Busy, Busy

Slack on my part – bunching two days together again – Tuesday and today, Wednesday. The important thing is to write and to get to 100, right?

So Tuesday I drop my dear husband at the airport early doors and he’s away till Thursday evening. We’re back to me acknowledging all the stuff he does round the house and with/for the family that lets me get on with stuff like blogs. Thanks Mr E. Making evening meals and packed lunches and feeding hedgehogs nightly doesn’t half take up time! Other than reading the Basecamp emails I made no contribution to Porty Central on Tuesday. 

Today, Wednesday has been a Bearsden day and I’m happy to report Mum has been doing stairs and so has been able to leave the house! She got out to the dentist yesterday and hairdresser today. Progress! I’ve not even yet told the Porty Central team about my exciting call on Monday night but am going to write it up as soon as I send off this blog #93 to Geoff.

I will have something to write about tomorrow as some of the group (me included) are meeting with our architects and consultant on Thursday morning. Additionally, while not directly Porty Central business, on a related topic some of the Action Porty team have managed to book time with the Council team on 20 minute neighbourhoods. None of the Action Porty people (myself included) made the Council’s first meeting called in July but we requested a rerun and it takes place tomorrow. Porty Central hadn’t heard anything back since that meeting so I’ll be looking for an update from the council for both organisations. 

Jennifer’s blog #93


Okay! Okay! I should never have mentioned Christmas in the last blog – knocked me of my stride. 

Nor should I have mentioned on Porty Central Basecamp that I’d hit blog #91. The team started congratulating me and that knocked me off my stride. 

Lastly the only real Porty Central business taking place over the weekend was related to the Development Manager contract and that is exciting and important, but it is fairly confidential and dealing with people’s personal data. While that didn’t knock me off my stride, it made me cautious about what I was writing here. 

Upshot is, I’ve missed two days and am now rolling in Saturday, Sunday and Monday into the one blog – #92. 

Only way to get back in the saddle, is to get back in the saddle and if you’ve fallen off the 100 days blogging wagon, the only way back on, is to get back on the 100 days blogging wagon. So, here I am. Ride ’em cowboy! 

Apparently a wee wobble near the end is not uncommon as Dani at Tribe describes in her blog about her various 100 day projects. 

She got me into this and has had some spectacular projects over the years. 

The usual Porty Central Monday night working group meeting happened and happened well but reason for getting back in the blogging saddle, came from a call that took place an hour before the meeting. It picked up a chat from a few months back, gave me the wee ‘this is the way to go’ buzz in my stomach and got me back in my blogging stride. I wanted to tell the group all about this conversation, but we overran so I’ll just have to write it up tomorrow. I need to tell them first but hope to report here. Watch this space!

To wrap it up today, what you doing this weekend? I’ve got a tickets to a Porty book festival event on Sunday morning and I’m planning to drop in to the Support the Makers fair at Bellfield. 

After grumbling about the C word, I might try and get a head start on presents! See you there? 

Jennifer’s blog #92

“C” Words

Christmas 2020

I shouldn’t do this but a client today on seeing the date remarked three months today and it will be Christmas Eve. Factually I knew this but hearing the words said out loud sent a chill into my heart. Christmas? Winter? Darkness and chill! At least in three months it will be past the Winter solstice and days will be getting lighter. 

So what will Porty do for Christmas? Should the Window Wanderland run again? Will there be a Christmas Tree outside the Town Hall and the craft one outside Bellfield? Will their be a projection on Bellfield?

Any carol concerts?

Christmas Markets?

What will you be doing?

What should Portobello Central be doing, if anything, to chase the darkness away?

Jennifer’s blog #91

A Volley of Volunteers

Thursday started with a failed attempt at a swim for myself and Jayne to get me caught up on Monday night’s meeting which I missed due to Nick Cave. Via text we agreed about 6am that it was way too stormy to be any fun so we settled on a walk at 9am on the Prom instead. Bumped into Lynn, indeed then bumped into Damian, so nearly a full face to face Porty Central meeting but mainly a bracing catch up with a bit of Porty Central info in the mix. 

