2014 Edinburgh Festivals


Me with my shiny scarf

Me with my shiny scarf

2014 festivals! I’ve had a great time! Spend lovely times with super friends (you know who you are), seen some amazing shows, worked my socks off!

I’ve made a wee list of the shows I’ve seen. I must say, I’m impressed with how many I’ve gotten to see yet again and as I pay for the majority I’ve seen, I’m now super poor for the next month!

  1. A Series of Increasing Impossible Acts (theatre)
  2. Swing (theatre)
  3. Simon Callow in Juvenalia (theatre)
  4. Rhythmic Circus: Feet Don’t Fail Me Now (dance)
  5. John Robins: This Tornado Loves You (comedy)
  6. This is Ceilidh (cabaret)
  7. Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?! (comedy)
  8. Daniel Kitson and Friends (comedy)
  9. Confirmation (theatre)
  10. Tiger Tales (dance)
  11. Bianco (Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus)
  12. Miann (dance)
  13. He Had Hairy Hands (theatre) (x2!)
  14. Glenn Cosby: Food Junkie (comedy)
  15. Morgan & West: Parlour Tricks (comedy)
  16. Daniel Sloss (comedy)
  17. re: Fujisan (Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus)
  18. Book Dance Split Bill (dance)
  19. James I (theatre) – Edinburgh International Festival
  20. Black Grace (dance)
  21. Cuckooed (theatre)
  22. James II (theatre) – Edinburgh International Festival
  23. James III (theatre) – Edinburgh International Festival
  24. Letters Home (theatre)
  25. Sara Pascoe (comedy)
  26. Bridget Christie:An Ungrateful Woman (comedy)
  27. Sweet Mambo (dance)
  28. Virgin Money Fireworks Concert (music)

Highlights for me were – He Had Hairy Hands – so good I saw it twice, The James Plays with the EIF and Black Grace (Nom!).

Did you have a good festival season? What were your highlights? Let me know!

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I’ve been Googled

Last night I attended Dine the Decades, a Google City Expert event in Edinburgh. I think it was my third event as a City Expert but it was definitely the best!



About 60 of us, Google City Experts and guests, met on Castle Terrace at the Red Bus.

Red Bus

Red Bus

On the journey to our mystery destination we were each given one of the objects – a tag, a moustache, a mask. When we arrived at our destination (I know I was in Granton but still have no idea where I was!) we were separated by these objects in to different tables. Each table was decorated according to the era we were in – the 1920s (I think!), the 1940s and the 1970s. Each table was hosted by someone from that era.

Food from the 40s

Food from the 40s

Our first table was the 1940s. We were greeted with (mostly delicious) cocktails, and played consequences whilst waiting for our food.



The next table for us was 1920s and we grabbed a chance at the photobooth.



Finally we made it to the 1970s – FONDUE! Best idea ever.



It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening – we were excellently fed, watered and hosted by the superb Jelly and Gin. I was impressed (and pleased!) with the obvious budget which had been assigned to the event by Google.

The company was excellent, it wasn’t the usual scene of people that I know quite well so I met lots of new and lovely people.

The Google City Experts initiative is about people knowing their cities and reviewing them on Google. If you are interested in becoming a City Expert, there is more information here and the sign up page here.

City Experts

City Experts

Were you there? Why not add me on Google+ or comment on your experience below?

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Breakfasting with TED

Just this week I’ve started a resolution.

Every day at breakfast, I’m going to watch a new TED talk. The purpose of this is to give me a  time to think and learn new things and to give me a bit of inspiration to start the day. I first came across TED in 2011 when they held their TED:GLOBAL event here in Edinburgh. My husband was working their event and we had to take a day off to get married (Loooong story here).

So far I’ve watched:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – The Danger of a Single Story

A really eye opening talk about how one vision of an event or person can have dangerous repercussions – has taught me to continue to try to be more open minded. (NB Chimamanda mostly recently gifted words and vocals to Beyonce’s new album with the song ***Flawless.)

Carin Bondar – The Birds and the Bees are Just the Beginning

A funny and weird talk about how the natures sex acts are not as “simple” as we thought. Made me laugh!

Paul Rothemund – Playing with DNA that Self-Assembles

Brief (5 mins!) talk on how DNA can be manipulated – pretty inspiring!

I’m really enjoying so far and looking forward to picking out more talks to watch.

If you have a favourite TED talk to recommend, send along in the comments – would love to watch it!

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Reading List 2014

2013 was a great year for reading and since 2011 (I was sure it was longer!) I’ve been setting myself a challenge of reading books, some from a list of books I’ve been wanting to read for a while and others that I find as I go along.

Last year was one of my better years from reading from my list – just two outstanding – and so I’m sticking to 2 x 12 books. 1 x 12 from the list below and the rest as I go along. Although I read nearly 50 books last year, I’m keeping my total target at 24 books.

The list below is:

01. Elizabeth Jane Howard – The Light Years
02. Margaret Atwood – Oryx and Crake
03. Jeffrey Eugenides – The Virgin Suicides
04. Jhumpa Lahiri – The Lowlands
05. Khalid Hosseini – And the Mountains Echoed
06. Chad Harbach – The Art of Fielding
07. Barbara Kingsolver – The Poisonwood Bible
08. Walter Isaacson – Einstein: His Life and Universe
09. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Women’s Prize for Fiction Short List)
10. Burial Rites – Hannah Kent  (Women’s Prize for Fiction Short List)
11. The Undertaking – Audre Magee (Women’s Prize for Fiction Short List)
12. A Girl is a Half-formed Thing – Eimear McBride (Women’s Prize for Fiction Short List)

By the way, if you have any recommendations on what to read. I’d love to hear them!

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