We continue our walk and stumble across our first find - the Jazz Bar. The exterior is not particularly inviting but a friend in Findhorn had mentioned this was worth a visit and I know the best tips for discovering a city is to listen to the locals! It’s early in the evening but there is already a bit of a buzz here. A young man on a guitar is entertaining the crowd with his crooning. It’s cold outside but we finally start to unwind with the help of some Thistly Cross Ciders and settle in for what turns out to be a great evening’s entertainment!
But for us, the discovery of this Printing Press reminds us of the days of our youth, and we reminisce about that sense of wonder we had felt at turning the pages of those volumes and being amazed at the depth of knowledge they revealed on whatever you were researching. Somehow, I doubt that Wikipedia will ever evoke the same memories in the generations of today.
Did she spend her time at the back rooms here because she couldn’t afford the heating at home…or just because the view of the castle from the big open windows inspired her? We queue up for a table just as curious as the rest of our fellow travellers about a café that now appears to thrive on the fame of a writer who once sat here in complete anonymity, with the same hopes and dreams of being published that we now harbour.
The ambience this café once had has now been spoilt by the travellers, wannabe writers and other curious folk who come here in their hundreds to pay homage to Rowling, perhaps to say they too have sipped coffee and penned a few lines at the Elephant House Café. I am disappointed because my hopes of sitting here undisturbed for a few hours blogging about my journey and dreaming of fame and fortune are dashed. The hustle and bustle and chaos of lunchtime doesn’t really lend itself to serious writing
Throughout the week, various workshops aimed at developing people’s self worth, social networks and skills are offered by this project, aimed at individuals facing deep social exclusion. The project also encourages members of the local community to work side by side with these individuals, inviting true integration. The projects range from GRoW wood workshop, the Plough to Plate cookery and a gardening program, the Grassroots Art workshop, Greyfriars Herb Garden and many other arts and education initiatives.