Rest of Thursday was work and hosting my guests – a drive around Edinburgh, dinner together, a cycle to feed the hedgehogs and, of course a bonfire on the beach with marshmallows. 

I did however download the template for evaluating the applications over the weekend. My guests go Friday afternoon so I’ll get on to Porty Central and indeed Action Porty matters on Friday night and over the weekend. Those Porty Central folks not looking at applications are looking at the website structure and considering what info needs added or updated. 

When down on the beach for the bonfire last night I saw that there is a small stadium seating and tents set up around the volleyball nets. Did some investigating and look what is happening in Porty this Friday – Sunday. 

Be sure to get down and catch some top class athletes doing their thing.

Jennifer’s blog #90

2 ½d

Woke at my parents in Bearsden with my niece and her mum in the house too. So nice to have them visit. Instead of the usual household tasks on a typical Wednesday through there, I got to show them around a bit locally and we had a lovely lunch all together. Upset my father’s routine with a big meal at lunchtime but even he enjoyed the company and change of scene. Had to be back in Porty for 5pm so my boy and his pals could get to rugby practice. 

My only real Porty Central action was writing yesterday’s blog 1st thing upon waking. I also threw my tuppence ha’penny worth into a basecamp conversation about VAT with regard to Portobello Central SCIO. We are not currently VAT registered and don’t need to be but the group were thinking through the implications of this for us now, and at future points. 

This blog is being written in the car before a work appointment at 11am – the pips just went on the radio. Better go to work. Tomorrow, or this evening, will bring another daily reflection. Only 11 more to go. Sunday October 3rd looking like my last day if all goes to schedule. I’ll miss them – but I’ll get back to my Blipfoto, which has suffered during this project. A good discipline and overall a good exercise from my point of view.

How has it been for you?

Jennifer’s blog #89

Kit and Kin

Cogitating Contractors

Today started with an early morning IT meeting at Bellfield. We’re hopefully getting new kit there and a new local IT support provider. I also delivered a neighbours’ letter round the doors of Bellfield St.

Then it was work and through to Glasgow to pick up my niece and her Mum. They live abroad and I only see them every few years, so very happy to have them visit and so are Granny and Papa. It’s a Bearsden day as usual on Wed and with the visit I’m a bit behind on Porty Central stuff but the applicants for the Development contract have all now been contacted. They’ll know week commencing 27th September if they have been selected for interview. The interviews will be between 30th September and 6th October and we hope to appoint the contractor by 11th October. Exciting stuff.

I’m hoping to confirm a meeting with our architects and project viability consultant for a date next week and looks like the Council might be ready to talk leases some time soon. With my niece here till Friday that seems enough to be getting on with this week.

Jennifer’s Blog #88. 

A Masked Ball

Saw a copy of the Portobello Reporter today. Portobello Central and our plans are on the front page along with parking, the Book Festival and the Art Walk. Nice wee article. Always good to get the news in paper form. This community paper, coming out quarterly, is really valued by me as a record of local life and events, even if I never seem to get a copy through our letter box! 

The main Portobello Central group met last night on Zoom but I was at the Playhouse experiencing live music from Nick Cave. It was Loud and Beautiful! Vaccination certificates were needed to enter, along with masks when moving around. I actually kept mine on for the performance. I’m fairly used to them. It was much more crowded than the gig at the Usher Hall the other week – seated –  with every seat taken and they were totty wee theatre seats (my knees were touching the seat back in front of me). No denying that big a crowd felt weird. Wonderful but weird. Will need to see how it plays out with regard to Covid. Safely, I hope. Feeling the music – physically in my body and stomach – was lovely. 

Will need to read the Finance report and CV sifting document guide document from yesterday’s meeting today to be up to speed again. 

