Are You Going To The Edinburgh Book Festival 15-31 August 2015 ?

29 Jul

There’s always something on at the book festival.

Edinburgh, Edinburgh Scotland, Edinburgh Book Festival

Alasdair Gray 1982, Janine

Alasdair Gray told me that he thought 1982, Janine ‘the best of his novels’. This was in the 13 or 14 seconds that you get when an author signs a book for you. 34 if you’re lucky or at a smaller event.

Edinburgh, Edinburgh Scotland, Edinburgh book festival

Martin Amis Money

Note: When Amis said ‘Troilus and Cressida’, I remarked, ‘oh yes, Dunbar?’ Amis said, ‘no, Henryson.’ So embarrassing.

Edinburgh, Edinburgh Scotland, Edinburgh book festival

William Mcllvanney Dreaming Scotland

Edinburgh, Edinburgh Scotland, Edinburgh book festival

Allan Massie Nevertheless

Books are the best!

The 15 Least Romantic Edinburgh Date Ideas

17 May

1. Boneless Dip Meal at Meadowbank KFC

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Seduction is a tricky business. Sweep bae of their feet with a piece of crispy chicken. Afterwards why not squeeze eachother’s blackheads in the carpark?

 2. Whopper in Waverley Station Waiting Area

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Stare longingly into bae’s hair as they watch the train times gently flicker across the Waverley Station timetables. Share aspartane rich beverages through a communal straw and get a lend of thirty pence to go to the toilet when done. Enjoy the meat sweats together later.

 3. Lothian Road

3284822036_135f93aaaa_bDazzle bae with a trip to the majestic pubs and clubs of Lothian Road. Take the big step and ask them to hold your hair whilst you’re being sick in a doorway at 11pm.

4. Poorly Attended Fringe Festival Act

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Find an intimate venue far from the bustling Fringe Festival Crowds and marvel as an up-and-coming comedian or spoken-word poet practices their stagecraft. Savour the feeling of their spittle landing on your cheek as they massage their ego and insult your intelligence.

 5. Cav

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Lose yourself in the Cha-Cha Slide at Cav, and encourage bae to do the same. Find them later in a quiet booth stroking someone else’s thigh.

6. Diane’s Pool Hall with Bae

Diane's Pool Hall, Morrison Street, Edinburgh (exterior)

Or any similar venue that offers a combination of cuesport and champion pint drinking. Flaunt your skills on the baize and hope that bae can hear your sweet nothings over the rising chords of Darude’s Sandstorm.

7. Greggs 

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Seal your tryst with a Sausage & Bean Melt. Get there just before closing to ensure your scrumptious gift doesn’t burn their mouth.

8. Strip Club?

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Share a priceless moment at one of Edinburgh’s thriving lap dance bars. Catch the glassy stare of the dancers as they work for your titillation. Get a chippy afterwards and throw it on the ground outside for an authentic feel.

 9. Twenty Chicken Nuggets at West End Mcdonald’s

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Stroll hand in hand down Princes Street before making a sharp turn into Maccy D’s. Wait in silence together as your nuggets are prepared then get through as many as you can before talking. Try not to sit near a window.

10. Fountainpark Dance Machines

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Beat the crowds to Fountain Park and dance the night away on a mechanised dance arcade game. Aggresively hold your position until a group of teenagers start shouting at you. Bus it to Nando’s on Lothian Road afterwards if you haven’t used up all your change.

11. Portobello Sex Party

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Head to the suburbs for a private sex party where you can watch bae have sex with complete strangers. Check any surfaces before you sit down.

12. Manky Techno Night and After Party

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Not all techno nights are manky, but most are. Turn your back for one minute and bae will be having their chest rubbed with neon paint by a harlequin. Pass the time in a corner, fearing for your sanity.

13. Pack of Crisps

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Don’t let budget constraints scupper a budding romance. If you find you are spending all of your money on yourself most of the time get your sweet baby a pack of crisps.

