Sunday, 27 January 2013

Strong stuff

Burns Night is inescapable at this time of year.  From the ethical, locally sourced produce at Earthy to the mass market of major supermarket chains, haggis is all around.

I was interested to read a report on the BBC website that authentic haggis is a banned foodstuff in the USA.   The problem is one of its ingredients - lungs.  So when I was doing the supermarket shop today I did a quick ingredient check and sure enough, lungs are the first-named item.  

I was amused by the usual nanny-state instruction, 'Ensure product is pip[ing hot before serving].'  I liked to think that it might say instead 'Ensure product is piped in before serving.' 

Oh dear, I am such a bad blogger at the moment.  I have several excuses, one of which I'll show you shortly.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Russians are coming

Following on from my mention of socialist medicine in my last post, I thought you might like to see the Russian flag flying over Edinburgh.  

Or rather the very small part of Edinburgh occupied currently by the Moscow State Circus.  

I took these shots from a shopping complex and cinema built on former industrial land at Leith docks.  This area is a mixture of working docks, mooring for the former royal yacht Britannia, blocks of flats (see my post 'The Concrete Shore'), waste land, and the Scottish Government offices at Victoria Quay.  The line of blue lights reflecting in the water is just in front of the government offices.

There didn't seem to be much happening at the circus.  It all looked rather forlorn sitting in its bit of wasteland, which was how I felt three long hours later after seeing 'The Hobbit' at the cinema.  Three hours of my life I will not have again.  Three hours of orcs, goblins and slaying, although there was a cute Amish dwarf for comic relief.  Perhaps the circus would have been a better choice. 

Edited to say, in the light of comments: make up your own mind about The Hobbit - if you want to see it, go and see it.  I am just not a particularly hobbit sort of person.  Everyone has their faults... 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Scotland is still here

Happy New Year from Scotland!  Despite predictions, Scotland and the rest of the world are still here, as pictured by the Artisan Roast coffee shop in Edinburgh's Broughton Street.

I've seen lots of resolutions being made across the blogging world.  My main one is to get out of the city more.  We've been back in Edinburgh for four days now and I'm pining dreadfully for the countryside and the wide skies of Moray.  It doesn't help that Edinburgh is at the tailend of its Winter Wonderland season under grey cloud and that spring-like temperatures have forced the shut-down of the open-air ice rink in Princes Street Gardens.  The operators described it like trying to keep a fridge cold with the door open.  

Photographic inspiration has been hard to come by as a result.  I did try to take a picture of my daughter's orthodontists (the premises, not the person) when we visited yesterday, to celebrate a date being fixed for the removal of her braces, but I was firmly squashed.  I know when to give in.  Incidentally, I have to trumpet the virtues of the British National Health Service at this point - necessary orthodontal treatment which starts before the age of 18 is free.  Give me 'socialist medicine' any day!

It will be a few weeks before I can escape the city again, so in the meantime I'll be showing January as it is in Edinburgh.


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