You never know what you'll find on an old gravestone in an Edinburgh kirkyard. It's rather arresting to wander into a family vault, gaze at the nearest tombstone, and find the words CHARLES DARWIN leaping out at you.
No, not that Darwin. This chap died at the age of nineteen in the previous century, by which time he had become a doctor, "gained the first medal offered by the Aesculapian Society for a criterion to distinguish, Matter from Mucus", and "cultivated with success, the friendship of Ingenious Men" which led to his being buried in the family vault of Dr. A. Duncan, making me wonder if this was code for being gay. The tombstone concludes, "Fame's boastful chissel, Fortune's silver plume, Mark but the mouldering urn, or deck the tomb." Cheery stuff, and it's amusing to see that people were misuing commas in 1778 just as badly as they do today. As R pointed out, you can just imagine the wild Edinburgh party games. "Matter or mucus?"
Ninja decided to wander on before we could inspect the rest of the vault, but we'll have a look another day. She's getting a lot more confident, at least after the first five minutes of each walk, when she tends to be thoroughly unsure about the whole idea. But then we take her to a nicer spot, and she roams around quite happily, keeping to walls, sniffing at random gravestones and playing with bits of grass. We've discovered that a treat works wonders when she has dived under a shrub and the lead is threatening to become completely tangled up in it. More photos will follow, but today I've only just had time to set up the blog and Flickr account (I'm backdating this post), and it's now time to go on another walk. I will leave you with a photo of Ninja on top of the climbing frame which mysteriously inhabits the centre of this kirkyard, surrounded by birch trees and a fence. We're still not entirely sure which church this is, but Google informs me that it is the Former Buccleuch Parish Church. I'm going to call it the Chapel Street kirkyard.