Athens of the North

The Edinburgh Festival officially starts on the first Sunday of August (a week today), but you wouldn't believe it based on the number of people milling around the city centre and the various pieces of artwork and advertising that seem to have appeared over night. Personally I'm in two minds about the festival, a part of me (the prominent part at the moment) is incredibly excited about how much will be happening over the next few weeks, the shows, the people, the late licenses (clubs are open till 5am), the celebrity spotting...

On the other hand is the part of me that I suspect will rear it's ugly head over the next few weeks. The part of me that is aware of the fact the city's population literally doubles for a month of the year, the part that recognises the significant rise in crime, the part that wants to hit people on the back of the head because they suddenly stop walking along Princes St to stare at the castle (some of us have places to go!)

So, in the hope it will keep me from pushing any particularly annoying tourists in front of a bus, I'm gonna try and see it from their point of view. I'm going to introduce you all to the Edinburgh Festival, and pretend to be a tourist. 

Unfortunately, not much has started yet, but to kick everything off I have a couple of photos I have taken around the town in the past week. 

I spotted this new piece of art last week on Cockburn Street, unfortunately it only lasted three days before the council removed it so I am so glad I managed to see it before it disappeared. Slightly worryingly I think the model looks slightly like one of my ex-boyfriends... This isn't the first piece of guerilla art we have had in the city this year, but it is one of the most impressive.

And, not quite guerilla art, but maybe guerilla advertising, I could not resist grabbing this photo on the mound earlier in the week. Every year the council claims it is going to reduce the number of posters and flyers found around the city, and every year they fail.

I'll be taking more photos over the next few weeks of the city at its height and showing you some of my favourite spots and events over the next month.

I hope you are all having wonderful weekends, I'm off to spend the day pretending we aren't celebrating a friend's birthday - fun!

Heart Shaped Box

It's funny how everything seems more positive when it is sunny. I wanted to thank everyone who commented on my last post, it is so easy to focus on negativity but from now on I am going to make more of an effort to look at the positive in the world, and part of that is the fantastically beautiful weather we have been having, along with all the time I am getting to spend with friends at the moment (so many birthdays!)

I think we all have our off days, the days when it all seems like a little bit much, or even just the days when someone does something particularly annoying and we need to vent, I have no problem with this, in fact venting about the little things is healthy, but I don't want to be one of those people who focuses on the negative all the time.

There are so many beautiful things going on around me at the moment that it seems sad not to focus on them instead, the sun, the friend's who are visiting, the start of the Edinburgh Festival (more on that tomorrow), my ill dog getting better, the fact I dyed my hair and it came out totally the wrong colour but I still love it....

And of course, being photo-bombed by a dog, what isn't to love?

T-Shirt: New Looks Organic Range, Shorts: Thrifted, Cardigan: Primark, Shoes: Peacocks

I'm going to be pretty busy over the next few days, so far I have had two birthdays already this week and between Sunday and Wednesday three of my closest female friends gain a year (none of them seem particularly happy about this fact either) so if there is a lull in posts or replies to comments I'm really sorry. Sometime real life has to take over from blogging. Hopefully I'll have some fun photos at the end of it though!

Sincerely Yours

Sometimes there simply isn't anything particularly positive you can say about the state of the world. This past week has felt like one of those times, my heart goes out to anyone who has been affected by the tragedy in Norway, as well as the family and friends of the talented Miss Winehouse. In the typical fashion of bad news coming in groups I've also just found out that a close family friend has been diagnosed with Huntington's Disease. All these things have made it slightly difficult for me to justify prancing around in pretty clothes taking photos of myself. 

Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the negativity and pain in the world, so much of the news seems to be reported to create fear or distrust but one news item earlier in the week really did wonders at making me feel more positive. 

Source: via Jemma on Pinterest

This is Phyllis Siegel, 77, and her new wife Connie Kopelov, 85, one of the first couples to marry under New York's new laws regarding gay marriage. I realise this isn't the most popular decision in the USA at the moment, and I am not posting this to get into any kind of argument about the morality of gay marriage, I wanted to share it because this picture, the happiness on their faces, their happiness at finally getting to official be with the person they love (the couple have been together for 23 years) genuinely moved me to tears.

In entirely unrelated news, last night I bought myself an early birthday present (I turn 24 next month)
I won't be switching over for a little while yet, I want to get myself all sorted first, decide whether I am going to stick with blogger or move on to wordpress, maybe fiddle with my layout a bit, make an 'about me' section and teach myself some snazzy new skills at the same time but at some point in the (not too far) future I will make the move. It feels very serious indeed to be taking this step, particularly when I can't really afford to, but  blogging has had a surprisingly large influence on my life in the past few months and it feels like the right thing to do. 

At the moment if you go to the site you will just be taken to an under construction Wordpress site but I think I will have a moving over ceremony of some kind, maybe even host a giveaway to celebrate. 

Happy Thursday everyone, only one more day till the weekend!

