The one where I wandered by the river…

As I’ve mentioned previously on the blog, I took a wander down the Water of Leith Walkway from Roseburn to the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art on Mothering Sunday. These are just a few of the pictures I snapped. I’m still learning how to use the camera, it’s different settings and sometimes I use auto-focus, other times I’m doing it manually. I love experimenting, and would love to spend more time learning how to take better photographs.

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I would also love to know what the pink pinecone like plants are that I found just by the bridge over to the gallery steps. Does anyone know?

The one where I went to the zoo…

Ok. Since 20th January, things have gotten very bad in the western world. Justin Trudeau and Angela Merkel may be our greatest hope! ūüôā I literally haven’t really slept since Obama left the White House, and been working lots (my only day off last week was spent at the dentist and then doing youth work in the evening). And last week was week 6 since last getting paid. So on Saturday after work, armed with a Christmas gift in the form of a cinema voucher I headed for some happy escape with a few of my work friends. We saw La la Land. I loved it (though, I’ll be honest some of the sound editing seemed very poor – don’t know if that was the film or the cinema). One friend loved it, the other was very unhappy about the ending!

Monday was pay day! HURRAH! This meant a supermarket grocery delivery (i.e. proper meals again) and I decided to renew my membership to Edinburgh Zoo. One of my supervising managers hadn’t been since she was a kid and has been wanting to go for ages and it is rare that we have a day off on the same day. Monday was one of those rare days and so we made plans. We were blessed with a dry sunny-ish day, though very frosty, and ended up spending the whole day there. The zoo was quiet due to kids being in school and cold weather. It felt very peaceful. We both had our fancy cameras, but struggled to get good photos due to fences and glass. But here are a few pics that I hope you can enjoy! ūüôā We actually got to see both Yang Guang (the male panda) and Alinga (female koala) awake. Seeing pandas and koalas awake at the zoo is rare, so felt very privileged!

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The one where I fall up a hill…

So I’ve been quieter than usual this week, as last weekend I left work with some mild toothache. By evening I was going out of my mind digging through my bathroom cupboard for paracetamol and bonjela! Monday morning I was feeling hideous and trying to find a dentist because I was now willing to use any remaining savings to pay for a dentist to pull all my teeth out, and spent the day at work trying to avoid customers so I didn’t have to talk and tidying the stock room with my cloud snood wrapped around my jaw and face while popping painkillers as often as is medically allowed.

Suffice to say, I’ve not slept much this week, I’m now on antibiotics and next week the dentist will hopefully be able to see my teeth to give me the news of what 6 years living in a city with no dentists, 8 years of not being able to afford a dentist and a sugar addiction is going to cost me…!

Last night I went out the house for the first time in days for a meeting, and today it was so lovely that I decided to get a bus up to one of my favourite Edinburgh spots with my camera. I’m still working how to use it and did a lot more photos manually focusing the lens. And I used my long lens for the first time. I planned only to spend time in the walled garden, but ended up walking further up and then around and over the hill to take more pictures. What I didn’t realise is that it had snowed up there a day or so ago, and there were parts on the North side that had not melted and compacted making for an icy climb up to the Rest and Be Thankful spot to get a view of Leith, Fife and the City Centre. And yes I fell. A dog heard me slip and land and came around the main path I was trying to get up to and over to my slidier path to find me and saw me doing my best Bambi on ice impression – while trying to save my camera from any impact and just looked at me with a look of worry/pity.¬†His/her eyes said “Oh. You seem to be in a bit of a pickle. Oh dear…” as I kept sliding back onto my derriere and back down the slope every time I tried to get back up.

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Anyway, here’s a few pictures…tried manual focus, new lens and different modes and exposures (that’s the ISO thing, right?)

