Just in from another bright sunny Leith festival Gala day on the links. This years pageant started from Lochend park in my ward and was its usual display of multi-cultural leith. The first free black family record in Leith was in the 17th century in the records of South Leith Church Kirk Session so diversity is not a new idea to your average leither.
The festival is a week long affair but the day on the Links is always the climax with music, dance, stall, food and the ubiquitous tug of war.
At one of the many stalls we bought one of these churns and a plant... It seemed like a good plan at the time..
It did strike me though that once again what we talk of as a Festival or gala day or community event so often comes down to buying and selling. This is not in any way a criticism of Leith festival, or any other such event, simply a reflection of how we are so caught in the world of commercial exchange that it substitutes, or at least is seen as a necessary part of any community gathering.
This is of course, not new. Market day was the cultural highlight of the lives of our predecessors long before the advent of today's combination of burger vans, second hand goods , home made jewellery and wee toys for the weans. Again, this is not pejorative list, simply a question as to whether we could manage to gather together in community to celebrate what we have without having to have things to buy and sell. Maybe not, but I wish it were possible
Keith Simpson's Christmas Reading List
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