About Me

I was born in Luton, known for hat making, Vauxhall cars, London Luton Airport and a great football team who once beat Arsenal at Wembley in a Cup Final, currently languishing in non-league football for the 4th season. I moved to Edinburgh in 1990 and now live in Leith, Edinburgh's 'waterfront'.

Married for 24 years to Louise (who is on day release from Fife), I have 4 children: Holly (aged 28) who's studying medicine at Dundee University, William (aged 26) at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, Alice (aged 23) and Maddie (aged 16).

We live in a 226 year old Georgian house which we are slowly renovating. We once had a note from an artist posted through the letterbox asking if our semi-derelict house was available to rent as studio space. Things have improved lately; the stonework has been repaired and we have shiny new railings. Just the inside to do now then.

Current CNPS score: 999

Header Image: Richard Bloomfield

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    2000 Miles

    Last Thursday saw the passing of the 2000 mile mark since I started cycling to work in April. It would have been good to have been out on a nice ride but the event passed quietly somewhere along the North Edinburgh Cycle Path on the way to the office.

    Instead, I clocked up a few extra miles on Saturday morning, having dragged Maddie and Alice reluctantly out of the house on the promise of breakfast at McDonald’s. We headed off along my usual work route, Maddie on the tag-along and Alice on her own bike, stopping at McDonald’s in Corstorphine. From there we headed out to South Gyle and up to Cammo Estate near Barnton where we locked up the bikes and went for a walk around.

    The grounds of Cammo House were laid out in the early 1700’s and there are some lovely trees (including Edinburgh’s oldest Ash Tree). Everywhere you go there are interesting features like the former horse stables, walled gardens and a water tower/folly. The girls had a lovely afternoon in the sunshine; Maddie now knows where conkers and acorns come from.

    Creative Commons License photo credit: kyzCammo Tower

    Back on the bikes, we headed over to The Cramond Brig then down the River Almond into Cramond village for a drinks stop at The Cramond Inn where, incidentally, a pint is still under £2! We then followed the promenade to Granton, onto the Trinity Path and back to Leith along The Water of Leith walkway.

    A nice ride, almost exactly 20 miles, nearly all of which was off road. If you want to try it yourself, you can see the detail here.

    Sore finger

    Sore fingerMaddie came over to show me her sore finger and couldn’t work out why Alice and I were rolling about laughing!


    MaddieThis is a latest pic of Maddie, taken on my mobile and uploaded to Flickr.

    Maddie update

    Maddie 30/10/05It’s OK, I changed the dressing last night and it’s not that bad. I don’t think she’ll have a Harry Potter scar after all.

    I bought a new digital camera yesterday (Pentax Optio S45) which was a bit of a bargain in Makro. It’s just a budget compact so I’m not expecting fantastic results but it’s small enough to slip in your pocket. My ‘other’ digital camera is an Olympus bought second hand from Scott in the pub and it’s a 1 Mega-pixel brick. It’s also so fussy about exposure and focussing that Louise has never managed to take a decent photo with it. Hopefully this new one is a bit more ‘point and click’ so I’ll be putting a lot more on Flickr in future.

    By the way, this is the first post from work.


    Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?

    It’s not that I can’t blog from work (their internet use policy is pretty sketchy), it’s just that I’ve been that busy I couldn’t even think about it. I’ve been thrown on to one crisis project after another. And the good news is: I’m back Monday for another 2 months at least.

    Maddie is progressing in leaps and bounds. She’s crawling about at great speed and starting to pull herself up to a standing position. I don’t think she’s going to equal her sister’s record of walking at 8 months but she won’t be far behind. Oh, and she’s come out with her first word: ‘La la’. Yes, she’s a Tellytubby fan just like her sister before her, so much so that ‘La la’ has preceded ‘Mumma’ or ‘Dadda’. Tonight she added ‘Bla bla’ to her vocabulary, much to our amusement, despite her earlier mishap.

    Today Louise took Maddie and Alice to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall for a concert of scary children’s music. During the course of this event, Maddie decided to have a crawl about on the carpeted floor. Unfortunately, she also decided to try and stand up and then proceeded to headbutt the back of the seats in front, splitting her head open in the process. Like her sister, she will now be sporting a ‘Harry Potter’ scar on her forehead. She did set a record though – the first aiders in the Usher Hall said she’s the youngest casualty they’ve ever had to deal with.

    Eat the rich

    Eat the RichIt was lovely weather for a family stroll in the park today, although a little crowded when we got there.

    Of all the thousands of placards, this one had to be our favourite. Surely there’s a law against incitement to cannibalism?

    Maddie meadows (1)Maddie didn’t wear the official “Make Poverty History” white, but I still think she was suitably dressed. There certainly weren’t a million people there as Bob had asked, but it was all good natured – just one big carnival.

    We chatted with a couple of Police officers at Holyrood Palace on the way home – they’d stood all day totally isolated away from all the action. Apparently, Monday is the day they’re expecting trouble.

    Can of worms

    Welcome to anyone dropping in from Diamond Geezer, especially as you must have clicked your way though all those links from A to N before choosing to come here. Or maybe you were just looking to book some tickets with EasyJet.

    DG must be the most productive blogger on the planet. Are we expected to believe that any single individual could research, write, publish, collate, index & archive such a volume of interesting information? Personally, I was convinced a long time ago that Diamond Geezer is in fact a team of Geezers, roving daily around East London on fact finding missions. Anyway DG, thanks for the mention. Even if Technorati did all the leg work for you on this occassion :-)

    Unfortunately you’ll not find much to entertain you round here at the moment apart from dirty nappies and baby photos. Yes, there’s been a recent addition to this family and she takes up more time than two Diamond Geezer blog posts. I know it’s self-centered, gushy, isn’t-she-a-beautiful baby mush but, hey, give us a break. It’s the last time I’ll experience this (I hope !), at least until the granddad stage.

    This week I have my ‘Bob the Builder’ hat on again as I try and complete the baby’s bedroom after failing miserably to meet the original deadline. The ceiling is down, the floor is up, the can of worms is exposed. Woodworms actually. Next job is to spray the little buggers then get everything put back together. I want to get this done by next week so I can resume proper, paid work before the debt collectors are at the door again. We’re also trying to get the wee back garden sorted out as we seem to be living out there quite a bit at the moment. I think we’ve set a new record for consecutive barbeque evenings in Scotland. It really is quite dry in Leith. Rainwise, of course, not alcohol.

    Maddie aged 6 weeks

    PIC00028_3Here’s a picture of Maddie from about 2 months ago when she was 6 weeks old. Yes, she is burdened with her father’s hairstyle.

    I know this is a bit out of date but I’m just setting up Flickr and the automatic blogging thingy. If all works well this should publish straight from Flickr…