14. Scotmid Tannoy Slowdance

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If you listen carefully you’ll find that your local Scotmid plays a variety of heartwarming ballads over their tannoy system. Invite bae for a slowdance down the aisles and a browse in the discount section.

 15. Moonlit Walk on Calton Hill

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In the words of the great Ray Charles, ‘the night time is the right time to be with the one you love.’ Share this exquisite moment with a passing flasher emerging from a hedge.

Images by Mr MPDkyzLaVladinaCharlotte KeeysbrewmookeasylocumAnosmiaRusty Clark – Heading to Quebec!((brian))forayinto35mmCabaret VoltairetawalkerHealthGaugePhotographingFairies  used under Creative Commons license.

Edinburgh Pocket Guides, Expedia

2 Apr

For the last few months I have been writing digital content for an agency in Leith.

I am sent a title and a word limit, then I write whatever I’m asked to write in whatever style or tone I feel is required.

The skill involved is copywriting, although I like to think of it as electronic tracery, and of myself as a 13th Century craftsman hanging bravely from a granite mullion.

Here is an example of the sort of thing:

Fishing Piece

You get the idea.

From mummy-blogs to cruiseship news, slow-cookers to Spanish markets, I’m busy writing the internet.

It’s fun. And the pieces are sent to some weird and wonderful places.

Expedia Pocket Guides

I was tasked last month with writing a few dozen Pocket Guides about Edinburgh for Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company.

This was an exciting project that allowed me to put years of lurking around the Scottish Capital to good effect.

Behold yon screeynshotte:

Edinburgh Pocket Guides

Visit Expedia to see more Edinburgh Pocket Guides using the site’s interactive search tool. The moral of each guide is that Edinburgh is simply a fabulous place to book a hotel.

Expedia Tollcross

Are you an Online Hive-Mind that requires a ResearchB4Type-Bot Class 1A to do your bidding?

Sorry, let me rephrase that: are you a digital agency/online publication that needs a reliable writer?

Contact me using the form below.

3 Smart Locations To Buy Edinburgh Property

10 Mar

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Edinburgh has one of the most consistently buoyant property markets in the UK. With superb prime property as well as plenty of first time buyer options and everything else in between it’s all about keeping your eyes peeled for a good deal. You can’t go too far wrong with the following locations:

Shandon

This popular residential area in the south of the city is a favourite amongst young families and second steppers. The area has a distinctive layout full of attractive cul-de-sacs, pretty green spaces and views towards the Pentland Hills. There are good transport links in the area as well as good schools including Craiglockhart Primary and George Watson’s College. Property for sale in Shandon is sought after as Edinburgh estate agents know only too well, with the best houses not staying on the market for too long.

Stockbridge

Talk to solicitors and estate agents about property in Stockbridge and you will find that the area has a fantastic reputation for quality and long-term value. While the best properties are not exactly cheap, this doesn’t stop buyers fighting tooth and nail to get their hands on them. As city properties in Edinburgh go, you won’t find many more vibrant and diverse areas than Stocky B! Like Shandon, there are many families, good schools and green areas in Stockbridge as well as a thriving buy-to-let market.

Leith

Within easy walking distance of Edinburgh city centre and with a lively sense of community, Leith has much to offer for those planning to buy Edinburgh property. Popular with young professionals and first time buyers, Leith property is also a good place to look for potential investment returns. If you are looking for value for money then look no further.

If you are buying property, selling property or need a property valuation in Edinburgh contact local solicitors and estate agents Blair Cadell. We are a long established Edinburgh legal firm with an excellent reputation built on trust and quality service.