Strobes In Summer

Is it just me or do I look a little bit drunk in this photo? I was trying to look more relaxed, to move around about it my photos but to be honest I think I just look like I can't stand up straight. Even the dog agrees. 

This is one of very few items in my wardrobe that I actually planned to buy. Usually my shopping trips involve me meandering around the local charity shops picking up various things and then putting them back, even when I go for a wander along Princes St (the main shopping street in Edinburgh city centre) I don't usually have any idea of what I actually want. 

I spotted this dress in the Sunday Time's Style supplement at the beginning of last summer and immediately fell in love, I had never owned a maxi dress before and I was determined that I would get this one. Unfortunately there isn't a Primark in Edinburgh (not yet anyway), so I called round all my friends in various cities in Scotland and begged them to go look in their local stores with the words 'it's a big and long and stripy and I need it'. 

Unfortunately no one could help. 

It took a trip down to London (not just to get the dress) to add it to my wardrobe. 

So worth it. I absolutely love this dress, and apparently so does everyone else, the first time I wore it a caricaturist approached me in the street and offered to draw me for free because he loved it so much. You have to love the people you meet in Edinburgh over the festival. 

How do you guys shop? Do you plan or just go for it? Do you have any clothes that have been a complete mission to get, but know they were worth it in the end? How about the other way round?

I hope you're all having an amazing weekend! I'm off to enjoy the sun while it lasts.

Sea Song

Thank you all for your awesome comments on my last post! It is amazing, and relieving, to know that I am not the only girl in her mid twenties who can't say goodbye to her childhood. The film was amazing! I won't give any of it away just in case anyone hasn't seen it, but I will say I used a lot of my tissues during the scene with Snape - Alan Rickman was perfect!

These photos were taken a couple of weekends ago when it was still summer in Scotland, since then we seem to have moved steadily towards autumn, today is decidedly grey and windy. You might recognise the pier I am standing on from back in this post, and my brief foray into reviewing photoshop tutorials. I couldn't resist doing a quick outfit photo on it when we went back. Although the idea of multiple photos of my outfit seemed to be beyond my temporary photographers grasp.

I've been feeling a bit off the past couple of days, I had a doctors appointment on Tuesday which involved local anaesthetic and some butterfly stitches, unfortunately when I checked on it this morning the skin under the stitches had become really raw so I think I am going to have to take a trip back and get it sorted. I've never had an allergic reaction to anything before so it kind of surprised me.

Dress: International, Tights: M&S, Shoes: Primark

Hopefully I should have some more regular posts for you coming up, particularly when my arm heals and it is slightly less painful to type. I had so many plans for the past couple of days, including a post for Bloggers Do It Better this month but I've just had a crazy amount to do.

Hope you are all having fantastic weeks, and feeling a lot better than I am!

By The River

This is one of my secret places. I have them hidden all across the city, places I can hide to ride out whatever is happening in the real world. It isn't so much that these places are quiet, or that I can generally be alone in them, it's the feeling of safety they give me. 

I used to have big problems with anxiety, for a while I was frequently too scared to leave the house, and when I did I would exert so much energy trying to prevent myself from panicking I would be exhausted by the end of it. That was when I started making safe places. Places that didn't make me panic, places that I could hide out to weather whatever horrible thought was going through my head. 

It has been over six months since I last had a full blown panic attack but I still plan my routes through town around my safe places. It makes me feel better to know if things ever get bad again, if I ever feel that horrible sensation of being out of control again I can go to one of these places and centre myself, before I have to face the terror of the 'real' world. 
T-shirt: Topshop, Dress worn as skirt; Swapped, Belt & Shoes: Primark

I'm totally in love with these shoes, they were in my last post as well, but they are just so comfortable, and I love the detail on them. I hate buying new shoes, finding something comfortable is always so hard. I bought the most beautiful pair of crimson moccasins from Peacocks last week but they are just too painful to wear :( I'm so gutted. Maybe I will go try and swap them for a different pair... 

I hope you are all having a wonderful week. I'm hoping to get out and do some sunbathing later today. Scotland finally seems to have realised that it is Summer. 

On an unrelated note, I am so unbelievably excited about the final Harry Potter film coming out tonight! I've got friends coming to stay and we are going to go to a late showing on Saturday night and I honestly cannot wait. I might have a whole post dedicated to my excitement tomorrow. Squeee! 

Candy Stripes

It's fine Scottish weather we're having. The rain is falling straight down and kind of to the side, like.

Finally, after some amazing storms, some horrible rain and days were generally, no one wanted to leave the house, the sun is out again! I could dance with happiness.

Despite the bad weather the past week has actually been lots of fun. One of my best friends got back after a month in Sudan on Friday and it was wonderful to see him back safe and sound, it was equally wonderful to see someone so happy. We shared a bottle (maybe more) of wine and spent the evening talking about how wonderful it is to have so much freedom. Just the simple act of sitting with a friend, gossiping about boys, getting a little bit squiffy made us feel so incredibly lucky.

