The Meadows, a large public park to the south of Edinburgh city centre, is a place I know well, having walked around it many times over the years. It became a part of Loose Ends through Hibs. The last connection, Coldstream, was reached because I was there to see the Cabbage while the Meadows saw the very first game of the fledgling Hibernian Football Club on Christmas Day 1875 against Heart of Midlothian. In the interests of fairness I have to advise that Hearts won by a goal to nil. I was in the Meadows on a beautiful summer’s afternoon and not much football was happening, more people reading, sunbathing, barbecuing, even, in the warm July sunshine. Jazz musicians even made the chilled out feeling audible amidst the mass of humanity. Lots of people being around made taking photos a little difficult since I try to avoid getting people on camera if I can avoid it.
I walked across the Meadows on Jawbone Walk, thinking up possible connections as I went. A nearby mural made me think of Muriel Spark and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, set nearby. Jawbone Walk used to lead to a whale’s jawbone, removed within the last decade, and that could connect to North Berwick Law where a fibreglass replica sits on the top. Essayist and poet Kathleen Jamie wrote about jawbones in one of her essay volumes and that could take me to some other places Jamie has written about like Surgeon’s Hall, Charlotte Square or Orkney, to name but three. That Hibs and Hearts played their first game in the Meadows might lead to Tynecastle. I could see David Hume Tower, part of the University, across the Meadows, also visible from my seat at Easter Road, which might take me back to the Borders and Chirnside which is near where Hume was born. Going up Arthur’s Seat, like an elephant high above, was a possibility. I remembered my own early experiences in the Meadows at the fun fair and a picnic. I went to primary school across the city at Craigentinny, another possibility for an adventure.
A little later I sat nearby in Holyrood Park, writing notes and thinking of my brisk walk through the Meadows. On other days I had lingered longer, thoughts, plans, ideas fuelling circuits around the park, perhaps across Bruntsfield Links and back. I thought about Norman MacCaig, who lived near the Meadows with several of his poems set there. Ideas come in the strangest of places and I often get mine while walking. This walk in a familiar place yielded one or two, more words and another adventure amidst the loose ends to come.
Thank you for reading.
Another Loose Ends adventure follows here next week.
Next post is a Streets of Glasgow post, which will be on Wednesday.