Today is my birthday and time for the other cupboards to display my cards from friends and family:


Driving towards Edinburgh we came across these giant steel horses’ heads – difficult to miss!  Dominating the skyline on the Forth & Clyde Canal, the Kelpies, as they are called, are a symbol of Scotland’s industrial past when working horses were a familiar sight on Scottish canals, pulling heavy barges laden with materials such as coal and iron. The striking 30-metre tall Kelpies have been created by Scottish sculptor Andy Scott and mark the gateway to a vast new recreational parkland, The Helix, in FalkirkFeaturing a steel frame and a network of 990 shimmering stainless steel panels, the horses’ heads are 30 metres high.


The reason we are heading  to Edinburgh is to meet up with my Australian cousin, Vicki, a descendant of Edward Messiter who married my great great grandmother in the middle of the 19th century.  We are staying at the Holiday Inn where cousin Vicki has generously put us up. Upon consultation with the hotel reception we have been instructed to use the Zoo entrance to the car park!

That accomplished, it was just a matter of calling a taxi and we were off to the Novotel in the the city centre to meet Vicki.


It was as if we had known each other all our lives as we settled down with a coffee for a chat before getting another cab to Leith where the Royal Yacht Britannia is permanently moored.  We had already booked the tickets in advance and followed the signs – the entrance to Britannia is oddly via a large shopping centre. We were immediately struck by the friendliness of the staff who gave us a brief introduction and positively encouraged us to take photographs!  Here is a selection of photos:



Vicki trying out the Admiral's chair

Vicki trying out the Admiral’s chair



We decided on a late lunch/early tea in the restaurant and again the service was efficient and friendly.  The food was delicious – as you can see in the featured image above.


The piano once played by Noel Coward amongst others

The laundry!

The laundry!


After having had a very interesting day on Britannia, we caught another taxi back to Vicki’s hotel and settled down in the bar with some drinks and some excellent minute steaks in flatbread with fries.

We said goodbye just before 11pm and I think we were all sad to think that perhaps we might not see each other again, although Vicki has very generously said that we would be welcome to stay with her if we ever make it over to Australia again in the future.

Yet another taxi back to the Holiday Inn and a very comfortable bedroom, complete with birthday card from the hotel!  What a perfect day.