Built with a sandstone that varies from a deep reddish-brown through to pale grey (sometimes blackened by soot) – often several stories high and with a similar architectural style throughout – they endow the city with a very strong character.
The Dour Endure In Edinburgh
In fact, we have found people to be very positive, light, and friendly, on the whole. Not dour at all.
The word dour (pronounced doo-er or dower) that the Scottish use about themselves and their homeland comes from the Scottish Gaelic (and originally from the Latin) durus meaning hard, dull, obstinate.
And when the skies are grey or black and threatening, the city looks dour, hard, and unforgiving even in its grandness.
And that is how I picture Edinburgh now – friendly people set against a dark backdrop.
No Net Curtains To Mar The View
The houses in the center of the city are mainly built right onto the street, without a front garden, and there is a noticeable absence of curtains during the daylight hours at many of the downstairs windows.
Therefore one can see in to large rooms and high ceilings and the temptation to look in at every room adds a certain tension to a walk down the street.
No English house would be seen without its net curtains, so the lack of curtains here is noticeable. Perhaps being so far north and with the rooms being so big, they need all the light they can get to penetrate the gloom.
The Houses On Anne Street
In contrast, some of the smaller streets in the West End have that look that speaks from an earlier age. The elegance of the proportions of the buildings is very attractive and the absence of anywhere to park means that the streets are chock-full of ‘permit only’ cars.
Take away the cars and the scene could be from the late seventeen or early eighteen hundreds.
Rothesay Place Photographed With the iPhone
I have been taking more photographs with my iPhone. I have taken my big camera out with me and I photographed the street theatre performers at theEdinburgh Festival with it, but my ‘phone is always with me and the camera built into it is no slouch.
There are various camera apps besides Apple’s own version that is built into the iPhone, and the one that I am happy with is Camera+. If you have an iPhone, I recommend it.
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