Monthly Archives: August 2011


I am a bit late on this post, since Anthropologie arriving in Edinburgh happened before the big J.CREW shipping to the U.K. excitement. In my defense, I have been a loyal J.CREW fan since my older brother John received a shirt and sweater from the Easter Bunny and I got them as hand-me-downs. The store is located on George Street a very ra-sha-sha shopping street in Edinburgh. Smartly the company has implanted real-life Americans in the store so the customer service is top-notch, a little home away from home (not quite Jane from J.CREW-Southdale, but still rather good). The store is decorated in the unique Anthropologie way and the prices are unique Anthropologie prices, but in pounds sterling. 

My mother-in-law is slightly famous. This picture is of Ben’s mother from our wedding. She looked fantastic in her vivid chartreuse. The other day, I popped on our wedding photographer’s site and 4 years later, Natasha D’Schommer is using this picture of Sue! 

LAMB BURGERS AND OATMEAL COOKIES… I was off Friday, so I had time to spend in our peanut shell kitchen. I baked some orange-scented oatmeal cookies for Mrs. Ruckibe, our neighbor from across the hall. She is Ben’s week day buddy and collects our packages when we are not home. She deserved some cookies. Ben was in the mood for some bread baking and we had some ground lamb, so we decided on burgers. Counting on for inspiration, I found, Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burgers with Beet, Orange and Red Onion Salsa. The ‘salsa’ had green olives added for an elevated flavor. All this on Ben’s freshly baked buns with oven-baked fries and home-made ketchup. For the cookies, I whipped-up (literally) some meringue filling that was torched with our brule torch, any excuse to play with fire!

WE <3 ALICE WATERS… During our honeymoon, we went to Chez Panisse (Cafe) for dinner. At the time it was our ultimate cafe dining experience. Seated in the cozy cafe you could almost imagine the farmers delivering their freshest produce in the morning and the Chez Panisse culinary pros deciding what would be on the menu that evening. I do not remember what I ate and Ben only remembers his Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese (we sold this at Broder’s). This weekend marks the 40th birthday of Chez Panisse and I am pleased we were able to share the experience.

After our visit, I wanted to learn more about the woman, her life and experiences that led her to begin the food revolution that so many restaurants emulate. This is covered in Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee and is an interesting read and makes me feel slightly guilty every time I use a can of tomatoes.


I am considering a new helmet, I think the one I wear now is causing me spots (nice English word for pimples), from the straps. Either this or a I have caught some sort of Scottish-shingles. I am partial to these Nutcases, but I cannot decide if I am too old for this style helmet, or is it just too trendy? 


As promised, my review of the Fringe Festival performance by The Magnets. The show was fantastic. They were so fun to watch and listen to, they create all the sounds in the show themselves, a real talent. They have an interesting take on a variety of numbers from the past to the present. They started with a Blur song Boys and Girls and moved through Elvis, a rendition of The Dog Days are Over by Florence and the Machine and Rolling in the Deep by Adele, which was a refreshing change from hearing this song being overplayed on Scottish radio. Their Bassa Nova version of Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi even impressed Ben (you can check this out on their website). To finish, they did an A to Z of movie songs which started with the A-Team theme and moved through about 25 other songs. The Magnets will be starting a U.K. tour in September and I would enjoy seeing them again as one hour did not seem like enough time.

Ben’s Review…

To me and through my lenses a capella is for white guys from Ivy League universities with letter cardigans and reached a peak in the Beach Boys close and honest harmonies. Beatboxing is something best left to old skool rappers who do it because they can’t afford 808’s yet.  The Magnets mix of boy band rejects and musical misfits didn’t really hit the mark for me. Skillful no doubt and entertaining in a the Fringe way, but with daylight streaming through the stained glass windows of the faux Victorian round tent I was only amused, not entertained. The harmonies were there, but were overshadowed by the beats boxed onto the bass of almost every song. Dancing and witty banter seemed to only bring down the level of the evening to professional karaoke, not song-smithing. Perhaps they need to write their own songs, but then would we go and see them if we weren’t invited to guess all 26 movie themes they mashed together at the end? I’m not sure.

Talking to all my friends that have child(ren) has got me thinking, what is all the fuss about? When asking my dearest friend Jessica, name the pluses of having ankle biters, she could not, she only mentioned the havoc on your body and the fatigue. However when I see this photo and others by Thierry Bouet, it gives me pause. But that could be the Cote de Rhones talking!

We are going to a Fringe Festival performance this evening. The world’s best beatboxers and a cappella group, The Magnets are performing at George Square, just across the street from work. The group performed as part of the T-Mobile flash-mob advert featured here. Check it out, it is really fun. I’ll let you know how it was tomorrow…

Switzerland National Day


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