Unfortunately my incredibly fun Friday night followed on to a 'what was I thinking' Saturday, travelling through to Stirling for my uncle's birthday. We had an amazing time, but by the end of the day I was more than ready to go to sleep.

Anyway, I think I am going to take advantage of the amazing weather and go take some photos with the dogs. I hope you all are having amazing weeks!

Dyeing For Something Different

I love colouring my hair. It sounds silly but I find it really reassuring to know, if nothing else, my hair generally looks pretty cool. Which is why summer drives me mad. Usually I can get away with leaving around six weeks between dye jobs, at the moment though that has dropped to three. So, as inspiration for when I next need to do the job (I might be able to put it off for about a week) I took these photos to remind me of how pretty I feel when it looks good.

I haven't been the only person changing their hair in the house though. After Edinburgh's less than stellar start to the summer we put off cutting the dogs hair till as late as possible. We had to do it sometime though, so when the sun got good last week I took them down to get beautified and I could not resist getting before and after photos of Bertie.

Isn't he handsome?

I hope you are all having amazing weeks, I've been busy procrastinating as always, watching Harry Potter films (just over a week to go!) and taking long walks in the rain.

Widget Gidgets

I don't know if any of you guys read Leigh-Ann's blog Freckled Nest, but she has been celebrating her fifth Blog-iversary over there for the past few weeks and is being super generous while she is doing it. Not only has she been doing free advertising for the month for her readers, but last Monday she went on a widget making frenzy and I was lucky enough to get one!

Isn't it beautiful? I can't quite work out how to make a 'grab a button' bit in my sidebar but I'm hoping I will work it out soon... I've also decided, rather than just have some of my favourite reads down the side, I am going to create a page with widgets for all my daily reads, and I would love to include you guys too!

If you already have a widget let me know in the comments here and I will come hunt it down, or if you would just like me to put a link I can do that as well. Anything you want.

On an unrelated note, I have managed to completely forget my Disquis password, and I am have been having some serious problems with my email (anyone else have problems using Hotmail with Chrome, or is it just me?) so I haven't been able to reply to any of your lovely comments, but hopefully I will get it sorted soon.

About Me: June 2011

Grab the book closest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4 and write the sentence here: "Gimme five minutes," said Jefferson. "I need to urinate."

Stretch your arms out as far as you can. What is there? On my left there is a chair, on my right another chair with a dog curled up in it.

What was the last thing you watched on tv? My younger brother is watching Top Gear at the moment. 

When did you last step outside? What were you doing? I walked the dogs late last night, but haven't been out yet today. 

Before you started this survey, what did you look at? I checked my Bloglovin' and wondered whether I should be doing something July 4th inspired for the blog. 

With the exception of the computer, what else can you hear? Top Gear, two dogs snoring lightly, and some sort of drill coming from outside. 

What are you wearing? I'm in my cleaning clothes; strappy t-shirt, jogging bottoms, no shoes, messy hair. 

Did you dream last night? I had a very odd dream about trying to call my ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend answering the phone. I had a minor suspicion when he got together with someone so quickly after we split up that there had been some, um, crossover, so in my dream I asked her. 

When did you last laugh? This morning I had a great chat with a friend from London, his methods of convincing me to come down and visit are always fun. 

What is on the walls of the room you are in? I'm in the kitchen, so we have paint (yellow), cupboards (wood) and a couple of nice paintings. 

Seen anything weird lately? What counts are weird? I saw a girl yesterday whose sunburn was a darker pink than her hair, that amused me, and yesterday I saw a dog stick her head underwater to try and find a stick, that was pretty funny too. 

What is the last film you saw? I have no idea, I'm more of a tv series person than a film person. Maybe the Green Hornet, I watched that last week, 

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy? A holiday and my own domain, I would love to actually have my own little corner of the internet. 

Do you like to dance? Hells yeah, I have a bad habit of dancing in public while listening to my ipod. If you see a girl boogie-ing her way around Edinburgh city center, it is probably me. 

Sunshine, Lollypop...

Summer has the amazing ability to totally distract me from any and all obligations. The moment the sun comes out all I can think about is sitting in the sun with a book/beer. It's terrible but true. On the plus side I have loads of lovely photos, at least as soon as I can be bothered fixing them...
Top: H&M, Cardigan: Primark, Dress worn as skirt: Primark, Shoes: H&M, Belt:Thrifted
My tights look ridiculously wrinkly, don't they?

I've been feeling quite introspective the past few weeks, a lot of the friends I have made in the past few years have been leaving to either move back home or start jobs in far away areas of the globe so I have been reconnected with a lot of my Edinburgh based friends who I grew up with. I totally adore them all, it is just strange to see what every one has done since our teenage years together. It is forcing me to look within myself and see how I have changed, how I have 'grown-up' I suppose. 

I think I am doing alright...

Happy Monday everyone!