Sunday, 28 March 2010
and I hear the Queen's Hall still smells of curry and steak today!
Will write more later but for now I just want to say a huge thank you to all who arranged this - Georgie, John and of course Si and Dave themselves. The lads are as edible in real life as on TV, and I hope they enjoy my book as much as I have enjoyed watching them ride, scoff, tumble, dance and cook their way round the world when I have been stuck in bed or should have been concentrating on writing :-)
As some of you know I have been completely housebound and mainly too ill for visitors for two months, and that was after two fairly limited months over the depths of winter. Like a snowdrop, I have started to re-emerge. I saw sky! I couldn't see the horizon as in submariner/ prisoner stylee, long distance focus take a while to return after a certain amount of time shored up. I saw the sea and that made me smile, it always does. Water is as uplifting to the spirits as fire. And toast.
Anyhoo, I am still mostly stuck indoors, and still fairly hard to visit as it is so exhausting to talk, but its getting better and better. Consequently the pain levels are getting higher and higher as I grab every opportunity to draw, paint and monoprint (I completed a module at art college! From my bed! And got an A!) but who wouldn't be excited at being able to do more and move more after all that time like a lettuce.
So I apologise for the lack of updates to wheely accessible events in Edinburgh this past fortnight or so. I wasn't too ill to write them all of the time, but when I could have done I was instead immersed in paint (as is the duvet...). And then too wounded to write anything afterwards. That reminds me, must book my outdoors wheelyness in for an MOT, its starting to rust. Where can I take it?
Its my birthday next week. I think if I'm lucky I'll get out to sit by the sea for a couple of hours. If I'm really lucky it'll be sunny then sunset luridly, and if I have any extra luck left over, folk I haven't seen in aeons will appear to sit in the sand with me and sunbathe together. :-)
In the meantime I will write some recommendations for you, there's a lot of action in the city over the Easter break and as much of it is Beltane, biker and Big Red Door-related, I need to do something to stop myself pining and howling for it longingly.
** edited to add: apparently the weather forecast for my birthday beachy tea is blummin SNOW!! I'm not going to look. If I don't see the weather forecast myself then it isn't true.
Friday, 19 March 2010
Monday, 15 March 2010
Apparently begonia tubers are to be planted concave side up, under a thin layer of soil and then kept relatively warm. For once I looked up instructions in advance, which is normally a last resort and one to be done so long after the horse has bolted that its in the next county. This was important though, so today I was the right way up.
Ooooh, shit! I've just rethought that 'and kept relatively warm' part. I left the pots out in the sunshine but now its dark and baltic. Deep sigh...
Saturday, 13 March 2010
'Mean' son who pawned mum's jewels sent to prison
Published Date: 13 March 2010 Evening News
A man who pawned his own mum's jewellery to make some cash was branded "mean" by a sheriff and locked up for six months. Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard David Wright, 40, was asked by his mum Helen Wright, 65, to look after a number of her valuable items. When she asked for her keepsakes back, however, he was evasive and she eventually contacted police. Sheriff James Scott told Wright: "This was a really mean-spirited thing to do."He said his sentence would have been nine months in prison but was reduced due to his guilty plea and the fact that his mum was spared the experience of having to give evidence in court. The jewellery had been recovered and returned to Mrs Wright who said: "Justice has been served."Wright, of Wester Drylaw Row, Edinburgh, admitted stealing his mum's jewellery on 27 June, 2008, at his home address and elsewhere. Defence agent James Stewart said Wright was suffering from depression.
Disabled man left 'disgusted' by yob's community service
Published Date: 13 March 2010 Evening News
By Alan McEwen
A disabled man today hit out at a sheriff's decision not to jail a thug who punched and head- butted him in an attack on a city bus. Ian Brown, 52, left father-of-one Steven Davidson battered and bloodied after chasing after the bus on which he was travelling to assault him. Brown was handed 200 hours of community service at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday despite Sheriff Kathrine Mackie telling him that the offence "merits a custodial sentence". Today, Mr Davidson said he had been left scared of bumping into Brown, who was previously jailed for assault and robbery. He said that Brown had picked on him for years because of his learning difficulties. Mr Davidson was heading to a training session with his special needs football team when he was attacked on the number 26 bus on Portobello High Street.The 42-year-old said: "I'm very disappointed in the decision. I think it's disgusting that he's basically walked away after seriously assaulting me. He should've got a jail sentence."
