Sunday, 31 August 2008

Flute man

Having posted a Guitar man for one of my sisters a few days ago, today I'm posting this Flute man with fox (which has its own microphone!) for the other one. She will know why :-).

I have the best sisters in the world. 'k Hou van jullie!

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Spiegel Tent

As promised, a couple of pictures of the exterior and the interior of the famous Spiegel Tent. If you want to see it, it'll be in George Square until tomorrow!

Spiegeltents are travelling pavilions used as dance halls, bars and entertainment salons. They were created in the early 20th century, and very few of these 'tents of mirrors’ are left today. This one is considered the most beautiful of the last remaining Belgian Spiegeltents. Built in 1920 by master craftsmen Oscar Mols Dom and Loius Goor, it travels between festivals and fairgrounds throughout Europe and beyond, playing host to artists, musicians and circus burlesque performers.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Spiegel Garden

Remember how on the 8th of June I showed you a picture of the peaceful park in the middle of the University's George Square? Well for the month of August it has been transformed into the fabulous Spiegel Garden and looks like the above! Spiegel means Mirror in Dutch, and refers to the Spiegel Tent; a beautiful, wooden, moveable, art deco-style venue that is decorated with mirrors, period lights and coloured glass panels. If I get a chance before the end of the weekend I may pop along and take a photo of the actual venue- which is what I had planned to do last time, before my camera batteries gave up...

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Chris Hoy on the Royal Mile

Yesterday, we went and cheered for the Scottish Olympic medallists Chris Hoy (3x gold in cycling), fellow cyclist Ross Edgar, rower Katherine Grainger and canoeist David Florence (all silver), along with thousands of others who came to see them as they were carried down the Royal Mile on an open-top bus.

Incidentally, Chris Hoy got tangled up in the debate about whether or not Scotland should have a separate Olympic team (yes, say the SNP and Sean Connery - not necessarily, say most others including Hoy). After some heated debates in the media, a big Saltire (Scottish flag) was prominently displayed on the front of the bus. Coincidence? I think not! Still it's a shame that even sport can become so politicised in today's brave new world of Scottish politics.

For a few more pictures of the parade, have a look at my photo report.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Tavish in Murrayfield

Yesterday was a big day for the Scottish LibDems as they celebrated the election of their new leader, Tavish Scott. The press conference and photo shoots took place in Murrayfield, the big rugby stadium to the west of the city centre.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Martha and Gilbert

Well, that's it - the Fringe is over. The shows are finished, the street performers gone and the yearly awards handed out. Other festivals, including the Tattoo, the Book Festival and Festival of Politics, have also ended, although some venues, such as the Spiegel Garden, remain open until this weekend. The Edinburgh International Festival also has another week to run. The reason why this blog has focused on the Fringe rather than the EIF is that the latter is played out almost entirely indoors, with opera, theatre, ballet and musical performances taking place in some of the biggest and most prestigeous venues of the city.

This picture then, shows an advert for the EIF on the glass front of the Omni Centre on Leith Street. The giraffes, made out of recycled car and motorbike parts by artist Helen Dennerly, are a permanent fixture. Their official title is 'Dreaming Spires' but they have - apparently! - been nicknamed Martha and Gilbert.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Guitar man

This picture is for my sister, whose birthday it is tomorrow. Guitar man on the Royal Mile, with a background of typical Edinburgh sandstone.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Hamlet Episode 2

Part two of the Hamlet Episode preview performance (see yesterday's post). There was something almost otherworldly beautiful about the girls dancing in these wonderful dresses, which fell down sleekly when still but spinned gorgeously when moving...

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Hamlet Episode 1

The first of two posts on a Korean group called the Daegu City Modern Dance Company. They were promoting their show, Hamlet Episode, on the Royal Mile. Described as a 'non-stop visual splendour', their performance contained elements of acrobatics, modern dance and ballet. Come back tomorrow for the second part of this post.

Friday, 22 August 2008

More Royal Mile mania

Lo and behold, a couple of hours sunshine late yesterday afternoon made for some frantic running around with my camera on the Royal Mile! Too much to choose from today, but I've gone for this guy because of the sheer weirdness as well as the look of utter concentration on his face. I also like the fact that he's in the light whereas his spectators are lurking in the shadow of St Giles Cathedral.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

Today's post is strictly in the interest of balance (see yesterday's picture) - and to appease my grandfather who thought my blog was 'disgusting' ;-). This singing nun was part of a group performing on the Royal Mile on Tuesday, on one of the stages that are there to showcase some of the Fringe shows. They were very entertaining, but weird...

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

True Scotsmen

Ever heard of the expression 'to be a true Scotsman'? Well this one certainly is, as for the other one we can only guess! Call me cruel but I've been dying to post this one ever since I took it on the Royal Mile yesterday (And for the gorgeous guy 'adjusting the kilt' - good on you!) This photo is really for all of my non-Scottish family who were dead excited when I brought home a man in kilt!!

