Monday, August 31, 2009

the whole city seems to have quietened down.

from the library windows and the deathly silence, the grey clouds loom over the entire city, as far as i can see.
walking past george square, the hullabaloo has died down, all that is left are a few quiet old shacks, halfway dismantled.
arthur's seat is for once empty of tourists.

and maybe on royal mile, the performers are packing up.
everyone is going home.
after all, the festival is over.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

the military tattoo

as we surged into the area before the castle, searching for our seats, a small band of about ten smartly dressed men entertained - the police band? as we passed by one of the exits which they were standing near to, it suddenly struck me that i'm 'up close and personal' to one of the biggest international performance in the world :) the performers felt so close i felt like i could just run out and touch them (before getting arrested and dragged away by the security people HAHA). i didn't of course x.x


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

omg. i haven't been blogging. what if... what if i forget... this exhilarating week!

saturday. the world-famous edinburgh military tattoo. the excitement is amazing. just cos it's a world-famous thing and cos i'm attending it (i know i'm a bimbo x.x) and to be honest, i didn't know much about it (though i've seen pictures of bagpipe bands and stuff and i've seen the stands when i visited the castle after the event x.x)

firstly the queue. royal mile has been really crowded these days, but this is unbelievable. a boy shuffling behind me mutters: mom, i've heard of a traffic jam, but this? humans? if there were a step in front of me, i doubt i'd have seen it. not to mention i was juggling my bag, my subway sandwiches in one hand and the subway cookies in the other and considering whether to take my camera out and capture the magnificent queue.

we saw the entrance to the castle but the guy 'strangely' directed us to the left, and just as we were wondering, we saw the queue that wound down shandwick terrace (it's a bloody long terrace in case u were wondering) and so we joined the queue, subway in the mouth looking spectacularly unglam, and the rest of the 'early' people in the queue ogling at you as if you were some exhibit.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

somehow it doesn't feel exciting anymore.

just walking around a few venues today. the pleasance and the udderbelly (which is a cute upside down purple cow) which are actually quite a few venues in themselves. pleasance courtyard, pleasance cabaret bar, udderbelly pastures, udderbelly hullaballoo.. went to the gilded balloon. for all its hype about being THE place for comedy.. it still looks like boring old teviot! gilded balloon? maybe not. the name conjures fantasy of silver trimmings and floating dreams.. but it's just boring old teviot plus a banner x.x

maybe it's cos we didn't go for a show today, so it was just rather aimless.

there was a massive downpour at around six? my umbrella was tortured by the wind and my clothes were totally soaked through. but it was exciting running in the rain, trying not to get wet perhaps? i don't know why. the pellets of icy cold rain hitting you. high heels clicking on cobbled stones. running madly and looking fabulously unglamorous in that glamourous satin skirt. still holding the umbrella though it doesn't seem to work. the moment i got home, i changed to something dry, and as i stepped out of my bedroom again, the sun was up and shining and it seemed like it never rained after all x.x

scottish weather.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

boys from brazil (+a girl)

are SO hot.

vibrant, energetic, intense. it's like watching aggressive ballet dancers. i can't describe it. graceful and yet strong. exciting and yet slow. you've got to watch it.
capoeira is amazing.

feel like picking it up someday. i won't mind a bit of salsa too.

and to top it all off, this spectacular showcase of sweaty, muscular male bodies takes place in St George West's Church. Behind the stereos lay the pipe organs. Above the stage throbbing with flashing lights lay the ornate carvings of cherubs and flowers. As we all sit where the congregation would, we clapped our hands wildly and bobbed to the rhythmic music, celebrating this wonderful display from

the boys from brazil


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

the banana sessions @ the pink bus

jazz? blues?
a flute, a tuba, a guitar, bongo drums and a singer with a tambourine + steve the monkey.
the bus sways in rhythm to the stamping of the feet, the clapping of hands and the fervour of the songs. humorous, witty songs narrated by an enigmatic voice. the tuba bell hits the little teddy bear dangling above every so often. the flautist with his soft ginger hair and black plastic glasses. the guitarist with a beard and moustache and sideburns. the singer. the singer with white-blonde hair in a black tank top with a black skirt with roses, wearing a black beaded necklace. the drummer who hides in a corner and faces the walls as if playing to them. the little decorations in the bus sways precariously

(outside, some drunkards yell something unintelligible)

i bought their CD - a keepsake that might tug back memories of the guitarist's earnest smile, or the tuba player's sturdy beat, something more than the still image of a photograph with the flautist missing.

the pink bus.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Umm.. Can someone tell me why it's 'wet in the North, sunny in the South'? Or why it's so cold in Edinburgh and so warm in London?

