A Post About Blogging, Bloggers and A Meet-Up In Edinburgh

Last time, I wrote about the television drama Stranger Things, where a tear in the fabric of reality means the town of Hawkins, Indiana, is exposed to a hostile alternate reality after a local scientific facility inadvertently creates a portal. I do like a drama with alternate realities, but of course I didn’t ever expect to become part of one…, until last week!

Hawkins from Stranger Things – a bad alternate reality

But don’t be alarmed – the alternate reality I was exposed to wasn’t hostile in the slightest, it was merely a bunch of like-minded music bloggers finally getting together in the real world, in Edinburgh to be exact, as opposed to virtually in the comments boxes of our blogs.

Edinburgh with blogging buddies – a good alternate reality


I have recounted the story of why I started this blog many times so won’t bore you with it again, but suffice to say, I like sharing my thoughts, and I like rock and pop trivia – a blog merging those two themes would serve me well I thought. In time I found other music blogs, Jez’s A History of Dubious Taste was the first, and by contributing to the comments boxes over at his place I found more music bloggers who were kind enough to add me to their sidebars. I certainly didn’t anticipate this happening when I started this place, but over the years I have actually met up with a few of them, and after a lot of delays due to the pandemic a date was finally fixed in the calendar for me to meet up again with the lovely C from Sun-Dried Sparrows. We had met up three years earlier in London, which was written about here, but now it was maybe time to include those other bloggers who have also expressed an interest in meeting up in the real world.

And so it came to pass that six of us (and partners) spent a really enjoyable few days in Scotland’s capital city last week. As most of us use an alias for our blogs, there was still an element of virtual reality going on, but to be honest, going by anything but your blog name would just feel weird in such a scenario. C and I stayed at a perfectly comfortable chain hotel five minutes from Waverley (which was handy for me as I think I heavily overpacked), CC and his wife came through from Glasgow on the second day, The Swede made a bit of a holiday of it staying for the week, Martin came all the way up for a single day (which was much appreciated), and John Medd (who has never gone by an alias and was teased relentlessly about it – I’M JOHN MEDD!) and his wife were on their way to a family wedding in Moray, so a perfect stopping off point. Everyone had already met at least one person in the group before, and on that Venn diagram of blog sidebars, we all overlap, so although there were a few initial nerves (for myself and C at any rate), it all went really well. To those of you who couldn’t make it this time, maybe another time, another city?


Needless to say a fair few hostelries were visited which was another break from reality for me, as just not something I do much in my current life, but when on a bloggers summit an’ all that. One of the highlights of the few days came about because John had found a Wednesday afternoon Open Mic session, and we all met up to hear him perform some of his own material. The ‘Old Boys Network’ was really welcoming, and quite bemused I think to hear we were a bunch of music bloggers who had (in the main) never met before. Being the only person in the group not to go by an alias, I’m sure John won’t mind me sharing a picture and a link to his Soundcloud where you will find some of the songs he performed (Camberwick Green being my favourite). A really enjoyable afternoon.

But it wasn’t all eating, drinking and making merry, we all did our own thing for much of the day and as C had never visited Edinburgh before we did a lot of walking together over the few days. In fact it wasn’t until I came home and DD showed me how to work out how many steps I’d done on my phone, I realised just how much walking we had done. Up and down the Royal Mile a few times, along Princes Street a few times, out to Haymarket and in the other direction out to Holyrood Park, almost climbing Arthur’s Seat in the process (but cut off at the pass). The weather was warm but not too sunny, which was a blessing considering how hot it was in the south of the country last week.


But what is it I always say at around this point – this is a music blog, so where is the music? Well here’s a thought. At one point in proceedings the conversation turned to, ‘What was your favourite ever gig?’. Of course blind panic kicked in for me, as over the last few decades I’ve not been known to attend many. As it turned out I shouldn’t have worried, as nearly everyone picked one from when they were a late teenager. There must be something about that time in your life that heightens the senses to everything you experience, and as we get older those senses are sadly dulled. My favourite ‘gig’ (although I would still refer to it as a concert) was the 2 Tone Tour that came to Aberdeen when I was aged 19. I’ve written about it around here already and shared something from Madness that time, so perhaps time to give Pauline Black and The Selector a mention this time. Oh to still have that much energy.

On My Radio by The Selector:


On My Radio was The Selector’s biggest hit and reached the No. 8 spot on the UK Singles Chart in 1979, just around the time I went to see them, along with Madness and fellow Coventry-based band The Specials. What a time to be alive. Glad I had it up my sleeve as a ‘gig’ to remember.

So, ‘What’s It All About?’ – An odd song choice for a post about a bloggers get-together in historic Edinburgh, but then again, quite apt in a way. If I hadn’t been obsessed by listening to my little transistor radio as a teenager, I probably wouldn’t have got into chart music quite so much, and if I hadn’t got into chart music back then I wouldn’t have had as much to write about around here. You see where I’m going? Without the stories and songs written about in this blog I wouldn’t have like-minded followers and without those followers on my sidebar there would have been no ‘bloggers summit’.

As most of us still like to wear the blogger’s cloak of anonymity, I won’t share any of the pictures taken in Edinburgh, but they do exist, so who knows, maybe one day. As I said I didn’t expect to ever meet up with any of the people who visit this place, and whose blogs I also follow, but now that it’s happened (several times now), I see it as a wonderful upside to this hobby of ours. As for all the personal stuff I’ve shared around here, I’m now regretting some of it, but hey ho, the price you have to pay to venture through that tear between the virtual and real world. I would thoroughly recommend it.

