Edinburgh August 2011I’ve escaped for a few days to see my Little Bro and his family in Edinburgh.  This really is a stunning City in the sunshine.. actually it’s a stunning City any time of year but don’t tell everyone!

An evening soiree with my brother’s friends as a belated celebration of his 40th birthday.  Great company, lots of laughs and a fair bit of vino!  As the house is full I’m camping in with the girls.  Great fun… except when they decide that 3am is time to play!  To keep them quiet and in the hope that if we don’t leave our room we may get back to sleep, we opt for photo time!  Awww (my head hurts and I’m tired!)

Edinburgh August 20113 Edinburgh Festival is on and we’ve got a number of shows that we’re going to see.  Some as a family, some just me and the girls and some for just Iola and I.

The following day and with a rucksack full of picnic goodies, Iola and I head into town.  I’m so impressed that this young girl is able, and wanting, to stop and sit and take in street shows along the way.  We stop to watch comedians, jugglers, musicians and people doing I’m not quite sure what.   Eventually we make it to the top of the Royal Mile and go to an organised ‘bubble’ show.  Who’d have thought that children could be contained within one enormous fairy liquid bubble?  Or that the bubbles could have straight edges and sharp corners?  Amazing show, lots of fun and kept us all enthralled.

Heading back down the Royal Mile we stopped for a food break and sat down in front of where a show was beginning to start.  We were at the front as the crowd behind us grew.  Noone mentioned any age restriction nor thought it possible on a public thoroughfare.  Anyway after a while I’m shuffling around in my seat and aware that others are taking small people away from the show.  Adult content surely covers ‘violent’ reenactment?  I distract Iola with lots of goodies and we have little chats and point out other things in the distance.  We’re stuck at the front of the crowd with no obvious way out!  After a several minutes of discomfort Iola announces ‘quite loudly’ and with a big grin on her face – “I’m not sure this is appropriate for me, Auntie Anna”!  Haha the crowd parts and we depart!

On the way back home we stop off at other shows (child-friendly).  We see juggling chainsaws (where Iola announces that ‘Dad could do that’!).  Stop off to buy Iola a longed for pair of flipflops and one final stop at a balloon creator… a monkey for a monkey.

Edinburgh August 20112Celeste is the proud owner of a new scooter for her birthday…

Edinburgh August 20115And borrows a tea-cosy as a hat too!

As part of Celeste’s birthday party, my brother and I exhaust ourselves blowing up balloons for a super cool birthday treat.

Edinburgh August 20114So so much fun and definitely the bestest birthday party household ever!

Another visit to the Edinburgh Festival with Iola.  Hmmm the caricature give away that we were trotting around Edinburgh with crazy ‘pretties’ in our hair?   (I’ve since had the picture copied and we both have it up in our rooms).

IMG_6455Finally just a lovely collage of pictures of Iola and I fooling around.

Edinburgh August 20111

Trip to Nice, France

British Airways are at fault again.  They sent me an email suggesting a weekend away in Nice… so I booked it.  Errr did anyone else go?

My decision though was also governed by the fact that there’s an Opera House in Nice that I’ve not visited.. and my ‘List for Living’ suggests I should travel and see Opera.  Rude not to go then.

Literally a couple of days to explore.

NiceBeautiful architecture.

Nice3A lovely market in the Old Town with some peaceful cafes to sit, watch and write.

Nice4A wonderfully central hotel.

Nice2Loved these crazy colour changing budda lights.

NiceElektraStunning Opera House.

A wonderful short break in an amazing City.  Lots of things I love:  Architecture; seafront; sunshine; cafes and bars; markets; delicious food; fantastic bubbles; warm and friendly people and, of course, opera.

I was excited to see a ‘new’ opera.  Elektra by Richard Strauss.  I throroughly enjoyed the musical aspect but the stage and costumes were way too modern for me.  I’m a bit of an old stick in the mud.  I like opera sung in the language it’s written.  I like the stage and costumes to be authentic.  When I closed my eyes, I really loved Elektra.  But watching the modern interpretation clashed with what I was hearing… for me.   Always a great experience to try something new though.

I spent hours loitering in friendly cafes and bars watching the world go by and also plenty of time to write.  Dinner in the company of a delightful Italian gentleman whilst sitting outside in the warm balmy evenings in restaurants in the Old Square.



Girlie weekend in Venice

Hehehe Millie and I headed off to Venice for 3 nights escape.  How fab is it to be able to hang out in a beautiful city with your friend and just chill… no husband, family, appointments or cancer to get in the way of a blissful, cultural and rich weekend away.

IMG_2024Venice was stunning and down every alleyway a new adventure.  We walked and walked and explored and found fantastic little treats throughout.

IMG_2023Oh and our hotel was so gorgeous, comfortable and out of the way that we managed to sleep undisturbed until late – quite a treat for Millie.