New Zealand

I knew that mocha at 9pm was a bad idea but maybe good in that i’ll get a post done at last.
This one’s all about the photos

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Back after 10 years.

The baby that was born in 1999 is now taller than me. I think because i’m not surrounded by children i don’t feel the passage of time the same.
Since i’ve been here my niece is a daily reminder of the passing of years.
I feel a new urgency.

I’d forgotten how i love the bright, white sunshine here.

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And the cafés…

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Next week I fly forward to my past with a reunion after 11 years. The last time I saw this boy it was a freezing January at Glasgow airport and I promised I’d be back soon. I never thought it would take so long!

Harris Twee[d]

Harris Twee

sometimes twee but not anymore

Back in October I travelled to Glasgow and the very hip ‘n’ cool Hillhead Bookclub for a wee (not twee ;)) Harris Tweed Fashion show with Ms Diggory Brown and her gorgeous ladies kilts (you can see some great shots of her designs at the Diggory Brown facebook page).

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The world famous Orb

The fashion show was organised by Harris Tweed Hebrides (who have a new shop in Stornoway – check out that  Annabel Coat in the window!)

It was very dark in the venue so my photos of the models are kinda rubbish (diggory has some on her facebook), I decided to focus on the smaller details instead.

retro-tastic

retro-tastic

nice period features if you can get them

nice period features if you can get them

There was double excitment when the firemen turned up (although they didn’t look too happy to be there).  There was no fire, but by that time the party seemed to be over and the most interesting item there was this lampshade

uhuh, its a lampshade

uhuh, its a lampshade

Judy R Clark was there with her famous frock-coats and fab drawings

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Christopher Kane AW 10/11 (C)

Christopher Kane AW 10/11 (C)

Ms Diggory has also been in American Vogue with this wee number she knocked up for Christopher Kane at London Fashion week AW 10/11 –  but she’s very humble about such things.   I personally would be shouting it from the roof tops.

Overall, lots of lovely HT stuff on the market these days, from DMs to lampshades (not that one up there).  Check out The Harris Tweed Authority website for lots of information, they ain’t called Authority for nothing!

On the make [Hebrides:1]

Home for the holidays.

I have a lot of friends based in the Hebrides who are on the make.

I’ve starting out today with Rarebird - Ms Paulette makes, and sells, the most beautifully crafted handbags and accessories all over the world.  The Japanese particularly love her bright colours.  Recently we worked with her making a wee promo film, here are some pics from that day.

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buttons

stornoway

Actually, you can tell from the sunshine that this was in the summer.  So, not really that recently!

Next up – Diggory Brown and some Harris Twee. Yes, Twee. Not Tweed.

An afternoon at madam butterfly’s country cottage

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I’m helping my friend this week build a site for her shop and as I looked through some photos I’d taken the last few times I visited, I kinda couldn’t wait to see them on her page and decided to give everyone a sneak peak.

Madam Butterfly is a shop in North Berwick, a cute seaside town not far from Edinburgh.  Its long been were the well-heeled Edinburghers had their seaside cottages mansions!

Madam Butterfly resides in a beautiful little cottage, slap bang in the middle of a field somewhere in East Lothian – my satnav doesn’t get met there, quite often she has to come and find me as i drive down and around endless country lanes.   On winter mornings, with low lying fog and bare, icey trees its like something out of a fairytale.

I was at  Madam Butts recently, as she got the place ready for an Indian lunch with friends.

home sweet home

so many treasures

Bubbles are mandatory at Madam Butterfly’s

the living room

laying the table

I’m going again this weekend, a few hours in the shop, fire on, friends round, wine open, chicken in the oven.  sigh.  i can’t wait.

Dim Sum Friday

The Civil Wars at O2 Academy | Glasgow

So it was W’s birthday on Friday and I managed to surprise her with some guest passes to see The Civil Wars.  Who I’ve had a major crush on since we saw them first up at Celtic Connections Big Top in Skye, earlier in the year and they were fab!  However, it looks like we may have caught one of their last gigs for a while, they were due to tour into next year but today according to their facebook update it appears they may be having a civil war of their own.  Shame, but they have cancelled the rest of their tour due to “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition“.  I did think at the gig that it was odd they didn’t interact much with the crowd or each other while on stage – and the crowd in Glasgow LOVED them.  They were going nuts.  Joy kept shaking her head in disbelief for the first few songs.  Check them out: www.civilwars.com   I’m sad for them, but grateful we got to see them in Glasgow (and hustle our way into the balcony where all 5’2″ girls need to be).

