Words With Joanne

After a summer break our Words With… feature is very welcome back! Today, our interview is with Joanne Baird who shares some words and pictures about her life over in Portobello…

What’s your connection to the Lothians?

I was born and brought up in Leith and now live in Portobello so my connection is lifelong.

Have you a favourite place to visit locally?

It has to be Portobello beach. I can see it from my window and I used to  walk along it every day with my children as they went to school. Not many school-runs are along the sea I imagine. Now, the prom is a great place for a brisk walk on a chilly day, stopping off for a coffee at The Beach House. Or maybe enjoying an evening meal or drinks with friends at The Espy.

What’s the best thing for you about living in the Lothians?

The best thing about the Lothians is that it has everything – cities, towns, beaches, countryside and great transport links if you want to go further afield.

Are you a ‘gloomy-fog-over-the-castle’ or a ‘summer-on-Princes Street-gardens’ type?

Oh Edinburgh is just fabulous any time of the year (unless you are in a hurry to get somewhere during festival time!) But my favourite time of year is Autumn so anywhere with trees then is my favourite – the Botanics, Hermitage of Braid or any of the many tree lined streets as the leaves start to turn.

Is there such a thing as a typical day in your life?

A typical day for me will usually involve catching up on social media for my blog and sharing other people’s posts too. There will be some reading time – there is always reading time! At some point I will no doubt be taxi-ing my teenage daughters to some activity or other or helping with homework. Most days I try to do an exercise class so that’s back to the prom again to Portobello Swim Centre.

What’s your greatest achievement so far – personally or professionally?

Can I cheat and have two? I am very pleased with the way the world of books has opened up more to me since I started blogging (using a website page to write about books and reading) early in 2015. As well as having what I think is quite a successful blog, I have attended lots of book launches, had a Press Pass for the Edinburgh Book Festival and created a group for authors and bloggers to connect. So far we have met up a couple of times with more social gatherings planned. It has been great to meet so many talented and friendly people.

Another thing I was very proud to be involved in recently was the refurbishment of the 3rd Leith Boys Brigade war memorial lamp which stands in the grounds of Leith St Andrew’s Church. With the help of a grant from the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund and a lot of fundraising, it was fully restored and now is a fitting tribute once more. I carried out a lot of research on the men commemorated on the memorial and created a memorial book which is on display in the Church. I also organised a reunion for former members which was attended by around 80 people. It was a long process but very rewarding.

Connecting with Joanne:

You can find my blog at portobellobookblog.com or come and say hello on Twitter @portybelle

I have a Facebook page for my blog too – https://www.facebook.com/portobellobookblog/


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