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You spin me around like a record…

My¬†blog posts of late have been a little on the heavy side.¬†I had a birthday last week (there might have been a clue about that in a recent blog post) and this year I decided that any and all money I may receive would go towards something I really wanted as opposed to tuition fees. I’ve also been working every hour I can get in the shop so that I wouldn’t need to use birthday money for the mundane stuff like university books, tuition fees, food and toothpaste.

What I’ve wanted since I was a wee girl (siblings if you are reading this, leave the short jokes now…it’s just that you’re all giants! ūüėõ ) is a vinyl record turntable. My Nana and Grandad had one and I used to love putting their records on it they had a collection that included Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller and more. My Mum had the Black Lace children’s party one (Birdie Song, Conga and of course, Superman), The Beatles collection and my favourite as a kid – Laura Branigan’s ‘Self Control’. Over the years my taste in music has got increasingly eclectic. There are a few genres I find it difficult to listen to – Country, Hard House, Dance…but love electronic, rock, pop, jazz, reggae, blues. Though I confess my knowledge of who is who is terrible! So with money from parents, an aunt and even one of my siblings I was able to purchase this at the weekend:IMG_6707

I still need to get some speakers (I forgot to add that into my budget) and it may be a while before I can afford to buy them, and of course I need to get some vinyl records. My big thing though is what the first record will be played on it. My Mum thinks I’m off my trolley she doesn’t get why I don’t just play any old record to make sure it works. But for me, I like to savour things. I’m not a get up and rip all my presents open kind of person. I like to be able to savour the moment. I think I’ve decided now, that the first album I want to play is one of my all time favourite albums – Death Cab for Cutie’s Transatlanticism. When mp3 players started taking over and we all became downloaders of single songs and get familiar with the skip button, this was the first album I got where I would just put it on my CD player and listen to the whole thing start to finish. Sadly, it is one of the CDs that has become a victim of my Mum’s car stereo (it seems to like attacking a track on each of the CDs – and has ruined tracks on two Death Cab albums and¬†The Weatherfolks’ This Bell Will Ring).¬†So I don’t mind rebuying it on vinyl.

I’ve also been trying to suss out the vinyl record shops of Edinburgh. I went to two specialist charity shops on my day off, but my favourite shop so far is Vox Box. However I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to begin. I did manage to find The Bangles and some Ella Fitzgerald on a record in one of the charity shops. I’ll see what the records are like

I have a list of things I’d love to get…

Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

Jimmy Cliff – Jimmy Cliff (mainly for Many Rivers to Cross)

Belle and Sebastian – The Boy with the Arab Strap

John Lennon – Imagine

Other artists I’m looking out for are Ray LaMontagne, Nina Simone, The Smiths, David Bowie, The Postal Service.¬†I’ve been recommended by one of Edinburgh’s most well known audiophiles, Ian Rankin that I should get Kraftwerk’s Man Machine. And I’m definitely wanting to discover some Jazz, blues and reggae to break out of my pop, punk and indie rock so I need to pay more attention to who the artists are that I catch on BBC 6 Music.

This is a taste of some of the artists I love:

The Ramones, The Smiths, Belle and Sebastian, The Zutons, Oasis (earlier 90s stuff), Jimmy Eat World, Audioslave, Nada Surf, The National, David Bowie, The Beatles, John Lennon, T-Rex, The Undertones, The White Stripes, Nina Simone, Sia, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Sarah McLachlan, Dashboard Confessional, Sigur Ros, Adele, Air, Boards of Canada, Sam Amidon, The Clash, Noah and The Whale, Death Cab for Cutie, Israel¬†Kamakawiwo’ole, Jack Johnson, Rend Collective, Ben Howard, Ben Folds, Ben Lee, Regina Spektor, Buddy Holly, Garbage, Green Day, Macy Gray, Lauryn Hill, Guns N Roses, The Who, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Santana, Foo Fighters, Switchfoot, The Kinks, Krezip, Madonna, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, The Perishers, Radiohead, Ingrid Michaelson, Teenage Fan Club, Sufjan Stevens, Bob Marley and the Wailers…ok. The list goes on and on!