Until next time…

On My Radio Lyrics
(Song by Neol Davies)

I bought my baby a red radio
He played it all day, a-go-go a-go-go
He liked to dance to it down in the streets
He said he loved me but he loved the beat

But when I switch on I rotate the dial
I could see it there driving him so wild
I bought my baby a red radio
He said he loved me but he had to go

It’s just the same old show on my radio
It’s just the same old show on my radio
It’s just the same old show on my radio
It’s just the same old show on my radio
On my radio, on my radio, on my radio

I bought my baby a red radio
He played it all day a-go-go a-go-go
He liked to dance to it down in the streets
He said he loved me but he loved the beat

It’s just the same old show on my radio
It’s just the same old show on my radio
It’s just the same old show on my radio
It’s just the same old show on my radio
On my radio on my radio on my radio

It’s just the same old show on my radio (I bought my baby a red radio)
It’s just the same old show on my radio (A red radio a-go-go a-go-go)
It’s just the same old show on my radio (A red radio I rotate the dial)
It’s just the same old show on my radio (A red radio driving him so wild)

It’s just the same old show on my radio (I bought my baby a red radio)
It’s just the same old show on my radio

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

15 thoughts on “A Post About Blogging, Bloggers and A Meet-Up In Edinburgh”

    1. It went really well and of course it would have been great if you could have joined us, being part of the Venn Diagram overlap! Maybe another time, another place.

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  1. What a fantastic feel-good blogpost! Thank you for sharing the adventure. Oddly enough, my most favourite gig was only last year, seeing Talisk in Perth (Scotland!). Admittedly, a global pandemic and lockdowns certainly ramped up the emotions on the night, but I have never experienced a band and audience so up for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Graeme – one of the other bloggers on my sidebar to have crossed from the virtual to the real world! I suspect you have met up with quite a few.

      Funny you should mention that ‘gig’ last year as one of our number also said his best one was last year – maybe post-pandemic, people were equally as euphoric as they had been in their teens about seeing their favourite bands live. I don’t know Talisk so I will have to investigate. Ah, a contemporary Scottish folk band – that usually works well as a crowd pleaser in Scotland.

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    1. Yes, it was quite something. I imagine it would be tougher for you Neil as your blogging circle includes people from such far flung locations.

      Ah the red phone boxes, I didn’t even think of them but not something you are used to so they must have stood out. I am always amazed how they built those tall buildings on a hill, all those centuries ago – 7/8 stories on the other side. You got that trip in just before the pandemic so good timing.

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  2. It was a great couple of days and even better to meet up with everyone.Thanks to those that planted the seeds and got things up and running. We must do it again sometime!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was really great. Good to eventually make a bigger meet-up happen after the pandemic delayed the original plans, first made quite a few years ago!

      You are lucky in that you probably appear on quite a few Venn Diagram overlaps – not your first bloggers summit, and hopefully not the last.

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  3. What a great post, which perfectly encapsulates a joyous few days and mini-meet (and I fell in love with Edinburgh). It was so brilliant to see you again, and our other lovely blog pals. I’m still gathering my thoughts and memories which are in a bit of a jumble now, but you’ve managed to summarise it all so well, this post can remain my point of reference! As for your favourite gig moment – I think we’re all envious, what a fantastic thing to witness at exactly the right time. I’ve just checked and that documentary I mentioned to you later is still on iPlayer – well worth a watch (and to be surprised by Pete Waterman!): https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00105h9
    Looking forward already to future crossings into the real world…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know we had agreed not to share pictures but I really needed to document it all for posterity – glad you are happy with it. As you say it was still a mini-meet really, for people who have in the past expressed an interest when other meet-ups have been documented but it did work out really well, so hopefully there can be more crossings into the real world down the line! Glad you enjoyed Edinburgh – we managed to get the best weather for what we were doing. Still can’t believe we walked home at 11pm in Scotland without a jacket – rarely happens, however warm it’s been during the day.

      Thanks for the link. There is so much out there now on iPlayer and the various other platforms that it’s easy to miss things. I think I’ll enjoy it.

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    2. Just to say I watched that 2 Tone documentary last night and what a great watch. I had no idea Pete Waterman was so heavily involved right at the start of it all. Neville from the Specials still looks pretty cool today, despite now being in his 60s. Doubt if any of it would have happened had Jerry Dammers not created this new movement that in no small way, led to big change.

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  4. I woke in my own bed on Saturday morning, a bit disoriented by finding myself not in the little hotel room I’d called home for the previous four nights and heavy of heart knowing that the long planned Edinburgh adventure was over. For someone who doesn’t really have a social life anymore it was overwhelming at times, but what an absolute joy to put faces to names in some cases and renew old acquaintances in others. I hope our get-together paves the way for many more similar meet-ups in the future.
    As for your choice of favourite gig, I’ll just reiterate my envy here – the 2-Tone Tour, that’s incredibly cool! I did eventually see Madness in the 1990s (supporting Bob Dylan in Switzerland of all things!), but never did catch up with The Specials or The Selecter. What a great night it must’ve been. I look forward to borrowing John Medd’s time machine after he takes delivery of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi TS – Yes, like you I haven’t done that much socialising for ages but it was lovely and it takes a while to get back on an even keel after we get home again. It certainly was good to put faces to names and reacquaint ourselves with people we’ve met previously – hopefully it can happen again in the future with some of the other bloggers too.

      I must admit, I really didn’t think I would be the one to come up with a ‘cool’ gig, being probably the least cool of our number. But as I said, I was 19 and really into all this great ska music that suddenly appeared from nowhere – I can still do the dance but it would have looked a bit wrong if I’d suddenly launched into it in Edinburgh. Will save that for when I’m home alone!

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