Lion&Sloth Zeitgeist 2014

It has been a brilliant year! Looking back, I just can’t believe how many fantastic things I got to take part in, see and do.

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Adventures!

I have gone on MANY adventures – including but not limited to: exploring Iceland, returning to California (twice!, including a trip to Catalina Island), staying at Loch Fyne with pals, Pitlochry with family, and loads of little day trips throughout the year with my handsome wingman.

We also did/saw a lot of cool stuff, including:

We had a bumper year of birthdays, weddings, and babies. Including: my 30th, S’s dad’s 60th; weddings for the Chao’s, the Taylor-Lee’s, the Wallace’s, the Cunningham’s and the Brown’s! It was a great pleasure to meet the newest wee Nisbet and the newest baby Moffat (who JUST made it in the last days of 2014)!

Make / Eat

We feasted like kings! Both homemade:

And on the town:

Top meal: has to be our dine on coins dinner at Chop & Ale house. But tied second, new Edinburgh branch of Burger meats Bun, and the lovely Old Chain Pier in Newhaven. #omnomnom

Sadness food news of 2014: our beloved Illegal Jack’s closing down. =( What will we do??! I’m heartbroken.

Animals!

It’s been a bumper animal year, with our new pet chickens arriving in July, a christmas pet visitor (Boo, the cat!), Icelandic ponies, seals at Inchcolm, wild stag sightings in Perth, and multiple trips to our ultra-local Edinburgh Zoo:

Top: We especially liked Edinburgh Zoo Nights, which we went to with S’s family. The pitchers of Pimm’s and the penguin sightings were plentiful.

Honorable mention: So many brilliant animal sightings on our CA trip – dolphins, whales, garibaldi (orange fish), herons, rattlesnakes, and a hairy caterpillar breeding ground!

Entertainment

Boardgames – Dominion again probably. Agricola a close second!
Videogames – Professor Layton (completed Azran Legacy); S big into Hearthstone amongst many, many others.
FestivalSonar in Iceland was amazing!
Book – Sinéad Morrissey’s Parallax (and everything else she’s written!!), or David Orr’s Beautiful & pointless (crit) or perhaps listening to Tina Fey’s Bossypants audiobook which was stellar.
Music review – Will post asap on my (now completed!) 30hours of karaoke, and include a ‘true’ round-up of my top songs of 2014 and life. But in the meantime, I especially enjoyed these 2014 mashups and top-tunes lists:

PBs & Level ups

#nobooze2014 at the Whisky Experience!

Definitely completing my 30-by-30 challenges has to be on there.

Sticking to my only resolution from last year – #nobooze2014 – and going the entire year without drinking at ALL! It’s probably the way forward for me. Definitely feel better physically, have more time, make better choices, and can eat my calories in cakes instead of beer!

My adult women’s basketball team won Lothian league and the local cup!

And, we bought a HOUSE! #grownups

Resolutions for 2015

I’m not really big into resolutions, but really enjoyed my 30-by-30 last year as a means of giving me some focus and fun things to look forward to. Here’s hoping this will do the same! Roll on 2015!

  1. Go to Jupiter Artland – on my doorstep but never been!
  2. Go to Steptoe’s yard
  3. Go trampolining
  4. See a murmuration (of starlings)
  5. Invest more time in writing
  6. Buy a bike & try to cycle to work
  7. Finish more (craft) projects
  8. Do more animal-related activities
  9. Eat fruit/veg from our garden (aka successfully grow something in our garden!)
  10. ‘Become Aiko Greig’ aka ‘Go full Greig’ aka ‘Go Greig or Go Home’ (ie. change my name finally on all my official documents/passports/residence card! Life admin!)

Feeling nostalgic? Zeitgeist 2013

Plus! Watch this space for epic Aiko-news forthcoming (embargoed until today!).

