Tag Archives: Neighbours

What next, when the Welcome doesn’t work?

Who is Welcome?

Waddie Welcome

If you haven’t heard about Waddie Welcome, please have a look here www.waddiewelcome.com to find out more. Readings of Mr. Welcome’s story have been done all over the world, and I have participated in a couple as well as setting a few up. The story is a brilliant one to start conversations about hope, possibility, community, and ‘people power’.  It can also be a great one to challenge negative assumptions or low expectations of people who have disabilities.

An invitation… Continue reading


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Who Is Your Kim?

As I have mentioned in previous posts, it is three years ago since my partner and I moved to a little village ten miles outside Edinburgh. Prior to that I had nearly always lived in cities or large towns, in easy commutable distances of friends who lived in other parts of the same city. I liked it when local shopkeepers recognised me, or when a neighbour knew my name, but to be honest – I wasn’t really that worried about ‘belonging’ to my neighbourhood. I had lots of friends. Why bother?

When we moved to Ratho, I could not believe that our next door neighbours came straight round to introduce themselves and bring us a bottle of wine. They said, “You won’t have any plates unpacked – can we go and buy you some fish and chips for your dinner?”. We got to know the neighbours on either side of us really quite well, really quite quickly. We starting taking up invitations to go in to their houses for a cup of tea or a glass of wine, leaving gifts on the fence post for one another, feeding their cats when they went on holiday.

View of fields and hills

This is where I belong

For the first few months, Continue reading


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Canal Conversations

Do you ever find yourself in a phase of synchronicity? I am there right now, with bizarre coincidences and delightful serendipity popping up here, there, and everywhere. One such coincidence took the form of Marcus, a gentleman I had the pleasure of meeting this week whilst cycling home.

Cyclists and walkers pass on the narrow path…

I’m making an effort to cycle to work more often, trying to be less of a ‘fair weather’ cyclist. I am lucky that this commute is 80% on a towpath beside a canal, which runs through my village. Since I have been more present there I have started to see how those of us cycling, walking, or rowing there form a kind of transient community. We pass by one another, or travel in convoy for little stretches, and some of us meet every day. Continue reading


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24 hours in my pocket

“We all wake up with 24 hours in our pocket” – Dr. Edgar S Cahn

In the community room of McDonald Road Library, four voices sing in harmony. A barbershop quartet volunteered their time to sing at the launch of the new Leith Time Bank. Four singers that compliment each other, creating a rich and beautiful sound, seems a wholly appropriate way to celebrate this new venture.

There are four more voices in harmony here too. Anne Munro and Senga Armstrong (of the Pilmeny Development Project), Kate Kasprowicz (Time Banking Coordinator for Edinburgh Volunteer Centre), and Dr. Edgar Cahn (OK, so he isn’t present, as such) all sing the same tune…and I love the sound of their music!

Continue reading


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