Posts Tagged: FunStuff








Another Eat Up- Peter’s Yard.


I was invited to a wedding this past weekend.  It was as the plus one of my fabulous friend Toni. It turned out to be such a beautiful, sunshine-filled day in Edinburgh, I was able to get another wear out of my favourite wedding frock (here I am at Ieva and Will’s wedding)- complete with cardigan and trench- even May in Edinburgh is chilly!

There was dancing so flats were perfect. 

Completing the look- arm party with some special jewels.

I am off to get a haircut tomorrow, so the decision about my bangs will be made then- to grow or to cut- I just cannot decide. Any thoughts?


The Edinburgh International Film Festival releases the schedule for this year’s event tomorrow. The 2013 festival runs from June 19-30. The festival started in 1947 and has boasted some fabulous premieres- Brave made its European debut last year.

What I am hoping for is another set of fantastic films shown outdoors in St. Andrew’s Square the weekend before. They were a complete surprise last year, but now we know there could be a possibility of screenings, we can look out for them. 


Last year was just miserable, we only saw about thirty minutes of Toy Story II, before turning in our free ponchos and heading home for dry movie watching.We have June 14 off, so this would be the perfect day to picnic and movie watch in the city centre.

What would be your favourite outdoor film?


Sometimes I regret my ideas to get out and embrace life! Our recent trip to Yellowcraig’s beach was not one of these times, even though our adventure did not go as originally planned. Curses new running shoes, but we still had a fun few hours out and about.


My Scottish and outdoorsy colleague Seonaid, suggested we visit this particular beach between Edinburgh and North Berwick. Since Ben and I are ‘in training’ for the Vancouver half marathon. We wanted a change from my usual loops- I can run the same loops repeatedly and I do not like running-loop changes, but Ben does, so I thought, let’s mix it up!


Compromise is key- so off we went in our City Club Car to the beach. It was windy, cloudy, misty and cold. A perfect mix for our planned six mile run.


We had new running shoes. During all the years I have been running, I have always had 12mm running shoes, but due to the barefoot running craze, they are harder and harder to track down, so I opted for an 8mm pair. I had heard stories about how these lower shoes can lead to injuries if you do not break them in slowly. I quickly realized that running six miles might be a bit much- I am sure you are thinking- wimp- and you are probably correct, but I did not want to injure myself and jeopardise our upcoming race.


We ended up running just a few miles on the trails- I got in another run later in the day. My shoes now seem nicely broken in, we had a long run last weekend in the pouring rain.


The next time it is sunny and a bit warmer, Yellowcraig’s would be a perfect spot to picnic. Ben thinks we should cycle out here the next time, I remember hills, so I am not entirely onboard with this plan.

THIS IS HAPPENING… I am sure almost everyone knows- Arrested Development releases the entire fourth season this Sunday- direct to Netflix. For those of you who are not in with the Bluths, you should be, they are the funniest dysfunctional family since my own- this is how relatable they are.

Back in the day, Ben surprised me with season one for my birthday when we lived in Grenoble and I am positive we spent the entire weekend hooked on their antics. Seasons two and three were even better. Then it went off the air- too smart of America (is what others have said- I agree since America likes the Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men).

Knowing Michael, George Michael, Lucille, George Sr., Lindsey, Tobias, Maeby, Gob and Buster would soon be appearing on screen again soon helped with our decision to keep our Netflix subscription. The UK version has nothing on the US- where is the complete West Wing series?

We talked about taking Monday off of work to watch the 15 episodes in one go- this way we will know if we will see the return of the Hot Cops, Mr. F, Lucille II, the seal with the taste of mammal blood, the Blue Man Group, the never nudes, Egg, Steve Holt, and the mole! 

Enjoy the return.

This T.V. programme even has global appeal and made it into The Guardian.


There are times when I sit on the bus or in a cafe and I could swear the language I hear is something other than English. To this day, I still find the Scottish accent a struggle to understand. Of course, there are the people who enunciate clearly and I can pick up all the words, but then there are others who seem to chat so fast and run all their phrases together I am at a total loss.

With the Edinburgh festival season soon upon us, I thought I would help those of you who will be coming to Edinburgh to clog our streets in the coming months with some Scottish words which might ‘elp ya seem lika local. 

Some of my favourites:












These are such fun, I  am going to work them into converation this week. First test will be at a very Scottish afterwork festivity tomorrow evening. Skittles at The Sheep’s Heid, Edinburgh’s oldest pub.

For more words, there are many more here.



Six years of wedded bliss- this is completely true. As my grandmother would have said, ‘you picked a winner ‘. The winner and I had a low-key anniversary. Breakfast at home, followed by tasty coffees from the newest cafe in our neighborhood- Blue Bear, coffees in hand, we strolled to the Botanical Gardens to people watch while we read magazines and books. I realize these sound like activities for a 20th anniversary when we are in our fifties, but it was just our speed!


Then we went nuts and had dinner at our local cafe-The Roamin Nose and listened to a band of the cutest, hipster teens- The Haar. I think we were the only people who were not ‘with the band’, but they were fun to see- you can follow them on twitter @thehaar .


For those of you who are not in the know on Scottish meteorology, haar is a coastal fog. It is mostly used in towns which border the North Sea. So educational this blog.


We did not exchange gifts this year- we are going on a trip this summer which will be our special treat.


Thanks for the fabulous years, Ben- here is to six more- minimum!



Ben completed the 50 miles around the demonically agressive hills and single track roads that made up the Tour de Lauder this weekend. He was joined by James and Simon who are friends since their days growing up in Haddington. The trio did remarkably well considering their group training had been sporadic- Ben and James squeezed in two training rides before the event and we only met Simon for the pre-race strategy beer on Thursday.


