Posts Tagged: culture


We are still on our healthy eating kick with only a few slight setbacks while on holiday (hello tasty beer and some gluten-centric treats), we could maybe even stop calling it a ‘kick’ as it is  becoming an excellent lifestyle, Ben continues to say ‘he has never felt better’. It has forced us to think of our meals as one, two and three in lieu of the traditional three. This makes it easier when you are facing a bowl of breakfast soup. Which is what we have been eating recently.

This version of roasted red pepper and tomato is perfect hot or cold. We had it hot- the first morning and added poached eggs, some avocado and meat garnish for Ben- in this case bacon and it keeps you going (almost) as long as a hearty bowl of oatmeal.

Loads of other cultures favor soup for breakfast. In Turkey they have a lentil-based variety with tomatoes and bulgar called ezogelin çorbası.

Mexicans favour soup, which shares the name with a famous Puetro Rican boy band- Menudo. The liquid version is concocted using tripe and hominy and served with fresh-made tortillas. I must admit- tripe scares me, but if you are feeling brave- here is a recipe.

I might have to give chagua a try when I am in Colombia this fall. This breakfast treat consists of a freshly poached egg in a milky broth, flavored with coriander (cilantro) and onions.

In Japan, miso soup is also an important part of the first meal of the day, not just the way we sample it in the west- pre-sushi. Although it is tasty then too!

I was not brave enough to give congee a whirl when I spotted it in the breakfast buffet during my past trips to China, but now doing some research, I am not sure what put me off, it is a rice porridge, usually had savory. I think it was some of the strange-to-me looking condiments which were used to flavour this breakfast staple which might have put me off.

I think breakfast soup is the way of the future at least here at our place.

FESTIVAL… We spent a day touring three small galleries:

INGLEBY GALLERY- Ian Finlay Hamilton

FRUIT MARKET GALLERY-  Dieter Roth Diaries

STILLS – James Casebere, Home and Other Fictions

Enjoy the pictures.

The festival has come to an end for another year. We are happy to bid farewell to the 500,000 tourists who have been clogging our streets for the past weeks. Have a great year and see you in 2013.


(Photo courtesy of Edinburgh International Festival)

Ben was to be have an interview with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and we thought it would be beneficial to be on the ticket roster as fans of the SCO.

We had the pleasure of seeing A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Usher Hall. The orchestra was joined by Angelika Kirchschlager, an Austrian mezzo soprano, who performed the six French poems by Théophile Gautier. It was beautiful, the instrumentals, the vocals, the theatre and the company. It was a great way to celebrate Ben’s first day of full-time work outside the home.


The Edinburgh Art Festival is happening as I type. This is such a fab time of the year to live in Edinburgh. During the month of August there are loads of free workshops to join.

I was a bit late looking at the calendar of events, but I was lucky enough to find a photography workshop which ran last Saturday at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

It was run by the Contemporary Ary Exchange and Kate Martin, who has such an interesting background and visible passion for the arts and making them accessible to everyone. This was evident in the theme of the workshop- Photography Workshop for Sighted People. I am sighted so it was perfect, right?

Kate’s ‘photographers in residence’ and our workshop leaders were Rosita McKenzie and Andrew Follows who are visually impaired. Rosita is completely blind and Andrew is blind in one eye and suffers from tunnel vision in the other. Rosita and Andrew are working photographers and have an joint exhibition Through the Looking Glass, Dimly in Edinburgh at the moment.

Right from the start Kate, Rosita and Andrew made me feel very comfortable and explained that we would have the opportunity to experience what it was like for them as photographers.

We used sim-specs which replicate different visual impairments. The photos of the objects were taken while I was wearing the tunnel vision spectacles (reproduces a speck of vision in a void of darkness) and hazy vision (hazy vision with light scatter and glare and variable visual acuity). The amount of concentration to focus what little vision I had remaining on the objects was remarkable. I had a vague idea of Andrew must feel- of course, I could remove the sim-specs and review my work.

To add to the challenge, for the second session, I worked with Rosita outdoors. I was blindfolded and relied on Brian, whom I had only met that morning, to be my eyes and guide me around the yard of the ECW. Before we began, Rosita explained to us how we should lead a person with a visual impairment, you have to have trust in your leader, something which I had to develop quite quickly with Brian and vice versa. 

Through Brian’s descriptions of the location, I knew the areas I wanted to photograph and he carefully led me to where I needed to go. You have to rely even more heavily on touch to ensure you can get the good photo. Rosita also told us to use the sun and where it was hitting our faces to position ourselves when taking the picture- an excellent tip. 

You can just snap away and there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ picture.

What a fantastic experience. Now when I take photos without my sim-specs or blindfold, I try to incorporate some of the top tips from Andrew and Rosita.



Hope your weekend is going well. We are enjoying some wonderful sunshine and some unusual ‘heat’ and humidity- you should see my Southern Belle hair- very voluminous.  

To give you a preview, this week at Turning Over a New Leith it is going to be festival week. A fun way to see what we have been exploring and seeing during this period of cultural overload. Ahh, August!

See you on Monday.


ANNIVERSARY GOODNESS… We are going to see a matinee of this production on Saturday. Along with brunch at Loudon’s- a new-for-us-brunch place, followed by some magazine reading at the Edinburgh College of Art Library before the show, then packing and dinner at home, I think we have a fun-filled anniversary planned.

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