Be the First to Like This: LAUNCH event

thumbPoetry news! A few of my poems have been selected for publication in the new Be the First to Like This anthology, showcasing ‘promising young Scottish poets’. Very excited to say that In Mobius, How the Beasts Survive for So Long, and Immortal Jellyfish will be included. ‘In Mobius’ and ‘How the Beasts Survive’ first appeared in Where Rockets Burn Through, and ‘Immortal Jellyfish’ is a new one!

So chuffed to say my poems will be sitting amongst those from many great poets, including: William Letford, Ryan Van Winkle, JL Williams, McGuire, Russell Jones, Rachel McCrum… actually really too many to list here. It’s a really great list and I’m honored to be included. Honoured even.

A call to action!BTFTLT front

If you’re Edinburgh-local, please come and celebrate the launch of Be the First to Like This with me on Thursday, 25th September.

Festivities will start at 6:30pm at the Scottish Poetry Library.

There’ll be readings from some of the poets, plus booze and amazing chat.

Also, check the Be the First to Like This website for more content including recordings of readings (one from me to come!).

Addendum: There was a HUGE photoshoot spread in the Herald for BTFTLT! It’s so great to see press for poetry!:

Roll on 2011!

Things moseying along round here as usual. Flat hunting (to buy!) and wedding planning (venue sorted!). Still laying low as I get more life-admin sorted.
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Firstly, I’d forgotten to mention I was featured in the Scottish Poetry Library newsletter, talking about what it’s like to be a volunteer at the SPL and how I got involved. It’s a great, friendly place to volunteer. You get to learn the basics about being a library assistant, plus all you can drink tea and the pick of the library to read while you spend the afternoon amongst the poems.  Read more by picking up your free copy of the newsletter (before they run out!) from the SPL.
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Next up – a huge thanks to lovely photographer-to-the-stars Chris Scott for including me in his Author Portraits Scotland project! He snapped my fancy author photo at the Botanics in Edinburgh. Please go check out his work and the other lovely portraits he’s been taking of Edinburgh’s literati.
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Lastly, I’ve been lucky enough to have work included in an excellent project, Poetry Beyond Text, which will be exhibiting at the Scottish Poetry Library (5 Crichton’s Close, Edinburgh EH8 8DT) starting 13th May. The exhibition will feature work from the Poetry Whispers (which I have a couple pieces in), although they haven’t finalised which pieces will be on display.
The opening of the exhibition at the Scottish Poetry Library will be from 5-7pm on the 13th May. Please RSVP at reception@spl.org.uk

Info from the SPL newsletter:

POETRY BEYOND TEXT
14.05.11 – 15.07.11
An exhibition of visual-poetic artworks, showing the results of a two-year research project exploring our aesthetic and cognitive responses to concrete poetry, artists’ books, poetic prints, poem photography, text film, and digital poetry.

Also there will be a special event for the Poetry Whispers (which I shall be attending!):

POETRY WHISPERS
6pm Wednesday 15.06.11
Poetry Whispers is a creative experiment, run over the last two years, in which local artists and poets have responded to each other’s work, creating imaginative reiterations in their own medium.  The works that have resulted shed light on the relationship between visual and textual reception and creativity, and form fascinating documents of how ideas, subjects and moods can be interpreted and transmitted. Join us to see and experience these works, and hear the artists and poets discuss the process of working across media.

Hope to see you there! Thanks for reading! Oh wait! Lastly and not publication/project-related, I’ve been taking the most BRILLIANT bookbinding class with Isabelle Ting at Owl&Lion. I HIGHLY recommend this class to anyone interested in bookbinding. The beginners class I’m on is in 5 sessions (5 weeks); I’m in the middle of it just now and we’ve already completed two lovely, beautiful hand-sewn hand-bound hardback books with the prospect of making 6 more books in the next couple weeks! It’s low-key and relaxed, with 8 or so people in the class, so you get a lot of individual attention as well as time to work on your projects.  It just feels so good to learn a new skill and make something with my hands during the week, and to have an actual finished product to take away at the end of a lesson. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended it. Great value for money. More info on future classes (filling up fast!) at Owl&Lion website.