Chai and Cheers

Had the usual core Porty Central group meeting on Monday night. Nearly a full house again and a fun, positive meeting. It was mainly taken up with practicalities of how we’ll select candidates and running interviews for our development manager contract but working out a process to become a member of Portobello Central SCIO was on the agenda too. Please do share the job advert with any suitable candidates you might know. Or, if the suitable candidate is you, get in touch before 17th September.

Just a couple of community info notes. 

Firstly, Saeema at Bridgend asked me to flag up her ‘It’s Naan Brainer’ Punjabi/Pakistani cooking masterclasses at Bridgend Farmhouse. With a pun like that I was powerless to resist! 

For more details see flyer or to book please contact Saeema:

Secondly, Portobello Community Energy have put out a local Travel Survey. The survey is online (from the links below) and takes only 5 to 10 minutes. They would be delighted if you could complete this! Please pass on to any family and friends in Portobello asking them also to complete it.

Residents Survey:

Local Business Survey:

Closing Date: 1st October 2021 

The way we travel is just one thing that needs to change over the next 5 to 10 years if we are to do our bit for climate change and to make Portobello a better place. It is important to find out what our community needs and how it feels. So ideally they want to bring this to the attention of everyone in Porty and seems a worth while cause to support. They are also looking for volunteers to deliver leaflets in the next few days, so if you fancy that drop an email.

Tells us what you want to hear about on here. Keep in touch.

Jennifer’s blog #73. 

Value Added Take

The First Recce 2020

Sunday has been all about the agenda for Monday night’s meeting. A packed agenda but not one I engaged with too much as I was through at my folks in Bearsden earlyish on Sunday. Went with my boy. Was checking in on my parents, cooking up a few meals, changing beds etc but was back for the final performance of Future Value Sunday evening. Debut yesterday. finale today. 

Jon Davey captured it beautifully here.  A few of the Porty Central team were kind enough to come see us and support the event which I appreciated. 

I should make clear, this was not a Porty Central event in any way. It is fully an Art Walk Porty event but I’ve been sharing it cause I’m involved, cause it’s Porty related and I hope because it feeds into community thinking and experiences. This blog is my personal take for 100 days on life at Porty Central as it weaves into my life. 

Other main news is we have a meeting in Porty Town Hall on Thursday afternoon this week with the Council high heid yins, at least high heid yins in the realms of council buildings and works budgets. Hard hats at the ready! Hoping to have (good) news later this week regarding the building work. 

Jennifer’s blog #72

Be a Star: Help Us Soar

There is only one piece of Porty Central news today. Portobello Central SCIO seek a contract Development Manager! 

You can read all about it here .

If you know someone right for this role, please share this on. Are you that person?

Applications close by end 17th Sept. 

This is a great opportunity to shape something magical and be in from the start of the project. Exciting times. 

Choreographer, Monica and originating Artist, Deirdre

Or in other more personal Porty news, Future Value debuted last night. An audience even turned up and seemed to enjoy it! I did too. 

What I took from last night, is that a group of self-selecting randoms can, as individuals, come together and create a ‘whole’ of beauty and structure. Sounds just like a committee, eh? There was a huge amount of focus in rehearsal on being aware what all of us were doing. Part of the ‘score’ – yes a written down score was created for piece – is that if one person stops, the group comes to a stop and restarts together. I can’t claim to be good at being aware of the whole group but that was one of my learnings – opening my gaze and my awareness. It wasn’t about being lost in the moment. It was about being part of something and present in the moment. And moving with purpose, to a score we had created. Our Choreographer, Monica and originating Artist, Deirdre (see Jon Davey’s lovely photo) had created conditions for this to form. It was also playful. I was reminded how intense playing is. 

Jon Davey was working hard to capture Day 1 of Art Walk and has some pictures of Future Value.

Tomorrow it will all be over. Better enjoy the moment. 

