In the always varied world of freelancing, this past month I have interviewed architects in far flung places – Moshe Safdie in Massachusetts, USA, and Barrie Ho in Hong Kong – for profile pieces to be published in Property Report, a magazine which covers architecture, design and technology. I should perhaps clarify that I didn’t go to these far-flung places; thanks to the wonders of technology I didn’t have to leave my flat. I’m not sure this is a good thing or not.
Closer to home, I am doing another project with YMCA Scotland, this time transcribing stories and designing exhibition boards, about the sports heritage of the YMCA. These will form part of the organisation’s 175th anniversary celebrations in London, in 2019. 175 years! Amazing.
And I have been involved with setting up an exciting new venture: Flavours of Leith. A guided walking tour of Leith Walk, participants will take a stroll down the colourful street and call in at various eateries, cultural hotspots and unique shops, while getting a taste of Leith’s fascinating history, as recounted by the lovely and very personable Monica Nall.
Monica is originally from Dundee but has lived in Leith for 35 years; a huge fan of the area, she dreamed up the tour as a way of celebrating multi-cultural Leith Walk and supporting its many independent businesses. This is especially important at a time when a planning application has been submitted for a huge mixed development at Stead Place – see the Save Leith Walk campaign for more info.
The tour is for up to six people and the small group will get to sample some tasty morsels at places specially selected by Monica, including Valvona & Crolla, Golden Ambal and Los Cardos, as well as experience a side of Edinburgh a world away from the cashmere-and-tartan-saturated city centre.
We had an enjoyable walk down the Walk ourselves recently, taking photos of some of the dozens of local businesses that make the street so special. Tours start this autumn; check Facebook @leithflavours over the next few weeks for updates.
Top: Monica outside Tattie Shaw’s; pavement mural and local businesses on Leith Walk: Storrie’s bakery, Elvis Shakespeare, Polypak Continental Foods, Punjabi Junction, Robbie’s pub.