On Sunday, I was in Nottingham, at The Gladstone pub, for a BBQ in the day and a gig in the evening. It was very lovely. The Gladstone is a great pub, with delicious beer (including Castle Rock’s Harvest Pale, a fantastic ale that is endemic to Nottingham, the way Deuchars is to Edinburgh), and the monthly gig is a really good one – if you’re ever in the area, pop along.
Walking from the station to the gig, I passed by a large, quiet cemetery alongside one of the main roads out of the city centre. A full description of the place, Rock Cemetery, is here.
The design and ‘architecture’ of the site was incredible, with the natural rock formations incorporated into the layout, graves perched all about the place, and monuments rising out of stone hollows. Beautiful in the day, terrifying at night. Perhaps five years ago in Edinburgh, I ended up in Greyfriars Kirkyard after a Ghost Tour that was slightly more spooky than we had expected (we had pretty much keeled over from fright at one point). Again, a place that in the daytime was morbidly elegant, but come nightfall became a dark mass of tombs and bones, the silhouettes of angels bearing down from pedestals, hands clasped in prayer.
That same year (whichever it was) I had walked up Calton Hill with a friend at night, to look down on the City – the views were great in the daytime, but the lights made an after-dark view even more spectacular.
This beast is at the top of the Hill. It’s rather cool.
On our way up, we saw a man lying on the steps that led one way up the hill – he seemed fine, and wasn’t injured, so we walked onwards up another path. Calton Hill has a reputation as a bit of hotspot for underage drinking and rent boys (why else would we be there, eh? EH?!), and so we thought no more of it, assuming he was just a dozy drunk or sleepy prostitute having a nap during his coffee break.
After a while at the top of the hill, mainly sitting on the cannons that were up there, and scrambling onto the National Monument, we walked back down, this time coming down the steps that the drunk/prostitute/homeless man had been sleeping on. He had disappeared, but in his place was a Sony Ericsson W600, quite a new phone at the time, and we assumed it was a trap – the phone was the bait, and as soon as we picked it up we’d be snared with fishing line and hauled off to be mugged/raped/force-fed haggis. After several minutes of looking for, and then utilising a big stick to poke the phone with, we were satisfied with the safety of the situation and picked up the phone. At this point it was about 4am in the morning, so we returned to our flat, leaving the task of reuniting phone and owner until the morning.
The next day, we went through the phone and found a contact named Brother, so we called it, and got a message passed on to the phone’s owner to meet us that day so we could give him back his mobile. While we waited to meet up with the man, we looked through his texts and were amazed at the sheer number of women that he had on the go – almost 100% of the texts were from girls, and all contained copious amounts of kisses and affectionate terms. This guy was one hell of a ‘playa’. Impressed, we looked through his photos. This was the exact opposite. Almost 100% of the photos were of men, and all contained copious amounts of willy and balls. Nevertheless, this guy was still one hell of a ‘playa’.
We met him later that day; he thanked us gingerly, before giving us £10 of Scotland’s toy money and a sheepish, hungover grin. Wherever you are, sleepy man from Calton Hill, may your days be many, your troubles be few and your phone always brimming with cocks.