Hottest weekend of the year and the first Nocturne criterium (circuit race) in the Grassmarket was a huge success. David Millar was in attendance and won by a large gap after the 1 hour and 5 laps of 1.2kms. The pace difference between the elites and the next level was incredible - the difference between doing it for a living and fitting in training around a busy schedule. I was marshalling on Candlemaker row and it was somewhat surreal to watch the pros descend the beginning of my commute home over the rugged terrain which falls away from the museum. The cobbles up Victoria street must have been a shock for one or two of them as well. Now they know.
Posted by stupot at 02:57 PM Sunday 31 May
Felt like summer today as I sat by the National Gallery drawing in the sun. Bagpipers passed me on occasion, on their way to work (the tourists). I saw the Turner exhibition - some of the watercolours reminding me of Will's and Joao's work. All three very adept. I was intrigued that Turner looked to struggle with people a bit! (made me feel better) His large, hazy land / seascapes were a sight to behold though - the reason he's a Master. Must try harder with colour.
Posted by stupot at 02:57 PM Friday 29 May
Long weekend in Britain - I headed off to Pittenweem in Fife with a friend on Friday and had a very relaxing time. Beer and food watching the sun go down.
The wee villages of the East Neuk of Fife, leading around to the comparable hustle and bustle of St. Andrew's, are very pretty indeed. If you go to Legoland in Denmark they choose to portray Scotland by a huge expanse of water (with oil rig) and one of these villages with mountains behind. A literal perspective looking west.
Posted by stupot at 08:07 PM Sunday 24 May
May in the Capital
Weather's been quite mixed recently but yesterday was calm with cats meandering below the ever-changing-but-generally-blue sky. Small birds fleeted about and the wind blew through the trees before drying laundry. It was a good Sunday.
Posted by stupot at 08:06 PM Monday 18 May
It wasn't my first time but I was quite blown away by the Lake District during my recent visit. It was perfect - like out a film - The dry stone walls of farmland and buildings were stunning. I visited the guy I was best man to when I lived in Osaka, who was there with wife and parents. No cycling but we went to the Pencil museum (of Rexel Derwent). They even had hollowed out pencils with maps of Germany for troops in the war who were behind enemy lines - James Bond-tastic.
Posted by stupot at 06:20 PM Saturday 16 May
A Tale of Two Bikes
When my reliable, seven year old commuter bike developed a crack the size of the Nile in the frame, I was as sick as a parrot until I realised I had an excuse to buy a new bike. Immediately I toyed with fixed gears, couriers, foldables - everything was possible. Typically, however, I knew that I wanted something unfashionable - I don't want to be able to pull off a fixed and they're just not comfy enough.
Hankering after something classic and practical I stumbled upon Pashley's 'Guv'nor' - and got one sent up from my local shop's Manchester store to test ride. It was a head turner as soon as it was rolled out - a British icon - but a beast - heavy and tricky to steer - but still one of the most beautiful bikes I've ever seen. Even the staff were excited. Fortunately the £825 price tag was enough to dissuade me as much as a reliable friend who reminded me of the nightmare a 1935 race bike would be in city traffic.
In the Loop
I wouldn't usually take time out to blog about a film (The Damned United would have come first this spring) but it is encouraging that the only film worth going to see last night was a British one (save O Horten and Is Anybody There?). I'm mainly documenting the posters which are Obama take-off's and done very well indeed. I really want to get a set for the house. Peter Capaldi's swearing was the funniest cinema moment for a long time - the audience were constantly laughing. Creativity in the language was in abundance with it hard to choose a favourite phrase. You kind of had to be there - so go there!
Posted by stupot at 07:50 PM Sunday 10 May
Alex made a rare appearance from New York and Gregor was handy in Livi, so we met at mine, exchanging the usual hard luck stories of how out of shape we all were. We swayed with a few routes as we got changed and drank coffee but heading into the wind won and so we headed out to Linlithgow - a fairly quiet road after getting out of town. The clouds gave in eventually but just in time for a tea stop.
The meandering road from Linlithgow to Bathgate is a corker - a real crowd pleaser - it will definitely be part of my regular itinerary. With the wind on our tails we chain-ganged it back to Haymarket just in time for lunch. Great catch up with the boys.
Posted by stupot at 09:08 PM Tuesday 5 May
I met a friend the other night but had 40 minutes to kill so it was nice to get some fresh air and draw this fire escape. It's kind of a nothing scene but there's definitely something aesthetically pleasing about fire escapes. Be it the repetition or intricate black metalwork versus sandstone.
Half way through the drawing, the sun appeared and created the longest shadows from the stairs. I also learned these doors were for people's flats - you would never have guessed. Meanwhile in the background all those great lane experiences were happening - great smells wafting from restaurants, an occasional siren fleetingly passing - mostly silence interrupted by office heels clicking to the pub. Later, bizarrely, we ended up right behind where i was drawing at an exhibition opening.
Posted by stupot at 09:06 PM Tuesday 5 May