Sunday, 29 November 2009

A Birthday in the Aeon of Discord

It is my hope that if you click on the picture, it will take you to The Chutney Exhibition. Alternatively you may click on the purple words, with similar effect. If you are an aspiring writer, cartoon-er, something else interesting and creative; or if you want to follow the work of those who are in a voyeuristic sort of way, you should have a look or maybe even get in touch.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Homecoming 2009 (and other stories)

Having found out what was happening in the city this weekend, Captain Tact and I opted to leave the flat today in order to do some stuff and things.

For instance, we went to Cameo and saw Bunny and the Bull, which is a film from the team who make The Mighty Boosh. It was a very nice film, with lots of funny parts (and featuring turns from the usual Boosh suspects) and then some serious bits thrown in for good measure. I'm bad at reviewing films without giving things away, which is why I avoid doing it, but essentially there is a surreal road trip and it is good.

Then we went to the castle.

As previously discussed, admittance is free this weekend, which is totally worth it because as you can see they have gone to the trouble of CAPTURING THE MOON and putting it in a cage for your pleasure.

That's one hell of a Christmas decoration.

Meanwhile, the Market by the National Gallery are selling tiny doughnuts on sticks. Good with hot chocolate, cheaper than crepes.
(Three pounds! For flour and milk! Scandalous.)

We then daundered down Princes Street, still pretty tram work heavy at 5pm but a lot better than it has been. Whereupon we discovered that for this weekend only you can take your child into a huge plastic bubble and throw fake snow at it. Which is nice. Sadly we failed to procure a child at which fake snow could be thrown. Mainly on account of not really trying too hard.

And finally, the Art Car Parade. An interesting spectacle indeed. The raving milkman was a particular highlight - he loves dancing his heart out whilst pretending to deliver milk. Well, who wouldn't. I made a wee little video on my camera, but the milkman is not involved. Sorry.

Friday, 27 November 2009

On a par with the driving test

This morning I had an interview for this job here. I really, really want it, not just because it would actually involve writing for a living a la the grand plan, but because it has the potential to be a really interesting, relevant, exciting project and I feel like I could actually contribute a lot to it. There are some gaping holes in news coverage in Edinburgh, and it'd be a mammoth task to fill a few of them in - but also one that would give a lot of job satisfaction, I think.

As is so often the way, I have mixed feelings on how I acquitted myself. Time restraints meant that I barely skiffed the surface of what I had to say, and nerves meant that I felt I didn't really represent on the first question. But I was super-enthusiastic (now concerned in case this may have been in the way that makes one's teeth itch, but hopefully just being paranoid) and The Guardian's head of Social Media Development did compliment my shoes, so there's nice. They are brilliant shoes, it must be said.

I don't hear till the end of next week, so considering returning to NaNoWriMo to distract myself. That and designing a mega-awesome leaflet advertising services for older people in the library, which we won't be able to print because the new computer booking system has disabled the printer. PURE BANTER ahoy, that's what.

Emotional Literacy

I found this beside one of the PCs at work.

It might be the saddest thing I ever saw.

(Probably not though. I still haven't really gotten over The Book Thief yet.)

Thursday, 26 November 2009


I forgot to put this in yesterday, but we had a press release ages ago promoting Historic Scotland's Doors Open weekend for St Andrew's Day. These places across Scotland will all let you in for free on Saturday and Sunday.

Edinburgh-specific, if you are busier than the sun and have no time to look at the list, are Craigmillar Castle and Edinburgh Castle. The latter is extending the event to St Andrew's Day itself, which is Monday 30th. That's three whole days of historical goodness. Are you excited? Of course you are.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Free Stuff To Do In Edinburgh

Over the next few days, the year of Homecoming (250th anniversary of Burns) culminates with St Andrews Day celebrations, and Christmas is starting. This means free stuff to do, hooray!

