Monthly Archives: July 2021

The Story Today

What is the essence of good story telling . The days of ‘Once upon a time ‘ have long since changed . Today a story can be short , sweet, and dynamic , to catch one’s attention.

As stories develop . Some end with with meaning and some seem to leave the reader to speculate . There can be more than one ending in such cases .

The best of course will be a story ending with a message .

How does one begin a short story? Do we just plunge into it and pick up the different aspects of characters involved ? Or do we introduce the story in a formal way and describe each character in detail.

How does one do this ? Bringing a character alive is a gift . Probably one can visualise persons we have seen and start describing them to get an understanding of the skill of description.

In a dialogue , lots can be said . Well known authors go on to even bring out the dialects and characteristics of a person in the course of the dialogue .

Stories can appeal to young and old. Some authors specialise in children’s stories.

Then there are different categories which are referred to as genres . There can be ones with humour , crime, adventure and romance .

The key to good writing is editing. We can have two elements with us . The good one which appreciates and affirms . The bad one which criticises . A balance of both goes a long way .

We nurture our writing skills when we take time to read , and devote an equal time to write .

Cultivating this daily habit , helps in improving our expressions in writing .

So let’s be creative and bring out the best of our dreams and fantasy .

Edinburgh and Greyfriars Bobby

The visit to Edinburg was keenly anticipated. We thought of joining the walking tours with a guide .

This idea had to be shelved as I realized that at Edinburgh there were steep slopes and being a senior citizen I would not cope with this .

Anjean and I with our daughter Larissa and her husband Lloyd agreed that we do our own walking tour.

There seemed to be a holiday atmosphere. People were dressed in colourful summer attire, good walking shoes and cameras .

We began our walk with first a visit to Starbucks . The coffee and hospitality was warm and efficient.

We then proceeded to the St Giles Cathedral which has so much history…. a bit of heartbreak in that , bringing into focus the split in the church . I was very impressed with the stained glass Windows. The special cordoned area for the choir , seemed quite unique.

St Giles Cathedral

As we walked along , we approached the Edinburgh castle . This was a good spot for photographs .

I was surprised to be see the India Cross made of sandstone. It was erected to commemorate the 78th Regiment of Highlanders who quelled a mutiny from the Indian soldiers who fought against British rule in 1857. The Regiment was jointly awarded the Victoria Cross .( I wonder what happened to the Indian soldiers )

The India Cross has an elephant carved at its base . This elephant badge was awarded to the regiment in 1803 .

Thirty years later the regiment brought a real elephant to Edinburgh. It was well looked after with beer etc and led parades at ceremonial occasions.

We resumed our walk and refreshed ourselves with waffle icecreams .

The most interesting part of our walk was to see a statue of Greyfriars Bobby erected for his fidelity .

Statue of Greyfriars Bobby

The legend goes that Greyfriars Bobby befriended Colour Sergeant Scott . He would follow Scott to his home at 38 Candlemaker Row . The latter trained him to move from Greyfriars Kirkyard when the guns from Edinburgh Castle sounded at 1pm to Traills Coffee House at 6 Greyfriars Row where he was fed his dinner of a hot meat pie . Colour Sergeant Scott often joined him there.

When his master died in 1858 ,Greyfriars Bobby followed his master’s remains to Greyfriars Churchyard and lingered there until his death in 1872.

We had a quiet moment at the Churchyard .

Our walk ended with a sumptuous lunch at one of the popular restaurants Macker’s Mash Bar. We chose to sit out for our meal. If you are familiar with Glasgow and Edinburgh you notice many seagulls flying around . I was shocked to see a bold seagull land up on the table nearby after the diners finished their meal, to enjoy the remainder!

One cannot forget the grand architecture of the buildings at Edinburgh . George Herriots School was a spot where ‘Harry Potter’ fans show so much interest . Of course the story is quite different from the reality .

The pastry shop Patisserie Valerie was quite appealing. Lockkdown has not been helpful as the display was limited and the pastries we selected were well decorated but not too fresh.

We strolled around the shopping centre . The trams plying through the town caught my eye.

Finally we made our way back to the car park and Lloyd and Larissa saw us home to Glasgow after a long drive back .