I was grateful for the weekend......the week at work was busy.....visitors from Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway on Tuesday and Wednesday and then yet more from Bulgaria on Thursday.....
Saturday - off to Barry Mill with the National Trust - clearing the grass meadows and pulling himalayan balsam out of the burn. I spent the day in my shorts and wellington boots, sporting what I would call my evacuee look, paddling, or perhaps it was more like stumbling up and down the burn as if I was exploring some far off jungle, except this jungle was full of brambles and nettles instead of boa constrictors and tarantulas. Himalayan Balsam is a non-native species so we are trying to keep it's spread under control....and as it likes to grow along the riverbank that was where I had to be. The others were clearning up the mowed, dried grass from the meadows - making hay whilst the sun shone (literally!)
Sunday - trip to Edinburgh with friends - the Fringe Festival has started but we decided to avoid the city centre and spent the morning in Ikea before heading to the small but perfectly formed neighbourhood of Stockbridge to find a late lunch. We stumbled across a real find... The Stockbridge Tap, an unassuming pub with some of the best pub food I've ever had. Starters of duck pate with balsamic vinegar pickled onions and seafood in aioli, followed by mains of fish and chips with mushy peas, ham cooked in treacle and a french stew with mutton and merguez and dessert of raspberry cheesecake and parkin with clotted cream.....5 drinks and all from the princely sum of £55 for 4 of us. (Okay we shared 2 starters and 2 desserts but it was still great value!) Highly recommended if you are ever in Edinburgh.
Then we took a walk up the Water of Leith, a green and luscious lung in the middle of the city, to Dean Village. It was so green, so many shades of green, in the water, green in the trees, oh and in the middle of it all, himalayan baslam!