To buy this photo as a greeting card or a print, click here.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Waking up the Fringe

Despite the awful weather that has somewhat put its mark on this year's Fringe, the show(s) must go on! Every morning, the Fringe awakes around the time that 'normal' Edinburgh people go to work. Here, a craft market stall holder is the first to open for business on the Mound.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Fringe Posters

I have been meaning to take this picture ever since the festival started. The posters and flyers are as much a part of the Fringe as the performers themselves. It looks like these have had a good soaking over the last few days!!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Tram works

In 2011, trams will return to Edinburgh! But before they're here, there are LOTS and LOTS more roadworks to be completed. The sight of endless rows of traffic cones are something that we - especially those of us near the tram route - have learnt to live with.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Moody castle

I thought it was time for another picture of our most famous landmark, the castle. Today it's a rather moody one, taken from the top of the Mound.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Free Fringe Music

Apologies for my absence the last few days; I've been away without internet access but will try and fill in the gaps soon.
This photo is of one of the free lunchtime performances in the National Museum of Scotland, by a 'Scottish boyband' called Skerryvore.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Scott Monument with clouds

The last of three guest posts by Difa, and what a fab one this is! The gothic structure on the left is the Scott Monument on Princes Street. It was built during the 1840s to commemorate one of Scotland's greatest authors, Sir Walter Scott, and contains a statue of him by John Steell. Interestingly, photography pioneers Hill and Adamson documented the building's progress from the roof of the Royal Scottish Academy building. Have a look at the Online Collection of the National Galleries of Scotland for a photo of the Scott Monument under construction.

p.s. The clouds are for Mr DiDo, who is a proud member of the Cloud Appreciation Society...

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Dean Gallery window

Another guest contribution by Difa; this beautiful - but illegal - capture of a window, looking down onto the ground floor hall in the Dean Gallery, was taken during a visit to an exhibition on photography.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Weather on the Royal Mile

This is the first of three guest contributions by Difa, who like most years came to visit me during the festival. Here, the Tron kirk is trying to make a hole in the clouds over the Royal Mile.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Runaway bride

On Friday I shadowed a professional photographer at a lovely wedding in the Clermiston area of Edinburgh. At one point we did a shoot in a very colourful busstop full of graffiti, but in order to get there we had to cross a very muddy and wet bit of grass! As you can see, the bride was a great sport.

Mr and Mrs McC (you know who you are) - many many congratulations!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Beards and bagpipes

What can I say? I love the concentration on this piper's face and the outfit was superb. Not to mention, of course, the beard.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Performers and Balmoral

Street performer on the Mound, with the tower and clock of the Balmoral Hotel in the background. This landmark hotel towers over the train station, and the clock is always deliberately a couple of minutes fast - if you run for your train then you will probably still get it. The only time it is set at exactly the right time is at New Year!

Friday, 8 August 2008


Thank goodness it's stopped raining!! Though not for long, apparently. These guys were doing acrobatic tricks on Hunter Square, just off the Royal Mile.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Old Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

Another exceedingly depressing day, weather wise! I took this photo a few weeks ago; these stunning buildings are part of the old Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, built in the 1870s off Laurison Place. If you look closely though, you will see that the windows are boarded up. This is because the hospital relocated to a brand new building in Little France, just south of Edinburgh, about three years ago. The Old Infirmary buildings are now part of a much larger redevelopment of the area called Quartermile, which includes very modern office blocks and flats among the traditional buildings. Some people hate it, but I quite like it!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Balloon on South Bridge

Today the weather's awful!! So instead of venturing out and spoiling my camera in the rain I thought I'd post this picture which I took on South Bridge a few days ago. The balloon is actually on a very long string, all the way down from the Cowgate - so the equivalent of about 8 stories!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Pleasance Courtyard

Yesterday evening, Mr DiDo and I went to see our first Fringe shows of the year. We had tickets for Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert, whom I adore and who was on excellent form! Afterwards we had a beer in the Pleasance courtyard (see picture), a large open-air drinking area surrounded by all the different performance spaces, where performers and audiences mix freely.

After a few minutes we were offered free tickets for a show that started in 5 mins, so pints-in-hand we proceeded to the Pleasance hut. I think we both found Bernard O'Shea a bit hit-and-miss but he did have his moments. The Pleasance, though, is a venue not to be missed, if only for its ultra relaxed atmosphere and coloured lights!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Edinburgh Festival Cavalcade 2008

Yesterday afternoon the Edinburgh Festival season was officially opened with the Cavalcade, a parade of Tattoo musicians, Fringe acts, Edinburgh charities and various other artistic participants. Though the weather had been extremely unstable in the morning, we managed to keep it dry for almost the entire parade! For plenty more pictures of the Cavalcade, visit my Cavalcade photo report on my other blog.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Love, love, love!

If there was a prize for the most imaginative and most positive promotion on Friday it surely would go to this group! They're in a show called I Love You! And You... And You... which plays in the C3 venue on the Lawnmarket and bills itself as a romantic comedy in which the audience chooses the ending. Meanwhile they're creating a 'love chain' with messages of love from the passing public, which eventually should stretch the length of the Royal Mile!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The Fringe: Almost there...

The Fringe is almost here!! The official start of the festival is on Sunday afternoon with the Cavalcade along Princes Street. Already the performers are out in their hundreds trying to persuade you to come and see their shows. Until the first reviews come out everyone is on an equal footing, so at the moment it's all about who shouts or sings loudests, has the best flyers or the most theatrical promotion. This particular one caught my eye on the Royal Mile on Friday; this poor girl has just been strangled.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Theme Day: Metal

A man takes a rest on a bench in front of this mirror at the Camera Obscura on the Royal Mile. To view the other participating daily blogs in today's Theme Day, go here.