My Edinburgh Fringe Experience – Short & Sweet This Year

In August Edinburgh is taken over by the Fringe festival, the International Festival, the Jazz & Blues festival ooh lots of festivals. I’m sure most people know that Edinburgh hosts one of the biggest arts and comedy festivals in the world over the few weeks in August. Lots of people will have been, it is now one of Edinburgh-ers favourite facts to let people know that the population of our small city doubles in size during August. It is busy, busy, busy – Edinburgh is often busy but never like somewhere like London except perhaps during this month where you start to try to work out the easiest routes to places avoiding the Royal Mile (which is difficult as I live on one side and work on the other).

I work at the University of Edinburgh which hosts many venues, in fact each year they seem to squirrel more in – at some point I am sure that we will find a play being performed in the toilet in the office ๐Ÿ™‚ Over the next couple of years McEwan Hall is being refurbished and changed to increase its usage, it should be wonderful when completed and McEwan Hall was ever so slightly falling down! Anyway that side note explains why all the tented festival venues have moved into the gardens near our office along with the shows happening in one of the lecture theatre and the other tents in the Meadows. The noise from shows, singers practising and drummers warming up is great and the food trucks are helping me put on a layer of winter fat.

I tend to leave the city for a week each August simply to keep my head and frankly some money – I won’t lie the festivals are expensive once you start adding them up. I always make sure to see a couple of shows and I do love circus acrobatic shows so I jumped at the chance to see Circa this year. My mates have seen them before but this was my first show and it was entitled Close Up. I thoroughly enjoyed it although I am immediately biased once I see someone doing the Chinese pole work! It was great, really engaging and I gasped at least twenty times. If you get a chance to see them I would recommend them.

There other show I saw was one I have seen for three years running and I would rate the show really highly – Austentatious. An improvised Jane Austen comedy play. Each day they ask the audience to give titles of “lost” Austen novels and pick one to improvise. I have laughed so hard my sides have hurt at each of their shows I have seen, they are really talented performers.

Obviously there are thousands of shows to choose from and if you do come to Edinburgh I recommend reading the reviews pasted up at Bristo Square and online at the main Edinburgh Fringe site plus Broadway Baby. If you do come please ignore the harassed locals – we do love the festival just sometimes when you are off to a work meeting getting asked for the billionth time to see a free comedy show gets a little tiring ๐Ÿ™‚

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My Edinburgh, Part 2: Godiva’s Christmas Party

Empty mulled wine cup

Last Wednesday night I had my first mulled wine and mince pie of the festive season. Myself and a couple of friends headed along to the boutique Godiva in Edinburgh for their Christmas party. We joined the other happy late-night shoppers for a drink, mince pie and the opportunity to pick up some presents for 15% off. In typical IHR style I had just bought presents from here on the Monday but it was a lovely atmosphere and the staff are so friendly and sweet that it was a nice way to spend an evening window shopping (some heavy hints have been dropped to Mr IHR). Godiva is one of my favorite shops in Edinburgh. I only discovered it a year ago and since then it has become one of the few places I still buy clothes “in the flesh” rather than online. Continue reading “My Edinburgh, Part 2: Godiva’s Christmas Party”

The 20 Day Sustainable Fashion Challenge – Online Shopping & Treat Yourself!

I already do a fair amount of online shopping and have no issue with it although I am haphazard – not really bothering to check sizing nor really thinking about what suits me. See jumpsuit/playsuit-gate and the two identical skirts I have only one of which fits (and I am currently wearing – inspired by this outfit post of the beautiful owl and accordion blog).

Let’s face it, this probably isn’t the most sustainable method of shopping although has provided my family and friends with some comedy moments. It doesn’t matter if it is 2nd hand or ethical if it doesn’t fit and/or I will never wear it. Continue reading “The 20 Day Sustainable Fashion Challenge – Online Shopping & Treat Yourself!”

Team Bambi Re-enter the Fray – Or How I Started Running Again

A couple of weeks back I ran my first “race” for 15 months. I used the quotes around the word race as it was much more relaxed and fun than you might think when you hear the word race. I hadn’t really trained and really didn’t want to run, I haven’t enjoyed running for the last few months – it has been a chore and I have done everything I can to avoid it.

Trainers on grass
My trainers are awwfy clean for a runner ๐Ÿ™‚

I took part in the Roadblock Run in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. It is a 10k route that takes you up a trail path under the iconic crags then drops you down to the road only for you to run up hill again. We lucked out with a gorgeous blue-sky day and it was apparent really quickly that my long sleeved top under my vest was not needed so it was Team Bambi vests all the way.

Running Around Arthur's Seat
Literally Team Bambi’s back(s)

The Roadblock Run is for the Chest, Heart, Stroke Scotland charity and myself and the other Team Bambi girls have run it a few times now, although last time I was running and taking pictures ๐Ÿ™‚ As well as the natural obstacles there are a fair few man made ones with two bounce castles to negotiate, tunnels, hurdles, a foam pit and even a moving van to jump out of – it was a shame as there didn’t seem to be as many obstacles as previous years but they were still fun.

