After our night's sleepover near the summit of the Braid Hills in Edinburgh, seen here in the above photo, we descended down a green ribbon of trees, gorse and lanes next morning towards suburbia. You can see our exact route here. From the masts walking down diagonally rightwards along the ridge line to where the houses break the woods, then trending back again after a couple of streets right to left across the middle of the photo via Braidburn Valley Park. We then followed another green corridor (sunken and hidden from view in this photo) from the large tree on the left, past the red golfer then climbing upwards again towards Craiglockhart district. This last stretch was on urban pavements but as it was surrounded by the Merchants of Edinburgh golf course on both sides, Greenbank Drive then Glenlockhart Road might as well have been out in the countryside with any large houses set well back and mostly hidden from view with straight lines of mature trees and quiet walkways deceiving any travellers that they were in a city environment at all. A very pleasant street walk with a difference.
"What! That is miles away from here! You are joking!!!"
As it was a genuine mystery tour I had our only map and she was bravely resisting the urge to look it up. Nothing worse than knowing where you are going :)
This is a real un-zoomed view of Corstorphine Hill, our next and final summit on the list- and she was right... it did look miles away. We had already been walking for a couple of hours to get to here and had enjoyed a breakfast on the move.
"Don't worry. Fear not." I explained. "We can take a bus from here to there at the bottom of this hill. Save the legs. No more street walking for you today my grape guzzling princess."
"Aye, very funny."
So we sat on the summit bench and admired the view. Bottles of fizzy drink had been bought earlier at a local shop near Braidburn Valley Park and I still had a packet of six rainbow cookies which I'd brought from Glasgow. (Chocolate chip cookies with different coloured smarties embedded on top and very tasty. I had been saving them for our final celebration summit but she looked in need of a sugar boost and special treat right now so we split the pack and had three each.
Spectacular bird's eye view location shots in a slide show here. Also click ...The Development- History to view classical interiors
These places are usually set in lovely peaceful surroundings however, full of abundant nature - often a stark contrast to events happening inside. (as it was not in use the last time I visited it may well be developed into......... luxury housing at a guess) It puzzled me at first how there could be so many rich folk in Central Scotland in the million pound and upwards house market until I read an article about a sharp rise in upwardly mobile people moving out of London and heading north. With the price of houses down there you could sell a comparatively modest dwelling and buy a detached mansion and grounds up here and still have cash left over to live on. According to news reports London seems to be getting more violent by the year, clocking up more murders than New York recently which may be a factor. I have noticed houses prices in Edinburgh, even in the outer suburbs are around ten percent higher than Glasgow's equivalent properties when matched together.
Although written in less enlightened PC times I've always liked this powerful song which I first heard in my teenage years early 1970s. Although Ziggy Stardust was the LP that propelled David Bowie into the major league it was his song writing ability on earlier albums like Hunky Dory and The Man Who Sold The World that captivated me the most, then as now. Unusual subject matter for that time when these places were still very much 'out of sight out of mind.' and a taboo discussion area even today although DB had a well documented reason for his interest due to a family connection. Almost a wish fulfillment in the upbeat lyrics here that never matched the grim reality, sadly. Somewhat ironically, many of the greatest thinkers, artists and creative talents of each new generation might well end up here at some point. Probably the thing that separates them from the rest in the first place leads them to be more susceptible. A nostalgic gem and still a masterpiece. Fantastic descending guitar work on this song which helps to sets the tone while the lyrics rise up as a counterbalance. Although the title is All The Madmen women traditionally make up the largest percentage of mental health patients in most countries, no surprise when they often shoulder the biggest burdens in any society, bringing up children...and husbands, working and housework combined, social restrictions on lifestyles, sexual abuse, in marriage or out, and harsher judgements regarding conduct etc etc... Also troubled men are far more likely to commit suicide rather than seek help or talk about it.