This evening, I was walking along Anderson Place from Bonnington Road, and I saw this shot I wanted to take of the moon over the Water of Leith. So I stopped, put my backpack on the ground, took out my camera (dropped my mobile phone into my backpack without thinking about it) and got this picture at 5:07:31.
Category Archives: of Edinburgh
Filed under of Edinburgh, Personal, Photographs
Scotland’s Food Programme
What does everyone know about Scottish food?
It’s the haggis. And the whisky. And the deep fried Mars bars.
Scots eat unhealthy food, get drunk, and our iconic national dish is made of the bits of the sheep that you’d have needed to be drunk and hungry to think worth eating.
Filed under About Food, Bread, Grains, of Edinburgh, Oil, Photographs, Politics, Supermarkets, Sustainable Politics
The March for Independence
The speculation about numbers for tomorrow’s march is quite amusing, because both sides seem to be refusing to give a number.
Jeff Duncan told the Evening News:
“This is the first of three marches. We’ll be holding another one on almost exactly the same day next year and we’re hoping to quadruple the numbers we get tomorrow. Then in September 2014 we’ll be holding what we expect to be the largest march.”
He added: “We know there are going to be thousands coming along based on the number of seats we have sold on the coaches, but there are also those organising their own transport. Plus we imagine plenty of people already living in Edinburgh will attend, so we can’t really put a definite number how many will actually be marching. Only Saturday will reveal that.”
This is the March for Scottish Independence. (Jokes about Frodo and Bilbo Baggins – tomorrow is Hobbit Day – regretfully omitted.)
This is the first march of its kind: there is really no clue how many people will think they should or feel they can. It takes a certain degree of enthusiasm, even for a cause you support, to go on a march: the usual rule-of-thumb reckoning is that for every one person who goes on the march, there’s probably 10 at home who support. This is why the two million people who marched against the Iraq war all across the UK (over a hundred thousand in Glasgow) were such a warning that Labour should have heeded in February 2003.
The organisers will have been asked by the police to give some idea of how many will show up, but they’re not obliged to disclose that estimate to anyone else. “Yes in 2014” gets about 30%-40% in opinion polls, but no one knows how many that will represent in actual willing-to-show-up-on-Saturday-morning-and-march numbers (gay marriage gets about 65%, but rallies in support of marriage get about 200 people).
Partly it depends how beleaguered supporters of a cause feel – how important they feel it is to get out there and tell the world. In so many ways, the Yes Scotland campaign’s habit of talking only to itself is against them there: many Yes Scotland supporters don’t seem to talk much with anyone who doesn’t already agree with them, allowing themselves the impression of wide support, suggesting a march is unnecessary.
The National Collective of artists and creatives for Scottish independence has a
Guide to Marching – a simple selection of 12 basic suggestions that can help make our march a symbol of a modern, progressive and creative movement that wants to imagine a better nation.
I’ll bet more Scots went to London to march for fox hunting than @thesnp get at their “massive” march for Indy this weekend
— Iain McGill (@IainMcGill) September 20, 2012
(There have been several Countryside Alliance marches in London, and as I confirmed, Iain McGill has no idea how many Scots showed up to any of them.)
Obviously, the Yes Scotland campaign hope that they will at least get enough people that the rally in Princes Street gardens at the end won’t look too silly in overhead visuals. Choosing the Meadows for a starting point also suggests a certain confidence in numbers (and funding – you don’t get to use the Meadows for free).
Filed under of Edinburgh, Scottish Politics
Swimming against the tide
Most of learning to swim is confidence in the water.
I struggled to learn to swim without that confidence: once I had it – the surety that I could – I went from struggling with a buoyancy ring to underwater somersaults in what, looking back, feels like months, not years.
A group of scientific researchers in Australia have shown that participation in swimming lessons is benefiting the over all health and well-being of children. Early results of a study at Griffith University in Queensland has revealed that children who learn how to swim at a young age have physical, social, intellectual and language development advantages compared to the non-swimmers. Professor Jorgensen said this study was the largest of its kind in 30 years and stated: “We’ve only just done the first year of the study but already the indicators are suggesting that the children who have been in longer periods of time in early swimming do appear to be hitting those intellectual milestones, those physical milestones, earlier than children who aren’t doing swimming”. – Blue Wave Swim School
Leith Victoria is a nice swimming pool: I like it and I swim there regularly. But it’s a pool designed for people who already can swim. Two lanes are standard for people who want to swim regular lengths without interruption from adults and children splashing about, and so a child who can’t swim yet is confined to a quarter of the pool at most during regular public swimming hours. That’s normal for most pools.