Technically unrelated to either of the above but still good, tonight sees the launch of Cryptonite, a club night in Jekyll and Hyde with free sandwiches and all manner of musical tomfoolery from DJs NETTLES and THE DOCK (capital letters make them sound more dramatic - not that they need this, already being magnificent figures of DJery).

Tomorrow is the previously mentioned switching on of the Christmas lights by the Lord Provost (who is called George Grubb - working on something appropriately witty to say about that), resulting in Edinburgh Sparkles from Thursday till Sunday. Shiny. Said sparkles involve an anamatronic polar bear called Bjorn, so frankly you'd be a fool to miss it.

Saturday (28th) between 11am and 3pm on Princes Street, it's the Third Annual Why Buy Day organised by Friends of the Earth. Take stuff you'll never use again and swap it for other people's stuff that they'll never use again. It's good for the environment, and procures you more stuff. Everybody loves stuff. I'm going to stop saying the word stuff now.

Brought to us by Homecoming organisers in association with the Christmas lot, later on Saturday evening is the art car parade, which is probably worth a look. Cars are on display from 3pm in Parliament Square and start parading themselves about at 5, finishing in St Andrew Square Gardens. I am given to understand that some of the designs are totally crazy. LOL.

Sunday (29th) Free Movies at the Filmhouse to celebrate St Andrew's Day - these will be I Know Where I’m Going! (where I fully expect to encounter Captain Dancehall), Mrs Brown and The Flying Scotsman. Also whilst they are free, they are also ticketed so you should book by going to the Filmhouse Box Office on Lothian Road or calling them on 0131 228 2688.

A lot more stuff and things are forthcoming over the next few weeks, some of which I may draw your attention to if I am feeling enthused. This post, however, is mainly a 'speriment in creating readable events content. I reckon to make stuff like this more manageable reading, short sharp bursts might be the way to go.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Without a Hint of Irony

The black thing is actually the base of a CCTV camera.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Project Funding

But what is the project?! It can't actually be od renewal. That isn't even a real thing. Or is it...?


Saturday, 21 November 2009

Friday Night

Last night I tried and failed to see The Improverts in the Bedlam theatre. Thus the lesson of booking early is learned - do not be lulled into a false sense of security by the fact they are on every week. They are on every week because they are popular.

Instead I went and had a beer out of a tankard (always cause for celebration) at The Negotiants, which was quite nice - but DO NOT TRY TO BUY A DRINK AT THE BAR. They don't like it. Table service or nothing, kay? Kay.

News Roundup

If I were a newspaper, I might tell you:


It's still raining.

There’s a lot of horrible violence in the city, including kids beating up another kid and filming it, and man smashing in teenager’s head with golf club.

Stagecoach have had more funding for their hovercraft project. It’s going to go between Portobello and Kirkcaldy. Futuristic.

There are a couple of new club nights starting up at Jekyll and Hyde which you should go to. These are called Cryptonite and Club Sandwich.


"I saw that 2012. It was shite." – flatmate’s boyfriend


"I used to think that Henry was alright, decent player, quite honest. But now if I met him I think I'd actually be physically sick. All over his face." - (Irish) colleague on the footy.

But I'm not a newspaper, so instead of telling you the above information I will dance a little jig.

Thursday, 19 November 2009


You may already be aware of this - it is a huge national news story after all.

Although I own an umbrella, it's pretty rubbish. I have a tendency to leave them on buses, so getting a heavy duty one seems pointless. And the current one came with a totally helpful label advising me to hold it so that any wind blows against it, cuz otherwise it'll turn inside out.

This advice is all well and good in theory, but my question is, what am I supposed to do when the wind is blowing in fourteen different directions at once (which is most of the time)?

Regrettably the answer is not to use an umbrella at all when it's windy - they aren't designed to cope with such treatment. But I resent that, as it means I have to get myself a hat and waterproof shoes. Ridiculous.

The Horns of a Furious Dilemma

My NaNoWriMo word count is really feeling the burn of my attempts to research all the local news and all the blogs in the world so's to formulate a cunning plan for my interview next week. Thus far said project has all proved very interesting, but hugely time consuming. I sure could use a telephonic device that has intertronic capabilities, then I could do some of it on the bus.