Any vinyl lovers out there want to recommend new and old artists that I should check out, or records that I should go hunting for?

ūüôā

Wishing that Edinburgh women were valued more than dogs…

The other day I got slightly irritated when I was following a Edinburgh Council meeting, and a local councillor brought up the issue of asking the council permission for a statue of a male boxer. My immediate response was the following:

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They immediately retweeted my response, and I got a mixture of shock about my statement wanting to know if I’d made that up, and of course a man who tweeted a laughing emoji and I don’t think he used the term feminist in a complimentary manner.

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The person tweeting at the Edinburgh Reporter however, agreed with me when I replied that I thought it was shocking that we have no statues of Edinburgh women who have literally saved lives. And Mr Tweeter had no response to that.

 

Last year, I had to do a 4 month placement with a community education organisation. I chose to go into one that specialised in adult education, because it was the branch of community learning and development I had the least amount of experience in. While there I worked with a women’s history group. Hilarious, as I had no interest in History at school because what they taught and the way they taught it was dull, dull, dull. It was this group that enlightened me to the real stories of women’s suffrage and the campaign to abolish the slave trade and emanicipate slaves. I began to discover what the men that have had monuments and statues built in their honour stood for. It made me feel sick.

Our city values animals more than women when it comes to public statues.

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One of the women’s history group made me pose next to this statue as we were walking into town one day. It is the only statue of a woman in Edinburgh’s city centre. She isn’t named, she is more symbolic. A woman and child to remember the women and children who suffered during apartheid in South Africa.

5 minutes away, you can go into Princes Street Gardens and you’ll find a statue of Bum the dog – apparently needed because he is so important to remember Edinburgh’s connections with San Diego. You’ll now find a bear called Wotjek too. He was a mascot adopted by the Polish troops during the war. And of course, walk in another direction through the Old Town to George IV Bridge and you’ll find a statue of Greyfriar’s Bobby.

To find an individual named woman who has been commemorated with a statue in her honour like Bum, Wotjek and Bobby? You’ll need to go down to Leith to find a statue of Queen Victoria, then further out to the suburb of Craigmillar to find a statue of Helen Crummy.

Why was it as a girl that I felt that there were certain careers that I should shy away from? Why was it that when I came top in the year for Maths, I spent the next year trying not to be good at it (and succeeded). Why did I fear public speaking or debating even though I had plenty of opinions and information to share? Why was it that the only careers that ever came to mind as options growing up were nursing or teaching?

And then I began to look around. There were no women to look up to. The boys had footballers and rugby players that 1000s followed daily in the sports news. They had textbooks full of political leaders, history makers, scientists.

Go into museums…men. Look around at the commemorative statues in our city…men. On our TV shows…male superheroes. In our films…leading men outnumber the leading women.

It isn’t that there are no women who have lived in Edinburgh worth honouring in this way. Elsie Inglis has two statues in Serbia, but none in the city where she opened the first nursing home and maternity hospital for working class women and started the medical college for women since the University of Edinburgh refused to teach women medicine for so long and hospitals also refused to allow women to come learn skills there. The woman who was one of the first female graduates of medicine at Edinburgh University who helped her found the maternity hospital and nursing home. Her name is Jessie Macgregor. There was the woman who climbed Arthur Seat with Frederick Douglass and wrote to the Free Church Assembly asking them to send back the money they got from slave plantation owners to start their church. She helped fund the underground railroad and with other women tireleslly campaigned for the emancipation of slaves. Once that was done, she began the women’s suffrage movement in Edinburgh. Her name was Eliza Wigham. Her friend who became the first president of the women’s suffrage society in Edinburgh, her name was Priscilla Bright Maclaren. There was Flora Stevenson, and her sister Louisa campaigned for the education of women. Flora was also one of the first women to be elected to a school board (after women were finally allowed to do that). Flora has a school named after her in Edinburgh. Thomas Guthrie was honoured for his work in providing education for the poor with a statue in Edinburgh. Flora hasn’t been. Louisa was one of the first women to be elected to a nursing board. Both ladies were involved in campaigning for women’s suffrage. And there was Sophia Jex Blake. Sophia campaigned for many years for women to be allowed to study medicine. When the University of Edinburgh¬†refused to let her in because she wasn’t allowed to be in classes with men, she found six other women to study medicine with her so the university were forced to provide classes and lectures for them. Sophia and the other six ladies became known as ‘The Edinburgh Seven‘. After years of campaigning to the university,¬†¬†a plaque was finally placed in their honour late last year.

