Weekend Update – Amateur Theater, North Berwick, Gales and Sunshine


This past Friday I had the chance to see one of my coworkers perform in Peter Weiss’ play The Persecution and Assassination of Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis De Sade. A play-within-a-play this was an ambitious choice for a group of student actors but it was a lot of fun to see.  The play is set in 1808 and involves staging the assassination of Marat, one of the main forces behind the French Revolution.  As it is a play-within-a-play and the actors of the secondary play are a mix of lunatics and political prisoners there are lots of elements to keep straight along with a lot of political statements about that time which can also been seen to translate to critiques of contemporary times.  The fun thing about amateur theater is the spirit – the chairs crammed with family members, boisterously supportive friends, the shyness afterwards.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny so Scotty and I decided to head out to North Berwick, a seaside community outside of Edinburgh.  We had been talking about going there for weeks on end but between my foot flaring up and other obligations it had just never happened.  By the time Saturday rolled around I’m not sure we even wanted to go anymore!  But obligation spurred us on and we set out for a little adventure.  On our way to the train station we ran across the Italian Market.

Being my mother’s daughter I was unable to resist the idea of picking up a few things for a picnic on the beach once we arrived in North Berwick.  Once our backpack was full of fragrant cheeses, breads, pesto and sun-dried tomatoes we made our way to the train station and thirty minutes later were in North Berwick.  It was really different from what I expected and I think it has something to do with us arriving while the tide was out.  From what I was expecting there were supposed to be these gorgeous aquamarine and turquoise waters along white beaches.  Well, with the tide out that didn’t happen but it was a beautiful day and Scotty and I enjoyed our picnic while watching several sailboat races.  North Berwick is a charming little town and full of cute shops, the best shops being two called Time & Tide.

Spotted on a front stoop in North Berwick.

Going to the beach in Scotland is a bit different from anything I've experienced elsewhere. The beach was dotted with people drawn outdoors but the sun but the frigid waters mean that no one really swims. There were a couple brave souls in the water but for the most part people just sit on the beach or explore the tidepools exposed by the low tide.

The big rocky island is Bass Rock, home of the largest gannet colony in Britain. It is estimated that a whopping 10% of the world's population of North Atlantic Gannets live here. The rock is covered with the birds making it appear white!

Tide pools and a group of scuba students.

North Berwick is really beautiful and I’m sure that Scotty and I will return again – maybe next time we’ll hike up a nearby hill for the view which we hear is spectacular.  After a few hours spent wandering around the town and beaches we returned to Edinburgh just in time to witness one of the best rain storms I’ve seen here.  We had just walked out of the grocery store when the first drops began to fall.  The air was full of that earthy summer rain scent – a smell that is so refreshing and the same no matter where you happen to be.  Being weighted down with groceries and not liking the idea of arriving home 20 minutes later sopping wet we grabbed a taxi – and just in time!  Literally one minute after we flagged down the cab the heavens opened and a midwest type storm was upon us.  Within minutes the streets were flooded – the short dash from cab to front door got us completely soaked.  I love a good rain storm – the suddenness of it, the way the air feels right before, the smell, the cleanness afterwards.  The only thing missing was a lot of thunder and lightening and crazy wind.  I’ve tried to describe the storms we saw in St. Louis to locals here but they don’t really understand the exciting violence of it.  Rain storms here are usually just drizzly and bleak.  Saturday’s was different and I loved it.

About Rebecca

Hi! After five years in Europe, I'm adjusting to life back in the US. I use this blog to record my adventures, post photos, organize recipes, and post about things that interest me.
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4 Responses to Weekend Update – Amateur Theater, North Berwick, Gales and Sunshine

  1. Katie says:

    Saturday was a great day to hit North Berwick! Wish we would have thought of it. That rain storm was spectacular, loved it.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Hi Becca!
    I’m sure that you don’t remember me, but I’m the person who mooched “Out Stealing Horses” from you a year or so ago. I just finished reading an amazing book called “After You’d Gone” by Maggie O’Farrell, and I was thinking that it’s right up there with my favorite books, which got me thinking about “Horses”, which got me thinking of you because I still remember you as my favorite mooch experience. I decided to have a look to see what you’re up to on bookmooch, which lead me to your blog, where I found your story about North Berwick. Unless you’ve already read “After You’d Gone,” you will be amazed to hear that much of the story is set in North Berwick! Now that is what I call a bizarre coincidence! Anyway, I’m glad to know by your blog that all is well with you. I’m also glad for the risotto recipe, which I think I’ll try very soon!

  3. jukelulie says:

    luke hates you for posting all the pictures of baked goods!

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