Category: something for the weekend

Dec 01

Interesting Finds

If you’re stuck for things to look up, here are some things I’ve found I think are worth taking a look at.

Vintage Adverts.  I think the sanitized tapeworms are my favourite.  No doubt someone will be looking at our adverts someday and marvelling at how backward we must have been.

Because a flat tyre is as much an inconvenience as rape.

If My Name Was.  Beautiful, bespoke dresses by Edinburgh-based designer, Laura Davidson.  Be someone else for the night.

I wonder what sort of life they’ll find on Mars.

Slut Walk.  I wouldn’t have thought that “no means no” was so difficult to remember, but apparently, every generation needs to be reminded.  I don’t know that using the word “slut” aids its credibility, though.  It’s not a word that’s ever had connotations of empowerment.  Quite the opposite – it’s only ever been used against women and the attitude behind its use is an integral part of the ‘blame the victim’ treatment of those who have been raped.  I don’t think it’s a word there’s any point trying to reinvent when there are so many positive ones we could use to describe ourselves.

Yarnbombing.  Knit one purl one: an innovation in peaceful protest and urban art.

Vivienne Westwood’s Get A Life and her thoughts on the environment, politics, and culture.

Stirrups and Stories Powerful, candid, funny, splendid, and much needed.

Narrative Nipple. Looking for poems, stories, pictures, rants about people’s experience of breast cancer.

The Zimmers. Fabulous old folks with a collective age of almost 3700 and still singing and dancing their troubles away.


Sep 11

Sunday’s Songs

Been listening to these all day.  (They might take a minute to load, but they’re worth it.)


Jul 31

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon







Should you be looking for something leisurely to do on a Sunday afternoon in Edinburgh, you could try joining this rather dapper gent watching the cricket in Inverleith Park.  They’re not exactly heading for a test match anytime soon, but still fun to watch.



Jul 29

Something for the weekend: Edinburgh Fringe Festival Favourites

For the past couple of years I’ve reviewed shows in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  In case you can’t decide what to see, here are reviews and profiles of my favourites.

This Year’s Favourites

Eric’s Tales of the Sea

Breath-taking, poignant, suspenseful, and hilarious, Eric’s tales are enthralling, told by a gifted storyteller who will draw you into the depths of his world.  Self-deprecating and never boastful, he gives an account of the bravery of his fellow submariners that is moving, humbling, and comic.  Even if you’re not in the least interested in life aboard a submarine, I thoroughly recommend it.

Dave Gorman’s Power Point Presentation

Dave Gorman’s Power Point Presentation is a treat.  Candid, self-effacing and zany, it’s a glimpse into his life of cake-bingeing, the weird world of twitter, and accidental Jewishness.  A ponderer extraordinaire, he takes tangential thinking to new heights with a naughtiness that is infectious and hilarious.  There are so many lines I’d love to quote, but that might spoil the fun, so much of which is in the ingenuous delivery.

Last Year’s Favourites – Back Again This Year

Zoe Lyons

Self-confessed middle class binge (and minge- after she’s had a few) drinker, foie gras eater, and veal muncher with a clown shoe carbon footprint, Zoe Lyons makes hilarious even the seemingly most quotidian of concerns.  From eco-parents and the bitterness they spawn to Chanel knockoffs and the megabus, her timing is sharp, her delivery is by turns mirthful and belligerent, and her jokes are intelligent and gleeful. 

Helen Arney

Helen Arney’s show is a hilarious parade of stalking, dysfunctional relationships, Jean-Paul Sartre, washed-up accordions, over-eager dates, and death by disastrous marriage proposal, set to music – piano, ukulele and a pimped glockenspiel.  Charming, witty, and warm, with great one-liners and every hope and heartache you might ever have had, it’s like spending an evening with a funny, interesting, quirky friend.

( Read more )


Jul 22

Something for the weekend: Cocktails

I’ve never had much luck with cocktails.  The single time I tried to drink martinis, imagining myself to be all lavish and glamorous like a Tamara de Lempicka lady, I ended up throwing up in my dinner and having to be carried back through the streets of El Paso, my hair matted with sick, to the hotel by an obliging (and very strong) gent.  A while later, at a conference as the “colleague” of one of the speakers, I tried margaritas to see if I did any better.  This time I made it up to my hotel room unaided to throw up in the bath.  I spent the next day curled up on a couch in the foyer, the concierge hovering in case I turned out to be a bag lady.  I gave soft cocktails a shot, but all that fruit juice is so bad for your teeth and no matter how many maraschino cherries you put in your Shirley Temple, it’ll never have any kick.  Probably I should just give up and admit I clearly don’t have the sophistication required to drink cocktails.  Or the will power not to drink ten of them.

I persevere, though, in the name of glamour.  To avoid injury yet  feel like cocktails were a part of my life, I bought Jane Rocca’s book, The Cocktail: 200 Fabulous Drinks.  It’s illustrated by Kat Macleod with images of gorgeous (if occasionally a little unhinged) women in dresses of sequins, feathers, origami, and collage.  With names like Corinthian Iced Tea, Violent Little Ol’ Lavender Girl, Rum-eo and Juliet, 42 Flying Mules (hopefully not a reference to what you see after drinking one), Misty Bitch, Yemen Fizz, Ms Fanny U Bank, Southern Shag and ingredients like crème de pomme verte, rose petal-infused gin, and honey-infused vodka, it’s very difficult to resist the lure of what those glasses hold.  There’s an aloe vera martini with gin, aloe vera water, crème de peche, and a twist of orange to garnish.  Aloe vera being renowned for its health properties, I might just get away with it.  That said, I think it’s more beneficial for the skin than anything else so I might just have to massage it into my skin and absorb it through my pores.  With gin seeping down my decolletage, into my knickers and down my legs, I’m sure to look the very picture of glamour.


Jul 08

Something for the weekend: Cake

This week’s something for the weekend: How to make the mother of all chocolate mousse cakes.

This cake will make you glad the Spanish stole the secret of cacao seeds from the Aztecs.  It almost makes the conquistador invasion and the resultant loss of an entire civillization worth it. I’m offering it up as a token of thanks to the women of the Maya and Aztecs.

In theory, it serves 6-8 people.


450 grams of dark chocolate, finely chopped

120 grams of butter

2 tablespoons of golden caster sugar

4 eggs

1 tablespoon of plain white flour

225 grams of fresh raspberries

creme fraiche

Preheat the oven to 220C/ Gas 7.  Grease a 20cm cake tin with a removable base.  Put the chocolate, butter and half the sugar in an ovenproof bowl and melt the mixture in the oven.  Stir it until it’s smooth.

Whisk the eggs and the rest of the sugar until the mixture is thick and pale yellow (should take about 10 minutes).  Sift in the flour and gently fold it through.  Mix in the cooled chocolate, a little at a time.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and cook it for 6-8 minutes until the edges look cooked.  The centre will be wobbly.  Cool, then cover it and leave it in a cool place (not in the fridge – it’s too cold) overnight.  Serve with raspberries and creme fraiche.

Eat all of it.