On a booktrail to 44 Scotland Street

 

Such a funny and uplifting book. I loved it!
Such a funny and uplifting book. I loved it!

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:

ooh I'm actually here on Scotland Street!!
ooh I’m actually here on Scotland Street!!

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!

Ooh is this the famous door knocker?
Ooh is this the famous door knocker?

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.

Scotland Street

Next door to 44
Next door to 44

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.

The corner of Scotland Street - 44 would be where the trees are.
The corner of Scotland Street – 44 would be where the trees are.

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.

The gallery

The Something Special Gallery?
The Something Special Gallery?

SG gallery run by grandson of Guy Peploe – Dundas Street

Something special in literature was inspired here
Something Special in literature was inspired here

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:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/samuel-john-peploe/paintings/slideshow

Tomorrow – I go off to Morningside in the search of that painting and of course Mr Ian Rankin

4 thoughts on “On a booktrail to 44 Scotland Street

    1. Thank you Gitanjali! I really love his books too – can’t believe I haven’t read more of him but I am now putting that right. This tour was fun to do as I could picture the characters so vividly! I do hope you are able to come to Scotland one day and to see this book come to life.

  1. After I read 44 Scotland Street, I came across lovely hard copy editions of the next three books in the series at a second hand book store. What joy! I am now the proud owner of them 🙂 I still have two to finish…..and I believe there are now a total of nine in the series! Have you read them all? I have been to Scotland, but only to Aberdeen and Inverness. Edinburgh is definitely on the list the next time I’m that side of the world 🙂

    1. Alexander McCall Smith admitted that he wrote around 1000 words an hour! So expect lots more books! One perhaps two are out in November so be prepared to see them on the shelves soon. I know I will defo be buying anything this man writes. I really hope you get to come to Edinburgh one day – it really is the city for literary lovers!

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