Monday, August 17, 2009

tourists overflowing, spilling over royal mile, trickling into back alleys

a taster concert at the urban garden. stairs that wind down from Adam House. 'through a door and down the stairs again, then through the maze'. a hastily set up temporary maze of metal fences barely concealed by green drapery - an urban garden. paths strewn with rough stones that end in abrupt dead-ends, till one comes out into the centre and a group of girls in pink bob to the music, singing their hearts out for the little kids in their prams, the little girl in a pink dress running around, for the next band waiting in line for their performance - the trombonist nervously checking his slide, for the elderly couple in front of us, and the Asian couple that just walked through the maze.

Hull's Swing Band came up next. two trumpeters, a young uncomfortable guy and an old seasoned man; two trombonists, one hidden behind the showy saxes and the other heartily addressing the crowd; two saxophonists, the tenor driving the music on and the alto doggedly follows on and the single drummer. through the music stands, one could read 'jazz classics for swing ensembles'. they don't smile, except the trombonist who addressed the crowd and the tenor sax who tried so hard to cheer the alto up. the quality of the music is stunning for this motley crew - the piercing clarity of the top notes from the gold trumpet and the careless flair in that saxophone vibrato. but they couldn't get the crowd jumping or swaying or dancing along. it wasn't easy to get into the mood.

the pink bus. next to the urban garden. an artistic project towed 400 miles from Reading, West of London, constructed by two (now anonymous) final year Art students who collected brics and bracs from random shops to decorate 'the pink bus'. one boards the bus through the steps covered with CDs, grabs on to the railings carefully wrapped up in ancient scores, peers through the windows all covered up with thematic displays. one full of glass bottles, one full of cuddly soft toys. the front seats are smothered with pink cushions with girly touches hanging from above, enveloped by posters of loving couples with mushy slogans. across, one sees a sturdy fireplace, whose mantelpiece is covered with pamphlets and leaflets and notes. up the stairs we go, noting the gramaphone records plastering the walls, into yet another area. on top of our heads, red christmas decorations dangle happily. far off at the back of the bus lies half a mattress, covered with pink sheets, pink cushions and a giant smiling teddy bear. at the bed post, there's a sign that says 'look above and laugh'. if one lies on the bed and look. one sees mirrors of all sorts, and your curious reflection peering back at you. laughs? yet another patch of the ceiling is covered with extravagant lamps of all sorts. some oriental, some victorian, none familiar.

we're going back to the pink bus.

a stroll along the congested royal mile. one sees little stages perhaps 2m by 1m, framed by a shoddy curtain, housing earnest actors acting out snippets of their plays, performers, singers in kilts. at every other corner, one sees the usual street stunt performers, the clowns, juggling knives and fire torches, swallowing swords, balancing precariously on high ladders or wobbly platforms and saying the most ridiculous things to tease a laugh from the audience. out comes the hat, in goes the money and the crowd disperses.

i don't think words (or hastily taken photos) can do justice to the sights and sounds that assaulted me during that 3? hours i spent out in the city i've been walking around for the past 3 years. i wish everyone could see this.
dragging my luggage across the cobbled stones

there was a man in a black suit with a top hat perched upon a bicycle seat playing on his piano balanced atop bicycle wheels. i don't know what you call it - a portable piano concert? there he was, in the breezy (so the pilot said as we got off the plane) chilly Edinburgh summer, playing like a maestro, except his concert hall was the noisy school grounds, and his audience, whoever cared to stop and listen.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

just thought it might be helpful to translate the 'scots' poem i put up last week?week before that? anyway, here's my best attempt -

