MAYBE it’s something in the sea air, but there is definitely a growing spring in the step of Portobello.
From beach huts selling arts and crafts to Portobello rock back on sale for the first time in years, there seems to be an increasing confidence about Edinburgh’s seaside.
The message is clear, and written right through those new sticks of rock – Porty Rocks.
And it’s true. The area has certainly come a long way since the mid-1980s, when its crumbling open air pool closed, sewage polluted the seafront and beachside property could be snapped up for a song.
There are now attractive places to eat and drink on the prom and a growing programme of sport and entertainment on and around the beach.
The glamour of Portobello may be of the faded variety, but there is no doubt that it is there.
Yet many visitors to the Capital still do not realise that Edinburgh even has a seaside.
Traders and community leaders need to find more and better ways to shout about its undoubted attractions.
Try googling Portobello, Edinburgh, for instance, and you won’t find a single website dedicated to promoting the local area. Try the same thing for Bruntsfield, Morningside or Stockbridge and the result is different.
Wander along the local High Street and you would never know that it claims to be the birthplace of the famous “99” ice cream.
C’mon Porty, with a little more bravado, you’ll have the competition licked.
A healthier future
It is clear NHS Lothian does not have its troubles to seek.The waiting list crisis which engulfed the health board will take time and money to sort and today’s figures are simply another indication of the challenges it faces.
It was one of only two boards in Scotland to miss the 18-week targets this time round, providing more fuel for its critics and concern for patients.
But there is also room for optimism.
There is a new chief executive in Tim Davison at the helm along with additional investment to work through the backlog.
He has already told the Evening News how the board “could not be spending more time or effort” to address the issues.
Clearly the situation needs close monitoring but if, as we all hope, the health board is now on the right track we can expect more healthy figures in the future.