Celebrations! groundskeeperwillie

It is time to celebrate here at Edinburgh Community Collective as we celebrate the fact that it is time to celebrate because it is time to celebrate! We are now officially over two months old! And what a blinking bloody journey it has been. I mean, who can forget moments like that moment in that article where we talked about the difficulty of parking at Edinburgh airport? That was a great moment. What a great, great, great moment.


A great moment.

So! It is time to plan a party and I am the party planning queen! I’m really, really good at parties. I get every thing sorted. I’m talking cake, I’m talking decorations, I’m talking dancing men, I’m talking ice vodka luges.Yeah! I am not messing round! You see, the key to a great party is something that people haven’t seen before. It stuff like that which makes a party unfourgettable, it really is! If people can walk into a room and say ‘What is that???’ And leave saying ‘What was that???’ then you have done your job. It is in that spirit that I book things like dancers and ice vodka luges, I mean look at them:


I mean wow! Right! I mean an ice sculpture is one thing, but an ice sculpture with vodka pouring out is something else entirely. That is really amazing. I mean if you want to say ‘we are having a party and we are really going all out, you should come along and enjoy yourself’ then nothing says ‘we are having a party and we are really going all out, you should come along and enjoy yourself’ more than an ice vodka luge. They are just so darn cool you know? So cool.

So that’s the plan! As you might be able to tell, I am quite excited.

So I’ll report soon on how it all went !


Interview of the Month: Delia-Andrea Burton-Smith groundskeeperwillie

Hey people! My name is Rebecca and the people here at Edinburgh CC have really kindly let me do some interviews from them! I have been wanting to become an interviewer for years and years and years as I think I have a way with words and also of with people I like!

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So not you 80’s Sean Bean. STAY AWAY FROM ME 80’S SEAN BEAN!

I’m going to be interviewing people who live and work in Edinburgh about their working lives. I’m going to ask them questions like ‘How is your job?’ or ‘How did that happen?’ and ‘Hahaha, and was it fatal?’ or ‘why does he always pretend to be someone he’s not? He’s NOT a boxer! He’s an actor! Come onnnnnn! Stop lying!’ 

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You’re not fooling anyone. And you’ll always be the second most popular Mr Bean in the world. You grizzled bear man impostor with those cheeks and… and… those, those eyes…. ohhhhhhh… Sean…. no I can’t! Oh god, oh go on! More.. MORE…SEAN! 

So this week, my first week, we’re going to be speaking to a very special lady called Delia-Andrea Burton-Smith (I know! What a name! Apparently she’s got a double barrelled fist name because it was arguing over what to call her that drove her parents to divorce, what a scoop! Ha! ‘Hello Daily Herald!’ Ha! Right!). She’s a web designer who used to work south of the border at an agency in Liverpool but has recently come back home to try and make her own way in the world. You go girl! So here is a transcription of my interview, hope it goes well!

So, Delia-Jonjo, can I call you Delia-Andrea? Delia-Andrea Burton-Smith will be fine actually.

Ah, O….k. Well! Delia-Andrea Burton-Smith, what is it that drew you to web design? Hi, thank you for having me. Well I guess I just figured it was something I could do, theres some money in it and all the things I actually cared about had completely fallen through. So, I thought ‘well, we can’t all be special’ Which is a good thing to realise. So I went for it. And it has been…. good.

OK! Wow, that is really great. So, Delia, I wond- Sorry… Delia-Andrea Burton-Smith, if you would. I don’t mean to be difficult.

Oh sorry! Not at all! So Ms Burton-Smith I wonder if- Look… I really don’t want to be awkward… it’s Delia…Andrea…Burton…Smith. That is my name, it is really not so difficult. If you’d please just say my name.

Right, well it is a little long- just say my name.

Well it’s just that- say my name.

Well I- Say it.

Er- Say my name


… Delia-Andrea Burton-Smith. Again.

.Delia-Andrea Burton-Smith. Again! Louder!

Delia-Andrea Burton-Smith! LOUDER!

DELIA-Andrea Burton SMITH! DELIA-Andrea Burton-SMITH!  I’M SORRY! I’M SO, SO SORRY! DELIA-Andrea Burton-SMITH!

(ED. It gets a little harder to hear the tape here unfortunately as rebecca cries for a while. After a while though she seems to get herself together) 

So, I hoped we could talk abou- this interview is over.


Oh Walter White Sean Bean. What did I do wrong? 

