There are places which become linked with particular times in your life. For me much of that is to do with BD (before dog). In those days I would spend many a weekend hour walking through the Botanic Garden with the children. To be honest I doubt if I ever took the same route, and at times wondered how I had managed to find my way back to the gate at which the car was parked. If my mother came with us she would know all the Latin names without looking at the little plaques. But she needs to get out more often.
Well dogs aren’t allowed in the Botanics, so it’s Inverleith Park where you will tend to find me having a stomp at the weekends. So when I was invited to see the Botanics Lights on Wednesday I jumped at the chance. I had thought about going last year, but of course prevaricated for so long that it was sold out by the time I tried to book a ticket.
The rain had stopped by the time we arrived, clad in anoraks and wellies, but the slightly misty air added to the mysterious feeling of the event. Trees are lit up, coloured fountains emerge and beautiful films screened on to the big house in the middle. The wonderful Victorian glass houses changed colour and at times looked like some sort of historical UFO, seeming to float in the dark.
At one point a man emerged from the gloom to ask if we wanted some hot nuts. It was at that point I realised that my 50-something friend and teenage daughter had the same sense of humour. In fact I had to walk a few paces ahead until they managed to calm down.
No doubt if someone who knows about arty things was walking with us they would have explained the significance of the pretty lights. We just enjoyed looking at them and rediscovering the gardens. I think you would as well, so don’t be a dolt, and book quickly.