DIARY 2018-19

Our wonderful Probus Club has had another successful year, with an enjoyable Programme and the continuing activities of our sub-groups.  As usual, our year concluded with our Summer Outing, this year to Paxton House – see the report kindly contributed by our new President, Mavis.  We are also grateful for the reports contributed by members of our sub-groups.



(Thanks to Mavis Wilson, our new President, for this report.)

Our Probus Outing this year was to Paxton House, an elegant Georgian building in the Scottish Borders.  The sunny day was a  bonus and, on arrival, an invitation to coffee and scones before having a conducted tour of the house was very welcome.

The house sits in delightful gardens with splendid views.   Our members were split into 2 groups led by excellent tour guides, who were interesting and informative on the very many aspects the house offered, both in furniture, art work and tales of unrequited love - and murder!

I particularly enjoyed seeing the costumes, hidden from sight for over 100 years before being discovered in a trunk and now on display – and the extra snippets of information from our guide.  How else would we know that the fine dinner service was irreplaceable – having been manufactured near Hiroshima!

The Gallery, last room of our tour and specially designed, was a beautiful, light room, filled with pictures originally belonging to the house and now on loan from the National Art Gallery of Scotland.

After a very pleasant lunch of soup and a variety of fresh sandwiches, served by cheerful and helpful staff, the ladies drifted off to explore different trails in the gardens or to take advantage of the sun and sit on one of the various seats to drink in the views before our departure.

A warm welcome, a beautiful house and the sunny day all contributed to a very pleasant and enjoyable outing.




Meet and Greet


‘A Day in the Life of a Valuer’ – Martin Cornish


‘Old Trams – Leith and Granton’ – Ken Williamson


‘Home Safety’ – Gary Dickson


Christmas Lunch - Capital Hotel


‘Wojtek the Bear – a Polish Hero’ – Aileen Orr


‘Fisher Women Part One’ – Simon Fairnie


Charity – ‘The Yard’ – Christy Thomson


Annual General Meeting
‘The Miscellaneous Ramblings of a Church Custodian’ – Mary Walsh


Summer Outing – Paxton House



Between 8 and 18 Probus members enjoyed 7 lunches out:


Blonde, St Leonard St

(Sep 2018)

A few years since we were here, but the menu is still excellent, with tempting desserts, good food and excellent house wine.


Cadiz, George St

(Oct 2018)

Part of the Café Andaluz chain – great for fish and seafood.  Beautifully presented dishes and good unobtrusive service.


Dine, Cambridge St

(Nov 2018)

Excellent set lunch menu in attractive surroundings.  Good, well-presented food, but the wine was a bit pricey.


L’Escargot Blanc, Queensferry St

(Jan 2019)

17 members were there – so we had the room to ourselves, which was great, though a bit cold.  Food and service were good.


First Coast, Dalry Rd

(Feb 2019)

Some years since we dined here but still excellent Scottish food with a spicy twist.  Good value lunch menu.


Grand Cru, Hanover St

(Mar 2019)

Part of the Bar Napoli group.  Good food, though generous starters meant some could not finish a tasty risotto.


Howie’s, Waterloo Pl

(Apr 2019)

Again, it is some time since we ate here.  The food and service are still of a high standard with an excellent value lunch menu.


Thanks are due to the ladies who took turns to organise the lunches.  All are welcome - please see the list at the table at each Probus meeting.  (A big thank you also to Margaret Miller for the Lunch Club report.)


WALKING GROUP  (Thanks to Tess Ironside for this report.)

The Walking Group finished yet another successful season on 1 May with a walk starting at Balerno High School and taking in the boardwalk around the spectacular red moss area and finishing for lunch at Carlyle’s in Balerno.  Other unusual ventures during the seson have been the new revamped Saughton Park and an exploration of Bangour Village Hospital grounds.  All of the walks have been well-attended and enjoyed, with the average number holding at 10 to 12.  The Summer Outing to take place on Tuesday 4 June to Barony castle, starting at the earlier time of 9 am from the Harp Hotel.                                                                                                                                                              

The planning meeting for next season is scheduled for The White Lady on 6 August at 10.30 am.  This is an opportunity for new members to turn up – so come along, bring your favourite walk and meet the gang.


BOOK GROUP   (Thanks to Joan Dakers for the Book Group report.)

The Book Group continues to meet regularly and enjoy our reading and general discussion of books.  This year there were only 2 books we felt were outstanding:

1    Pachinko - by Min Jin Lee

2    A Gentleman in Moscow – by Amor Towles

Pachinko is the story of a Korean family living in Japan between the 1930s and 1980s.  We were mostly unaware of the animosity that existed between these 2 countries or or how hard it must have been for the women in particular to deal with.  However, the ‘heroine’, with a stoicism hard to imagine these days, manages it really well.

A Gentleman in Moscow tells of a Russian aristocrat sentenced to ‘house arrest’ in the Hotel Metropole in Moscow from 1924 to 1954.  Though used to being a guest in the hotel before the Revolution, he manages to adapt and makes friends with staff and clients alike.  His running commentary on people, food, wine and history make interesting reading.

Though novels, both of these books give an insight into recent history in an easily digestible form.  I have tried to give a flavour of these books without giving too much detail, and I hope some of you might want to give them a try.  We will keep reading and bring you more ideas next year.



The Christmas Lunch - Another enjoyable lunch at the Capital Hotel.  (Also our May Outing.)