A return to ‘Auld Reekie’ for WordCamp Edinburgh


June saw a welcome return to the schedule for WordCamp Edinburgh.
Although I missed out on the last WordCamp Edinburgh in 2015, I knew that this was one WordCamp I did not want to miss.

I travelled over from Belfast on Thursday 20th July. Arriving at my accommodation late afternoon.
This allowed me the evening to meet up with good friends from Fife, Mary & Jim. We meet at The Hawes inn, South Queensferry, 20 minutes north of Edinburgh.

As always, the meal and service in the Hawes, was great. And it was fantastic being able to catch up after so long with Mary & Jim.

On the Friday, I spent most of my day around Edinburgh. Covering around 6 (hilly) miles on foot.
Although there was a few stops for refuelling the caffeine levels.
Mid-afternoon on Friday I made my way to the WordCamp venue, CodeBase. Where I meet the organising team.
Most of the team I already knew, having either met in person or conversed with via Slack, email and Twitter.

WordCamp Edinburgh venue: CodeBase

CodeBase, is a co-working, and event space in the centre of Edinburgh. Located behind (and below) the Castle.
This made it an excellent choice for a WordCamp.
The only critic I have seen from others, was the lack of space to chat while talks were taking place.
In the main reception area, sound travelled into both track areas.
And track two was in the same area as refreshments and lunches was available from.
It was at the far end of this area, that the only exhibiting sponsor, 34sp.com, had their stand.

The benefits of the venue far out-weighed this small issue. And plenty of time was available during lunch and coffee breaks for people to chat.

After the orientation of the venue, we made our way to the chosen venue for the speakers and sponsors dinner. This was in an Italian restaurant near Princess Street. The food was good, and I don’t think there was a pick of food left on anyone’s plates.
After the meal, we made our way to a nearby pub for an extra serving of welcoming, Scottish hospitality.

Here we go…

An early start on Saturday morning, and I made my way round towards the venue. A short 15-minute walk from my accommodation in the Fountainbridge area. I reached the venue around 7:30am. I found the team applying the final touches, in preparation for everyone arriving.

While I was speaking at the event, I also offered to volunteer as photographer.

Since my talk was on Sunday, I spent most of Saturday capturing some images of the talks in both tracks.
Unfortunately, since I was trying to photograph talks in both tracks. It meant I didn’t get to see a single, complete talk on the Saturday.
Saturday evening brought the WordCamp after-party. For the location, the team had pre-booked Sygn, in the West End of Edinburgh.

Tasty finger food was on offer from the friendly staff at Sygn. This included mini-burgers (meat & vegetarian), chicken strips, and the un-forgettable #HaggisBalls!

Sunday morning came around all too quick for me. But the pain was short-lived once I found out that Loudens Café, near my accommodation was open from 8am.

A nice (and strong) coffee was in order, and was not disappointed. After the coffee and ‘Hoots Mon’ breakfast, I was ready for the day ahead.
I spent most of the Sunday morning in the events ‘green room’ finalising my slides, ahead of my talk at 2pm.

The day of my talk

Having had an issue with the venue data-projector, I decided to ditch my presenters notes for my talk.
A risky choice, but I thought it was better than it being obvious I was reading from a script.
I had done public speaking before, at the WPNI Meetup Group, and at our own WordCamp Belfast in 2016. And I knew what I needed to say.
But I am sure most of it came out of my mouth garbled.

I dread watching the recording when it makes it to WordPress.tv .
Who do I need to bribe, to make the recording disappear?

My return flight home was not until Monday evening. So, I could do the tourist ‘thing’ around Edinburgh for a few hours. Heading to the airport late-afternoon, in the hope of being able to switch to an earlier flight.
The earlier flight was fully-booked. So instead I used the 3 hours for catching up on emails, and some code work. And of course, some more coffee.

Will I go to the next WordCamp Edinburgh?
When can I book? …tell me when, and I will be there, with bells on!