Leith Waterworld was a treasure: a pool designed for all children, for disabled adults, for family use. Closing it down means fewer children will be swimming regularly, learning to have confidence in the water, discovering they love to swim. It’s ironic that this should be Edinburgh’s Olympic & Paralympic memorial: closing a pool that fostered the love of swimming.
Filed under Children, Disability, of Edinburgh, Olympics, Scottish Politics
CND representative, Ben Folley, reports from Hiroshima on 6th August:
‘As the delegates pour into the city, a peace march of hundreds who have walked from Tokyo also arrives at the Memorial Peace Park. The Japanese anti-nuclear movement is growing – many are from amongst the hibakusha – the survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But many others are young people – around 600 attended Saturday’s youth rally, calling for a nuclear free world.
On 6th August 1945, a nuclear weapon was used in war for the first time. Three days later, over Nagasaki, a nuclear weapon was to be used in war for what, so far, has been the last time.
The artist Isao Hashimoto made this film as a “bird’s eye view of the history”, a month per second. “The blinking light, sound and the numbers on the world map show when, where and how many experiments each country have conducted. I created this work for the means of an interface to the people who are yet to know of the extremely grave, but present problem of the world.” Isao Hashimoto was born in Kumamoto prefecture in Japan in 1959.
Filed under of Edinburgh, Photographs, War
Leith Library: 80 years of bookish joy
As far as I can remember, I always loved libraries, from the time when I had two blue pre-school library tickets and my mum would take me to the children’s library downstairs at George IV Bridge.
In an age where there is more and more (and more) information available, we need people with the skills to sift the nuggets from the noise. Librarians will probably need to rebrand themselves. They will be managers of information, searchers for fact. I’ve put some time into coming up with more fun names and my favourite so far is Information Ninja.
In my teenage years, lurking in Newington Library on Saturday mornings, I used to have silent fantasies of the building taking off for Mars with just me and all the books. All the books. Food? Water? Oxygen? All the books.
Filed under Books, of Edinburgh, Other stuff on the Internet I like, Photographs
Edinburgh was wet yesterday
Stockbridge colonies flooded. The Meadows always get squelchy after rain, remembering their swampy origins. I wasn’t surprised to hear that Taste had to be cancelled, though sad for all the catering businesses involved. It amazes me that T in the Park managed to go ahead. Edinburgh City Bypass temporarily closed.
The weather station in the Botanics measured 39mm of rain in 24 hours. The weather in June was unusually wet. In the past week, more rain (66.5mm) has fallen than usually falls over an entire month in July. The River Esk in Musselburgh burst its banks.
This was the morning:
Filed under of Edinburgh, Photographs
Rape is not unspeakable
Yesterday, Saturday 7th July, Edinburgh held its second Slutwalk.
The Slutwalk, if you didn’t know, was inspired by comments a Canadian policeman made to a group of college students last year, advising them to stop dressing like sluts in order to avoid being assaulted. I don’t like the word “slut”, and I’m distinctly unhappy about people who tell me I should “reclaim” words I don’t like, so in May last year I was initially unsure whether I’d go to Slutwalk 2011.
Then I read this article in Ekklesia, by Jill Segger, and I changed my mind. She wrote:
Walk the streets in a police uniform and people will take you for a constable. Go on the town on a Saturday night dressed provocatively and someone will be provoked. Given that men respond far more readily to visual stimuli than do women, it is likely to be a woman dressed in this manner who will be subject to the kind of attention which may later prove to have been unwanted.
There is a middle way between dressing like a ‘slut’ and being enveloped in a burqua. Modesty is the guide to that choice. Most women want to ‘look nice’ and to attract the admiration of a possible partner and there is nothing to object to in that. But the very concept of ‘sluttishness’ is an indication of how far off beam this argument has gone.
Here are the exhibitionists of Slutwalk 2012, gathering in Parliament Square, just after half past one on a very rainy Saturday. Continue reading
Filed under of Edinburgh, Photographs, Women
BNP outside KFC Meadowbank
Update, 5th July: The BNP will be back outside this KFC on Saturday 7th July from 12:30. UAF plan counterprotest.
First I heard they were going to be there was this morning.
BNP plan racist demo at KFC Meadowbank #Edinburgh 1pm today. twitter.com/nickgriffinmep… Scotland – one country, many cultures. Peacefully oppose.
— EdinburghEye (@EyeEdinburgh) June 23, 2012
They claimed they were there because they were protesting animal cruelty. Also because this KFC uses halal chickens, and they complained they were being “forced” to eat halal meat.
Most of the time we were there (three of us) there were only three of them.
(The man in the brown jacket isn’t BNP: he’s just one of several customers that went in and out without hindrance during their demo. There were several police there, too. The man with the union jack on his cap kept raising his BNP sign to cover his face whenever he saw a camera pointed in his direction.)
Filed under of Edinburgh, Photographs, Racism, Scottish Politics