated greyness of mist and fog. And yet she isn't, she is full of life and fun and her streets are busy with the endeavours of her children and visitors both. ***
Amongst the pastoral scenes lie those of grandeur and violence. Such is art, where death and life, innocence and wickedness are entwined fitfully together. This is the conundrum of the gallery, that the ego and id of humanity lies bared, that that act of capturing and interpreting gives credence and authenticity, and in sure turn shows us much of what lies between the brush-strokes.
And this is a celebration of human endeavour, soiled and sullied and wrought of pompous self expression, twisted by the politics, religions and culture of the time. In the painting of these subjects are exposed the truths of the artists' gestalt, and our interpretation remains at best unclear and at worst too sure. In the act of celebrating the magnificence of art and the artist we also celebrate narcissism, we celebrate egotism and self interest, self promotion and propaganda.
And yet, amidst this all, beauty and talent and wonder exists.
The Bow Bar; two hundred malt whiskies, renowned and lauded for their variety. Ea sits, sipping slowly and with pleasure at a Glenkinchie, I sit and write.
The bar, quiet when we entered, heaves and buzzes with life and chatter. Voices are cheerful, accents lilting and engaging and enticing.
Laughter rings out.
We stand in a queue. Orange Wednesday. Two girls let us past, giggling as they wait nervously for their friend to send them a code to use. In gratitude I have mine to hand, if they need it. Just in time, they don't.
They laugh and chat.
I love this city, and the people in it.
The back room, the Mooch, is cosy, with seat benches covered in cushions. Coffee sacks line the walls, a gold frame surrounds a fuse box. From the ceiling hangs lights, low over the tables, lamp shades made from coffee cups and cafetieres.
In the front room a young man stands, his moustache twirled and magnificent. The coffee he makes fills the air with sensations of taste and smell, pungent and lovely. Pastry crumbs lie flaked on a pair of vintage patterned plates.
The coffee is rich and lovely and delightful.
A vintage clothes shop, a find, an unexpected pleasure. The chocolate brown cord jacket is a little too big, I am disappointed. Ea is off somewhere else, digging through treasures galore.
A burnt orange 1970's leather jacket. Pimp-style. I love it. It fits. Oscillations of 'do I's' and 'don't I's'.
It is bought, eventually, by Ea, in lieu of. Some things just need to be owned, and worn.
David Bann's restaurant. Vegetarian. Modern and friendly. The food is accounted to be amazing.
Fried smoked tofu, noodles and plum sauce. Ea has gnocci, roasted cherry tomatoes and rocket salad.
Blue cheese and apple souffle with roasted carrots, parsnips, leek and cabbage. Smoked tofu, mushroom and noodles.
Hot pear and passion fruit tart with chocolate ice cream. Chocolate souffle with vanilla ice cream and white chocolate sauce.
Replete. Sated. Lovely.
Today. More exploring, more finding and more discovering.