Oh let's all go move to Edinburgh! I had barely a few hours in the city and they left me all aflutter.
Changing trains between Elgin and Alnmouth I wrangled a half-hour at the Fruitmarket, a contemporary art gallery just outside Waverly Station. They were setting up the Dieter Roth exhibition upstairs. In the absence of actual art, I turned my admiration to the perfect shade of pink that united everything in the space: even the chalk on the blackboard menu was that color. I lingered in the excellent bookshop far too long, finally buying one book on silence, one on cities and one on independent publishing in Scotland.
Once back from the seaside, we took a cab straight to Dovecot Studios for lunch at Stag Espresso. The cafe was impeccably staffed by two gentlemen who produced a takeaway box filled with finger puppets to delight my daughter, cleaned up a shattered glass flacon with aplomb, and sold a mean slab of dense chocolate cut through with chewy, salty sweetness. Apparently I'm not alone in my admiration; someone chose to commemorate the owner in a cupcake.
Meanwhile the Dovecot Studios, a tapestry studio housed in a Victorian swimming pool, feels very of-the-moment for our maker-mad world. (Imagine the hip version of this weaver's center in Brandenburg.)
How lovely to see these spools transformed into this tapestry. This stag by Peter Blake was the last photo I took when I was told I could take no photos but there were other works worth seeing by Elizabeth Blackadder, Douglas Grierson and international stars such as David Hockney and Paul Gauguin.
I rather loved the approach to the Ingleby Gallery, via an underpass and past a castle.
I think the film and the carved stones upstairs were the more famous works, but I liked the paperworks best in this Ian Hamilton Finlay show.
Two regrets — not making it back to the Fruitmarket for the Dieter Roth exhibition, and not getting my hands on one of those beautiful Edinburgh Art Festival bags.