Archive for the 'Cultural Things' Category

Edinburgh for a day

Posted by on Dec 19 2008 | Books, Cultural Things, Delicious Things, Travel

A couple of months ago, Cheryl asks me: “Hey, fancy going to Edinburgh for the day?”

Well, there’s only one answer to that question, so I got up at 4am on Tuesday to make the 6.30 flight, and by 8am we were on the airport bus watching a beautiful sunrise over the city.

Our first stop, at an hour that really was too early to expect such wonderful hospitality, was with Karen from Cornflower. Karen welcomed us into her lovely home with tea and a delicious passionfruit cake that was light a creamy and sweet and mmmmmmm. (and some lovely Scottish angora yarn that’s deciding what it would like to be). I’ve been reading the Cornflower blog for a little while now, and I suspect that some of my reading material for 2009 will be based on recommendations from there. Thank you so much for having us to visit Karen, it was lovely to meet you.


Delicious treats chez Cornflower

Our next stop was a short bus ride across the city. Ok, It was walkable sort of, but we had bus tickets, and a long day planned, and the bus went right where we needed it to. So. Justification over. Our next stop: Fidra Books. Oh boy, am I glad I don’t live near here, I don’t think they’d ever get rid of me. Ostensibly a children’s bookshop, Fidra also has a small but extremely well selected (to my mind) choice of adult books books for adults too. The shop was welcoming and friendly, and Vanessa, Malcolm and Teaga all lovely. Teaga (the dog) is quite big, so I think they would have noticed if I’d tried to sneak her home with me, but I was very tempted.

Fidra also have a publishing arm, for classic children’s books. The editions are lovely, and if you’re a fan of classic children’s adventure stories or books about ponies do check them out. They also have the later books in the Trebizon series, that I didn’t know existed. I may need to see if my local library has the earlier ones, as I haven’t read them since I was a child.


Lovely Fidra Books editions

Now, when we’d arrived in Edinburgh, the very helpful lady at the information desk told us about a German christmas market and a highland market that were on in the city. These were down by the Scott memorial, and also featured a ferris wheel. Hmmmm, is all I have to say about that.

The market was, well, small. A couple of stands, some hot wine or sausages, and that was the German market. The Highland market was pretty similar – tablet, fudge, or hats knit in Nepal with the Scottish flag on them. Oh, and crepes. Meh. It was raining at this point anyway, so we didn’t linger, and instead visited the National Gallery of Scotland for art and lunch. There are some fabulous pieces there. I especially liked the fact that their famous painting of the ice-skating preacher, The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch, by Sir Henry Raeburn, might not have actually been painted by Raeburn, was probably painted ten years after they thought, and doesn’t seem to be of Duddingston Loch.

Anyway, refreshed from our lunch and culture, we ventured up many steps…

…and down more, to K1 Yarns, which is a lovely and friendly shop with a small but nice selection of yarns. I’d imagine it’s a lovely place to hang out and knit.


K1 Yarns

By this time it was about 3.30, and we were flagging a little. Coffee, shortbread and knitting were required, and we spent a very pleasant hour in Always Sunday, a bright and comfortable cafe on the Royal Mile.


Chocolate chip shortbread and a cappucino

A very small shop later, and a stroll along Princes Street, and we were ready for home.


A very quick photo of the castle in the dark

I fell in to bed back in Dublin at about 11.30pm, very tired, but very happy.

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Catching up

Posted by on Sep 17 2008 | Crafty things, Cultural Things, Delicious Things, General Ramblings

Oh boy, there’s just too much catching up to do.

The I Knit day was fab. I had a lovely time, met some lovely bloggers (including Luke!), had a lovely lunch with my mum and ChicwithStix, bought some lovely yarn, went to The Yarn Harlot talk which was, yep, lovely. Stephanie very much lives up to all the lovely things you read about her on other blogs. Then I met up with my lovely friend Ceri, who I don’t see anywhere near often enough, and we went off and had lovely coffee and then lovely dinner and dessert desert cake.
It was pretty much an all round lovely day.

I finished my Hemlock Ring Blanket and it’s keeping me very warm at the moment. All the details are over at Ravelry. I used the pattern as collated by The Rainey Sisters, and worked the standard size throw. It’s ended up 44″/112cm in diameter. Big enough for a lap blanket, but I’d go bigger next time, although I’ll need a longer cable for my needles. The knitted bind off looks great but took forever, so next time I’ll also need to brush up on my crochet skills as that would be much, much easier.

