Sunday, October 24, 2010


My photos from my trip to Edinburgh are up on my sporadic Flickr account.

I went up with my Mum, and was too lazy to plan anything. So I crowdsourced my holiday. I know! HOW MODERN.

Friends, colleagues and Twitter all came up with some ace suggestions, including:

Delicious breakfast at Urban Angel (try the porridge with heather honey).

The beautiful Museum of Scotland - we only managed two floors as it's packed with stuff, doesn't preach in its explanations and is housed in some stunning buildings.

Excellent food at The Outsider, with outstanding views of the castle.

This is why the internet is a Good Thing: I would never have come across some of these without the help of people I know and do not know.

We also really loved checking out the fine prints and paper goods at The Red Door Gallery and the mighty good food at Valvona & Crolla. And a cosy glass of mid-afternoon wine in the cellar of Whighams, which was conveniently close to our hotel. Staggering distance, some might say.

Brilliant city. Felt like it had real attitude, but a hugely welcoming one. So much to do, but also exactly the kind of place to settle down with a coffee and watch the world go by. Oh yes. I will be going back.

AND on top of all this, I got to meet the very lovely GreatSheElephant. We had coffee, like proper people and eveything. And she knows where to find the finest ground beans in the City. It was brilliant to properly meet the person behind the blog. We nattered away merrily.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hard as.

(Well something had to shift Ginger, Sporty and the other ladies off the top spot. They were beginning to get on my nerves a touch.)

So. This week, for the first time in almost twenty five years, I had to cut my nails. All ten of them.

I was a bit rusty. It took a few goes. And I bet I'm not the only one who visibly winces every time those clipper things ping bits of your keratin plates off and into the dark recesses behind the toilet seat.

You see, I've been biting my nails since I was six. They've more or less been my main source of protein during that time. Seriously. Recycling or what? I've often bitten them so low they bleed. Or hang. Or hurt because I've done that thing where you bite a tiny bit off the end but then pull that up to peel a wee thin layer of nail stuff off the front right down to the root, and when I've pulled it off a weird slip of it still remains underneath the eponychium (thank you, Wikipedia). Or ripped off surrounding bits of skin. Eeeeeech! Sorry.

Nervous tic, I suppose. They've definitely always suffered more when I'm stressed or worried. It's quite disgusting, really. In moments of panic, I've had half the fingers of one hand wodged into my frantically chewing gob. Ur.

And even when I have managed to proudly garden up three or four, so they at least have some white at the tips (usually under threat or bribery from my gran), they've been so flimsy and thin they break really easily. Which is disheartening. So I gave up trying. I even got to quite like the taste of that stuff you could paint on to make them taste yucky. Pavlovian response or what.

As a consequence of all this, I've always found blokes with good, solid, well kept but not overly fancy nails strangely attractive..

But then, while I was on holiday a few weeks ago, I just stopped.

Just like that.

Without even trying or thinking about it. All ten fingers. In the past I've always allowed myself the thumbs or forefingers as sacrifices to try and keep my mouth away from the others.

These are strange times.

And they are quite strong. Only one broke, and it grew back really quickly.

Which means I've been able to discover something; nails rock! No, really. I know most of you already know this, but you can use them for loads of really useful things.


- opening cans and tins that have ring pulls, without the aid of nearby teaspoons
- scratching bits of you
- picking at stuff (accidentally gave myself a nosebleed...)
- scraping off stuff
- doing that tapping your nails thing when you're bored or thinking like they do in films.

They're brilliant! Rev! Va! Lation!

Then yesterday, I realised that I've started pulling out individual facial hairs instead of biting my nails.


In other news; I'm thinking of setting up shop again with a new blog, amended identity and general fresh start. Lots has been happening lately I need to write about. Watch this space. I AIN'T DEAD!