Lighting in the dark

Reading time: 3 mins
“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a packet of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses… HIT IT!” Last weekend saw me driving through to Edinburgh as the last remnants of daylight faded to black, I had already taken my sunglasses off, and I don’t smoke, but the sentiment was the same; (mini) road trip! The previous evening found me and several hundred other people, wandering the streets of Strathbungo, a suburb in the southside of Glasgow, enjoying the labours of many a budding window artist as we partook of the annual Strathbungo Winter Wanderland. With local roads closed to traffic, we took to the streets to peer over railings and hedgerows to …

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Gig: Post Modern Jukebox

Reading time: 2 mins
Everytime I listen to the current hits of the day I come away with a catchy tune in my head. Sure it’s auto-tuned, heavily produced, and reliant on a hook rather than things like a melody or a smart lyric but they are catchy nonetheless. And yes, I am big a huge snob about this and no I don’t care. For me the sign of a good song is one that can embrace change, that can be rendered new by a change in tone, or pace, or instrumentation. Some bands do it to themselves (think Creep by Radiohead, from thrashy distorted guitars to heartfelt acoustic ballad) and some artists grab a handful of such tunes and make a career from …

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Writing sparks

Reading time: 3 mins
Struggling with the duvet cover I paused and reminded myself just how good it is to slide between fresh bed linen. A few more wafts of the duvet and several curses later my bed was made. It took a lot of willpower not to just climb in right there and then. What an odd phrase, how many people have a bed so tall they need to climb into it? Isn’t the English language wonderfully obscure at times. It strikes me, without recourse to research, that this is one of those phrases that comes from ye olde times, when beds were an entirely different proposition. Ohhh how I adore such things, these quirks of conundrums, paragraphs of prose that puzzle and …

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I met a spaceman

Reading time: 3 mins
Ground control to Major Tom… Ground control to Major Tom: Lock your Soyuz hatch and put your helmet on! I can still remember the first time I heard Space Oddity. I can recall just how otherworldly it sounded to me and while that was largely down to Mr. Bowie (an entirely other being for sure) it sits squarely alongside a similarly titled book that I’d just finished reading which was, in turn, the very reason I had listened to that track in the first place. I was maybe 12 years old at the time and the idea of space was more Star Wars than 2001 but I was slowly learning about the Apollo program and pages of my encyclopedia were …

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Gig: The Lovely Eggs

Reading time: 2 mins
I’d not long finished my dinner and was doing the dishes. Standing at the sink I pondered what to do next and tried to think of reasons not to do any more chores, after all hoovering can always wait until tomorrow, right? We will ignore the fact that my hoovering was probably about a week past needing done, because hoovering is ALWAYS a job for tomorrow; just as dusting is a job for whenever someone is coming to visit, a lesson well learned from my dearest Mumsy. So you can imagine my excitement when, moments after I’d set the last dish on the rack to dry, my watch vibrated on my wrist to notify me that a new message had …

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New Bands and Small Venues

Reading time: 2 mins
For a while now I’ve been on a mission to discover new music. That might just be music that is new to me, or it might be actually new up and coming bands that I’ve not heard of, but I’ll happily admit that the recap of my musical year that Spotify provided was a bit of a shocker. We all have our own self-image but, musically at least, I didn’t think I was quite as mainstream as all that… stats never lie though, right? For the last few years I’ve tended to rely on the same few sources; a mixture of random recommendations from friends and colleagues, the occasional blog post or album review here and there, but I always …

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Team Training at the gym

Reading time: 2 mins
Gym wanker post alert. Last year I started going to the gym. I was doing a ‘BootCamp’ which was less ‘being shouted at by angry army types’ and a lot more ‘encouraged to push yourself during HIIT sessions’. There were two sessions at week, including a 9am start on a Saturday, and once I got into the habit, I got used to and, SHOCK HORROR, started to enjoy myself! This year, they’ve changed the format and the name. Now it’s all about Team Training, which still includes HIIT within each session but with the addition of more ‘lift heavy stuff’ type training. It’s also moved to three sessions a week, and joy of joys we don’t start until 10am on …

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Ballet Swan lake

En Pointe

Reading time: 2 mins
It’s always good to try something new and so I kicked off this year with a first; my first ever live ballet performance (watching, not performing) of Swan Lake. Having spotted it on Facebook late last year, I posted to see if anyone else was interested and one of my awesome gym buddies Martha said yes, and so it was that Martha and I found ourselves taking our seats, both a little unsure of quite what to expect but excited nonetheless. I’d figured that Swan Lake was a reasonably safe bet for a ballet virgin (no doubt those in the know will correct this assumption) if for no other reason than I know the music. I’ve not been to many …

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Six by Nico: Best of 2017

Reading time: 4 mins
The eighth incarnation of Six by Nico and as we move into a new calendar year, they’ve decided to go back to some of the best dishes from 2017, but there was a twist! The menu was announced on the 5th January, and in the days prior to the announcement it was up to the public to choose what dishes would make the cut. For each of the six courses we were given a choice. Chips & Cheese (The Chippie) vs Ratatouille (Disney) Pancake (Route 66) vs Steak Pie (The Chippie) Mac & Cheese (Childhood) vs Wild Mushroom (Forest) Sea Bream Taco (Route 66) vs Fish & Chips (The Chippie) Duck (Illusion) vs Burger (Childhood) Egg (Illusion) vs Lemon Tart …

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What’s Next?

Reading time: 2 mins
The new year looms ahead of us and whilst I know that logically it’s purely an arbitary numbering scheme that governs this thinking, one can’t help but think of the coming weeks and months as something fresh and full of possibilities. I guess the secret will be to keep that thinking through the rest of this year. Sticking with my say yes more than no approach to the year, it’s probably worth remembering that I already have a few things booked in this year, and whilst I know more will appear, it’s good to have things to look forward to. First up is the first visit of the year to my favourite dining experience, Six by Nico. This time round …

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