Belated report back on the dinner of the 24th of August. My crazy plan to hold soirees to get people together happened!  In the end there were nineteen of us. Most wonderful of all Jim Haynes came to bless this enterprise.  My uncle who worked on the Traverse in the early days came later. Another guest had met his life partner through one of Jim’s dinners – just showing how much one man can change the world. We ate Indian Curry, quaffed fizzy wine, and talked and made connections. Even if it was one guest making connections between South and North Edinburgh!


Btw my camera has given up the ghost so had to rely on guests for pics – thanks to David Cairns for stepping in at the last minute.

As I’m teaching most of September I’ve decided to skip  holding another one this month but next dates are 12th October and 16th of November email me  to book or more info fatblackcatindustries At










I’d like to invite the world to dinner!

(well, 18 of the world – as that’s the number of plates I have!)


Inspired by Jim Haynes Parisian Sunday Dinners, and my Great Aunt Mary Fraser Dott running a literary salon in Edinburgh in the 1940’s I want to bring people together over food.


I’m inviting people to come to dinner in Leith. This is an opportunity to have great food, converse in person (not on facebook!) and make new connections and find new perspectives.

Food is sourced locally from farmers market and has vegetarian and meaty options.

Please email me Mary Gordon at to book a place (Free!) and get more info.

7pm Sunday 24th August 2014






Feedback from my trial run includes


The food was excellent and the company great. Nice and relaxed and a great bunch of people.


The food choice was superb for the setting and there was plenty to go around.


Lovely food and drinks,


Enjoying delicious food; meeting friendly people with engaging conversation


It was a very charming evening for all of its quirkiness (interesting yummy food; friendly guests; and, a fizz of eccentricity).




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Despite going on a somewhat driech day to The House of the Art Lover with a Glasweigan and an Israeli – it was an inspiring visit. The house is not an original Mackintosh build but is based on drawings he made for an architecture competition. It has however been done very sympathetically with wonderful craft. It is a bit of a trek to get to but worth it. Entrance is £4.50. Opening times vary as they hold lots of events in the building so do check the website before going.


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The Burry Man is an extraordinary survival of a very ancient custom in the town of South Queensferry. First recorded in 1687 I think only maybe one year during withe WW1or 2 it has missed. Luckily I have a friend living in the Ferry who alerted me to it and kindly worked out the route so we could catch up with him just about to enter the South Queensferry Rugby Club. After being dressed early in the morning entirely in burrs from the burdock the Burry Man walks a route around the town having a whisky in certain spots (drinking through a straw because of the burrs on his face). Supported by the two helpers with the sticks as its quite had to walk in the suit or see.  Its a great honour to be the Burry Man and one did it for 25 years! The current one has written about it here. The Burry Man also has a man dressed in normal clothes ringing a bell and warning of his coming and a gaggle of children with buckets collecting money and handing out sweeties to other children. Several times we stopped tiny babies and tots were brought out to be photographed with the Burry Man – it wasn’t clear if people thought it good luck or of some special significance.*

* My South Queensferry friend Rhiannon Connelly just messaged me to say that the Burry Man is considered to be good luck for babies!




Snapped on a shop front in Paris on my New Year jaunt… seems an age away. While there I decided to move forward on a project I’ve been thinking about for well .. YEARS! Its taken until now for any substantial progress to be made. Life the living of interrrupted plus starting a new work gig in March. Anyway I’ve decided to set up a sort of salon for people to come together over food to make connections, have lively conversations, make the world smaller more connected. Its time I impacted my own era. If it goes well this weekend I hope to run them regularly.


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