The story of the Tour de Lauder is a teary yet inspirational one, I only learned the history by listening to Rosy Cully’s pre-ride speech. Steve Cully was an amazingly fit man who was police officer and was on the Royal Protection detail, to give you an idea of his fitness, he competed in the Marathon des Sables which is  ‘ultra-marathon’ or ‘ultra’ run in six days over a course of between 150 and 156 (254km) miles and he finished. He died of a sudden heart attack at just 41. Leaving Rosy and two young children.


Two of his friends decided to organise a small cycle ride in his honour and donate any proceeds to the Steve Cully Tribute fund at Chest Heart Stroke Scotland, before they knew it word had spread and almost 100 cyclists wanted to take part in the 2012 ride. It was a smashing success and they raised 17,000 pounds in Steve Cully’s honour.


This was year two of the Tour de Lauder and there were 270 registered riders who had the choice between 50 miles or 86 miles ending on the Col de Stow- a hill with a 15% grade.


It was an especially nice day sunshine and blue skies. There was a bit of wind, but according to Ben, it did not bother them too much. Ben, Simon and James completed the 50 mile ride in 3 hours 51 minutes, with an average pace of 13.5 miles per hour and a top speed of 40 mph.


I went as a volunteer and had the pleasure of meeting many of the cyclists at the check-in table- I will always be strong support of anyone with numbers 1-70! Sarah joined me out on the course where we helped at the first water stop- they do it right, the Lady Bakers of Lauder- I am unsure if this is a real organisation, but in my opinion they should band together, all the refuelling snacks were homemade and donated for this event- I have never seen such baked-goods variety. For a healthier option there were 600 bananas and orange wedges. Sarah and I opted for the bananas.


The people of Lauder were unbelievable- Sarah and I were driven around by Carol the event organiser and she was funny and friendly. There were some scary moments on the narrow roads, but we made it back to the ‘chateau’, unfortunately, we missed the finish or our team- they were too fast. There has already been chatter about trying it again next spring and maybe even tackling the 86 miles.

Tour de Lauder- we will be back!

Complete photo set can be found here.

  • James, Sarah and Ben- giving the cheering their all!
    James, Sarah and Ben- giving the cheering their all!
  • Wet, cold, successful- heavy medals.
    Wet, cold, successful- heavy medals.
  • See the wind?
    See the wind?
  • Ben helping me down the stairs- quads burned until- just yesterday! Must run more.
    Ben helping me down the stairs- quads burned until- just yesterday! Must run more.
  • A fan of soy lattes- Reia so excited she can get them in Edinburgh!
    A fan of soy lattes- Reia so excited she can get them in Edinburgh!

GUEST POST…  Reia- dear friend and running partner wanted to share her account of her recent running-themed weekend in Edinburgh. She also is an avid hipstamatic photographer. I will post my account tomorrow! 

Meeting up with my gorgeous running partner extraordinaire in far flung places (yes to my Tasmanian heritage running in Paris and Edinburgh is very far away) has become my crutch towards keeping a little a piece of sanity in my life. Ever since dearest Buffy moved away from Grenoble that is. When Buffy was living in Grenoble we managed to go running early mornings, with views towards the soaring French Alps. These runs and chats with the Buffster helped like nothing else to feed the soul, and our daily intellectual ponderings (really working out how  to deal with our everyday working commitments) made the simple things that much clearer and easier to achieve. 

After crushing last year’s Paris half-marathon, Buffy and I signed up (just after Christmas and in time for new year’s resolutions) for the Edinburgh ‘rock n’ roll’ half-marathon. And what a ride! You can say there was lots of rocks to run up, and the rolling down the other side was very joyful. That morning we woke up with a buzz, and tummy churnings but the sun was shining so we were ready… After a little bit of breakfast the storm clouds came out, and thank heavens we didn’t notice the wind that was to come! Getting to the course was a nice little warm-up (a stroll of 1.5 miles perhaps). And then that’s when the full implication of the meteorological outlook hit us like a brick. The quasi-horizontal rain, the gale force winds, and the icy needle pin-prick raindrops (this didn’t seem to deter the notorious pre-race male pee-ers though who had to walk up Arthurs Seat to enjoy the city view in all it’s glory, and have a pee).  

We were in Edinburgh, about to dash through this volcanic, history- steeped megalith, with some of what I imagine are typical weather conditions. The rest of the semi is a blur, except for the wonderful support of Ben, who would pop up from time to time, and some cheers from the watchers (including a guest appearance from Sarah and ???), ooh and did I forget our white rabbit, who made us run that bit faster – the superb man in a kilt (yes you can look good running in a kilt). Running down that last mile (which was partly royal) seemed to arrive way too quickly. We did it!

The rest of my time in Edinburgh was just that – a euphoric mind and physical rest. And how blissful it was! Buffy and Ben are really the hosts with the mosts. Wonderful meal prepared and cooked after wonderful meal, lots of walking around, lots of chats, lots of good coffees, lots of chats, a little bit of rain… A perfect home away from home. Thank you so much Ben and Buffy for this wonderful idyll. And do you think I can come again next year? But maybe stay for 6 months – I’m sure we can do 10 semis in that time.


LISTEN UP… This week’s theme is inspired by Ben. He is competing in his first-ever cycle race this Saturday. The distance is 50 miles and he is ready! I will be return the favour of being an awesome support crew member, hopefully will get some great race snaps for next week.

More of our cycling adventures can be found, here, here and here.

Ben’s inspiration can be found here and here.

Have a great weekend and enjoy this week’s mix- on Spotify.

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