Milton Street

Ah, Milton Street! Epicentre of Edinburgh's Surrealist Sculpture Scene! How those young wags and their scallies delight in trompel'oeiling their elders and betters! Fierce is their struggle for spontaneity in art and against the Council's petty insistance on the proper planning permission procedure. Mark this remarkable juxtaposition of the car (seats on the inside, wheels on the out) with its natural inverse; also this delightful piece entitled `Slough'.

As a matter of fact, furniture also has a curious life cycle in this city. It tends to be bought by wealthy ground floor dwellers in the first instance, but as grooves are worn and stuffing falls out, it becomes less and less dense until the merest sneeze is sufficent to propel it (by conservation of momentum) out through a strategically positioned open door (or even, if in flames, window). Such discarded furniture can then easily be picked up by first floor dwellers and so on, until it finally disappears up a lower class chimney, destined to float out over Holyrood Park and up to the heavens.

The sculptors, ever resourceful in their scavenging, fly kites in the park in an attempt to snag straying unwanted furniture to use in their artistic endeavours. Observe, then, that the sofa in the particular sculpture shown above would not remain long at street level, were it not so handsomely weighted down with more patrician objects such as wheels.

But enough socio-economics and art criticism for the time being! Let us orientate ourselves. Top left, there is a northward view past the McBryde (no relation) Stadium, where those who are old enough to remember the first time gather to roll weighted balls and await the arrival of the Spaniards, and onward to Spring Gardens Retirement Home for Railway Racing Pigeons.

I hate the way Netscape makes photos overlap sometimes. Didn't Donald Knuth crack this stuff when the universe was less than half its present size?

There is also a southward view towards the feeder pipe to the famous 18 Milton Street Fountains. Once a week, to celebrate nothing in particular, water is forced up this pipe and into the guttering which borders the roof. In this guttering, a particularly ingenious band of sculptors has planted a living pattern of frondage (fertilised by an ingenious band of pigeons) which directs the water outwards in beautiful sprays and plumes. Past the pipe, you can see the turning past the carpet warehouse into Tytler Gardens.

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