Book Review: One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery. Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Publisher: Black Swan Publishing *No spoilers. Set in Edinburgh during the height of the Edinburgh Festival, this is a mystery where various characters are intertwined and nested together in a complex and entertaining way. It begins with a road-rage incident that is witnessed in the CowContinue reading “Book Review: One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson”

Book Review: The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris

Genre: Non-fiction, medical history, medicine. Publisher: Allen Lane, Penguin Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 * No Spoilers This is an electrifying book about the history of surgery from the point of view of one of its pioneers, Joseph Lister. A humble and unassuming Quaker, Lister managed to rise up through the ranks of Edinburgh’sContinue reading “Book Review: The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris”

Travel: A Survival Guide to Edinburgh Slang and Scots Words

If you ever go to Edinburgh and find yourself in one of its countless excellent pubs, you may want to strike up a conversation with one of the grave looking, old guys at the bar drinking pints. If so, you will want to be able to hold a conversation while also not making a fannyContinue reading “Travel: A Survival Guide to Edinburgh Slang and Scots Words”

Travel: Walks along the Water of Leith, Edinburgh

The Polish Bear and I went on a lot of adventures together while living in Edinburgh. One of our favourite walking trails was the devastatingly beautiful Water of Leith. This natural body of water crosses over the Forth and Clyde Canal, which I’ve written about extensively before. The Water of Leith snakes its way throughContinue reading “Travel: Walks along the Water of Leith, Edinburgh”

Travel: Luminous Edinburgh during Christmas time lights the way through winter 

Edinburgh is bewitching at all times of year but arguably the most captivating time is before and during Christmas. From early December the area in Princes Gardens is turned into an enchanted frozen amphitheatre. The faerie wonderland buzzing with a German Christmas market and overflowing with handmade, wooden and delicate trinkets, along with carnival ridesContinue reading “Travel: Luminous Edinburgh during Christmas time lights the way through winter “

Travel: A weekend trip to the medieval town of Linlithgow: History through the mists of time to today

The beautiful burgh of Linlithgow charmed the pants off me when I went there a few years ago. The town sits astride the Forth and Clyde Canal (which I’ve written on extensively) which is around half way between Edinburgh and Glasgow. There’s a train link on Scotrail which goes between cities that takes you there, andContinue reading “Travel: A weekend trip to the medieval town of Linlithgow: History through the mists of time to today”

History: The history of the Forth and Clyde Canal

Above is a map of the first part of the canal which stretches from Lochrin Basin to Falkirk Wheel over a distance of 32 miles. The remainder of the canal after that goes to Glasgow and turns into the Clyde River. See more detail.    Originally opened in 1789, the Forth and Clyde Canal crossedContinue reading “History: The history of the Forth and Clyde Canal”

Cycling along Edinburgh’s canal: Lochrin Basin to Almond Acqueduct

See more detail here This is one of my favourite scenic routes through the leafy, pastoral and mountainous outer suburbs of Edinburgh and East Lothian heading out into the countryside. This epic shared pedestrian and cycling path goes all the way from Edinburgh to Glasgow (56km one way) alongside the Forth and Clyde Canal. WithContinue reading “Cycling along Edinburgh’s canal: Lochrin Basin to Almond Acqueduct”

Travel: Five Brilliant Off the Beaten Track Restaurants Around Edinburgh

From writing for several years for the Edinburgh Food and Drink Guide I have gathered together some personal favourites of the Athens of the North. Here are a selection of Edinburgh restaurants that require some pounding of pavement often through beautiful scenery to get there. These eateries are worthy of recommendation because of their beautiful ambience,Continue reading “Travel: Five Brilliant Off the Beaten Track Restaurants Around Edinburgh”