Tags: scotland



You take the high road…

…And I’ll take the low road but I just might be in Scotland afore ye. Next week, actually. April 5th, to be precise. That’s the date of the Highland Fling conference in Edinburgh.

This will be a focused grassroots one-day event and I think it’s going to be fun. The focus will be on and the grassrootsiness comes courtesy of the reasonable price of £125. There are still tickets available so if you fancy a day of inspiration and learning in an historic city, grab one for yourself.

I have the great honour of being asked to deliver the opening keynote. I hope I can deliver the goods. I’ll have my work cut out for me just meeting the high standards of the rest of the day’s schedule. The line-up looks really good. If I have one criticism, it’s that the line-up is distinctly male and non-Scottish. It would have been nice to see more local representation (says me, the Southener).

This imbalance may well be addressed a day later. Refresh Edinburgh doesn’t have a confirmed venue yet but it will definitely be taking place on April 6th, Good Friday. Sign yourself up if you can make it.

I’ll definitely be there. I’m going to stick around Edinburgh for the weekend too. My last visit was all too brief. I’m looking forward to spending more time in such a beautiful—and downright cool—place. See you there.

The heart of Midlothian

I’m in Edinburgh. Jessica is here for a translator’s conference and I thought it would be fun to tag along for the ride, seeing as I’ve never been here except for an in in-utero visit which doesn’t really count.

My, what a place! The architecture here is extraordinary. Wherever you look, there’s invariably a building or ten steeped in history.

I’m staying in a hotel in the new part of town. New is relative. This is the Georgian part of town. Just about every house is built in that classical Georgian style that Dublin likes to pride itself on (sorry Dublin, you’ve got nothing on Edinburgh). The cumulative effect is like stepping back in time.

Then there’s the old part of town. Here, the feeling is medieval. Stone buildings, narrow alleyways, winding steps, and of course a great big huge castle overlooking everything.

After meeting up with Alan White for a chat yesterday, I went for a wander around the old part of town. There’s a real pleasure of discovery in coming across the house where Boswell met Johnson, or going into the Writers’ Museum in a narrow 17th building.

I haven’t been able to capture much of this city’s splendour in pictorial form because the weather has been fairly drab and rainy. It all adds to the atmosphere, I suppose.

Actually, I’m kind of glad that the weather has driven me back to my hotel room to take refuge. I can stop procrastinating and get on with last minute preparations for the Refresh Web Standards Conference in Orlando, Florida next week. I’ll be giving a half-day workshop on Ajax and a presentation on microformats. If you want to come along, there are still tickets available for a mere $395 — and that includes an open bar at the end of each day!

So tomorrow I fly back from Edinburgh down to Gatwick. Then, the next day, I’ll be back in Gatwick to get on a transatlantic flight to the sunshine state.

Right now I’ve got old buildings and bad weather. In another two days I’ll have new buildings and good weather. It seems that never the twain shall meet.