Jennifer’s blog #71

Two Birds

Today started with an early morning dunk with Jayne (Chair of Portobello Central SCIO). Was more an excuse for a swim but we chatted a bit of Porty Central stuff too. I thought it was my last of the season but it wasn’t as cold as I feared/expected, so maybe I’ll dook in 2021 yet. 

Late Thursday the Art Walk photography exhibition led by Porty Central core group member, Jon Davey of Jon Davey photography went up on the fence at the sailing club by The Beach House

Last year the exhibition involved pairing Porty people with partners from an Icelandic photography club. This year the participating Porty people have picked friends from around the world to work with. The exhibition link  was shared with the participants on Thursday, so I’d had a chance on Thursday night to review it, but it was only Friday morning before I got to see it for real. Loved it and really touch by it and thrilled to be a part of it. Bravo Jon for pulling this together again!

Saeema from Bridgend has asked me to flag up their clothes swap happening on Sat 4th.

I ♥️ a clothes swap! 

If you can’t make that, hope to see some of you at Porty Market  in Brighton Park tomorrow or at various Art Walk Porty events. It’s a big local weekend. Hope Porty Town Hall can be part of it next year.  

Jennifer’s blog #70

Pals and Pleas

The few monthly donations landed in our PayPal account at the start of the month, pinging an automatic email notification to

We are hugely grateful to all and anyone who sees their way to make a donation but monthly ones are particularly valued as they allow for some planning. 

Should you wish to send us hope and encouragement in the form of cash donations our PayPal account is here .

Another request to use the halls in October came in today. We fairly often get these sorts of requests sent to us. Guess we are becoming the visible face of Portobello Town Hall which is great. We find ourselves in the slightly odd position, however, of not yet having any rights or access to the hall. We expect the lease to come after the £350K works are done, more in March-April 2022. 

It is lovely we are asked and we do have good relations with the Council Facilities team and can make requests on your behalf. 

The email address for any queries is either Hello or; they both end up in the same inbox.

Keep talking to us.

Jennifer’s blog #69


Book on Eventbrite!

Wed was spent in Bearsden until I rushed back to Porty for a ‘Future Value‘ rehearsal in time to return car to husband to take son and pals to rugby practice.  

The main Porty Central, or specifically Town Hall, news came from one of the Council officers saying: 

‘Just a quick update, JB Bell & Co. are due to visit the site tomorrow morning to undertake a drainage survey. Apologies for the short notice, but it has only been confirmed this afternoon.’. 

Wave if you see them!

Other than that we’re just bouncing the contract spec for a Dev Manager back and forth, finessing it. Should be okayed for release any day now.

Jennifer’s blog #68

Teak and Trustees: Boards

Forgot to report in Monday’s blog that I’d attended the Portobello Community Council meeting on Monday night. No Porty Central business on the agenda but the topic of community groups having a seat at the table did come up in a discussion on membership. I think this means Porty Central could have a place. Maybe one to consider…..?

The main debate in the team today was around insurance and if we’d need it if we contract a Development Manager rather than employ one. This initial post will be a contract. Think we are tending to position that they’d have it and we’d not need it yet. See the right riveting stuff Trustees wrestle with?

Meanwhile spent the evening physically wrestling with the sideboard in my parent’s dining room. This room has been converted into a downstairs bedroom for Mum as she recuperates. The room was just too busy (unsafe!) with bed, table and sideboard, so I’ve wrestled this late 1960s piece of furniture to the backroom. A quick search on the name written on the back ‘Tyrells Motherwell’ suggests the shop, or an iteration of it still exists in that area  (although it now has a double ‘r’). Unless it says ‘Tykells’ but that brought back less in the internet search. 

Sitting empty now, having held the booze and good glasses, it made me think of the Town Hall sitting empty. I may need to find new life for this lovely, but no longer serving the purpose it was bought for, elegant sideboard. 

Jennifer’s blog #67