SDSS (Self Directed Support Scotland) event - SDS National Voice at Stirling Court Hotel. An interesting mix of lectures, workshop sessions and stalls bringing together people from across the country, sharing their ideas and best practise.
A press call at Edinburgh Castle with a personal resonance as my grandfather was a conscientious objector in WWII, kept in Lancaster Gaol and working in the docks. My mother told the story of being taken to Lancaster with her Mum and seeing a lot of men, all dressed the same, marching down a street and being told one of them was her father. She was born in September 1939 so it must have been an early memory. My grandfather was a millworker, playwright and political activist in his day.
The Action Porty AGM at Bellfield in February 2019. Discussing the past year in the community-owned venue and plans for the year ahead and beyond.
The European Cities Marketing Spring Meeting 2019 was held in Edinburgh in February 2019. People attended from cities all over Europe sharing ideas and best practise in a range of sessions and events over three days, based at the Sheraton Grand with evening receptions at the Assembly Rooms and the National Museum of Scotland.
The annual wassail in the community orchard at Donkeyfield, close by Brunstane Railway station. A traditional celebration of apple trees and apple growing with the Portobello Community Choir.
The Eclectics performed at the iconic Leith music venue - Leith Depot. Still hanging in there despite the property developers trying to get the row of shops demolished so they can build a hotel and more student flats.
The annual Christmas tree burning on the beach. Another community event with only the loosest of organisation. As a result different groups make their own bonfires along the beach. It seemed this year that there were more different groups doing their own thing than in previous years which slightly diminished the size of the biggest bonfire near the foot of Bath Street. Presumably people further along the Prom didn't fancy dragging their trees any further along the beach, which is understandable but a pity. Still there were still plenty of trees gathered on a rather damp evening for a good blaze.
The Loony Dook (or should that be Douk?) at Portobello is a much more haphazard thing than the much larger and more organised event along at South Queensferry that gets much more media attention. They are both recent institutions compared to the event in Broughty Ferry, Dundee that has been going since the 1890s!
There are no official organisers in Portobello and it's usually a case of people spreading the word when they will be heading down. This year there were several dooks along the beach although the largest one was at the foot of Bath Street at 1pm
As 2018 comes to a close a quick look back through my year in Portobello. Lots of pictures down on the beach but also other places in Portobello. Scenery and weather, birds and sea creatures and plenty of community events. Some personal highlights were the reopening of Bellfield, the Big Beach Busk, Art Walk Porty, the Ganesh Festival and the Christmas Street Festival but I also love the little details I have spotted and photographed through the year.