(This is an example of the web content I do for businesses. Like Nile Rodgers I write for others to tease out and encourage their own groove. Content I do is social media/search engine friendly. I’m always keen to talk about future projects. Contact me at alasdair.peoples@gmail.com)

Rowan Alba Charity Quiz

22 Jan

This is footage of a quiz night I hosted for a homelessness charity in Edinburgh last year. Rowan Alba services in Edinburgh, Perth & Kinross and Angus reduce the chances of people becoming homeless or, where this has happened, to provide people with the ongoing care and support they need.

helen carlin
Helen Carlin
Chief Executive Officer at Rowan Alba Limited

“Alasdair has been an enormous help and support to Rowan Alba, and helped us raise over £2, 000 at two separate events. He is a skilled quiz master and compère of large and sometimes raucous groups! I have been most impressed at his delivery, and the dedication and diligence he has shown in his preparatory work, which has made for a great night, which he makes look easy!”

Rowan Alba website.

For bookings or a chat contact me via Twitter or in comments below.

With a Twist: Waldorf Astoria Magazine

14 Nov

Here is a small piece I did for Waldorf Astoria Magazine about The Caley Bar at the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian.

unforgettable cover 3When the job came up I was like “yes finally, my Hunter S Thompson Mint 400 moment”.

unforgettable cover 4I went along and spoke to the staff and tried the cocktails. It was all very nice, and there were no giant bats or anything.

unforgettable coverIt was only small but it made my Mum happy.

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The piece is now in Waldorf Astoria hotels all over the world.

Cigs, Edinburgh’s Banksy

12 Nov IMG_0478

For months I have been haunted by a latent presence on the streets of Edinburgh. Cigs.

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Viewforth/Union Canal

Not since the Caves at Lascaux has man witnessed such mesmerising treatment of bare stone, such bold purpose. In ancient Pompeii, the artisan tiling his mosaic could not have hoped for greater dexterity of hand and symmetry of line.

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Leith Walk

I have been tracking down this elusive talent for some time now. I believed initially that his base of operations was in Leith but then I witessed the scene below on a drive to North Berwick one day. Who knows his dastardly reach?

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City Bypass

Nobody knows exactly where Cigs comes from. What scant records there are show that as a young apprentice he did mottling work on the famous mural of Erich Honecker kissing Leonid Brezhnev on the Berlin Wall. Latterly he sprang up in Paris where he made the murky subway system his subterranean workshop. He also worked with Richard “Richie” Morando aka ‘Seen’ in The Bronx for a few months in 1996.

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West Bowling Green St

But it is the subversive ‘Edinburgh Series’ that Cigs is most lauded for. These surgical vignettes are to be found all over the Scottish capital, from Tollcross to Torphin, striking fear into the hearts of the city’s elite.

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Tollcross Area

Cigs is a wraith, a shadow, a Mr Hyde, a Moriarty. His lurid crest is as familiar to me as the lines on my palm. He’s in my head.

Damn you Cigs!

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West Port

Once I thought I had caught him in the act. I was walking back from a night out and took a shortcut round the back of the University. Turning down a gloomy alley I saw a hooded figure addressing a virgin wall some distance away. I took my chance and approached.

“Cigs you fiend,” I shouted, “Cigs, is it you?”

The figure twisted round gracelessly. It wasn’t Cigs. It was a drunk man vomiting whilst simultaneously trying to urinate.

“Dinny smoke mate,’ he said, before resuming his wretch.

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Leith Walk

Who are you Cigs? Are you a force for good?

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Tollcross Area

Perhaps there is a little bit of Cigs in all of us. The unending urge to make our mark, to be seen, to be remembered. But as the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus once said “Our sins are more easily remembered than our good deeds”. For Cigs the price of fame is the life of the nameless fugitive and absent visionary.

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Newhaven Road

What next for Cigs? Rumour has it that Cigs will soon be making a feature length film (working title “Exit Through The Butcher’s Shop”). And a major retrospective at The National Galleries of Scotland is also in the offing, where Cigs’ work will be shown alongside Jack Vettriano’s, among others.

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Drummond Street

If you spot any of Cigs’ work around the city do feel free to take a snap and send it to alasdair.peoples@gmail.com. If I get enough I will post the entries in another section on this site.

If you are reading this Cigs, drop me an email. I always protect my sources.

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