The main benefit of Brexit taking more of a back seat was having a bit more time in the constituency during April. I hold regular advice surgeries and it's always great to see what's going on in the buildings while I'm there. I got to join in with a spot of body bingo after holding my surgery at the Restalrig Lochend hub - a welcome change of scene!
Regular subscribers to my newsletter will know that I've long campaigned for regulation of short term lets. The impact of companies such as Airbnb on the area are obvious to all - particularly on communities such as the Old Town. So I welcomed the First Minister's announcement at last weekend's SNP conference of a new public consultation to control the number of lets and ensure they make a contribution to the services they use. Take part in the consultation here.
I had a very productive chat with Edinburgh University Student's Association VP Georgie and Manish about the student-led campaign to restore proper post-study work visas for international students graduating from our universities. This is something I’m really keen to support - Scotland wants and needs talented people and who better than those who've already made the decision to study here?
Thanks to the Portobello Older People's Project for having me round after lunch at the Baptist Church hall. It's a great organisation, going strong after 27 years, running a lunch and social club and regular outings for older folk in and around the Portobello area. Good to be kept on my toes with a few searching questions from the regulars!
I've been a supporter of Edinburgh Palette in all their endeavours - long may they continue at St Margaret's House. But it was great to visit the site at Stanley Street in Portobello to see the exciting and ambitious plans they've got to transform a pretty unremarkable builder's yard into an amazing container village! You can find out more about the project here.
Thanks to Darrell and Emma for taking the time to talk me through everything that was going on during this year's Edinburgh Science Festival and the work done by Edinburgh Science throughout the year. I had great fun at the City Art Centre hearing all about the activities kids can take part in. Including meeting Buzzy the giant honeybee and seeing their very own operating theatre.
I was honoured to open the Peace Path at the Glebe in Duddingston at the end of the month. Thanks to the hard work of their team and pupils from Duddingston and Parson's Green Primary Schools - it's a beautiful path and a lovely space for peace and reflection.
Four weeks ago I was worried about writing this column on the eve of the last major parliamentary debate on Brexit. Anything could have happened, rendering my speculation obsolete by the time you read it. I shouldn’t have fretted. Anything could have happened but nothing did.
Here I am again. Groundhog day. It’s Tuesday. There’s a big debate tomorrow.