Craigmillar Castle and Traverse Theatre

While Sean has been in Abu Dhabi, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and writing (free activities!) and taking myself out for dates. Using my Historic Scotland pass, I headed to Craigmillar Castle, a remarkably well preserved ruin within the City of Edinburgh. You can see Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh Castle from the battlements quite clearly, and Craigmillar was a refuge for Mary, Queen of Scots. She arrived after the birth of her son, and before she left the ‘Craigmillar Bond’ had been developed – the plan to do away with her husband, Lord Darnley. There is no evidence that Mary knew of the plot. The Historic Scotland pass means entry is free, and you get a small discount in the shop as well. The east range of the castle, in particular, is fascinating. There are so many twisty stairs and hidden corridors. It’s easy to get lost inside it, but all you need to do is head upwards to eventually come out into the open air again. Parts of it are crazy spooky, but it is such a beautiful ruin that I still made myself go into all the dark rooms, just to see.

The parkland surrounding it is also lovely to walk through, and the bus ride from Craigmillar to Leith is only about forty minutes. Well worth the trip!

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The next day, I headed to the Traverse Theatre with my friend Claire. Sean had been to see a play that he’d raved about, called ‘Right Now’, last week while I was knackered from work. He strongly recommended seeing it, so I bought a full-price ticket for about 35AUD (such affordable and numerous professional theatre productions to see here!). The extra cool thing about the Traverse Theatre is that it focuses on new writing – that’s new theatre, new plays that haven’t been widely seen before. In this case, ‘Right Now’ is actually an English translation of a French-Canadian play by Catherine-Anne Toupin. It’s a funny, unnerving, and surprising exploration of grief and (maybe?) madness. It constantly surprises you (ESPECIALLY THE ENDING AARRGGHH!) and the performances were brilliant. Oh, and Sean Biggerstaff (aka Oliver Wood in the Harry Potter films) was in it and I saw him outside the stage door before the show! But he was chatting on his phone and I’ve already used up my creep factor for the year, so I didn’t say anything.

Sean got back last night! And tomorrow…we’re off to Denmark! Huzzah!

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