Before we went to the gig we had a few birthday drinks in The Dome, on George Street (Edinburgh) – who’s christmas decorations have to be seen to be believed:

THE Christmas Tree | photo by Andrew Ness | with my phone

This tree towers over the bar area, its quite something.  A little (!?) over the top, but one can’t help but love it (right?).  Bring on the Christmas markets and the gluhweine!!

Lets talk food.

Dim Sum. YUM!

I love dim sum and it always brings back memories of eating waaaaay too much with my friend Patricia, on Dim Sum Wednesdays in George Town (Penang) when I went to visit her there.

Since then, Dim Sum have found their way to Scotland.  We headed to Opium on Hope Street (Glasgow).  I love it - Dark interior - cute girls in black dresses -  Great food – Cocktails - what’s there not to like…

Cocktail time!

It was kinda too dark for my camera but you get the idea:

Dim Sum Yum

All in I had a pretty good day out considering it wasn’t even my birthday…

Winter has arrived in Scotland

I came home one night earlier in the week after a lovely evening in Edinburgh, eating sushi and hanging with ma crafty buddies (more on those topics later), so I’m home on the last train – off to bed.

NB: I’m not always eating seafood.

I get upstairs and find that its 6 degrees in my bedroom – that’s celsius (6 frickin’ degrees!!).  Isn’t that illegal or something?  I really do not like the cold and as I got into bed wearing my hillwalking socks and jumper and jogging pants (sexy huh?) I couldn’t stop my pissed-off mind jumping off to the warmer climates I’ve enjoyed in the past, and asking (not for the first time) why the heck didnt I stay there?:

(c) Russ

Australia/New Zealand:  Was there anything really wrong with the guy I could have married and forever more lived in my shorts and vest?  Right now, I can’t help but think I should have tried harder at that one…

California: How come I was born in the Outer Hebrides and not SoCal?  Life is soooooo unfair!!

Bordeaux

France: God, I Love France.

How come everyone doesn’t live in France?  Here we are (W and I) out after dark and it’s still warm.  You just dont get after-dark warmth in Scotland, ever.

(we’ll talk more on France later)

Israel:  I know, I know -but you can’t knock the weather – especially in the spring…

Jordan perhaps?  On safer ground but unlikely I would have stayed, despite the efforts of a local I met outside Petra…

Sigh.  I’m not really one for wishing myself away to other places, or I’m not anymore.  So, as I’m in Scotland, its cold, its not going to get much better anytime soon – best just dust off The Tweeds, go out buy myself some (sexy) thermal underwear, grab a couple of hot water bottles on the way to bed (or maybe time for a hottie of another kind…) time to embrace the winter look:  Harris Tweed, pale skin (thumbs up for the scottish complexion), red lips, my fab turquoise Italian leather gloves and plenty red wine to warm the blood.

I’ll post some pics of The Tweeds and the red wine soon.  Gosh.  We have so much to talk about!

ps when the sun does shine in Scotland, its the best.  And The Isle of Harris is the best of the best:

We’ll talk handstands later too, if you’d like.  xx

Day 1

vintage kinghorn

Because you have to start somewhere (and this is the 3rd time I’ve typed this…)

On the weekend my friend Lucy crossed water to see me, so we took a drive up the Fife coast (around the Fife coast?) and ended up on the lovely pier in Kinghorn.   We met a lovely man, tinkering away in his shed, him and his cat (and a bucket of crabs).  we chatted, admired his car, got some local history and after a wee jaunt along the beach, went back to buy some crabs off him.  just before the chinese man came and swiped the lot!

Delighted, we sped off home, got some chips, boiled the crabs, cracked open the pink bubbles and had a feast.  All the more lovely for its unexpectedness(?)

the kind of wellies a crab man should have

mr and mrs crab

pink bubbles and crabs made for each other

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