And of course there are our famous female writers. Helen Cruickshank and Muriel Spark to name two. Given that Walter Scott (a very good writer, but someone who openly campaigned for the continuation of the slave trade!!) has a big frickin’ tower monument, and Henry Dundas – another pro-slavery Scotsman – has a column with his statue on top paid for by Navy personnel (the money was taken straight out of their wages). Surely a wee statue for one of these women wouldn’t go amiss.

Heck, if we can celebrate an American dog, a Polish bear and a fabled Scottish dog…surely we can honour a few of these remarkable local women with statues as well.

And then maybe kids will see that your achievements are valued no matter what your gender. And that women are worth more than animals. Or at least equal to them.

Eating well and living well on a budget…

The church I attend is home to an organisation called Christians Against Poverty. They do all kinds of helpful stuff to help people get out of debt and stay in the black. Recently one of the CAP volunteers posted on one of our church facebook groups saying they were doing an event to talk about living well and eating well requesting some ‘expertise’.I’m gutted I can’t go to the event. For those of you who don’t know, I have a degree in Health Promotion. Despite having done no science at high school, I found myself headed to the medical school to do a Bachelor of Health Sciences from my third year of a Master of Arts in Geography after spending a lot of time doing cooking on a budget and health education workshops with young people in my first paid Community Education job. It has been a while though, so don’t ask me which Vitamins and Minerals are in which foods when I’m not¬†near my old textbooks!

I’ve written a few guest posts for the Postgraduate Search website which included one on helping your money go further¬†as a student, and I also did a guest post for my friend Caroline on her ‘Have a Whole Foods Holiday’ series she did a few years ago. Given that I’ve spent the last year trying to make my redundancy pay and teenage savings last as long as possible while finishing my postgraduate degree, I have had to get more creative and find some ways of living without the disposable income I once enjoyed (by disposable income I mean I could pay my rent, bills, run my small car and go out to the pub once a week with my friends. I may also have bought a new pair of shoes or a nice top once every few months). I struggle with depression and the thing that can¬†often set me off in a downward spiral of never ending duvet days without showering is not eating well, not getting exercise, not having opportunity to socialise with friends and not having my brain engaged. So I wanted to share some of what I’ve found that has helped me stay sane and (relatively*) healthy.

Eating Well

Eating well on a budget and not going completely insane eating the same meal for days on end when you are single is a challenge. Add some annoying food intolerances/allergies to that and well…yeah. It’s a recipe for food becoming something you put off because you simply can’t face having to eat it again.

I have three main tips that¬†I’ve found helpful…

1. Use your freezer and your plastic tub collection.

Buying in bulk is often cheaper. I’d also take advantage of deals – as long as it was on a product I use regularly and would keep – when I saw them. However, buying in bulk could mean you end up eating the same meal every day for a week when you are single. The way to take advantage of the bulk buying bargain without being sickened of the sight of the same meal over and over is to cook in bulk…then deposit it into portion sized containers and freeze them!

