BookNook is a weekly feature in which Fiona Grew shares her favourite spots around Edinburgh to enjoy a good read.
Last night I sat in the long grass on the back of Salisbury Crags watching the spectacular Meadowbank Stadium fireworks. It was bonfire night, the grass came up to my waist (when standing) and there was no one around us. The hundreds of students and Edinburgh residents who rushed to Holyrood Park on the eve of November 5, all seemed to be up on the top of Arthur’s Seat or the Crags but myself and three friends (including one loyal flat-mate who has been fuelling my long hours at the library with home-made soup all week) wandered between the two and positioned ourselves on the bank behind with a perfect view of the stadium ahead.
We had some wine, watched the fireworks and reflected on how weird and wonderful it is that we have all been friends since freshers’ week, first year. I lay in the grass – listening to one friend speak in elaborate coffee-related metaphors in the hope I would mention her in my column – and wished I had spent more time in Holyrood Park when I lived just a few minutes away at Pollock. It’s often too cold and sometimes too wet to lie in the grass reading but I live in the optimistic hope that I will find a day where it is not, once the never-ending essays are finished and there is time for long, rambling walks.
After the fabulous fireworks display I left my friends and went for a few drinks at The Salisbury Arms (not by myself, I might add). Directly opposite The Commonwealth Pool, every Pollock or former Pollock resident has definitely walked past this lovely pub several hundred times. I sat, chatting away merrily, until closing and the matching pair of massive, comfortable-looking armchairs did not escape my notice.
After a pretty much perfect evening, I have decided that the antidote to library-hunchback-syndrome, is the beautiful Crags followed by a drink or three in one of those lovely looking armchairs in the cosy Salisbury Arms – and if you can squeeze a paperback into your Barbour pocket, that’s all the better.