(Quick fashion note: I know my dress is really creased in these photos – I promise I DID iron it before putting it on, but then I sat in the car for a while, and the car wasn’t kind to it!)
Anyway! Dean Village is right slap in the centre of Edinburgh, but I’m willing to bet most visitors to the city don’t even know it’s there. I’m willing to bet this mostly because I didn’t even know it was there, and I spent an entire year of my life living about 10 minutes from it. I mean, I knew there was an area of the city called Dean Village, obviously: I just didn’t know how awesome it was, and folks, it is ALL KINDS OF AWESOME, seriously.
As you can probably guess from the name, like many parts of Edinburgh, Dean Village used to be an ACTUAL village, until the city swallowed it up. Unlike many other parts of Edinburgh, however, it still feels like a completely different world: in fact, as you descend the steep, cobbled hill (hence the flat shoes I’m wearing in these photos: I’ve learned the hard way that stilettos and cobbles don’t mix!) down into the valley it occupies, you actually feel like you’re stepping back in time, no joke. If you’d told me I was on a film set for some period drama or other, I’d have believed you. I’d also have wished I’d dressed more appropriately – you all know how much I like to match my surroundings, but unfortunately I don’t have anything appropriately Elizabethan in my closet. Darn.
Like New Lanark, which we visited earlier this year, Dean Village is a World Heritage Site, and, also like New Lanark, it used to be a mill town: the giant reddish-brown building in the photos was once a grain mill, although the area is now mostly residential. After wandering around the village and crossing the bridge over the Water of Leith, we found ourselves in a courtyard right out of the 1950s or something, with laundry hanging out to dry: it was all so picture-perfect I thought it was fake at first:
Then I thought that these people are LITERALLY airing their (clean) laundry in public, and that if you tried to do that where I used to live, people would totally steal that laundry. Even if it WASN’T clean. Dean Village is obviously a flashback to that fabled “more innocent time”, when everyone left their door open, and you could hang four baby boots on the line, safe in the knowledge that the only people who would be interested in them would be random bloggers.
OH, and before I go, I should probably address the fact that I can’t seem to dress myself at the moment without one of Hell Bunny’s ‘Paloma’ cardigans. It’s true… I really can’t. I have three now, and am totally planning to buy one in every single colour they ever make, I like them THAT much. Until Hell Bunny entered my life, almost every cardigan I bought would be saggy and frumpy, and generally awful. These ones, however, are short and fitted, and I love them almost as much as all those gingham skirts I keep buying. You should probably expect to be seeing a whole lot more of them…