The assault took place on 13 May last year when Brown spotted Mr Davidson on the bus and began calling him names. After Mr Davidson shouted back, "I'm not, you are," Brown jumped in his car and chased the bus before getting onboard. Brown head-butted Mr Davidson in the face before starting to punch him. The bus driver called the police and Brown, of Milton Street, Abbeyhill, was arrested. Mr Davidson, who suffered brain damage from birth after being starved of oxygen in the womb, was left afraid to leave his home. He suffered a burst nose, as well as a cut to his eye, and scratches. His partner, Susan Wright, 32, the mother of their two-year-old daughter, Chelsea, said: "Ian Brown is an animal and he should've been locked up. I feel like he's got away with it and it leaves us afraid to walk the streets."
Sheriff Mackie, who heard that Brown had not been in trouble since 2002, said: "The circumstances of this assault appear to be a very deliberate attack. I take a very serious view of this and it merits a custodial sentence. "Having regard to the terms of the report and the fact that your offending history appears to have stopped some years ago, in these circumstances I am prepared to accept there is an alternative". Outside court, Brown refused to comment on the assault.
If you wish to beat the crap out of someone (again) and merely get some litter-picking as punishment, make sure you come up before Kathrine Mackie.
Friday, 12 March 2010
This following proposal is a fantastic idea, and one which could lure me to move along there but for one minor detail: the elderly and inadequate sewage plant currently contaminating the shoreline and the sea (and our nostrils). Without completely updating that and the associated cleanliness standards, this plan can't reach fruition. If some of the european standards we keep hearing about can be used to force the sewage plant to become something that actually treats and purifies waste and has no spillages, then I will be putting my name down for a place in any arts village that appears in the area, oh and an allotment if they're planning those.
Its also rather hard to read of new developments given that there were two outdoor pools in Portobello, along with land around the historic potteries near the ruined (18th harbour, designated for archaeological tourism, protection, sustainability and an arts community, all of which vanished under concrete or water. No amount of local protestation - or apparently fool-proof legislation - can stop developers with an eye on a prime bit of site. Even those legislations mysteriously disappear overnight.
Was it just last year that Portobello beach and all of the coastline had to be closed and serious health warnings distributed due to an 'error' at the Granton sewage works? Granton and Porty folk deserve better than that!
As do the fish.
From the Evening News:
Published Date: 12 March 2010
By GARETH EDWARDS
Welcome to sunny Granton by the Sea . . no clouds, no grime, no reason not to take a dip in the outdoor pool. It's an area better known for its towering old gas works and maritime history rather than sunshine seaside holidays. But if a new plan gets off the ground, developers are hoping Granton could be rebranded as a continental visitor attraction. They have even called it Granton-sur-Mer – from the French for on-sea – to help it on its way.The ambitious scheme would see an area close to West Shore Road revamped with facilities including a public outdoor swimming pool, or lido, an arts village created from old sea containers and a walled garden.The £2 million plan has been put together by the Granton Community Partnership and Art In Architecture, with a planning application already lodged. The lido would be created from four sea containers, sunk into waste ground, lined and filled with solar-heated sea water. Other containers would be used to create changing rooms and a small snack bar.Plans for the arts village would see up to 100 old containers refurbished to create a series of small studios and craft workshops available for rent, each with a toilet and a small kitchen, and all powered by renewable energy sources such as wind turbines on the site.
Ross McEwen, the project manager with Art in Architecture, said: "What we want to do is take these empty, unused spaces and create something which will help to revitalise the area and provide a real community asset. The site would be revamped, with an outdoor public pool and arts village. "We would be looking to hire local people to help carry out the work and, when it is finished, running them as well."The whole idea is that once completed these sites will be run by a local community, with all the income going towards running them."
The team is also planning to transform the historic walled garden next to the 17th-century mansion Caroline Park House to create a "garden festival". The project will be similar to an existing annual garden festival in France, which attracts up to 200,000 visitors each year.The developers are currently in negotiation with the city council over permission to develop on the sites, and the plans have attracted support in the community. Frances Durie, chair of the West Pilton/West Granton community council, said: "These sites are just derelict, and this is really interesting plan. I definitely think the local people would be keen to use the lido and the arts village."
Roy Douglas, chair of the Muirhouse and Salvesen Community Council, added: "There had been plans for social housing there, which were commendable, but after the credit crunch most of the developers have scaled back and so now there are gaps."This would be a community-owned project and it is very environmentally friendly, so I think a lot of people will support it."If their application is successful and funding secured, the team hopes to start work this year.
