Instagrammers Anonymous: Hello 2013

So, uhm, it’s 2013. Anyone know what happened to 2012? It seemed to pass quite quickly…

2013 may be set to be a slightly quieter year than 2012 – although that said I’ve a couple of exciting things lined up, including a little trip to the States in September for a good friend’s wedding – but I think we can all agree that’s probably because 2012 was something of a vintage year.

Here to see out the old, and usher in the new is the New Year edition of Instagrammers Anonymous:

Edinburgh is quite big in the New Year (or Hogmanay) stakes, and this year was to be extra special because it was the 20th anniversary of the first major street party. I’m not entirely sure what happened in 92/3 to warrant such a party, but 20 years on it’s still going strong. One of the big highlights each year is the torchlight procession that weaves its fiery way through  the streets of the Old Town ending in a light show and firework display on Calton Hill. I’d realised that I’d never actually been before, so this year I made a last-minute decision to go along and see what all the fuss was about.20130103-114830.jpg

Being the hard-working individual that I am I was in the office in between Christmas and New Year [insert noises of pity here]. One of the upsides to this – aside from the cake – was that I got to see the spectacular sunset on the 31st from one of the highest points in the New Town. This was what we saw looking out over Charlotte Square.20130103-114823.jpg

And finally, New Year just wouldn’t be the same without a healthy does of fireworks. We quite like firing rockets and the like off historic monuments in this town, and New Year is no different. After Sunday night’s show on Calton Hill it was the turn of the Castle to bring in 2013 with a big bang.20130103-114838.jpg

All the best for the coming year, and here’s hoping it’s everything you wish it to be and more.

Cr

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Instagrammers Anonymous: Christmas Cake and All the Wrappings

Did you know that the other day was Christmas Day? Yes? Thought as much, I suppose that means we can skip the introduction and just assume we all got presents then ate and drank a little lot more than is probably good for us.

But Christmas time also means that the end of the year is coming up very soon, making this the last Instagrammers Anonymous of the year! Sad times indeed.

You know how sometimes the strangest of things make you smile? Well, that happened to me the other day when I discovered Christmas Jumper wrapping paper. Possibly the most unnecessary thing this Christmas, but amazing none-the-less.Christmas Jumper Wrapping Paper

Sticking with the Christmas theme, here’s something I did the other day. After a couple of months of baking and feeding, I finally decorated the Christmas cake on Christmas Eve. After years of penguins and parcels, this year it was high time the turn of gingerbread men.Christmas Cake

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas, whatever you did, and are now looking forward to the new year. See you in 2013!

Cr

Instagrammers Anonymous: Christmas Lights and Excitement

Guess what! It’s almost Christmas!!!!

Yes, the festive season is about to come to its turkey-stuffed climax. I’m now at the point that I begin to get very excitable, and even the inevitable supermarket crush when I go to do the Christmas food shopping seems bearable. Although I’m yet to wrap any presents (I have bought them, but I did forget to buy the paper…), but I’m sure my mad (w)rapping skillz can only be improved by mulled wine or Pimm’s, right?

Anyway, to continue the festive mood and celebrate the fact that the Mayans really just needed to go out and buy a new calendar (I see them as the ‘extreme meerkat‘ sort), I thought I would ignore the lashing rain outside and go for a Instagrammers Anonymous special all about Christmas lights.

One of my favourite things that we do in Edinburgh is stringing little lights around all of the trees round Princes Street gardens and St Andrews Square. At this time of year, empty trees can look a bit glum, so illuminating them adds a certain sparkle.The trees in St Andrews Square

There are – as there always seems to be – building and roadworks in the centre of town. But this year the company have got into the spirit and even decorated the big tower crane that’s sitting just off Princes Street. Maybe even a firework or two off it at New Year?A light-up crane?

And finally, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree. This is the tree in St Andrews Square – whoever thought that a red tree would look so good?The Christmas tree in St Andrews Square

However you spend your Christmas (or indeed if you don’t celebrate it) I hope you have an absolutely fantastic time.

Merry Christmas!

Craig

Instagrammers Anonymous: Moving Closer To Christmas

And so this is Christmas – or so the song goes – and as if to confirm it there was a light scattering of snow on Edinburgh Castle this morning (I’m being uncharacteristically organised and writing this on Thursday). But at the same time, I’ve found myself questioning quite a few times where on earth December has gone. I’ve not even had any mulled wine yet this year – so that’s not even a potential excuse for loosing a few days/weeks.20121213-143400.jpg

I guess the biggest reason for the festive season’s disappearance is that I moved house last weekend. Yes, packed up lock, stock and most of the barrel and decanted across town. So whilst tidying, packing and unpacking have sapped most of my time, I can confirm that life is back on track and I can once again think only about all things festive!20121213-143332.jpg

Talking of unneccessary festiveness, another completely unnecessary trip to a well-know, tax-avoiding coffee company happened this week. But it has a snowman on the cup, so I’ve totally justified it to myself as being festive. In the branch across the road from the office, they have, however, learnt my name. And what size of drink I have. And what type of drink I have. And that I don’t want cream on top. Come January, I think it might be time for a change…20121213-143343.jpg

And finally this week, since it’s Christmas we’re going to have an extended edition of Instagrammers Anonymous!

It’s the office party today (Friday)! Yes, that awkward time of the year when everyone tries not to get too drunk, but inevitably someone has one too many and photocopies their backside. We’re trying to counter that this year by going out for a nice meal, but so as not to be too dull, we’re also having a Christmas jumper competition! Here’s my entry, and yes, the nose and scarf do stick out…20121213-143350.jpg

And if one extra wasn’t enough, here’s a second. Hamilton and Inches have my favourite festive display of the year. Not for all the jewelery on display and not for the little trains they have going round each window, but for the fact that in one of them there’s also a little piece of track on which a tram that can go nowhere is sitting. This subtle, festive dig at the city is by far my favourite thing I’ve seen this Christmas; good work H&I!Tram in Hamilton & Inches Christmas display, Edinburgh

I’m off to find my hangover tea now, in preparation for Saturday morning. Have a great weekend.

Cr

Instagrammers Anonymous: Tied to the Kitchen & Boxes

Whilst the weather outside isn’t frightening it is a touch on the bloody freezing side. Monday’s ice managed to partially melt by Thursday it was back this morning with a vengeance; the number of Christmas trees is also rising almost exponentially. As they say in the song: it’s winter time, in the city.

Although whilst I have encountered my fair share of the ice whilst walking the dog, I have spent a lot of this week in my warm kitchen, going on various baking adventures. So here is this week’s quick round up of festive fever – Instagrammers Anonymous.

Last weekend I went up to Perthshire and took lots of photos of the frost. I also took advantage of Historic Scotland’s offer of a free trip to Edinburgh Castle.Edinburgh Castle from the Esplanade

I bit the bullet and finally made good on my pledge to attempt to make macarons. Sure, they weren’t even in the slightest bit successful, however, the newly-branded dark chocolate and almond bites taste lovely, and go really well with the white ganache. This is what they looked like, before they didn’t quite rise in the oven.Chocolate macaron ready to go into the oven

And finally this week I have the excuse for not writing a post for Monday.The key to my new flat!

Yes, this is my new front door key! I’m (finally) moving house this weekend and consequently don’t think I’ll have much time for anything that doesn’t involve lots of cardboard boxes. On the plus side, my new flat is less than two minutes walk from a cheese shop; that can surely only be a good thing.

Enjoy the weekend!

Cr