(Ed’s note: Rebecca did not manage to get any pictures of Delia-Andrea Burton-Smith, and apparently had no wi-fi and only pictures from a slide show she did about Sean Bean on her computer. She will not be doing anymore interviews for us.)

Interview of the Month: Delia-Andrea Burton-Smith

Advice on Keeping Warm for Less! groundskeeperwillie

In the long cold Edinburgh winter we are all in much need of some heat, especially when you like to work in a little not particularly well insulated chalet you built at the bottom of the garden which you made (rather elegantly may I say) out of disused train track sleepers from the old train station near by.


Never forget..

The creation of this work space and chill out area was a point of personal pride for me, being my largest project to date, and I also really liked the wood burner installed inside, the idea of it crackling away on a winters eve and keeping me going through long nights, mornings and afternoons was a comforting and exhilarating one. I soon found however that I was spending a fortune on wood and wasn’t sure if I was really doing the right thing here, burning so much wood, being so wasteful. Or was I? Was I being wasteful? This was the thing: I just really wasn’t sure…

So I started looking for alternatives and on a weekend visiting friends down across the boarder in Liverpool I saw a massive sack in their garden with ‘Liverpool Wood Pellets’ written on the side sitting next to a contraption I had never set my eyes on before. This contraption was a wood pellet heater.


But first… what are wood pellets?

Wood pellets make up an alternative source of fuel known as ‘pellet fuels’ which are small compressed amounts of biomass or organic matter. Whilst pellet fuels are often combusted to create energy they can be seen as “environmentally friendly”  because biomass is a bi-product of other processes such as food waste, energy crops, agricultural residues, virgin lumber  industrial co-products and waste. Wood pellets however are made from large amounts of compressed sawdust specifically and other general non-specific industrial waste related to the production, processing and milling of lumber, the constriction of wooden structures and the manufacture of wooden furniture, projects and products. Wood pellets are burnt both for heat and energy. Fascinating!

This special machine of my friends created a quite incredible amount of heat and ran for a quite incredibly long time on a little shovel full of pellets. My friend told me that she’d had a wood burner for years and had always had fears similar to mine before meeting someone who turned her on to the aforementioned local wood pellet company and she turned over a completely new leaf.


Good for her… 

The other good news is that you don’t actually need a wood pellet burner specifically to use wood pellets, they can go straight into your standard wood burner at home, which is exactly what I’m doing. You don’t get the same view you’d normally get, but for heat production they’re second to none! Well, as far as I know, I’d like to hear about your ideas for alternative energy and heat production in the house hold. We’ve got a whole summer  to decide how were going to survive next winter, we may as well get to it!

Advice on Keeping Warm for Less!

The Good and the Also Good: Edinburgh’s Museums. groundskeeperwillie

There is a quite phenomenal selection of museums in our fair city and I for one, despite living here so long, am not sure that I am yet to actually properly visit all of them. As is so often the case with these things, when something is on your doorstep no one moment really seems the moment to go and try it out. I always find that I see these types of things only really when I have visitors visiting! Visitors keen to see the sights, to see the real Edinburgh (which apparently does not include the inside of my flat and the bottle of a wine bottle on a friday night!). With them in tow I am suddenly reborn as the ultimate culture vulture, I want to take them to all my ‘favourite‘ art galleys (that I totally haven’t been to before) and all the most amazing walks (that I’ve never walked before) and last, but not least, Edinburgh’s fantastic and varied museums.

The good: The Museum of Childhood.


When it was established in 1957 the Museum of childhood was a global first, a complete maverick. Even the concept of a museum celebrating a concept in the way that they hoped to was unheard of too most. The entirety of the museum is child-centric, but it is wonderfully engaging to child and adult alike: children get a window into what they’re life experience might have been like in a different period, and adults can maybe see a little of their own childhood given back to them. The great thing about this is that it focuses on one thing that children and adults have in common: the experience of being a child. All adults where once children, and this is a fact perhaps to often left on both parties in the parental relationship. The Museum of Childhood reminds us of this is in a sweet and engaging way. A fantastic place!

The also good: The Writers Museum.

