Friday, July 09, 2004

oho, my eyes are sharp

My visit to Edinburgh has been soundtracked by two records; Faith by The Cure, and Velvet Donkey by Ivor Cutler. The first is wildly innapropriate. Edinburgh is like no place I have ever been to, with its dark, dark hills behind the city and stunning, jagged topography (the sea suddenly appearing this afternoon behind a neglected corner - where did that come from?) but it isn't, for all the hills' efforts, a dark city.

It stays light late here (a blue sky at nine last night, yet I end up in an uncharacteristically awful pub and a quiz starts immediately. The first two quesions are about Scottish football. The third is "which part of the body is also a punctuation mark?". I drink up.) It's rarely like this, though, and I find the city invigorating.

I get the bus back from the city centre to the campus and try to concentrate on my CD, but couples on the street kiss, just where Robert Smith wails. Perhaps that sounds as it should be. It didn't work like that. Edinburgh renders The Cure cheerful. Smith should try it. I put on Ivor Cutler; that's more like it. I wonder whether to buy a strip of fridge magnets, they're Scottish words. Was Cutler from Edinburgh? I'll look it up when I get home (I'm in Edinburgh airport writing this, killing time). I decide to save the castle for when I come back, buying Vic a guide book so we have to.

And then I have to get the bus home, listening to Ivor and wishing I lived here.

"Oho, my eyes are sharp.
There's a man behind the hill,
he's running out of sight.
But when he rounds the corner I shall glimpse him.

Oho, my eyes are sharp.
"How do you know he's there,
if you say he's out of sight?"
I hear an old man say.

Oho, my eyes are sharp.
He's been out of sight for 60 years,
running awful slow.
I'm scared to go round to look
in case he comes round the other side.

Oho, my eyes are sharp."

1 comment:

BB said...

Well I spent a couple of days in Summer '99: saw a procession, went to a fine restaurant, and had a great time (bit cold though).

Of course if we'd known the Festival was on we could have booked a hotel in advance and not had to scrabble around at the last minute!

Look out for the Hibs ground next time.