I managed to adapt a recipe for vegetarian chilli that was a godsend during my first year at university. My first couple of weeks at uni I really struggled as most of the foods on campus were pre-made and had stuff I couldn’t eat in them. Leaving my house at 7.45 a.m. and not getting home until 7 p.m. (or later if I needed to study or something happened with the trains) took it’s toll. I would feel physically sick by the time I got home – and some of it was from hunger. My wonderful friend Kathy suggested buying a food flask, and this ¬£10 investment paid back its value! Once every six weeks, I would make a huge pot of chilli. I would defrost a portion overnight, heat it up and boil some rice to go with it and spoon it into my food flask and that was my lunch every day at uni. It was wonderful to ¬†have a proper hot meal. I’d also pack a ton of snacks – a flask of water that could be refilled if needed, nuts, celery sticks, fruit and some chocolate banana teabread.¬†The teabread I also made in a batch and cut it into portions and froze it. It was always defrosted by lunchtime if I took it out before going to uni in the morning. The snacks would help keep me going during class or when I was starving on the train home – and stopped me using expensive vending machines or the train snack trolley.

Another great meal to take for lunch was soups. Again, I’d make a big batch and freeze it in portions to take with me to work. Lasagne, Meatballs and Fruit crumble are other things I’ve made and decanted into¬†smaller containers to be frozen.

2. Plan your meals

You need to get organised¬†for this. And I tried to have things overlap. For example if I was making chilli, I’d often have half a jar of tomato passata leftover. This with some spinach and pasta would be my dinner or lunch for the next two days.¬†I also had celery leftover¬†when I made my veggie chilli. Celery sticks would be my choice of snack to use them up.

Make your shopping list up accordingly, and be disciplined in sticking to what is on your list and ignoring all the marketing strategies they have to make you buy stuff you don’t actually need in the shops!

3. Eat seasonally

One of the best ways to get lots of fruit and vegetables in you without breaking your purse strings is to eat seasonally. I confess, as a lass who grew up in the middle of a city and has never had a garden to keep I had no clue about where food comes from. It was only when I bought a recipe book from Innocent Smoothies that I learned about seasonal foods – they had a great calendar type chart that I use all the time now. There’s also a really helpful website called Eat Seasonally that will help you too. Not only does it taste better when it’s in season, it’s also way cheaper. You’ll also find that if it’s produced closer to home it’s cheaper too. A punnet of strawberries will be half the price in Scotland in July compared to March!

Staples in my cupboard and fridge:

Pasta

Basmati Rice

Egg noodles

Unsalted butter or a soya spread

Milk

Chilli powder, cinnamon, italian herb seasoning, reduced sodium salt, peppercorns

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Light Soy Sauce

Cornflour

Self Raising Flour

Plain Flour

Baking powder

Eggs

Tea bags

Growing parsley, rosemary, coriander and basil in their little plant pots (when I haven’t killed them)

Porridge Oatmeal

…and then whatever ingredients you need for your meals – spinach, broccoli, milk, bananas, apples, beef, chicken, carrots, peppers, sweetcorn, potatoes…?

Some of my favourite regular meals & snacks

-Carrot and sweet potato soup

-Tomato and basil soup

-Toast with Scrambled egg and salad

-Vegetarian chilli

-Pasta with tomato sauce, spinach and mozzarella

-Turkey meatballs in a tomato sauce

-Chicken and broccoli bake

-Baked Sweet Potato with salad and a filling

-Grilled fish with boiled potatoes and broccoli

-Cheesey spinach macaroni

-Stir fry vegetables with soy sauce

-Vegetarian Lasagne

-Apple porridge

-Chocolate banana teabread

-Cous cous with leftover vegetables

-Olives

-Celery sticks

-Apple slices

-Bagel with sliced banana

-Sugarsnap peas or mangetout

-Pumpkin and sunflower seeds

-Fruit Crumble

Living Well

If you are really not sporty like me, the living well part is quite difficult on a budget. Pretty much every sport I’ve liked costs money to do – whether it’s dance classes, rock climbing or surfing. That’s not much help with you don’t have spare cash to buy/rent equipment or pay for the classes. Or a gym membership. Even swimming was too expensive, especially if I was on my own. Not only did I have to pay the price of swimming pool access but I needed contact lenses or special prescription goggles so I could find my way from the changing rooms to the water and back.