I've surely had a good week out in Singapore,
And seen some things I'd never seen at home in Scunnerlaw(Scotland?!!)
If you care for piano works, (be chooser or be beggar),
You'll never hear them better played than by Joanna MacGregor
The next night I was so jet-lagged I thought that I might faint
Instead I saw a Latvian play, that was just like drying paint.
"The Cherry Orchard" next I seen, and it was awfully grand,
It had been directed by famous Lin Zhaohua
The final sight that thrilled my eyes was World Famous's "Crackers",
But then I had to go and sleep, for by then I was tired
The venues for the festival, down by the waterfront
I'd have to ssay, with hand on heart, that they were brilliant.
So now I'm home, with sights and sounds amongst the best seen yet
And all my friends can say to me is "(either) Who got lucky? (or) What's your problem you little bugger" (i'm sorry i'm really bad at this x.x)
I didn't care, it's been a time I'll mind for everymore,
I'll always treasure memories of bonnie (:D) Singapore
frivolous thoughts.

omg it's 22 degrees in Edin. it's finally warm. and i'll finally get to enjoy it. blissss~

brought cheki clothes-shopping today. was a little embarrassing trying to fit her in, especially since half the clothes didn't fit, but i got used to estimating towards the end. before realising... i actually have clothes that fit cheki at home. so we didn't buy anything. poor cheki. though i think i ought to get something spongy to protect her.

i love cheki <3

felt like an aunty today. wearing shirts and shorts. carrying 2 big bags of shoes with my big bag full of shopping cos i didn't want to get more plastic bags - sometimes the shopkeeper pack your stuff so naturally, so hastily that they get annoyed that you want to give them back their plastic bags - and walking over to HANG TEN (yea i know) and buying 3for$10 tops. i had ugly hair, hastily done up in a pony tail in an attempt to tame it. i was wearing specs. no make-up. totally unappealing. and tzes suddenly msged: xin is so sexy *grinss* if only she knew.

saw a cute notebook today. it's titled 'little princess' in chinese. and it's full of drawings. in place of the blank pages after pages, there were cute drawings and little messages on every page - didn't really look closely enough but i believe every page is quite different. isn't it exciting? wouldn't u want to get to the end of the book asap so u can read and see everything :) was half-tempted to get it. it was at popular strange enough. popular. where you buy boring but cheap stationery. it was kinda like an 'artbox' thing yes about half the price. but i wouldn't know what to write in it. and i think what i really wanted wasn't the book, but to design something like that =D

REALLY irrelevantly, while i was walking around popular (looking for paper x.x) i was just thinking: there are architects (for the exterior of buildings); there are civil engineers (for the structure of buildings); there are interior designers (for the interior of buildings); i kind of want to be an office-desk-designer. i can like totally imagine myself owning an office desk - cosy corner- in STB and refurbishing it every so often and offering to help others create their personalised office desk. who knows? having a personalised office desk may inspire creativity and improve productivity. maybe we can have like office-desk-design competitions. HAHAHAHAHA!

ok sorry. very off today~
but i had a good time shopping by myself.

though i would like some opinions on what clothes to get for cheki :(
poor cheki is in a weird green adidas thing that hangs weirdly. yea it's weird.

(i did many things)

i saw an old man playing the dizi at the underpass from the MRT to AMK Hub. it's quite a common sight/sound except he was playing classical music. and i don't mean Chinese Orchestra classical; i mean Symphonic Orchestra classical. it was amazing. i recognized the piece immediately, though I couldn't remember who it was by - Wagner? Rachmaninoff? it was something dramatic and intensely familiar, threatening to bring back fierce memories of the Esplanade. and it was just an old man, playing his dizi, at the underpass. i was going to ask him where he learnt it, if he knew what he was playing, or just put some money in his tin can... but i was swept away by the surging post-office-hours crowd.

on my way back home, i was thinking: maybe it's kinda symbolic (or maybe i'm being over-sensitive). i was thinking about what nic said to me that night at dempsey. when i thoughtlessly lamented how much i've missed playing the clarinet, how much i've missed performing, and he sort of reminded me that it's not impossible to. and it just struck me. i have just been comfortably, and maybe a little wistfully been swept along by the tide of life, never thinking of resisting...

it would have been easy to cut across the crowd and talk to the old man.

i can't let that passion die.