My apologies for quoting from a source that felt the need to explain what 'sur mer' meant.
Wednesday 17th March
Launch of The Restoration Game
Free but ticketed
There is no such place as Krassnia. Lucy Stone should know - she was born there. In that tiny, troubled region of the former Soviet Union, revolution is brewing. Its organisers need a safe place to meet, and where better than the virtual spaces of an online game? Lucy, who works for a start-up games company in Edinburgh, has a project that almost seems made for the job: a game inspired by The Krassniad, an epic folk tale concocted by Lucy's mother Amanda, who studied there in the 1980s. Lucy knows Amanda is a spook. She knows her great-grandmother Eugenie also visited the country in the '30s, and met the man who originally collected Krassnian folklore, and who perished in Stalin's terror. As Lucy digs up details about her birthplace to slot into the game, she finds the open secrets of her family's past, the darker secrets of Krassnia's past - and hints about the crucial role she is destined to play in The Restoration Game...
The Restoration Game is the compelling new near-future thriller from the award-winning author of The Execution Channel and The Night Sessions. Born on the Isle of Lewis, Ken MacLeod is one of Scotland's leading Science Fiction authors, a contemporary of Iain M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds and Charles Stross.
In the second part of the evening Ken MacLeod will be joined by a panel of fellow writers to discuss current issues in Science Fiction writing. So far confirmed for the panel are author Charlie Stross and author, editor and critic Andrew J. Wilson.
This event is ticketed, but tickets are FREE. Tickets are available from the front desk at Blackwell Bookshop, 53 – 59 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1YS. For more information, or to reserve tickets, please contact Ann Landmann on 0131 622 8206 or email@example.com
Saturday, 6 March 2010
I've written a couple of short stories where nearby landmarks become part of an ancient civilisation's history, but they were fiction and spoofs! Damn. Hey, whatever happened to the Encyclopaedia of Everything? I wrote two entries for that based on local, er, inaccuracies.
It is my longstanding ambition to explore the coastline and islands of Scotland. I've spent too long staring out at the wee islands of the Forth - somebody take me out there now! The nearest harbours don't do boatrips and the boatrips harbours are quite a hefty drive away (for me) so I am still working on that one.
Uri Geller Wows Audiences at the Scottish Seabird Centre
During his visit to North Berwick this weekend, Uri Geller made a special guest appearance at the Scottish Seabird Centre with the money being donated to the Seabird Centre's education and conservation charity work. Uri Geller also very generously donated £1000 to the Centre when he bought his island last year. See Scotland on Sunday article to find out more.
He was at North Berwick this weekend to camp overnight on his new island, the Lamb. One of the world's most investigated and celebrated mystifiers, Uri Geller first became interested in the Lamb when his friend Mohammed Al Fayed republished the Walter Bower, Abbot of Inchcolm's 15th Century Scotichronicon, described by the National Library of Scotland as "probably the most important mediaeval account of early Scottish history”.
Uri comments, “I decided to buy the island after learning that its mysterious heritage dated back to the Pharoahs. The Lamb is one of three islands in the Firth of Forth whose geography exactly mirrors the layout of the Great Pyramids at Giza, leading investigators to speculate that there are secret links between them. In the ancient manuscript, the Lamb is claimed to be the site of Egyptian treasure, buried there by exiled Egyptian Princess Scota, whose name gave rise, through her descendants, to Scotland.”
He comments, “My dowser’s instinct tells me there could be ancient and hidden treasure here... but conservationists must not panic, because I respect the natural right of the rare seabirds nesting on my island and with the help of the Scottish Seabird Centre and 'Island Man' Andy Strangeway, we will make sure we keep their home undisturbed”.
Uri is very excited about his forthcoming visit and comments: “The Lamb is one of the keystones to British mythology, and I am thrilled to be its new owner. I am fascinated by the connection between the pyramids and these islands”. He firmly believes that this could lead him to the legend linking Robert the Bruce, King Arthur, the Knights Templar and the ancient kings of Ireland and comments, “The more I have delved into the history and archaeological lore that surrounds the island, the more certain I am that this could be one of the most significant discoveries in Britain.”
Although most boat trips have no permission to land on the protected islands, there are special excursions. Plans for 2010 include The Bass Rock Landing Trip, but please note there is absolutely no wheelchair or disablity access. Accessible trips and possible landable islands are something I'm looking into so all information on them will be welcomed.
