Newhaverin Leith and life


What I learned at Leith Festival Gala Day

What the fuck?After seeing a shout out on Leith Festival's Facebook for Gala Day volunteers I was on it like white on rice. I'm a morning person so a 7am- 11am shift sounded like the best way to start the day and it was really busy. I got to show stallholders driving in to their pitches, put bin liners in giant bins and was bundled into the back of a pitch dark van and driven to a secret location by an incredibly lively man called Robin. I also met one of Leith's most famous dogs, Brodie, who knows he's special so my offers of love only got a dismissive sniff. I saw a lot of things, met a lot of people and learned some things too.

  • Perspective. Get it. The first performer on the Gala stage was a young man who played acoustic guitar and sang with the most incredible voice about his time being homeless in Edinburgh and getting sober with the help of Bethany Christian Trust. It was all I could do to keep from dissolving in a heap of tears in the middle of the Links. He was so honest and so talented. That man had been through things I can't imagine and hope never to imagine and came out the other end to share himself with me and all the other people there watching him. If anyone knows his name please let me know.
  • Healthy food at a Gala Day in Leith is possible. Behold the amazing Ziggy's Really Good Food, a mobile catering outfit headed up by Lorna and Matthew. All vegetarian and all beautiful (including Matthew and Lorna themselves!) this van served up amazing sushi rolls, veggie burgers, homemade hummus and peanut butter and pizzas. A welcome alternative to beef burgers, chips and hotdogs (what is IN those things?) Ziggy's has just scored a permanent place on the Meadows so why not stop by and support the cause?
  • Local craftspeople rule. I met ladies who teach others to knit, an older couple who make jams and chutneys and travel around with their dogs in the boot and the women behind Seventeen Nineteen who sold me my favourite new accessory, a pin made of Scrabble pieces reading WTF. Right up my street.
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