January 24th, 2008
Every weekday morning I walk from our New Town flat to Prince’s Street and catch one of three bus routes out to Ratho Station. The journey typically takes 45 minutes (walk and bus inclusive) and I use the time to read. In the evening I stumble up the footbridge which traverses the A8, a four-lane thoroughfare just incrementally shy of a motorway, and stumble down the other side in the shadow of airplanes taking off and landing at Edinburgh airport.
Now, Edinburgh is a clean town by and large, with less litter overall than in most U.S. cities, but the bus stop at which I wait is an eyesore; the careless and thoughtless have idly trashed the garden of the home nearest the stop. Empty Stella Artois, Irn Bru and Lucozade bottles cascade over a hillock of plastic bags and fast food wrappers. But in this garden also, stepping gingerly around the filth, are a family of rabbits. Tame, almost certainly, for they show no fear as humans gather nearby, shivering beneath the bus shelter in the icy January wind. But there they are, uncaged â€” there isn’t even a garden fence. I am drawn irresistibly to thin of Watership Down, though here Hazel, Bigwig and Fiver silflay in the full stench of man and his hrududil. But still these bunnies in the garbage and the cold fascinate me. I’m glad they’re here.