Friday, 27 September 2013


“An evening of tremendous contrast” is how it was billed, and BOY, they weren’t freaking kidding. From the choice of a shot of black Sambucca or a flute of pink Champagne when we arrived, the scene was set for a game of two very different halves.

First up Christopher Hampson’s brutal Rite of Spring. I was not prepared.

I should have been though, because I was chatting with Ann from Scottish Ballet before curtain up (while shamelessly gorging on giant pretzels) and she warned me that Rite would most likely make me feel “sick, but in a good way.” I don’t know about the good way bit, but I definitely felt a bit queasy by the end.

I don’t mind admitting that the story was, at first, confusing. Two brothers awaken and seem to frolic around, spending a lot of time chasing each other and stopping to pray or perform rituals or “rites.” From the outset it’s clear that one brother is obviously more in control than the other, but then all of a sudden something changes, and some serious shit goes down.

 Hampson’s set is like a concave padded cell, cut off disturbingly half way up the wall creating an uncomfortably low ceiling so as to heighten the claustrophobia. The lack of scenery and context makes the brutal shift in atmosphere all the more disturbing. Things between the brothers get violent. Terrifying. Tragic. And Stravinsky’s relentless score only adds to the tension.

It’s a beautiful but painful assault on the senses. There are some horrible scenes that make it hard to watch – at times it felt to me like the younger brother was less a human and more a tortured animal in a cage – but it’s lifted into enjoyment by incredible choreography. If ever you forget the huge physical and emotional toll ballet takes, Rite will remind you.

After all that, with the audience still reeling, it was time for Elite Syncopations – something just about as far away from the previous billing as I think it’s possible to get.

In Kenneth MacMillan’s romp, the whole company appear on stage in a kind of 1900s music hall, decked out in psychedelic body-skimming costumes by designer Ian Spurling, each one hand-painted and patterned with arrows, or stars and stripes, buttons or bows. The effect is clown like, but just on this side of ridiculous.

A real 12-piece band also appears on stage in the background, similarly outfitted, playing ragtime classics by Scott Joplin and his contemporaries, and it’s a welcome change which really brings the music hall atmosphere to life. There’s a party happening on stage and I want to go.

There was no “story” as such this time, but plenty of LOL moments as the colourful characters flirted with each other and competed for the limelight, with the breathtaking skill of making it all look so bloomin easy.

We took along with us a ballet virgin last night, and I can’t think of a more perfect double bill than this by way of an introduction. Both sides of the ballet coin are expertly and beautifully represented here – one piece haunting, brutal and affecting, the other funny, engaging and uplifting.

The Rite of Spring and Elite Syncopations is on at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow for tonight and tomorrow night only and tickets are still available here:

I can’t urge you strongly enough to go. GO!

Thursday, 26 September 2013


Just what you want after a cryptic extended leave of absence... A post that fires y'all straight back into the thick of it that makes no reference to or offers no explanation for the aforementioned absence, RIIIIIGHT???!!

So, I'd originally put this post on ice as, when I was very kindly sent THIS beautiful faux fur throw from UBER COOL interiors website Out There Interiors (, I was in the middle of buying my new flat and had hoped to be in much sooner than this, and I figured, no one wants to see this pure cool, cosy wee throw on my jakey single bed in my kids bedroom...Not when they could wait and see it on my not-yet-purchased-but-no-doubt pure cool new bed!

HOWEVER, given that I've now finally been handed an entry date after what feels like YEARS of farting around, turns out it's going to be another six full weeks and that's just too blooming long to wait.

So without further ado, here's the awesome, snuggly, fabulous throw:


Not the best image from the site, so I DID attempt to take my own... At night. With my phone.

Yeah. A photographer, I am not.

Wow, is all I have to say about the quality of those.

Once I DO have a bed and a flat to put it in, I promise I'll drape this aesthetically over my bedspread and update these photos. In the meantime though, just believe me when I say this throw is awesome. Who knew I'd be into this stuff.

But it turns out I AM. Like in a big way. Mainly because soft furnishings seem easy at this stage. Sure, I like this fabric, I like those curtains, that throw is pretty, that duvet cover is cute, this rug is cool... You get the gist. Making virtual wishlists of fabrics and soft furnishings is as far as I've got with this whole interior design planning thing.

I mean, for example, I bought a cushion last week:

No, your eyes do not deceive you. This IS the best cushion in the universe!

But this is as far as I've managed to get. Everything else SOLID freaks me out! I feel as though people expect me to already know exactly how I want my flat to look, what kind of STYLE or VIBE I want to go with, when actually I have no idea. Like NONE. One minute I imagine trawling vintage warehouses and auctioneers for one of a kind one-off wardrobes n stuff, the next I'm turning down the pages in the Ikea catalogue, hooked on all things minimal and modern.


I had a look through that Out There Interiors website for inspiration but it proved useless as I liked EVERYTHING I saw, which is no help at all! Some of my favourites were this fretworked range of drawers and dressing table:

Pure pretty, right? But then I also liked the slightly more ornate, French bedside tables that have a lovely vintage feel:

And then there were the mad wardrobes!!

Because who doesn't love a mad wardrobe?! Sorry, armoire! Tell me these don't look like the hilarious wardrobe from Beauty and the Beast and I'd call you a LIAR!


But yeah, no help at all as I just want one of everything, and it's a WEE flat. So soft furnishings is as far as I'm able to plan for at the moment.

With the exception of this guy:


Hope that wasn't too painful for y'all. Normal service slowly but surely returning!

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