Kids ‘N Blankets
Okay, so I am busy chopping up vegetables for my salad just now when I look outside my window here in Edinburgh at the communal space outside this block of Victorian flats – and what do I see?
Four kids who look to be about aged seven through eleven paired off (girl boy girl boy, that is) playing outside and having plain, old-fashioned fun.
They are sitting on some sort of blanket. All they have is a deck of cards between them all.
There’s no TV, no computer, no smartphone in sight.
Nothing except the outside is within reach.
Wheelies And Wet Clothing
A bright-red plastic wheelie thing is sitting in the stubbly green grass some feet away from them.
And because it’s one of those rare days in Edinburgh when the sun is actually warm enough to dry clothing, someone has taken advantage of that fact so bits of clothing, bath towels and socks are gently swinging back and forth drying on bright red and blue clothespins.
Dangling from a long rope hoisted up on a bit of land, they are not far from where the children are clustered.
The kids’ faces are first buried in their cards and then checking out their friends, as a steady stream of smiles appear on their intent faces.
A Temporary Blemish On The Scene Of Serenity
The scene is marred for me a bit as another boy who looks like he’s about twelve or so is standing in another part of the garden, pointing his play gun at the world.
Happily from my point of view, the kids are paying him no mind. They are laughing and talking, and I see them concentrating as they take turns with their card game.
Lawn Chairs Amidst The Cobblestone
I walk to the front of our flat and I look outside: As if to equalize the children in the backyard, a middle-aged couple has plunked down some lawn chairs right outside on the entrance to their building across the cobbled street.
The man’s white hair is glistening in the sun. The woman seated next to him has a big, droopy straw hat protecting her hair. They are both lolling about, crossing their legs casually as they mark their territory.
It’s going on five, but daylight lasts long into the evening here now because we are so far north.
Lazing In A Bathing Suit On A Sofa
I’m reminded of the couple in their thirties whom I saw yesterday. I’ve seen them before, smack there in their front yard as I go past them en route to walking through the meadows to get into town.
Believe it or not, they have planted a beaten-up sofa in the front and it becomes their official sun deck whenever a hint of rays comes out. Yesterday when it was gorgeous too they were smiling out there on the sofa – the woman in her bathing suit, the man in his shorts, both clutching tall drinks.
Floral Beauties And Bounding Dogs
The soft white honeysuckle clusters, the fuschia-colored rhododendrons, the bowers of bright yellow oh-what’s-the-name-of-those-flowers bunches that flash gaily in the sun…
The rhapsodising, rippling birds whose songs seems to cascade with unusual clarity through the refreshing skies…
The students gathered at The Meadows, waiting at smoking barbecues or leaping at flying balls or talking in high spirits with their friends in the heat of the sun…
The wonderful dogs of every description who look like they are in doggie heaven as they cleave the warmth to their bouncy bodies, bounding right and left and every which way, their tails wagging madly trying to keep up with their bubbling enthusiasm about being in the midst of all of this with their owners on such a glorious day…
“It’s summer, summer, SUMMER!” everyone and everything seems to be chanting.
Aye, lads and lassies, ’tis true — right here in Edinburgh, summer has finally arrived!