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9.27.2006

eight


Yesterday, I found the coat that I have been waiting to buy. It is not a raincoat as such, but it is just what I want. Had I wondered to myself, 'what sort of coat would you like to own and wear?' this is not the one that my imagination would have created. I would have thought of something quite classic in dark grey or black. It might have had the general fit and style of this one, but I would never have conceived of such a red colour. It is fabulous.

On the same day, that is, yesterday, I observed a very unusual and fascinating thing. The city of Edinburgh is riddled over with all manner of hills. On my way home from George Square, for example, I must descend and ascend two hills of great incline. (That is, they seem quite inclining to my meagre legs.) Liesl and I were scavenging around Princes Street, where I found the coat that I will buy, and then we headed over to the Royal Mile. Somewhere between Prince and Mile, New Town ends and Old Town begins. That means two things: one) you pass over a bridge that crosses over what I could only figure to be the train station, and two) the streets no longer feel the need to be even and straight. The Royal Mile is pretty straight for an Old Town street. In fact, I think the idea of it is that it be straight. But it is most certainly not even. We had already rambled around the castle end of the Royal Mile, which chooses to ascend right up to the great stone walls of said castle, so on this particular yesterday, we chose to explore the other end of the street. (This is a lot of preface for a very short and simple observation.) So anyway, we were headed down the hill of the eastern end of the Mile, when my pseudo-flatmate was struck by something across the street. I was more interested in fashion than in public curiosities, and was at this time trying to point out to her a variety of boots in a certain shop window. She wisely directed my attention to the more interesting matter across from us. On the opposite sidewalk, a man in a wheelchair had his dog by a leash. That dog was tugging furiously at that leash, and the man was gripping very hard. This might sound like any normal bloke out walking his pup... except that the dog had the leash by his teeth, and was, with all his dog strength, pulling the man in his chair up the steep incline of the hill. Now, I have often thought of this city as a nightmare for anyone with any sort of physical handicap. But I had never considered all the clever ways in which obstacles of this nature may be overcome. It would have taken enormous strength and endurance for the fellow in the chair to get himself up that long stretch of steep road. It might also, generally speaking, be difficult for him to find ways of jollying about with his very energetic dog. But here is a solution to both, for I am sure that at the end of the day, the dog was quite happy in his game of tug of war, and the man was quite happy in his strength. Three cheers for Scottish ingenuity!

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