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For all you literary buffs and fans out there The Writers Museum is the place to go. A beautiful setting contains an amazing collection of memorabilia and objects of interest related to many of the great writers to put pen to paper in our great city. The collection is based in Lady Stair’s House, a beautiful 17th century town house bought in 1719 by the long suffering widow of the Early of Stair (giving it the name that has stuck to this day). Its key claim to importance is perhaps the items it contains that relate to Scotland’s three greatest authors: Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Burns. Including early editions of their work, personal effects and a old rocking horse (you’ll have to visit to find out to whom that belonged to!). It’s a great place, a fascinating place and also just a beautiful place. So get down there!

Well there you go…

Well there you go! This week in The Good and The Also Good I’ve shown you my two favourite museums in this incredible city, but where do you recommend? Let us know in the comments below. Until then, get out and get adventuring!

The Good and the Also Good: Edinburgh’s Museums.

The Edinburgh Issue. Edition One: Parking, People and Airports. groundskeeperwillie

About a month ago, a man reached down into the foot well of his Mercedes to pick up a lone pound coin that he had dropped. His fingers stretched, they brushed something that felt like the coin. Was it the coin? Try again. He was straining and struggling, he strained and struggled. Then quite by accident, by some mistake of some outstretched limb or another, he put his vehicle in gear and flew through a parking barrier, destroying it. A nation rejoiced.

2014 Commonwealth Games

A nation celebrated because the barrier in question was ‘the most hated parking barrier in Scotland’ it was the barrier for the notorious charged drop off area at Edinburgh Airport. Introduced in 2010, the drop off area at the international Airport began charging £1 for all drivers who wished to enter the area to drop of friends or family who were getting on a place.

This caused much consternation among drivers who would now be paying for the most momentary of invasions into the airport. The irritation at this was most likely part of a wider outrage at the prices often charged for parking at airports generally, where there is certainly a constant feeling that airports will happily abuse the necessity of parking for travelers to charge mind boggling amounts. Not long ago Edinburgh Airport had raised this charge to £3 for those who spend more than 5 minutes in the drop off area, they claim this is to “cope with increased passenger numbers, enhance service and to simplify use for drivers” but the people clearly do not really see this as reasonable, so when this happened…

barrier crash

… people were happy to be happy about it. For some, these drop of charges are just an attempt to push those dropping people of toward actually parking up at the airport, which can cost even more money. It sounds about right: you can imagine the people who manage the place being very keen on the idea of pushing people toward paying up for that parking space the park. Some airports in the world make up to 20% of their revenue from parking, which is quite insane.

There are ways of trying to avoid charges, I used a car parking comparison tool I found ( to help with the price of Edinburgh Airport parking, but what really needs to happen is a wholesale change to how airport car parks are run. The calls for this are getting louder and the animosity between parkers and airports is getting worse.

This is a service that needs to be provided, but there must be a way of providing it at an affordable price. With cheap flights being so cheap these days, its common place for the price of parking to be more than your flight, which is clearly insane. Any suggestions for how to solve this problem? We’d love to hear from you.

The Edinburgh Issue.  Edition One: Parking, People and Airports.

Edinburgh Community Collective: Welcome! groundskeeperwillie

Hello and welcome to this, the inaugural article for the new Edinburgh Community Collective website! We are extremely proud here at  Edinburgh Community Collective to be starting up a new project with the aim of creating a friendly space for people to write about this proud city that they love, to write about it critically, to write about it lovingly, to write about it passionately and openly. We will be posting articles that relate to all facets of the city and that reflect all the suggestions and interest of our readers and contributors. If it relates to Edinburgh it could make it onto the site!

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Why such a broad approach?

Well avid, impatient and frankly slightly rude reader, we chose to cast this broad net because we realised that we are broad people who aren’t pinned down to one interest or one way of seeing the world. That is how all people are, we all have to consider everything, we have to consider what to buy, where to go, who to meet, how to live, what is worth what, and so on and so on. No one person thinks only about where is good to eat, so why should any one website? No one person thinks only about where is good to go for a drink, so why should any one website? No one person thinks only about the problems with the council in a city, so why should any one one website? No one person thinks only about where to holiday, or what to do with guests, or where to go this weekend, so why should only one website? We don’t limit ourselves in our lives so we decided not to limit ourselves in this project. With so much to think about, we all need each other, thats why community, and thats why collective.

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WOW… ok.. whats next?

Whoa there reader! We only just got here steady on! A good question though. Next we are going to start sourcing and writing articles to bring to all of you. We are going to start developing this website, developing this community and developing this collective!

Well then lets go!

Yes! Lets! Keep your eyes pealed reader, we’ll be back soon with our first article proper. See you there!