Numerous events went on in the run-up to the COP26 climate conference including demonstrations, protests and various get-togethers. I had hoped to take join some pilgrims who were walking from Dunbar to Glasgow on the John Muir Way. They were arriving in North Berwick and being accommodated in our church for the night. We had been given the option of joining them for the next stretch from North Berwick to Aberlady. I had my rucksack packed ready but did not sleep at all well the previous night and had to opt out. Most of the big events are a concern because of the pandemic: so many people are heading to Glasgow from all over the world. Hence the only thing I have been to is the art exhibition hosted by St Cuthbert’s Parish Church in Edinburgh. They hoped it would raise awareness of climate concerns, stimulate creative thinking and influence policy makers to act decisively in defence of our precious planet. Anyone could submit works for the exhibition and had we not been quite so busy recently; I might have had time to think about it. Drawings, paintings, sculptures, textiles, photographs or calligraphy were requested on the themes of
- Climate change
- The beauty and fragility of nature
Fortunately, we were in Edinburgh during the five days the exhibition was on and on the day we visited it was relatively quiet. Many local schools have contributed works including a couple of Polish ones, in addition to local artists, photographers and crafters. I did not take my camera as most exhibitions don’t allow you to take photographs but it turned out that this one did; so I used my phone. St Cuthbert’s church sits at the north end of Lothian Road on a site said to be on one of the earliest Christian sites in the city. The current building was designed by Hippolyte Blanc and constructed in 1894.
Various musical events have been held to open, during the evenings and to close the exhibition but we could not make any of those. Back home we have an electric car on order which we hope will arrive in the New Year and we are also awaiting the installation of solar panels and a power wall. Having moved from the countryside where we were several miles from the nearest shop and public transport to a town where many services are in walking distance and buses and trains are close by. I have joined the local Wildlife Gardening group and we are working towards linking up the Glen conservation area and the equivalent at Yellowcraigs on the other side of town with a network of gardens and wildlife-friendly areas.