▨ Jamie McHale

April 2024


I started the month heading out climbing with Daniel - it’s been years (a decade?) since I last went climbing. We went to the new Climbing Hanger down near Portobello. It’s worth checking out if you enjoy climbing - the facilities seemed great, with a friendly and busy atmosphere.

Hazza and I both took two weeks off mid-April. We decided on a Scotland-based holiday, part visiting family, part staycation. We headed down to Kircudbright to stay with my parents. Their garden was looking excellent. Jack had great fun with all the extra space that he doesn’t get in the city!

We hiked at Balcary Bay, and I posted an entry on my journal about the route.

Coastal walk
Sheep and the wind farm at sea
H looking over the sea

We also took a walk at Carstrammon Wood, although were a week or so early for the majority of the bluebells. There is a small carpark (for just a handful of cars), and you can grab lunch at Gatehouse, just a short drive away. It was a lovely walk, as we headed out of the wood and up a nearby hill.

Out of the wood
Early bluebells

When we returned to Edinburgh I celebrated my 41st birthday. We had a very low-key day, sending the boy off to nursery, and having a meal out in town together. I’m not one for a big fuss at my birthday, and spending the day with H is just perfect.

Birthday meal out in town

The following day I hosted EdinburghJS. We were lucky enough to have Daniel Phiri visit us from Paris to talk about Weaviate, and Kimberly Blessing from FanDuel to talk about the history of the web.

Daniel Phiri
Kimberly Blessing

We continued our holiday with a staycation. Sunnier weather appeared so we headed along to North Berwick and Gullane for the day. Jack loved the beach, playing on the sand and splashing in the surf. He’s much more chatty now, and it really felt like he was taking in the experience.

Playing on the beach with Jack

The next day we headed to Jupiter Artland, just outside Edinburgh. It’s a country house park that showcases sculpture and landscape. For us, it was an excuse for a pleasant walk where the boy could run around. My favourite part of the day was the excellent cafe.

Big rock in a tree
The pond and fills
Industrial sculture

We tried out the new Mara’s Picklery in Marchmont. Cheese toastie with chili jam, sweet potato toastie, and a blood orange and anchovy salad. Service was a bit slow, but food was great! Worth a look.

Maras in Marchmont

My running has been slowly improving. I have done several ParkRuns now with Jack. He seems to enjoy them, as we can play on the grass after. It’s also nice for H to have a morning to herself. I also did a half marathon to test out my legs. Seems they still work over longer distances!

ParkRun and the buggy
Portobello Beach

In terms of reading, I’m revising for my OU Exam at the end of May, and still picking my way through The Making of the English Working Class by E.P. Thompson.