I spent 5 days with Occupy Edinburgh in The Meadows. I had cycled from Perth that day after a lazy morning because I was asuming there weren’t many hills, there were, and the sustrans route wasn’t doing much to avoid them. I arrived into Edinburgh at around 9pm (long into the darkness) planning to turn up at the protest camp and see if I might be able to stay; the other option was to continue the ride a bit further down to mortonhall campsite, or to pester a friend at short notice.
I didn’t really know what to expect as I cycled across the muddy field to the camp – it’s hard to even see the encampment at night time from the paths around the park – as I arrived the occupants had heard me approaching and called out to me, they get a fair bit of interaction from passer-bys of good and bad nature so are wary of noises outside. I popped inside the tent to find two people huddled in blankets in the cold, they were immediately friendly and welcomed me to stay and helped me carry my many bags into the main tent. This is a remarkable thing to occur in the middle of a large-ish city – a total stranger arrives and is immediately welcomed. I think my touring bike and received pronunciation accent mark me out as an unlikely criminal or trouble-maker but I imagine I would have been welcomed without these things.
A beautiful morning over the Meadows