Friday, 6 January 2017


Ahhh, the start of a new year. So much hope. So many promises.

I'm not one for resolutions these days, simply because I rarely manage to keep them. A friend however, did make me laugh recently. Online she posted her New Year resolutions, with a preamble saying, "this year I thought I'd set more realistic resolutions". Her list read thus:
1/ Try not to go to the gym.
2/ Make every effort to eat more.
3/ Put on more weight (see item 2).

And so on. For me, instead of resolutions, I set goals. Fairly non specific and without dates, such as, write a new screenplay, learn a musical instrument, improve fitness.

In support of improving fitness, New Years Day was marked with a round trip cycle run, from my house, west, mainly on cycle paths and tracks, to the Forth Bridges. I did this a few years ago as part of cycling the John Muir Way. Just 10 metres from my front door and I'm on the promenade and joining the cycle path. For almost the first half I did not touch a road, until getting just past the docks area. Though there have been a number of improvements to cycle path provision in Edinburgh, there are some annoying missing links, and you are forced onto a busy road to get from the docks to Crammond.

At the Crammond end is another long promenade, then, at the end I turned south and followed the River Almond upstream, eventually bringing me to the Dalmeny Estate.

This is a great section, along dirt tracks and through trees, past the grand Dalmeny House and finishing under the majestic Forth Rail Bridge.

From this vantage point the rail bridge is very close, with the road suspension bridge just beyond, and beyond that again, the brand new cable-stay road bridge, due to open very soon. I think this is the only place in the world where three bridge engineering styles can be seen together, that of cantilever, suspension and cable-stay.

The return run was a little faster due to a nice tailwind, but both promenades had become very busy, as those nursing hangovers ventured out for a walk on the first day of the year.

A couple of days later and there was a traditional gathering of friends for a Quiz of the Previous Year. Needless to say there was a round of "who had died", plus rounds such as Movie Taglines, Music and Politics. It always ends with several scenarios taken from the news and in teams you have to mime three for the other teams to guess. All good fun.

Together with the eating of more good food, several trips to the cinema and visits to new coffee shops, I can say with confidence that 2017 has started well.

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