It’s worth seeing if there are any groups in your local¬†area running a walking club (there are several groups in Edinburgh who meet up to do walks along the Railway Path, Corstorphine Hill, Blackford Hill and so on that costs nothing). You may even find some folks getting together in a local park to play football or do keep fit. Find your local community centre and go in – have a look on the noticeboard and see what opportunities and groups you didn’t know about.

If you have a device that plays podcasts (like a phone or mp3 player), you’ve got a good sports bra and a pair of trainers then the NHS Couch to 5k podcast comes recommended by several of my other unsporty friends. I did download it and then realised that I just hate running!

I did however, really find myself getting energised doing Pilates. I went to a class for a while when I had a local authority gym membership, but couldn’t afford to keep it up. Instead I went to TK Maxx and got a pilates mat (which was about ¬£8) and a DVD off amazon called Pilates for Dummies that cost me about ¬£4. Every week my friend and I got together in my house to do that Pilates DVD together. Not only did we feel great (if a little sore at times) but it was a lovely cheap social activity that we kept up for a year. It cost nothing after our initial ¬£12 investment!

I’m also a huge fan of walking. Sometimes I’d get a bus to hang out with a friend and then walk back home. Sometimes I’d meet up with a friend and we’d walk along Silverknowes and Cramond, or walk around the Old Town, up Arthur Seat, along the Union Canal or Water of Leith Walkway…I didn’t even need a sports bra for that!

Keep your brain engaged

Books are one thing I don’t think I could live without. I’ve been kept afloat with numerous generous book tokens from friends at birthdays and Christmas, and I won’t lie – in the last year I’ve at least twice gone a week barely eating because I’ve spent my food budget on books. So if you’re a book addict like me, joining the local library is a must so you don’t have to buy them (you do however, have to remember to take them back on time…something I was terrible at doing because I often take months to finish a book because I like to have about 6 on the go at the same time).

The other thing I found really helpful was to go out. Going out was tough when I had no money. Sometimes I didn’t have enough money for a bus fare. When I did, I loved to go and take advantage of the free stuff in Edinburgh. A trip to the Botanic Gardens. A trip to the National Art Gallery. The Fruitmarket Gallery. The City Art Centre. Sitting in Princes Street Gardens people watching. The Museum of Scotland. The Museum of Childhood. The Writers’ Museum. The Museum of Edinburgh.

We are truly blessed with all this culture on our doorstep, and when I have a job again, I will do my best to give donations to these places so they can coninue staying open for free. These city centre locations I frequented on days when I was pounding the pavements handing in my CVs to any business with a ‘Staff Vacancies’ sign (and anyone else that would take them). A walk through the Grassmarket and down to one of the¬†art galleries was a needed cheer up after every visit to the Job Centre for my weekly interrogation.

One week I found myself with an extra bit of cash and I bought a ukulele for ¬£21 and started teaching myself songs with chord tabs and YouTube videos I found on the internet. It was just something to keep me sane during hours and hours of job searching and applications…because when there’s only the TV, social media (which is just a way to stir up the green monster of envy when you see all your friends eating in restaurants, buying a new fancy outfit, going to pubs and enjoying sunshiney holidays!) your brain gets bored and dulled…and that would sometimes push me close to the edge of the depression pit. Whenever I could I’d save up money to meet up with a friend for coffee (I’d get the cheapest thing on the menu – but hey I was going ‘out’) or go to the cinema for the Filmhouse Friday matinee (¬£4 concession) or Cheap Tuesday at the Vue (half price tickets). Sometimes it was as simple as organising a fun night in with a friend – bringing our own snacks and watching a DVD we already had or a film that was on the telly. And did I mention that many libraries have DVDs and even CDs of music you can borrow too?