Team bambi crawling through tunnels
Timing is everything for these photos!

I was super chuffed to run most of it, I would say around 7.5km, and I have been back running short distances of 3 or 4 miles ever since. I don’t know if it was running with my running buddies, the sunshine, the obstacles or the awesome costumes of some of the other entrants but that race did rekindle my enjoyment of running. Up next is the Survival of the Fittest 10k in two weeks, it will be harder but I hope to run most of it and more importantly enjoy it all.

Me at the end of run sitting on grass
Do I look chuffed or what?

Thanks to Team Bambi and the crew for the pictures!

My Edinburgh, Part 1 – Hibiscus Flower

On the blog today, a different kind of post. A wee interview with the owner of Hibiscus Flower, an ethical and sustainable clothing shop in Edinburgh.
outside of the hibiscus flower shop

jewellery and dresses in hibiscus flower
I love a good pattern!

It is a lovely, welcoming shop, and has introduced me to some new brands along with allowing me to try on some of the People Tree items that I adore – although I enjoy online shopping there is something about trying items on that still appeals. Hibiscus Flower always feels carefully stocked to me and there is inevitably a few items I try on, combine that with the beautiful jewellery she stocks and it is dangerous!

image of interior of hibiscus flower shop
So many nice dresses and tops

Can you tell the shop is a favourite of mine? I have to ration my visits as I rarely leave without something. If you are ever in Edinburgh I highly recommend a visit, it is the pretty Stockbridge area of the city – a hefty hill to climb to get back into the city centre though but it is Edinburgh and there is usually a hill to climb ๐Ÿ™‚ Over to the lovely Sarah Burns.

  • Can you tell us a little about the shop?
  • Hibiscus Flower is a boutique specialising in Fair Trade and ethically sourced ladies clothes and accessories-ย we stock well known brands like Komodo and People Tree but also some lesser known brands like Aura Que and Sketch.ย 
  • Did you decide to stock only ethical and sustainable brands from the outset? If so why?
  • Yes- After taking part in a voluntary project in Tanzania i became much more interested in Fair Trade and working conditions.ย  At that time I had a regular job but trying to find clothes was very difficult and I had to mainly shop online and finding work appropriate clothes was particularly difficult- I thought it would be great to have a shop that just sold fair trade and ethical clothing- a couple years down the line I was made redundant and it was the opportunity to go ahead and open the shop!
  • Do you have a particular type of customer in mind when buying and if you do what are they like?
  • I do think about the type of customer when buying and now that we have regulars I like to think about what they like whether it be the fabric or a particular style- for example our customers like sleeves and pockets on dressesย  so when I see dresses like this I will pick them!ย  However there isn’t a typical Hibiscus Flower customer- which gives great breadth to stock gorgeous pieces andย  not stick to one look!
  • Have you seen any changes in the brands you stock over the years?
  • All the brands have changed I think they have developed their look-Fair Trade fashion did have a bad name too hippyish a bit studenty and I think that a lot of the clothes have become a bit sleekerย  and more wearable. There are also lots more work appropriate clothes and thereย are also more modern fabrics being used like tencel, hemp and bamboo as brands try to move away from cotton.ย 
  • How much does your personal style influence your buying?
  • Well I don’t know if I have a particular style- I am a bit of a chameleon sometimes I like to look smart in a dress other times I just want to wear jeans and a t-shirt- however I do tend to pick things I like and I definitely have picked brands to stock because I have coveted things from their collections. I try to buy things that I like as I don’t think you can sell things that you don’t!
  • Do you have any particular favourite ethical brands?
  • People Tree is probably my favourite and was prior to opening the shop- partly because they are the pioneer of Fair Trade Fashion and their whole ethos is to put the suppliers and artisans that produce their clothes at the fore, but I love all the brands that I stock and have made loads of great discoveries of brands since having the shop like Sketch and Rapanui! We don’t stock them but I also love Monkee Genes and Toms shoes!
  • Is there a particular item that you love from the Autumn/Winter ranges you are stocking?
  • There are a lot of amazing pieces this season and I already have a a gorgeous dress from Skunk Funk with a digital iris print, from People Tree I have got some great woven tops including aย  cute spotty shirt that will be great dressed up or down.
Laura Ashley for People Tree jacket from Hibiscus Flower
My latest purchase, in the sale. I seem to have developed a fascination with jackets recently ๐Ÿ™‚

printed dresses at hibiscus flower shop

Their website is at http://www.hibiscusflower.co.uk/

I aim to do a wee series of posts on businesses and places that I like in Edinburgh, let me know if there is any particular kind of places that you would like to hear about.