While I was in France I made a Baby Surprise Jacket. I love it. I love the pattern, and I love the yarn I used (Rowan Wool Cotton). I still need to sew up the seams, sew in the many yarn ends and find good buttons, but there are a good few months to go before it’ll get any wear so there’s no great rush (it’s for my neicephew-to-be).

At the moment I’m working away on a Clapotis for me, a February Baby Sweater for the neicephew, and a small off-blog project. (There might be a few other things kicking around too, but I’m talking about projects I’m actually interested in knitting right now). I think it’s time to start swatching for another sweater for me. Winter’s coming, and it ain’t getting any warmer. I think it’s time to try fair isle.

I’m very excited that this coming Saturday is knitting group. I miss everyone. It seems like ages since I went along. Tonight I was in Borders just as my closest group was starting, but I was tired and hungry and hadn’t been home after work so I didn’t stay (that’s also why I never manage to make it). Anyway, yes, Saturday. I’m looking forward to it.

I’m frustrated with the weather. The sun came out on Saturday afternoon, and it was lovely, but it hasn’t been seen since. That’s why my photos are so bad. It’s always grey here.

I’ve been twittering a little as teaandcakes: is anyone out there? Knitters seem to mainly plurk I know, but I think twitter’s the one for me.

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I’ve been away…

Posted by on Aug 10 2008 | Cultural Things

Plovdiv Old Town Nom

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Die Hard 1 vs 4

Posted by on Aug 07 2007 | Cultural Things

In my small circle of friends, on our birthdays we have the pleasure of inflicting an activity of our choice on to the others, usually ending in a few drinks. (Fibre related activities are forbidden, sadly.)

This year I made my friends sit through an overly long and not particularly good Pirates of the Carribean 3. This was an improvement on last years play, Hysteria, which was awful. Shockingly, laughably (now, looking back) awful.

For Linus’s birthday we went to see Die Hard 4. I hadn’t seen Die Hard 1-3, so I admit to being a little ‘meh’ about the whole event beforehand. A couple of weeks later we settled down to watch Die Hard, and an allegation was recounted that a person who saw and enjoyed Die Hard 4 before watching Die Hard would prefer number 4.

I would like to refute that.

Die Hard 4 was great. Absolutely ridiculous and stupid and over the top but heaps of laugh-out-loud fun and I was really glad I went along.

And that’s the thing.  Die Hard is great too, but not absolutely ridiculous, stupid or over the top. Well, ok, that’s not strictly true, but there’s a lot less disbelief suspension necessary. It just kicks ass as an action film. Alan Rickman is the baddie! It’s hard to get better than that, really. Plus, and I know I’m really showing my age here, you can see what happens in the action sequences. They don’t move so fast that you can’t make out what’s going on and have to shut your eyes because you’re all giddy. And Al! All knows the score. He knows McClane is good. Not like that stupid chief.

Anyway, yes, both fun, but Die Hard much, much better.

Don’t say there’s never discussion of high culture on this blog.

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Hysteria, Project Theatre

Posted by on May 28 2006 | Cultural Things

From the Project Theatre website:
“The Irish Premiere of the Award winning comedy. The production coincides with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sigmund Freud.
In 1938, in his study in Hampstead Sigmund Freud meets Salvador Dali. Chaos ensues. Their comical encounter dramatically transforms into an evening of HYSTERIA…
What’s hiding in Freud’s closet? Who is Jessica? Is memory a fantasy?
Terry Johnson’s brilliantly inventive, profoundly questioning and hugely entertaining play HYSTERIA, won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy and the Writers Award for Best Play.”

Hmmmm. From this I was expecting a comedy of sorts, and some bits were funny. What the review failed to mention is that the main part of the story revolves around one of Freud’s case studies of a woman who was sexually abused as a child. Mixed in with Dali running around holding a penis sculpture. It didn’t really sit right, and I don’t understand how it won awards.

In fact all I really need to say, and this is a spoiler, but trust me, it’s for your own good, is that it ended with: …and it was all a dream…

Sigh. Dinner and company was excellent though, and the play provided much amusement afterwards.

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