Below are Crooked Cat authors along with the co- owners of Crooked Cat Publishing - Steph and Laurence Patterson -having had a great meal and wonderful chat at 'The Living Room'!
My visit to Auld Reekie was fantastic from start to finish. My 3 hours 20 min journey (coach) was delightful during which I read a chunk of a novel written by a fellow Crooked Cat author.
The lunch time meet- up was as fluid as expected, and I do not refer to the glasses of wine or other alcohol imbibed. We braved sitting ouside The Albannach Bar (Albannach meaning scotsman) on the Royal Mile, the Scottish weather being as variable as we expected- a bit sunny at times, a bit windy, a bit chilly, BUT NO RAIN!
A highlight of the afternoon was a visit to 'Mary King's Close' with Laurence Patterson and Mark Patton. I'm a sucker for the entertainment value from these tours and was surprised how much history I 'think' I absorbed about life in 1630 when Mary King inhabited the Close. To have these rooms now available for public viewing is quite amazing after them being 'unavailable' for so many decades.
The blocking off of such historic areas just would not hppen nowadays - I'm sure!
I knew very little about the 'Close' except that it had been effectively blocked off during a time of renovations on the High Street (The Royal Mile). I had been unaware that it was the building of the Royal Exchange in 1753 which had caused a number of closes and alleyways between the tenement buildings to be partially cut off and effectively 'buried', what remained being used as foundations for the Royal Exchange building.
Ghost stories, murders and evil deeds abound about Mary King's Close. Some of the spooky tales are about victims of the plague and other deadly happenings like biogas (marsh gases) escaping from the nearby Nor Loch (a stagnant marsh of putrid waste products) into the buildings. Some of the hauntings are attributed to plague victims being boarded up and left to die when 'quarantine' rules were enforced.
Was I affected by the trip?
Well, you can see it turned my hair white! (Isn't infra-red just great?)
Some more of the gathering - authors and friends.
and....Steph having a great time
as did we all!
Many thanks to Steph and Laurence for their efforts in arranging the event- they are wonderful people to be associated with and know how to extend fine hospitality!