Maybe for you, you might like playing guitar, writing poetry, painting, crafting, sketching. Whatever it is, make some time to do it.

Those last things may seem really daft because they aren’t about staying physically active. But I found that doing something fun, and experiencing some kind of art and culture inspired me. I don’t know what it is but it just reminded me that I’m a human being with the potential for ideas and creativity. For me, the arts and culture activities were just as important as eating well and doing physical exercise for keeping me emotionally and¬†mentally well.

Anyway, for any single people trying to stick to a budget, and/or working out how to stay sane while you’re in between jobs…I hope this helps you. It isn’t easy, and in our materialistic, voyeuristic, expensive western culture it is hard to stay positive and live well. However, it is important that we do. We all have something to give in this world, and staying as healthy as we can is going to benefit ourselves and others.

Good luck, and feel free to share your own ‘Eating and living well’ tips!

Q Commons Edinburgh

I have this strange relationship with faith, my values, secular and church culture. They seem to be constantly dancing around the same dance floor, and I’m still trying to work out if they can be in one dance together. I am a community developer. I realise now that I always have been, the desire to build community seems to be innate in me (is it the same for everyone? I don’t know). And of course now I study it at one of the world’s oldest universities with a whole bunch of people who challenge, encourage, agree and disagree with each other.

For years I went to Christian conferences feeling like I was being preached to. When my friends travelled to Q – a conference held in the USA every Spring, they came back inspired. They told me stories of people who weren’t just preaching dos and donts but sharing journeys and ideas. It wasn’t about telling people what to do. And it had me intrigued. Like maybe this was a conference run by Christians that I would feel welcomed at. It was about putting forth an idea, or sharing a tale¬†of ‘good practice’, or sharing the story of a journey so far. And then it was about letting it simmer…amongst the delegates over coffees (or wines) and meals, amongst their friends when they came home. Pondering questions – how to we take those ideas and put them into practice for the common good of our communities? What would that look like? What would be the process to make that happen in our local context? What do we define as the common good in the first place?

Q Commons has given the chance for more community leaders¬†to experience this type of discussion and idea sharing, as it hosts three live 9 minute talks that are beamed out to every event across the world, and then at each event has three local¬†speakers giving 9 minute talks. There is a chance to network, and a chance to discuss. It is not a ‘this is how you should think’. It’s about posing questions and together coming up with possible solutions that may bring equality and justice into our locale. And then going forth into action with our communities.

And so if you’re in Edinburgh, you might be interested in this event. Tickets are limited, as the Q Commons events are¬†deliberately kept intimate and intentional so that those attending can get the most out of not just listening to talks, but the conversations¬†they have with the people at their tables in between.

Q main speakers will be:

Malcolm Gladwell Рbestselling author and journalist

Soledad O’Brien¬†– broadcast journalist

Mark Burnett РTV Producer & CEO 

Q Commons Edinburgh local speakers will be:

Phillip Benton ( talking about living spaces for justice)

Keith Millar (talking about education and redemption for children who have been excluded from mainstream school education)

Heather McGibbon (talking about talking about a movement to get a place of sanctuary for Syrian refugees in Edinburgh )

If you are interested in coming to the Edinburgh event, which will be held on Friday 27th February from 7-9 p.m. at Central Hall, West Tollcross. The venue is wheelchair accessible, with a lift at the side of the building which brings you into the main floor where the Q event is held. Tickets are £19.10 each (with a small discount for married couples wishing to attend together) and you can book by going to the Q Commons Edinburgh website. It is an e-ticket, so please be aware all the information will be sent to you electronically not by post.

And if you are elsewhere in the world you can find out if there is going to be an event on the 26th or 27th Feb (depending on time zones) in your area by clicking here.

Maybe see you there? ūüôā