Sunshine On Leith

Sunshine On Leith
Image: Juan Tello

The weather could not have been nicer this weekend. From Saturday morning until Sunday night the sun shone, the sky was blue, and everyone seemed to get a lift from the summer-come-early weather. The last couple of years’ springs and summers have been pretty dire affairs, but the three years prior started similar to this so I’m hoping this is a return to the nicer weather.

I took advantage of my first weekend away from Day Job Overtime to head up town early on Saturday morning. I got the bus at 8am and headed for the West End where there were a couple of shops I wanted to visit on a kind of research jaunt.

That didn’t take too long so I strolled in the sunshine from Haymarket back into the centre of town, cutting through the Old Town and taking in some of the quieter, less used streets, before coming back out onto George Street, doffing my cap to Jackie McCann’s old hide-out, and then into Rose Street. I was looking for a divine epiphany over the future of Hunting Jack but it never came.

I popped into Fopp while I was there and browsed through the records and books for a while, and came away with some cracking purchases. Musically, I purchase the new Prodigy album, Invaders Must Die, an album called English Chamber Music by Selfish Cunt (yes, that’s the band’s name), and a CD I have been after for many a trip to the record shop – The Three E.P.’s by The Beta Band.

Literature-wise I bought Ska’d For Life by Horace Panter, a personal biography of The Specials bass player’s time with the band, and a book of short stories called Punk Fiction, an anthology inspired by various original punk songs.

From there I visited my usual coffee shop to sit and peruse my new gets, and as I sank my cappuccino and chocolate filled pastry I found myself writing into my notebook. I came away with three new poems, and as I later found out, the space I was writing in is also home to a slam poetry group I hadn’t heard of, and so I think I may have caught the vibe while I was there.

By the time I got back home it was early afternoon and I was just in time for lunch. I stuck the bunnies out for the afternoon, took care of some tidying and washing in the house I had to do, and settled down to listen to my new music and flick through the new books I had bought.

I took some notes towards a couple of the projects I am working on, but the main piece of work that I involved myself with was the development of a new chapbook. I want to submit a new e-book to this year’s PSH Free-For-All, so the main thing was finding a theme or subject. I began looking through the poems I’ve written and gathered so far this year, and struck on an Edinburgh theme. I don’t mean like my book Fringe Fantastic, which is about a specific part of Edinburgh-life, I mean many of the poems I’ve written are just about daily life in Edinburgh and the things I’ve seen around me, none written with any reason in mind, just inspired by street-life.

So I’m going to submit a once-only e-book to the PSH FFA and then develop that further into a proper chapbook for release later this year. No title yet, only a bunch of poems, so we’ll see where this takes me.

Into Sunday and I had a bit of a lie in (9:30am). After breakfast I persuaded Gail to come with me to the pet store in Corstorphine. We were able to drive with the windows down and our sunglasses on, it was that nice a day. I collected a bunch of supplies for the rabbits: hay, pellets, muesli, cleaning liquid, corn stalks, etc. and while there I noticed there were hardly any bunnies in the store, all snapped up by people for Easter presents. I only hope they aren’t let loose after a couple of weeks when they realise the amount of care they need. In the same way dogs aren’t just for Christmas, nor are bunnies just for Easter.

Back home again and the bunnies were back out into the garden and I took care of the rest of the cleaning in the house, mowed the lawn, tidied up and organised my paperwork, and invoiced one of my web clients. I had to check the contract before I sent the bill out, because I think when he sees what he owes me he might wish he was paying me on a monthly maintenance agreement instead of what we agreed – in writing.

I did the rest of some website work for one of my other clients – she’s on holiday for a week so I can’t do any more without her being back– and decided to ditch the amalgamation of my freelance writing and website design sites. I’m going to focus Compass Freelance on the website side of things so I need to remove much of the writing promotion pages.

The contracts for most of the contributors for the summer issue of the Ranfurly Review went out, and I think I may have to stick out a call for submissions soon if things don’t pick up. Submission levels are not something I’ve had a problem with until the last couple of months, although a summer drop is usual, the drop this year has been more significant than previous.

I think that’s about everything. The warmth and sunshine was a bit of a distraction over the weekend but it was a welcome one. How often do we Scots get treated to such glorious weather this early in the year? Not much, let me tell you.

Into the week and it’s going to be another busy one. I’m off work on Wednesday for a special occasion, but I’ll explain more on that come the time – let me just say it’s something I’m really looking forward to!

Cheap and free e-books:

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About Colin Galbraith

Keen runner, thriller author, Madness fan, Mets fan, St Mirren fan/owner, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannolis & espressos. #LFGM
This entry was posted in Day Job, Edinburgh, Freelance, Music, Poetry, Publishing and Marketing, Reading, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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