The Bass Rock Landing Trip costs £98 per person. Members of the Seabird Centre enjoy a 10% discount. Places get booked very quickly, as numbers are limited to 11 people per trip. We can also cater for private groups which costs £150 per hour (minimum charge of £300 plus time on the Bass Rock) and £85 per load of bait for chumming. The price for all trips includes your Bass Rock landing fee and your guide.
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 1620 890202 for more information or to book. The following dates have been confirmed. Early booking is strongly recommended as these trips are extremely popular. *In fact, checking their sailings for the year almost all trips only have one or two places left.
Wednesday 17th March
The excitement is building! You’ll be able to browse our online brochure, Festival diary or download your own copy when the programme for the 2010 Edinburgh International Festival is unveiled at 10.00am on Wednesday 17 March. Tickets go on sale to Friends and Patrons that morning and then to everyone on Saturday 27 March at 10.00am. You can book online at eif.co.uk or call the box office on +44 (0)131 473 2000.
and on the same day:
Wednesday March 17th
British Waterways Scotland will lead teams of residents and other volunteers to clean up the Wester Hailes stretch of the canal from 10am to 3pm. If you'd like to join in please contact Susanne McCarney on 01324 677822 or e-mail email@example.com
and on Saturday 6th March (tomorrow)
The Canal Double Marathon will run along 55 miles of the towpaths of the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals. There should be around 100 exhausted runners arriving at Edinburgh Quay between 3pm and 8pm on Saturday. If you are in the race - good luck! If you're in the area, go out and cheer them on.
By Arnold Schoenberg
Directed by William Conway
Saturday 13 March (7.30pm)
Pierrot is intoxicated by the moon. Alone in his disturbed and insular world, he spirals into a violent nightmare dominated by dark poetic imagery. Descending further into murderous and violent thoughts before returning home, he is once more transfixed by the moonlight.
At its 1912 premiere, this seminal work had Berlin audiences captivated, spellbound by Pierrot. Written during a period of Expressionism and at the height of composer Schoenberg’s friendship with Kandinsky, the work is full of unusual combinations of instruments.
Its originality in borrowing from the past whilst creating a unique hybrid of artistic expression still sounds highly modern today.
The programme includes works by Chopin, Debussy, Beamish and a brand new commission by young Scottish composer, Helen Grime.
£16 (£12 Concessions)
Limited number of discounted tickets £8 (£5 Concessions)when bought before Saturday 6 March
AFTER SHOW DISCUSSION
Saturday 13 March
Ways to save
Concessions are available for students, under 18s, over 60s, members of entertainment unions, StagePass and Young Scot card holders. The unemployed concession is available for anyone in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance or Disability Living Allowance. (see show web pages for full details). Please remember to bring proof of your concession status when you pick up your tickets. Group Bookings - one free ticket for every 10 tickets purchased for the same performance, regardless of concession (ie the 11th ticket is free). Early Bird tickets - These are available on selected performances if tickets are purchased in advance. Check individual events pages for more information.
The Traverse is accessible to wheelchair users. There is level access and automatic doors at the Cambridge Street entrance, a lift to the auditorium and Bar Café level and an accessible toilet. Both Traverse One and Two have wheelchair spaces. Contact Kath Lowe, Front of House Manager on 0131 228 3223 should you have access queries.
Details of shows that are audio described, signed or captioned can be found on the individual show pages in the What’s On section. (link to what’s on section)
Assistance dogs are welcome and we have both infra red and induction loop systems. Headsets are available from Front of House staff.
Copies of the season brochure are available in Braille, large print and audio formats from the Box Office. Let us know if you’d like to join the mailing list to receive information in these formats regularly.
Artlink offers an escort service to help people with disability to enjoy the arts – contact them directly at http://www.artlinkedinburgh.co.uk// 0131 229 3555.
New Writing Submissions
If you are a playwright looking to submit your play (unsolicited script) to the Traverse Theatre, please find online a list of guidelines for submission as well as some frequently asked questions which should contain the answer to queries.
Friday, 5 March 2010
In the 1980s Maguy Marin's 'Groosland' was commissioned for fat dancers to play with the concepts of bodily distortions, to a score of Bach Brandenberg concertos. Stunning. The corps of the Dutch National wore fat suits: cue raging debate akin to that for blacking-up. The mobile mountains of obese Russian ballerinas 'The Big Ballet' promised actual ballet body-image subversion but turned out to be more unskilled circus sideshow (unlike the technical prowess of the Trocks in frocks, for example) so I move on to Mathew Bourne's now classic-in-its-own-right 'Swan Lake'. Unfortunately there isn't a Scottish date, but they'll be in Newcastle from Tuesday16 March to Saturday 27 March. Some of the company's newest swans were only cygnets when this ballet premiered in 1995, I can hardly believe it was so long ago.
