44 Scotland Street is a joy of a novel. Full of fascinating people and some of the best characters I have come across in a book ever. And that’s a fact. I lived in Edinburgh for 4 years as a student and have returned many times to this stunning city so I have a lot of Scottish friends and experience of living in the new town. funnily enough I lived not far from Scotland Street for a while. How I wished I could have lived at no. 44:
The Georgian new town where Scotland Street is situated, is very pretty. The mix of people who live there – a pushy mother, a small boy called Bertie, a girl called Pat and a man called Bruce who become room mates – is both true of Edinburgh and a happy memory of living in a flat with so many different people living around you – meeting on that stairwell is surely a Edinburgh rite of passage!
Now I just happened to come across this door knocker as I wandered to Scotland Street – it’s not in the street itself but I thought in my head that it was the one as I thought by looking at it that I was seeing the area and the inspiration of Alexander McCall Smith. It was quite the find – a nice little touch that I didn’t expect to see.
There isn’t really a 44 Scotland street – I mean the street is real and is just off Drummond Place as mentioned in the novel. But there is no 44 – I remember reading an interview where the author said he didn’t want to attract journalists and the like taking pictures of a strangers house. But I really hope he didn’t mean book trailers as, well, here I am.
I stood here for a little while hoping that I may bump into the pushy Irene and little Bruce or to meet Pat on her way to her job as the art gallery.
SG gallery run by grandson of Guy Peploe – Dundas Street
Now this gallery is supposedly the one inspired to act as the real life version of the Something Special Gallery in which the characters Matthew and Pat work. Pat gets a job there and they work well together but the discovery that one of the paintings could be a Peploe worth around £40,000 starts a funny and intriguing story of the painting getting stolen, sold to a Morningside charity shop only to be bought by the famous writer Ian Rankin himself!
You can read and find out more about the paintings here – there is a nice slideshow giving a good introduction to the man’s work:
Tomorrow – I go off to Morningside in the search of that painting and of course Mr Ian Rankin