Another lovely day today.
Ruaíri arrived from Dublin last night and we got absolutely trollied on red wine and Linkwood whisky, busting the myth that you should never mix grape and grain.
Had an impromptu birthday present ceremony. I received a very large bottle of Black Bush, plus some beautiful purses from Asia, and these slightly unusual gifts. The ones on the left are ceremonial cutlery with dancing apsara. I bet you can't guess what the other one is? I'll give you a hint - it's magnetic.
Wonderful night. We went to bed very late and very happily sozzled.
Today we took a jaunt down to the registry office. My two dearest friends, Ruaíri and Martine, are getting married. They're both previously divorced. Ruaíri's from Ireland, Martine is French, and they wish to get married in Scotland. You can see this required some consideration. Not as many questions as when Martine's daughter required a birth certificate, having been born to a Scottish father and a French mother in Algeria.
All rather a fiasco. Plus, divorce was only legalised in Ireland in 1997!
Anyway, after that we treated ourselves to celebratory nosh at one of Martine's favourite cafés. Which also turned out to be J. K. Rowling's favourite, too. The Elephant House in Edinburgh. It's where she wrote Harry Potter. The toilets are covered in graffiti from all over the world. My favourite simply reads "Harry Potter was conceived here."
If you go into the main cubical, on the left cubby wall (where the picture is), quite high up, you'll find MGW 27.02.2013 in orange crayon.
We walked into town along Waterloo Place and saw some interesting sights.
The tomb of philosopher David Hume.
A giant statue of Lincoln, erected in memory of Scottish-American Soldiers.
All in a very ancient cemetery, which was more like a small village, with empty houses where family plaques were mounted like old paintings.
We also passed (in order): a stone circle commemorating the opening of the Scottish Parliament. Each stone is from one of the counties in Scotland and each county is written next to it; a view of the hills surrounding Edinburgh; the old observatory and the Robbie Burns memorial.
We ended up back home, and this time it was Ruaíri's turn to make pho (pronounced fur). Followed up with an incredibly strange but yummy pudding: Nanfang Black Sesame Paste.