Jennifer’s blog #87 

Forgotten Holiday

First, a public service warning for those who were not aware – Monday is a school holiday. It’s been the September weekend. I only found out when my boy told me he was spending the afternoon at his pal’s. Confusion reigned but all okay in the end. 

Husband did the 85 miles of the Caledonian Etape in a PB of 4 hours 35 mins. He’s tired and happy. Well done! 

And so to Porty Town Hall business….. how the applications are to be sifted has been a focus of the group’s attention with evaluation grids being finalised. I got the PayPal info over to the Treasurer. The agenda for Monday night’s meeting is firming up but I’ll miss it as my husband and I are going to see Nick Cave and Warren Ellis at the Playhouse . I’ll catch up next week! 

Jennifer’s Blog #86


Saturday as planned was a cycle into town for a work shift, a pop into Porty library for tickets to a Portobello Book Festival event next weekend, a walk with someone wanting to discuss film and film festivals at the Town Hall and a chat with one of the gardening group who use the space behind Portobello Town Hall to garden. I also fed a friend’s cat as they are away for the weekend and in the evening cycled up with the kids to feed the three young hedgehogs who have taken up residence in an old kennel – more of them below. Husband headed off early to Pitlochry for the Caledonian Etape, so I’ll hear how he gets on tomorrow.

The chat about film making, film festivals and local cinema was a good one, probably a speculative one and was the result of emails and chats back and forth over the last year to 18 months. Still nothing conclusive to say to each other but I always love a walk and talk to find out more about what someone is thinking and doing and to share a more informal update on Porty Central business. We know from the 300 conversations in 30 days that cinema is a popular use suggested for the Town Hall but we’re not completely sure how it would work or if it is viable. There are a few folks who are thinking about this. One day back in summer 2020 when leafleting outside the Town Hall I got talking to a lady involved in running Gifford Film Club   and I’ve kept an eye on them with interest. Turns out the Wash House already have screen and sound and so it turns out, I rediscovered on this walk/talk, should Bellfield have a big screen. I’m hoping local cinema and film events might be a topic for a Heart Talk Porty conversation if there were people interested in this topic? Or do you have another theme you’d like to discuss to see what might happen? Have a look at the Orientation event on the Bellfield Facebook page to know more   

So back to the hedgehogs. We have been looking after three hoglets. They get a can of dog food a night. They live in a friend’s old dog kennel. They were found by her grandchildren and after several days surveillance no mother was seen and sadly has not been seen since but all three are thriving. They sleep in the day and come out when it is dark. This photo was taken one evening. As far as I am aware no hedgehogs are in the Town Hall gardens but I would not be surprised to find they were in there too, munching away on snails and slugs. Quite surprised it took me to blog #85 to mention vegetable plot news. I’ll spare you photos of trombocino squashes and courgettes!


Jennifer’s blog #85

Bikes and Books

Well the big day has come – Friday 17th Sept and the applications are in for the freelance Development Manager role. We’ll be spending the weekend sifting through those. Thank you everyone who applied. This is a big stage in our journey and I am excited to be here.

Big journey this weekend in my household is that my husband is cycling the Caledonian Etape so he’ll disappear off Saturday morning and be back Sunday, hopefully tired and happy, having cycled bits of Schiehallion in Perthshire with a few thousand others. He’s done it before and is never happier than when immersed in bikes. 

Have you noticed Portobello Book Festival is on 2nd and 3rd Oct? The agenda looks great. From my quick glance over it there are a few online events but the in person ones require tickets collected in advance from the library. Pick one and go see it! I’m going to swing by the library on Saturday before 2pm and secure tickets for at least one of them 

I still need to get some finance info over to our Treasurer so he can get his reports prepared for Monday and I’ve got some interesting Porty Central calls and walks planned this weekend. I’ll keep you posted.

Jennifer’s blog #84