18 days in (ie today) I ought really to be around the 30,006 word mark, but I only have 12,516. However, this is nothing to do with not having any ideas, it's just a question of having the time to type them. So I'm not giving up just yet. In fact, I'm going to do some more right now.

Monday, 16 November 2009

It's unnatural for people to run around the city streets unless they are thieves or victims.

In recent months, I have started running. And when I say running, I mean jogging. And when I say jogging, I mean waddling in a manner almost imperceptibly quicker than walking.

The whole operation is working out OK, except for the minor point that it goes against everything I have ever stood for (being warm and comfy, eating cheese sandwiches, staying very still, etc). I’m not even too self-conscious about it anymore, because although I look a state when I’m done, I genuinely feel quite good. I believe endorphins are involved.

Having said that, I find it a bit much when FAT BUILDERS sit in their van EATING PIES and laughing at me as I go past, which happened this morning. Do they not see the irony of this situation? Apparently not, because they’re too busy blocking up their frontal lobes with processed meat and gravies to use their reasoning or problem solving skills.

For you see, fat builders, after sixteen minutes of joggling I may look as if I am about to explode, but I won’t actually, because that's like, impossible, and afterwards I’ll be in the metabolic position to burn off my pies, leaving my cerebrum shiny and clear. Ha. In your faces, that's SCIENCE.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

A pencil in a mug.

Christmas lights are going up on George Street, although they aren't getting switched on till the 26th of November because we are civilized here in Edinburgh.

I'll miss it though, because I have work. Stupid work.

Anyway, I think these ones look like ickle baby Racnoss ships.



Oh well.

Saturday, 14 November 2009


9 people.

4 bottles fizz, 2 bottles vodka, 1.5 bottles blue curacao, 1 bottle Malibu, 1 bottle peach schnapps, 1 bottle mystery schnapps, 1 bottle jack daniels, 1 bottle barcardi, most of a bottle of gin, and most of a bottle golden tequila.

Last night was not conducive to a productive today.

Thursday, 12 November 2009


What is underneath the professional looking sign alteration? Well, the mound, actually.

But to go there is FORBIDDEN.


Perthshire is very cold. Moving to Edinburgh was the right choice.

In other news, Goodbye Solo is a lovely film, although p'raps a faintly depressing choice for a birthday outing. Expect things of interest from actor Souléymane Sy Savané in the future.

I was also one of the last people in the world to see Up today, which lived up (no pun intended) to all the hype. Absolutely brilliant.

Now I am eagerly anticipating the UK release of Where The Wild Things Are, and catching up on The Sarah Jane Adventures on iPlayer. Conclusion? Things aimed at kids are generally better.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Tulips from Amsterdam

Couple of preliminary sketches for a foot tattoo my friend asked me to design for her.

First one is a bit cluttered I think, but the second has potential...

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Working 9 to 5

This is 7.30am.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

NaNoWriMo Update

The children with whom I work were fooled into writing 600 words over the first three days of this project. I am quite proud.

Sadly my personal word count is only 5327. Woe. It ought to be 8335 by now, assuming equal distribution of writing across all the days. The fact that this was clearly never going to happen is irrelevant.

Still, worse things happen at sea. Especially around Somalia.

My Job

Yesterday an unhinged child threw several hardback books at me, then spat in my face for good measure. Twice.

Today I was informed by a fourteen year old that I am the second best member of staff in our team of five.

Children are fickle bastards.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


Samhuinn Procession down the Royal Mile.

Samhuinn/Samhain is the last day of the year in the Celtic calendar, traditionally thought of as the night spirits and ghosts can walk the earth. This is where guising (trick-or-treating) originated - people got dressed up to frighten them away.

The procession was really vibrant and colourful, but sadly my last minute remembering that I had a camera in my pocket doesn't do it justice...