Hello! I’m alive! And back home from my trip to Edinburgh. I’ve spent the past month busily working my way through a slightly mammoth To Do list, trying to make the most of the Fringe and overall having a thoroughly marvellous time, and consequently, as predicted in my last post, blogging took a bit of a hit.
How splendid are these “HELLO” flags that are fluttering all over Edinburgh by the way? I’ve never seen them before, so I presume they’re new for this year’s Fringe/Festival. I thought I’d just recap a few of the highlights of my slightly whirlwind trip:
- Summer fruit – I scarfed an awful lot of summer berries whilst I was taking a break from the NZ winter. And cherries – I love cherries!
- Only having to use a raincoat four times – this might not sound like much to those of you who have proper summers, but in Scotland, this is a major achievement (although lack of rain doesn’t necessarily mean sunshine). The last few Augusts that I spent in Edinburgh, it rained. Every. Single. Day. (I wish I was kidding.)
- St Andrews – Kat and I went up one afternoon. Some things have changed (why is there a Nando’s?) and some things haven’t (those 500 year-old cathedral ruins aren’t going anywhere any time soon). My love for that wee town remains unchanged.
- The St Andrews Wine Company – My friend Pete opened a bottleshop in St Andrews at the beginning of the year and I’ve been dying to see it. So we obviously stopped by whilst we were in St Andrews. And it’s amazing. I wish it had been open when I was there. Oh and there’s always a bottle open for tasting (maybe it’s not such a bad thing that I don’t live there anymore…). We also happened to coincidentally visit on a day when there was also a champagne tasting…
- Reunions – Kat, Craig and I were all in the same place for the first time in 18 months. There was gin, food, wine, some James Bond and much laughter; all the best things in life.
As I mentioned, I tried to make the most of the Edinburgh Fringe as well. The Fringe is always a mixed bag (which is half the fun), but here are a few Fringe-specific highlights. If you’re in Edinburgh, you still have a week to try and fit these in:
- Jollyboat – Their set started off with a medley of pirate-themed songs. And then it got better. That was a terrible description, but trust me and just go see it (although probably not ideal for anybody who is easily offended). Oh and it’s free.
- Shit-faced Shakespeare – Literally what it says on the tin. One Shakespeare play (Much Ado About Nothing), one shit-faced actor, and all the other actors trying to keep the play together. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much.
- Omid Djalili – Slightly pricey, but worth it in my opinion. Smart comedy which makes you laugh but also makes a point. He’s also brilliant at accents and works them in marvellously. My mum and I were in fits.
- Inspector Norse – It’s described as a “self-assembly Swedish crime thriller […] featuring a knitted set” and I can’t think of a more apt description for this wonderfully middle class comedic thriller. And the set is actually knitted and self-assembled. It’s amazing.
- The Jeremiah Weed Cow Shed – This isn’t actually a show, but it’s Fringe-related. We stumbled upon this formerly empty space on the Cowgate which been transformed into a Kentucky-themed cowshed bar for the duration of the Fringe. It sells Jeremiah Weed cider (it probably sells other stuff, too, but we went for the yummy cider) and there’s live music. There are hay bales, plastic cows and wheelbarrow seats. It’s so hipster it hurts, but it’s also rather brilliant.
So there we have it, a not-so-brief recap of highlights over the past month. Blogging will resume properly soon, once I’ve settled back in, but in the meantime, here’s some proof of the Edinburgh sunshine:
Enjoy the rest of your day, wherever you are in the world! And if you’ve been enjoying the Fringe, feel free to leave some show recommendations.
This has been a bit of an uneventful week. I had grand plans for the weekend but they were totally thwarted by my waking up yesterday morning with a throat so sore that I could barely swallow, which was suspiciously reminiscent of my previous encounters with tonsillitis. I feel a little better today, so I really really hope that it isn’t. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see, and my plans will have to wait for next weekend…
My Olympics-dominated Sunday Smiles this week are:
- One of New Zealand’s big, popular comedic talents are the Flight of the Conchords duo. They had a reunion tour around NZ a couple of month’s ago, and I kept hearing about them but didn’t know any of there work. This week I finally watched the first season of the Flight of the Conchords TV series. I wasn’t too convinced by the first few episodes, but it definitely grew on me and I actually found it rather hilarious by the end.
- As I mentioned in Friday’s post, I have a copy of River Cottage Veg Every Day from the library at the moment – I’ve tried a couple of other dishes in addition to the chachouka that I posted, such as the scrumptious mushroom risoniotto (look out for a blog post soonish). They all turned out wonderful, and I really like the book. I predict that there will be a copy residing on my bookshelves permanently in the near future.
- There’s a section of my blog stats that tells me what search terms have directed visitors to my blog. The last few weeks haven’t provided any funny ones, but this week the internet apparently thought that I’d be a good source of information on “the fear of running out of butter” and “accidentally gave 4 year old too much caffeine.” Both amused me. Sucks to be the second person though.
- The Olympics carried on this week, and although I’m not the biggest fan of athletics (I get bored of it after a while), since the coverage here is mostly highlights, I watched it anyway. I’m so glad that I was able to see one of Saudi Arabia’s first two female Olympic athletes compete in the women’s 800m (the other was in the judo, but I didn’t really watch it). She had to compete in full sleeves and leggings and headscarf, which can’t be terribly practical and must be boiling given that most other athletes are in little two-pieces and she went out in the heats (to an ovation from the crowd), but what an achievement for her. Although I’ve read that there has been a lot of backlash and criticism against the two female athletes back in Saudi Arabia, so perhaps it’s doesn’t represent as much progress at it may initially seem. I also loved seeing other “underdog” athletes, such as the rower from Ghana. I can’t be the only one who just watches events because they’re on without any actual knowledge of them. The other day I discovered the keirin. Seriously, have you seen it? It’s a cycling race where the competitors follow a motorised bike for several laps, which gets slightly faster each lap, then disappears and everybody cycles as fast as they can. Well, that’s my interpretation anyway. It’s the oddest thing to watch. Also, the motorised bike guy looks like he should be in a Tintin cartoon (just me?). Also what’s up with the race where there are two cyclists and they cycle along at a glacial pace and then out of nowhere put on a crazy burst of speed. Could anybody explain the tactics behind that one? Along the same lines of sports that don’t seem to make much sense, have you seen the canoeing where the canoeists (?) paddle whilst kneeling rather than sitting? Who thought that was a good idea? (Anybody have any stats on the number of people that fall out whilst racing? I spent the whole race expecting somebody to over-balance.) Also speed walking – who came up with that and made it an official sport? It looks so uncomfortable (and difficult not to break into a run). Less than a day to go before the Closing Ceremony… I don’t want the Olympics to end! At least there will be the Paralympics soon! (Photo source)
What made you smile this week?