Friday, 1 February 2013

2013: A slow start...

And so 2013 started with a bang, as is traditional in Edinburgh. I wasn't doing anything much so observed the fireworks from Arthur's Seat.


On New Year's Day this year the ennui was dispelled by a dice-loaded set of New Year's Games, a selection of events at 13 different venues around town. I wandered around a few of them.

Hogmanay games

The next event in the calendar was Electric Tales: New Year Love-in, the first ET since last summer due to the host, Siân Bevan being out of the country. This featured the talents of Bob Graham, Quentin Reynolds, Rachel McCrum, Poppy La Pilule and Jojo Sutherland.

Electric Tales - New Year Love-in

I've been a fan of Ben Aaronovitch since he wrote some of the most noteworthy Dr Who novels in the 1989-2005 interregnum (hush, I'm allowed to be a nerd). His recent novels have been excellent so I was delighted to see he was going to be in Edinburgh.

Ben Aaronovitch

Billy Liar was about to go on tour with his new EP and needed some images for the cover, so we spent an evening in the Forest trying to get the right look.

Billy Liar

As part of their 50th birthday celebrations the Traverse Theatre ran a competition to select 50 playwrights to work with over 2013, the Traverse 50. In tandem with this the Edinburgh-based stock library Writer Pictures ran a similar competition to find 50 photographers to work with these writers. I had originally applied to this but after discussions with WP we decided it would be more interesting if I was to cover what was going on over the year. And so I went along to meet them (not all 50, as some live very far away) at their first workshop...

Traverse 50 first meeting

Last year Illicit Ink ran a happy poetry event called Happy Verse Day, which was generally deemed a success. And so there was a sequel, Happy Verse Day II, featuring Katherine Tarka, James Spence, Sean Martin, Tom Moore, Sophia Walker, Elspeth Murray, Eliza Langland, Morag Edwards, Emily Dodd and Alec Beattie.

Illicit Ink: Happy Verse Day II

Back to Rally & Broad for The Hangover Special, continuing the trend of getting busier every month. This time featuring Seafieldroad, J L Williams, Rebecca Green, Alan Bissett, Ryan Van Winkle and Kite and the Crane.

Rally & Broad: The Hangover Special

First time back at Inspace for what seemed like forever! Future Shorts brought the usual selection of quirky short films, this time preceded by the Edinburgh Film Music Orchestra accompanying some Charlie Chaplin.

Future Shorts: Winter season

And again at Inspace for This Happened... with talks by Gianluca Zaffiro, Varun Nair, Oleg Suran and Shenando Stals.

This happened...

My friend Nic felt the need to get some nice portraits in his fancy new suit, so we did that...


I discovered that there was a Game Jam to be happening just down the road, so had to investigate. Sadly, it turned out that many of the expected attendees had gone to the Glasgow event instead, leaving Edinburgh a bit quiet.

Scottish Game Jam Edinburgh 2013

Matt Collings had a weekend residency at Inspace which I went along to peek at.

Matt Collings residency

And then it was time for the first public event in the Traverse 50 calendar, a performance of the 50 winning plays. This was such a success that they had to put on a second night.

Traverse Fifty - 50 plays

On the last Tuesday of every month the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature team host a Literary Salon, for people to meet and - where relevant - network. I rarely publicise images of these events and over time have just added new ones to the same huge set. This was the first of the year though, so I'll give it a mention.

Lit Salon

The StAnza poetry festival launched their 2013 programme in the National Library of Scotland, which was something interesting to do on a Wednesday.

StAnza 2013 programme launch

And to end the long, long month on a high note, the Edinburgh International Science Festival had their programme launch and followed it up with an early LateLab at Inspace, with talks on patterns by Madeleine Shepherd and Julia Collins, Heather Angel, DJ Dave House and Dr Keith Skene.

LateLab preview

Thank goodness January is over!