Our House. A pact with Guru Dudu.

In an earlier post I told you how Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tour was one of five star hits of the festival.

So much so that when he said on his Facebook page on Sunday that he needed a room for a few days we offered the room in our Air B’nB free of charge.

On one condition.

He put on a Silent Disco Walking Tour here in South Queensferry.

It was particularly relevant as today was the day the Queen opened the new Queensferry Crossing so it seemed like an excellent way to celebrate.

He agreed and I put the jungle drums into motion.  24 hours later 45 Guru Dudu virgins were assembled in Scotmid’s Car Park and the tour began.

Starting with his legendary East meets West Yoga/Disco warm up we all found our inner Disco Chakra’s to Chic’s Le Freak.  And what’s more, with Guru Dudu having implored the Disco Divas to take the relentless rain away, they did, and we were treated to a pleasant autumnal evening’s weather.



Moving to The Loan we were further uninhibited as we each took to the dance stage in our own style which was echoed by the assembled.

Next stop the harbour, with the 53 year old Road bridge and the aforementioned 12 hour old Queensferry crossing as our background to the West and the iconic 145 year old Rail Bridge as the dance canvas to the East.




Post bridge orgy we headed to the High Street for our mass choir performance of Bohemian Rhapsody to the Orocco Pier posse.  It was awesome (plenty of air guitars on show).


Up the West Terrace past the Ferry Tap to the East Terrace where we did a ‘Soul Train’ to Rose Royce’s Car Wash.

Next up we performed Our House by Madness.  IN. A. HOUSE.  (The pink one on East Terrace)


Not to be outdone, a resident of West Terrace took us up The Vennel (painful) before inviting us into her back garden, where we jigged to Rihanna.


As we basked in a glorious sunset we headed back to Scotmid for the piece de resistance and finale.




Scotmid staff and customers were utterly bemused as this flash mob descended on their favourite supermarket.




And just to top it all off we did a collection for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute that has a station in South Queensferry.  (Again it seemed appropriate, on this special day, as they have been saving lives around the bridges for many, many years.)

£280 later…


king of the mountains?

I had an afternoon off and I had some stuff to pick up in Edinburgh so, between rain showers (well, when I say SHOWERS…), I jumped on the old bike to do a training run for the Pedal For Scotland ride that’s now only 8 weeks away. You can register here… http://ow.ly/c1Ssg

So, I cycled into Edinburgh (11 miles ) and then did two circuits of Arthur’s Seat (my second volcanic circumnavigation in a week given that I’d done Vesuvius last week).

The trip round Arthur’s Seat is 3.3 miles and I clocked 14 minutes or so both times.  My memories of the ascent (just under a mile) to Dunsapie Loch were far more onerous than the reality.

After that a cycle back to South Queensferry and all 32 miles done and dusted in about 2hrs 15 minutes.

Cream crackered now like.

Glasgow to Edinburgh by bicycle

So, as I may have mentioned already I’ve been asked to blog on behalf of http://ow.ly/c1Ssg the Pedal For Scotland bike ride which runs from Edinburgh to Glasgow on the morning of September 9th.

To be honest six months ago the very thought of it would have filled me with dread but being four and a bit stone lighter, partly thanks to my beautiful bike I am actually relishing the challenge.  Nevertheless, I need to build the mileage up and get the “miles in my legs” if I’m going to make a decent fist of it.

It’s 47 miles which should be achievable in just over three hours at my rate of riding (I average 16 miles an hour typically).

So, yesterday amidst the rain and before the Andy Murray defeat I got on my bike and thrashed out 17 miles in about an hour.  For a change I wore my heart rate monitor to see how I coped.  From a start where my heart rate was about 60 I quickly settled into a rate in the mid 130’s (good solid exercise) but at the end I had to tackle the dreaded Hawes Brae in South Queensferry.  A real beast of a hill about half a mile long and really steep.  It climbed and climbed as I forced my way to the top, peaking at 168.  For those of you who know for a 50 year old that ‘s 220 – 50 (170)  only 2bpm short of it.

My objective is to get 100 miles a week into my legs but that’s  a big ask.  Also I’ve got two holidays planned so that isn’t going to help either plus FCT has a show on in the Festival called Once on This Island which will also preoccupy me for the best part of a fortnight.

But anyway.  Here goes.

At last, the Grand Dame is about to reveal her true beauty.

I’ve been photographing this wonder of the world since I moved to South Queensferry nearly 12 years ago.

The trouble is that she has been shrouded in white plastic scaffold covers throughout that period and, frankly, getting a decent picture is severely compromised.

However, from Christmas and for the next 30 years the new new epoxy coating they are currently putting the finishing touches to will make her look greater than ever before.  If you’ve crossed her on a train of late you’ll have seen for yourself the exquisite finish. Deep, rich and with a beautiful soft sheen.

I am truly excited about this, I have to say, as is every amateur photographer in the vicinity.

The Briggers

I went along to the book launch of this, this morning at the Hawes Inn.  It’s written by Elspeth Wills, founder of Scotinform and my old boss.

