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Edinburgh weekend

I’m just back from a weekend in Edinburgh following a conference I attended there on Friday. The conference itself was really good, with keynotes from Sir Henry Burns (Chief Medical Officer for Scotland) and Prof Neil Mercer who worked just down the hall from me in Fac of Ed in Cambridge. I will probably write a separate blog on the best bits as I couldn’t do them justice in the 30 mins I have given myself to put out this blog up!

Ruari and his girlfriend joined me on the Friday night following the conference and we had a great selection of Tapas at Cafe Andaluz on George St. Each dish we got tasted wonderful (although I had to take Hannah’s word for her choices as she didn’t really embrace the ‘share’ aspect of Tapas….until it came to my dessert!) but my favourite was their braised pork cheeks…amazing.

The next day was spent wandering around Edinburgh. Ruari had suggested Leo’s Beanery for brunch and it certainly didn’t let him down.

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Although Edinburgh was great I did miss the walks along the beach I have become accustomed to taking almost daily and so within 20 minutes of touching down in Stornoway today I was walking along the beach at Steinish.

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Steinish is visible from my bedroom window and if the tides work out it is my number one choice for a run route in the morning.

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Along the edge of the beach is a grassy bank with occasional pools of brackish water.

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The mineral content of the pools makes for diversity of colourful plant life:

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I have accumulated a variety of ‘how to’ books in relation to watercolour, sketch, drawing and the like but what I produce it always so far away from what has inspired me that I always feel a little disappointed. Since the move up here I have dusted off the books and hope to give it another go simply because I see so much around me that is beautiful that regardless of the outcome of the time spent trying to create I love the idea of prolonged engagement with the following:

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The pools that form when the tide goes out are supposed to hold a good head of salmon and sea trout but having bought my season on the Creed I have been spending most of my time there…although with views like this I might have to reconsider…

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This weekend also saw the start of the Harris Mountain Festival and there are a few events coming up that I am hoping to make including a talk by Doug Scott on big wall climbing (including Sron Ulladail, Shivling and the Ogre) tomorrow night. Should be a great week…

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