Borders girl living life in the capital

Edinburgh Fringe

Love it or loath it, it's Fringe time again in Edinburgh. I can completely understand how festival time can be a bit of a struggle for those of us living in Edinburgh. It can easily make commutes to work double the length as the streets are suddenly filled with tourists and of course all those millions of people promoting their shows, not to mention the price of drinks dramatically rising during the month of August. However, I feel pretty lucky that all of this is happening on my doorstep. So many people descend on Edinburgh from far and wide at this time of year, and for us Edinburgh residents we have the privilege of living here, and being able to enjoy it all without having to pay extortionate amounts for somewhere to stay.

I never manage to see as many Fringe shows as I'd like to, and to be honest that's probably a good thing as August in Edinburgh is already bankrupting me!  I have however manged to see three shows already and have a few things lined up for this weekend. So here's a little overview of what I've been up to. I'm not going to attempt to write reviews on these shows (they've all been brilliant!), just a little comment on what I've seen so far.

Last Friday night I went to see a couple of comedy shows with my boyfriend and his dad. Both shows had been picked by his dad and, considering how hit and miss The Fringe can be, he did well! The first was NewsRevue which I have been raving about to everyone! It's extremely clever comedy sketches and songs based on the news from the past year and it was hilarious, I was in stitches pretty much the whole show! I'd definitely recommend it! 

The second show that I saw last week was comedian Jamie MacDonald. He's blind, and his show was very much about growing up with the disability and the problems that he's encountered along the way. Stories of school dances, blind football and art gallery tours made this another absolutely hilarious show. It sounds like such a cliche but I actually felt like my face was hurting during the show from laughing so much.

Today my Dad and I went to see The Sorries, for about the 5th year in a row! These guys are good friends of my Dad's and have a great act (tribute to The Corries) playing traditional Scottish songs, with some great banter between songs. They have had new material every year that I've seen them and I especially look forward to their comedy version of 'Johnny Lad' with their made up verses about current news events! I'd definitely recommend them if you like any kind of Scottish songs or folk music. They'd also be a great show to go to if you are a tourist to Scotland!

I've not actually been to see this show yet, but I went last year and I'm hoping to go on Saturday night. If last year was anything to go by then this show definitely lives up to its name of being a great value comedy show. Last year we got tickets at the half price hut making it only £5 for four different comedians. Hopefully it'll be just a great this year.

Another show that I'm hopefully going to on Saturday night is the band Gecko 3 at The Jazz Bar. I've seen Gecko 3 a few times in the past, like The Sorries they're friends of my Dad's, and I'm really looking forward to seeing them again at the weekend. Their music is a bit of a mix of funk, jazz, hip hop and reggae, and is great for having a wee dance to! 

I'd love some more recommendations if anyone has seen any shows that are worth a watch. Tweet me any recommendations @Fiona_Hun !

Dream House: Bathtubs

The third post in my 'Dream House' series is dedicated to my deep desire to own a free standing bath. I've always liked a bath as a form of relaxation, and I love the look of these type of bath tubs. I recently stayed at Crieff Hydro hotel where our room had the nicest big bath, where you could lie in the bath and watch TV, and that got me thinking about (and pinning) my dream bathrooms. I know quite a few people that aren't really bath fans but I do really enjoy a nice relaxing bubble bath every now and again (with a glass of wine and Netflix on my iPad!) and so it's important that, one day, I will have a cute vintage looking bathroom...with a huge free standing bathtub! 

All images can be found on my Pinterest board.

The Scottish Tag

I saw this tag on Hayley's blog and thought it would be great to give it a go. I like to do these tag type posts occasionally as it gives me a little writing prompt. I think it started off as a YouTube tag but has made it's way onto the Scottish blogisphere. I'm not going to tag anyone in particular, but feel free to link me to your blog if you do it as I'd love to read some others, and please have a look at Hayley's answers over on her blog Water Painted Dreams

Whereabouts in Scotland are you from?

I'm from a little village in The Scottish Borders, just outside of a town called Kelso. We moved there when I was about 3 years old from Gullane on the East coast, and I lived there until I was 21, so that village will always be 'home'! For anyone who doesn't know, The Scottish Borders is an area in the South East of Scotland on the border with England, about an hour South of Edinburgh.

Where is your favourite place that you've been to in Scotland?

Now that I come to think about it, I'm actually quite poorly travelled within Scotland. I've visited most of the cities for gigs, uni open days and to stay with friends, and we did holiday a few times in Scotland when I was younger but I think there's still so much of my own country that I haven't seen. Can I say Edinburgh? I live here now, but I think wherever I live or travel it will definitely remain my favourite place in Scotland. 

Where would you like to visit in Scotland?

I'm not even sure of exact place names and locations, I just know that there are some beautiful places up North that I'd love to see. I've not really been too far North at all so that's definitely somewhere that I'd like to spend more time. Some of the islands off the North West coast would be nice to visit, I've heard great things about Tiree and it looks so beautiful. 

What is your favourite Scottish film?

I think it might have to be 'Sunshine on Leith'. I'm a sucker for a cheesy romantic musical (probably my favourite kind of films all rolled into one!), especially one that's full of Proclaimer's songs and set in my hometown! And I have to admit I actually haven't seen A LOT of popular films including Scottish classics like 'Braveheart' or 'Trainspotting'. I definitely need to change that very soon. But I do recommend 'Sunshine on Leith' if you haven't seen it.

What is your favourite Scottish food?

The obvious answer is haggis I suppose! I do love it though, proper haggis from a restaurant...or battered haggis from the chippy! I am yet, in my 25 years in Scotland, to try a battered Mars bar but I do love haggis or black pudding and chips! Why are none of the traditional Scottish foods very healthy?!

Do you follow any Scottish traditions?

The same as Hayley, I've just had to Google 'Scottish Traditions'! I suppose something that's traditionally Scottish, and something that I absolutely love, are ceilidhs. Growing up in Scotland, we were taught the popular Scottish dances from primary school onwards, and always had a school dance with a ceilidh band at Christmas. For me, growing up in a small village also meant that there were regular ceilidh dances in the local village hall as celebrations or fundraisers. Let's just say I was never short of a chance to 'strip the willow'!!  

What is your favourite Scottish word?

I think it would probably have to be 'wee' (meaning small!). I definitely use that as part of my day to day vocabulary without even realising I'm doing it. I remember having a discussion with someone about whether you should use slang words like that in a formal situation like a job interview, and to be completely honest I'm not sure I'd be able to switch it off.

What is your favourite Scottish song?

That's a tricky one to narrow down, so I might need to pick a few. I do actually spend a lot of time listening to traditional Scottish songs from the likes of Capercaillie, Julie Fowlis, Karine Polwart, Emily Smith and Breabach. Folk music is definitely one of my favourite genres and, as I may not even understand the lyrics, I love a lot of Gaelic songs. 

I like the familiarity of songs that mention places that I know of, so a few of my favourites are 'Salter's Road' by Karine Polwart and 'Both Sides the Tweed' by Dick Gaughin (as I feel I kind of grew up on both sides of the river Tweed!). I will also always have a soft spot for 'Coisich a Ruin' by Capercaillie. I've liked this song since I was wee, when I remember my mum and dad listening to it in the house. 

Can you recommend any Scottish bloggers?

© Country Girl - City Life

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