GiftED – paper sculptures on the road

If you troll about the literary world, you may have heard of Edinburgh’s mysterious sculptures, their delicate carvings found anonymously gifted to libraries and museums. (I briefly mused on the escapades at the time) The beauties were found stashed around cultural venues last year, leaving the city and the literatti abuzz with speculation. Who could … Continue reading

Walking the Dalmeny Estate

Once upon a time I came up with Thirty Things to do when I’m Thirty. And despite the fact these thirty things never make an appearance on this here blog, I have in all actuality completed a good number of them. Well, like half. So it’s time I play a little catch up. Today: Walk … Continue reading

All the (Olympic) Bells

The Olympics are coming! Sure. You are skeptical of my enthusiasm. I get it. There has been much criticism, confusion and downright buffoonery in the lead up the games. I mean, a rights monopoly on all potato-based sticks in the area is a very odd battle ground no matter where you live. And drivers getting … Continue reading

The Virgin Money Lounge

I sometimes wonder if Richard Branson is the UK’s very own Donald Trump, admittedly with a savvy, edgier, Baby Boomer vibe. The red lacquered signage has splashed its way into almost every major industry. It is an Empire. Of records, and books, and phones, and cable tv – including the long-awaited UK launch of TiVo. … Continue reading

The Bolshoi Ballet : Raymonda

Last week, I saw the Bolshoi Ballet. Alas, I was not in Moscow, though I’d have loved to see the theatre’s resplendent renovation in person. (You can watch a video about the refurb and get a sneak peek of the venue here. Hint: gold foil mixed with vodka!) Instead, I trekked to my local indy … Continue reading

Love in a Library

Lots of people aren’t into Opera. I get it. I do. The endlessly long running times. The ridiculous daytime-tv-worthy plots. The repetitive subtitles. There is a lot to put a gal off. BUT, hear me out.   Imagine you are sitting in a sunny library. A quiet space full of potential. A kind-eyed librarian gently … Continue reading

Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Yesterday over breakfast canapes and clinking glasses the Edinburgh International Book Festival launched the 2012 programme. One of the highlights of the city’s summer festivals, a gamut of writers, thinkers and philosophers descend on Charlotte Square for almost three weeks of creativity and debate. This year’s line-up echoes the now-standard festival motifs: best-selling writers, big … Continue reading


Today I do not want to be chained to my laptop. I definitely don’t want to be sitting in my cold, damp, North-facing front room to work on budgets and research proposals. I want sunshine and laughter and a day off. But work is work, and deadlines are deadlines, so, I create a makeshift desk from … Continue reading

A busy week in Edinburgh

I won’t be writing much this week. Summer’s cultural season is at full tilt (despite the inclement weather), so I’ll mostly be on the road. In case you’d like to get on board with some of Edinburgh’s exciting offering, here’s a selection of activities to try: <br> Leith Festival This gem runs all week, with … Continue reading

Scotland’s National Portrait Gallery, reimagined

  I once briefly mentioned the deliciously anticipated reopening of the National Portrait Gallery, part of the National Galleries of Scotland. It’s been open six months and every time I’ve been in, the physical changes reinforce a new, surprising space in which a National institution supports a public engagement with art. The traditional tenements of … Continue reading