Saturday, 2 August 2014

Beggars and bagpipes and stuff

There are things you cannot get away from in Edinburgh. Some I think about too much.

There are beggars on the street. Whenever I've visited the city (including  years before we moved to Scotland), I've seen the beggars on the streets. In London it was a common sight when I was growing up but I never got used to them. And the ones in Edinburgh are ever present. There is one on Princes Street who sits with a cupboard piece claiming he wasn't a druggie/alcoholic - the same sign as he has been showing for years. It's remarkably pristine.
There is the East European woman who sometimes sits outside the station cup in hand. And there is the one who claims he is a ex-soldier, with a noble expression, his service record readily available for anyone to see.
One very rare morning, I found his stuff in it's usual place but no soldier beggar in site.

He was back the next day, glasses perched on his nose while he read a book and waited for people to put money in his hat.
Ironically this part of the street is also where the Jesus lovers stand all day with their leaflets about the love of god blah blah blah.

As Fringe begins the number of beggars ramps up. Somedays I pretend they are spies for the local police keeping an eye on the people around the streets. I will give money to the street artists like the man that carves a dog sculpture out of sand, or the Big Issue sellers s and to the local homeless charities.

Bagpipes - early morning starts mean that I don't hear bagpipes when I am in the City. But by the time I go home the drone of the pipes is in the air delighting the tourist. Most often polluting it with the same old tunes. But every now again, usually a young piper, plays something different and then I will stop and listen. They rarely have the US or Japanese tourists around them at this time which is a bonus.
More street music that I enjoy are the south american band that often joyfully play outside Jenners or M&S, or the flautist who plays modern pop song tunes outside the station.

Anyhooo, I haven't forgotten my aim to make sure I always look at the Castle and never forget it's there. Sometimes though ...that's hard! And in foggy weather, I hope that I don't trip over a person whilst looking up at the amazing buildings around.

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