Friday, November 17, 2006

All bound for Morningside

Edinburgh is old. Really old. Maybe thousands of years old. Unfortunately, the prehistoric settlements have been built on, and all that remains of those times are the terraces on the slopes of Arthur's Seat. There was probably a settlement on Castle Rock, which is why the Romans didn't have a camp there, but instead had a fort at Cramond five miles away.
There was a road going south from Cramond, and twenty years ago, my first job after leaving college was as an archaeological site assistant, excavating a short section of that road. I found a couple of roman coins and a cow's skull.
Although the road itself, is long gone, the route has persisted. A few miles south, it becomes Morningside Road.
Now I know that New York has a posh area called Morningside Heights, but it doesn't hold a candle to our Morningside.
The area is the fabled home of the legendary Morningside Ladies. These delightful creatures think that sex is what coal comes in. Their feared greeting, when guests arrive, is: "You'll have hed your tea?", implying that if anyone should be so crass as to say no, requiring the hostess to be put to the expense and trouble of offering food and drink, they will be treated to an icy civility henceforth.
The third weel kent fact about Morningside Ladies, though it is one that is only whispered out of their earshot, is that they are "All fur coat and nae knickers." though this description is also often applied to the city of Edinburgh herself. Indeed one is the embodiment of the other.
In reality, Morningside is not the poshest part of Edinburgh. That honour goes to Barnton. What it does have is shops. Apart from Sainsbury, there are no chain stores. They're all individual shops, selling a wide range of goods - jewelry, artworks, clothing, clocks, toys. It's the best street for your Christmas shopping.


Sapient Fridge said...

Is the "Canny man's" pub still there? I used to love all the weird stuff hanging on the walls (and ceilings) there.

Have you seen this site? Lots of good photos of Edinburgh:

Deacon Barry said...

It's still there, though somebody sawed the head off the mermaid a few years back. Or was that the one in Copenhagen?