hot shots

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We have just returned from a photoshoot. It is a very hot day and Tom couldn’t stop taking photographs of Bruce’s monumental panting tongue. (Don’t worry, he was supplied with plenty of water). In between the hot dog shots, he was photographing my new pattern – a cardigan, which is due for release toward the end of the month. I am very pleased with this design, and couldn’t resist showing you a couple of outtakes from the shoot.

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This will be the first of three designs, all inspired by my favourite Edinburgh places. More soon!

A Walk with Felix

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Hiya! It is I, Bruce. I am here to tell you about a Fun Walk I had yesterday at Braid Hill with Kate and my buddy, Felix. This walk (which is one of my favourites) begins by Golf Course. Golf Courses are very mysterious human spaces: men walk purposefully about them with large bags and sticks, and occasionally a ball flies by which I am not allowed to chase. Also, Golf Courses are composed of large flat, inviting lawns which clearly say “gambol upon me.” Oddly, though, whenever we encounter one, I am not allowed to gambol but am sternly told to walk to heel. Yesterday, though, I was so happy to be engaged upon the business of Walking with Felix that I got away, and gambolled happily about the Golf Course. Then I did something in the middle of the big green lawn which made Kate shout “Oh No! Bruce!” in that way she often does. So I thought I’d cheer her up by rolling in something a horse had left nearby . . . sadly this did not seem to do the trick.

Felix remained in good spirits, however, and, fully fired up with eau de cheval, we ascended Hill. At the top of Hill it was clearly time for a game, and, after rummaging in the bushes I presented Felix with Old Ball.

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Come down from there, Felix, it is time to throw Old Ball.

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Look at me prance with Old Ball, Felix.

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Time to throw Old Ball again, Felix.

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What do you mean, its the end of the game?

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Please throw Old Ball again, Felix.

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Sadly, there was no more Old Ball fun for me as Kate decided it was time to take some pictures of her new sweater.

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Such is life.

See you soon, love Bruce xxx

The Braids

Hill four of the seven is Braid Hill, or in local parlance, The Braids. Rising from a wooded valley floor to an undulating hillside a couple of miles south of Edinburgh, The Braids are part managed parkland, part urban corridor. By day, a place for golf buddies and walkers; by night, the hideout of youths and foxes. With its rosebay willowherb and corners of abandoned furniture, the landscape reminds me of the canal-side walks of my childhood, but it can feel quite remote at times at well. Tom often runs here, and occasionally crosses paths with a startled deer — it is a marginal sort of place where you feel that you are just about to leave the city. Edinburgh’s eighteenth-century poets regarded The Braids as a rural retreat: it was one of Burns’ favourite walking spots, and Robert Fergusson wrote a rather conventional pastoral in which he counseled his readers to forget “the city’s allurements” and “to this spot of enchantment retire.” But my favourite Braids-inspired poem is from the hand of a far less-well-known local writer, Rebekkah Carmichael, who in 1790 chose The Braids as the setting for a curious poetic re-enactment of the Choice of Hercules.

Thankfully I did not have to make a choice between Pleasure and Virtue today – in fact, my walk seemed to involve both. The Hedgerows were glorious. I enjoyed having my macro lens to photograph late blooms . . .

. . . and new fruits



Bruce came too.

The walk was certainly a challenge — the ground was thankfully even underfoot, but with over a mile of steady ascent, things were a bit more tricky than Blackford . . .

We had a wee rest at the top. There’s Castle Hill, in the patch of sunlight behind me.

This was quite a tough walk for me, and I will probably now be bushed for the next couple of days, but I have to say I much prefer a bit of exertion followed by rest, to the interminable purgatory that is pacing oneself. That’s just me, though – and it is so nice to ramble about the landscape again on a lovely late-summer’s day, beneath Edinburgh’s shifting skies, with my man and my dog.

Look! The Pentlands! One day not too far away, perhaps . . .

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