June 6th, 2004


Auld Reekie

This week's trip was a Saturday in Edinburgh.

Given Edinburgh is a striking historical city with plenty to see and do, I wasn't really in the mood to make much of it. I wandered around a few shops (Transreal, Mr. Wood's Fossils) in the Grassmarket below the castle, and made a foray into Games Workshop on the Royal Mile.

As usual, GW contained almost nothing of interest, all over-priced. However, this time there were a couple of things that actually suited my taste: quite a good rendition of Shelob from their Lord of the Rings range, and a steam-powered tank. Shame the prices were outrageous - about twice what I reckon they would cost from other manufacturers. I wonder how they manage to sell stuff that expensive to their younger target market? Although I liked the figures, there was no way I was paying that much over the odds.

Giving up on the shops after the Grassmarket, I headed up past Greyfriars Churchyard and the wee dog to the Royal Museum in Chambers Street. I still haven't really made it into the Museum of Scotland next door. Although I'm sure Tony Blair's guitar is a sight to see. Instead, I wandered round the stuffed animals and the well-hidden evolution exhibit, which was both interesting and disappointing - I'd have liked to see a lot more. The stuffed animals may help with some figure-painting. In the museum shop, it was nice to see Marianne's book on prominent display.

On returning to St. Andrews, I was just in time to get into the NPH to see the new Harry Potter movie. As with the rest of the day, I felt a bit detached from it, but it seemed to be a passable movie. Although it's obvously part of the same series of movies as the earlier ones, the change of director has made a difference, mainly to the look of it. There's a lot more use made of Scottish scenery for the countryside outside Hoggwarts, which I wouldn't mind if it wasn't that it felt like a different location!

Viewing the Potter movies without having read the books (I'll buy them once they're all out), it seems to me that they're not anything terribly special in most ways, but that they're a bit better at dramatic twists than other children's stories.