The HarperCollins visit was a great success. They marketed the event as a chance to see original Peter Pan artwork and unseen letters from famous authors such as JRR Tolkien and Agatha Christie, but in reality we enjoyed the visit to the cartographic offices much more. We also had a chance to peek into the process of making dictionaries. Very cool, very interesting and very cheap because the on-site bookshop was closed. Boo. The Antonine Wall/the Cadder Fort? Underwhelming as the site was excavated in the 1930s and subsequently turned into a sand quarry during World War II. So we stood in the rain, looked across the Forth and Clyde canal and saw a bunch of trees. However, as the Antonine Wall now has been declared a World Heritage Site, we might get to see something a bit more involving in the future. We did learn that the Roughcastle fort in Falkirk is well-preserved and well worth a visit, so we might head up there at some point.
Finally, we spent some time at Cadder Parish Church which stands in the middle of a forest. There has been a church on site since the mid-12th century and although the church has been rebuilt and refurbished many times since, you could still see the passing of ages in the surroundings. Dave loves his stained glass windows and was thrilled to see stained glass windows featuring World War I tanks. I was more taken in by the graveyard and its odd open iron coffin.. It was used during the 19th c to deter grave robbers (who'd sell fresh bodies to the anatomy schools). You'd simply put the coffin on top of the grave, fill it with stones and just sit in a little waiting house nearby until you heard the unmistakable sound of men trying to remove stones from the iron coffin. The waiting house is still there -- it looks to be a favourite spot for the local foxes.
And what is this? Could this be a sighting of the increasingly common februarii ladius sweaterae? I believe this one is the organic Scottish Gray variant with mother-of-pearl features..
This photo was actually taken a day earlier during our bramble picking adventure. Bramble is the Scottish word for blackberry and we have had quite a few bramble crumbles lately. Yum, yum.