(Theatre Royal, Newcastle, Box Office: 08448 11 21 21 )
And so to the point, the reason I started to write tonight. Beltane approaches with a passionate Rite of Spring, so its a good time to look at the updated Stravinsky of 2010 - on a path that takes us straight back to my earlier post about BDSM in art galleries for those who scoffed. Dissonance, rythmic asymmetry and polyrythm meets subculture and community:
Behind the scenes with the Ballet Boyz:
This banquet of blackness made me wonder what the Scottish Ballet are up to this year. I'm not sure if the current funding climate allows for much of a detour from the en pointe path, will check, brb.
Good, there are some new items alongside my old favourites. In this case a re-interpretation of Shakespeare set in the 1930s but retaining the glorious Prokofiev score. If you book tickets for the 30th April, be aware that you'll be a few hundred metres from Calton Hill's own Rite of Spring - and some forbidden love.
Romeo and Juliet
28 April - 1 May
Tickets from £9.50 (matinee)
Box Office 0131 529 6000
Thursday, 4 March 2010
Open casting for film, tomorrow
Published Date: 04 March 2010
BUDDING actors could get their first break on the big screen at an open casting call for an independent superhero movie set to start rolling in Edinburgh.
The producers of Electric Man are casting for six main roles, and have thrown the doors open to anyone with or without acting experience.Edinburgh-based filmmakers Dugbus hope to emulate the success of Precious, an independent film that took Brooklyn unknown Gabourey Sidibe from an open casting call to Oscar-nominated stardom.Electric Man will be filmed in and around Edinburgh in early summer, with the aim of getting a world premier at either the Edinburgh Film Festival 2011 or Sundance 2011. The film follows the story of two twentysomething misfits who stumble upon the rarest comic in the world –Electric Man Issue One – and find themselves pursued by a Glaswegian heavy, an unhinged American collector, and a mysterious woman before bumping into Electric Man himself.
The open casting call takes place at The Braid Rooms at The Pleasance tomorrow from 10am-4pm.
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Welcome to the Edinburgh International Science Festival!
220 events, 35 venues... 1 fantastic festival
* Almost all of the venues are accessible. The Camera Obscura isn't, nor is the viewing area of the Observatory. Check listings for details.
Blood, comedy and computer games kick off 22nd Edinburgh International Science Festival! We’re delighted to reveal one of our most exciting and ambitious programmes to date with over 220 events happening across Edinburgh from 3-17 April.
Find out what's on:
Join the search to make artificial blood, prop up the Blood Bar, find out whether BLOODHOUND will keep the land speed record in Britain, and even watch an autopsy on a cow. Alternatively you could investigate human, animal and machine intelligence; find out whether faulty equations caused the economic meltdown, discover how robots play football or giggle at the psychology of comedy.
We’re celebrating International Year of Biodiversity with a spectacular outdoor exhibition in St Andrew Square by award-winning photographer Steve Bloom. While our partners at Edinburgh Zoo and the Botanics have packed programmes of special events and activities to help you explore the worlds of plants and animals.
We’ve teamed up with BBC One to bring the Bang Goes The Theory roadshow to Edinburgh from 8-10 April. The City Art Centre was such a hit with families last year that we sold out every day! For 2010 we’re open for longer and we’ve added new events to our seven floors of fantastic fun.
And if you’re still looking for activities the whole family can enjoy, our ‘must see’ event is Sonic Dreams - a new, hyper realistic 3D sound system which fuses art and science.
Don’t forget, the Science Festival isn’t just for kids! We’ve got something for all ages with exhibitions, screenings, theatre, comedy, debate and discussion. Our Big Ideas programme is full of special guests like Richard Dawkins, Brian Cox, Richard Wiseman and Raj Persaud alongside discussions on the state of the ocean’s whales to the revolutionary sound of a rock guitar. And if you’ve ever wanted to try out the activities at City Art Centre don’t miss our special no-children-allowed evenings where grown-ups can come along and enjoy a glass of wine.
Also new for 2010 is a selection of events that are perfect for young adults so if you know someone who dreams of developing the next Grand Theft Auto don’t miss Video Game Studio for a hands-on experience of game design. Look out for other events marked ‘Young Adults’ in the Big Ideas section of the programme.