It looks like a very interesting read and sheds a whole new light on the building of the bridge.


Note.  Whilst this is an excellently written post, Jeana (who wrote it) seems to forget that “I’ means Mark Gorman, not ‘she’ as in Jeana Gorman.  It’s a borderline case of unacceptable blog hijacking but you would think that ‘she’ would want her own blog (which she has, as it happens.  Here in fact.)

Anyway, good luck to Elspeth (a good pal of mine) on her latest book.

The Ferry Fair

She lives next door to us you know...

She lives next door to us you know...

My Nightfly gig is part of the Ferry Fair. But, actually, there is a great deal more excitement next door at our neighbour’s house where Sarah MacNeill is about to become the Ferry Queen.

So, we are brushing with royalty. Tugging our forelocks and being as subserviant as we can be.

As a serf I cut their grass last week. I hope I get a Knighthood and become Sir Knightfly. A bit tautological though, don’t you think?

Poor old Stuart has spent days dressing the front of the house. I’ll show you it on completion. Problem is it is VERY wet right now and she’s crowned on Saturday.

Please let it stop raining.

The Nightfly – 8pm Thursday 7th August

I'm going to have to take up smoking agin.  Oh yes, and go on a diet.

I'm going to have to take up smoking again. Oh yes, and go on a diet.

My third year as the Nightfly consists of only one show on Jubilee FM.  It’s an online only broadcast and you can find the link here. Not only that you can tune in and listen live.

However very soon (September I think) the station goes fully live on FM and online and I hope I’ll have a regular slot.

If you want to hear my mix of music old and new and certainly not from any regular playlist tune in on Thursday the 7th at 8pm (UK time).

Queensferry High – School of ambition

We went to see Amy in the Senior School’s show tonight, having seen Ria in the Lower School’s excellent ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ last week. The older pupils write, direct, choreograph and costume their own shows, three in all, one by each house.

Inevitably it’s hard to know where us dads should look at times with all that dancing about in skimpy dresses.

And that’s just the boys…

Anyway. It was excellent entertainment and a credit to the heidy; Mr Birch and his drama department.

I am constantly amazed by the standard of teaching at Queensferry High. The performances and turn out tonight showed just how amazingly the school has integrated itself into our community. Something to be really proud of.

Oh, and both Amy and Ria were brilliant.

The season of goodwill is upon us and I sincerely ask for your support

Many of you will be aware of the unique, and I mean unique, event that is “The Loony Dook”.

Here’s a picture of it from the past.


First off, it is probably the least PC event held this, or any other, year and will no doubt at some point in the future be renamed “The not overly sensible swim.”

And that would be fine if that was what it was called, because that is what it is.

It is the coming together of several hundred people, on the morning of January 1st , at 11.30 am to swim in the River Forth at South Queensferry.

For the record, here is the weather forecast for the next five days to show you just what we are letting ourselves in for.


Of course, it might get warmer, it might get cooler. One thing is for sure. It ain’t gonna be Boca Raton!

So, why?

Why indeed?

And where do you, dear reader, come in?

The answer is simple.


My dear mate Terry Bryant had a nasty dust with cancer for a great deal of this year and decided he should bring some of his mates to their aid in terms of fundraising to support the respite centre, The Maggie’s Centres, who came to his aid when he needed them.

So, I am to bare my chest, my arse and my fortitude to the freezing Scottish winter so that you lot can have a laugh at my expense and Terry can help out Maggies.

Do me a favour.

If you’ve enjoyed even a moment of my ridiculous waffling on gibberish this year, post a comment committing to sponsor me in my moment of madness; sorry, non-conformism.

If not, have a happy Christmas all the same.

PS If, you’r reading this on your return to work after the New Year and you wished you could have helped. It’s not too late. I’ll be posting the evidence of my participation on this blog so you can be sure I delivered and I’ll happily accept sponsorship post event!.


For the fourth year in a row South Queensferry won the Neighbourhood/Community Category in the Keep Edinburgh Growing Competiton.



We were awarded second prize for best street for Mid and West Terrace.


Ferry Tap won for best commercial property and Echline Primary School were awarded for school garden.

I would like to thank all the community who have helped on Greenferry planting and clean up days and for looking after the area throughout the year.

I think we all need a drink in the Tap to celebrate.

South Queensferry – One of the Best


Well it’s official, South Queensferry is a top community. So it says in this week’s Queensferry Gazette. This is of course a headline announcing that Queensferry were runners up, Highly Commended, in the Environment Category of the Calor Gas Scottish Community of the Year 2006 competition. Greenferry were delighted and would like to thank everyone for their help and enthusiasm because we couldn’t have won it without you.

Tom Martin, chairman of the Queensferry and District Council, said “The winners – Furniture Plus of Dysart – must have been good indeed to have beaten the excellent work that Greenferry has carried out in this community.”

If you would like more information on the Calor Gas Community of the Year Awards have a look at www.villageoftheyear.org/scotland/category-winners.