Month: July 2011

Spotted in New Town

Edinburgh’s New Town is a very unusual place. At the first sight you’d think it’s just this very glamorous Georgian neighborhood, only accessible for the most well-off of this city, with its private gardens and expensive cars. I’d like to think that despite its geometrical beauty there is also some room for quirkiness and charm. Above are some of the things which I spotted while on a walk back from work yesterday. 

This weekend

Although there is so much going on in Edinburgh this weekend, I think we’re going to spend most of it at home doing some DIY. Tomorrow morning we’re collecting the most beautiful old wooden desk we bought for an absolute bargain online and heading to a store for some paint and sanding paper. I have a couple of ideas on how to refresh it and can’t wait to get creative (you can expect a before and after post sometime soon). One thing I don’t think we can resist this weekend is going to the National Museum of Scotland, which has re-opened after a 3 year long refurbishment. The opening street party was spectacular with a T-Rex walking down the Chambers Street.  Also I’m sure there will be some walking around the New Town, as always. And the mystery of the West End-flower-lover remains unresolved.  Hope you’ll have a fun-filled weekend!  * The Natural World Gallery via Edinburgh Spotlight    3D pavement drawing by a pavement art master Julian Beever 


After a day of rain and anticipation of the weekend we went for an evening stroll in New Town. It was calm, quiet, refreshing and still drizzling a little bit. There is this one mysterious townhouse entrance in the West End, of someone who clearly loves flowers. I mean really loves flowers. Whenever we go past these doors we wonder: why would you layer pot plants on top of each other?  Is it a well-recognized gardening trick that we’re not familiar with? Don’t get us wrong, it looks interesting, we’re just curious. Any ideas? ps. more pictures from the West End *our camera died recently (hopefully we can bring it back to life soon) so we’re using Instagram. It does a decent job, but it’s not the same.

Festivals are coming

You can really tell that the festivals are just about to start: the city fills up with tourists, unicycle riders and sword swallowers, the gilded balloons and posters are going up and the city is buzzing. Festivals in Edinburgh are a bit of a friend and foe. It can get a bit overwhelming with 100s of shows per day and so many visitors, but it’s also very exciting. This year I’m looking forward to the Fringe more than ever, mostly because I won’t spend it working in a café for the first time, and hopefully we’ll go to see lots of shows and street performers. I will post some pictures from this year later on, but I’m sure we will also try and get away from it all ad spend a lot of time out of the city in August.  Are you planing to see any shows, if you live locally or are visiting? Do you have your favorite show that you go to every year? 

White unicorn

 The other day we just wandered around the New Town and dropped into the Unicorn Antiques in Dundas Street. It’s one of the main roads spanning from the Princes Street to Canonmills, which hosts several art galleries and interior design shops (it’s also the busy road that little Bertie was too scared to cross in one of the 44 Scotland Steet books). The little antique shop is located in one of the garden and lower-garden level flats (i.e. basement), filled up to the ceiling with mirrors, lamps, frames, maps, hardware and curious objects, whose functions have been forgotten a long time ago. I wanted to buy an old botanical book, so I could frame some prints, but didn’t have much luck. We were happy just browsing through the piles of antiques (or junk if you like) and chatting with the owners. They said they added quite a lot of new items to the shop regularly so we will sure pop back  in sometime soon. It’s definitely worth checking out if you happen to be visiting Edinburgh.

The sunniest day ever

This Sunday was glorious, so we packed cookies, juice and books into our little car and off we were to East Lothian for an afternoon on a beach in Dunbar. Perhaps it wasn’t a perfect place for a picnic, but otherwise there was everything we could wish for: sunshine, breeze from the sea, massive waves, brave surfers, teenagers selling cans of coke, soothing sounds of the sea, laughter and the hum of wind in the tall grass. We shall return with the swimming/wet suits. 

Jazz in comics and a picnic in Inverleith park

The weather yesterday was a-maz-ing. Really not a common sight in Scotland even in the middle of July. The car boot sale was a bit of a dissapointment. Jakub was tempted to buy some train sets, and we ended up leaving with two presies for me – Medical Genetics textbook (for a £1!) and a water paint of Paris. Then, we went to the French Institute for the Bulles, Jazz, Blues exhibition. The exhibition was fun and interesting to see, but for us it was also a good excuse to see a very impressive Edinburgh townhouse from the inside – so impressive, with its grand staircase and the views over the Dean Valley.  Isn’t this couple on the left sweet?  Also, I want a dress just like the one in the top left picture in the comics on the right. After stocking up on some pear cider, we ended up in the Inverleith park in Stockbridge. We ate almond cake, read magazines, admired the view, the clouds and sun bathed – it was a perfect …

This weekend

We had  couple  of tough days this week so we’re both very excited about this weekend. Tomorrow at the break of dawn we are going for a car boot sale, which should be a lot of fun. I’m going to look for some hardware for my RAST dresser DIY project and for a vintage desk/lamp for our home office corner. We’re giving our tiny flat a little makeover on a small budget, so I’m on a look for bits and pieces and a car boot sale seems like a perfect place to start.  The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival starts today so we will make sure to make our way to some of the concerts. My dad loves Bossa Nova and I’ve felt the sentiment of the Brazillian jazz even more since we played ‘A Girl from Ipanema’ for my parents during our wedding. On a different note, yesterday, I discovered via swiss-miss – it’s a brilliant recipe source website, which ranks each dish basing on its popularity on twitter and facebook. Today we tried lemony shrimp …

West End flowers

Today I was working from home and decided to go for a short walk during the day. It was one of those rainy and grey Scottish days, but the air was very refreshing. It’s getting more and more busy in the city with all the festivals starting in just a few weeks. But on days like this, people choose museums and cosy cafés and the West End seemed pretty quiet. I liked it that way. I bought an almond croissant and went back home. It didn’t rain for the entire half an hour when I was out.