Scottish Fiction


"It isn't in the mirror, it isn't on the page
It's a red hearted vibration
Pushing through the walls of dark imagination...

It isn't in the castle, it isn't in the mist
It's a calling of the waters as they break to show...

...scottish fiction"
Favourite Idlewild song. Ever. 

This inspired another polyvore post. Seriously, that thing has me going crazy. I'm like a kid again when you have a brand new colouring book and you don't know which picture to start on, you want to do them all!



I'm probably behind the times here, but I've just discovered the awesomeness of polyvore.com. It is fracking addictive! It's simply an online scrapbook where you can clip images from the internet or use ones uploaded by other users to create collages of fashion and art. Mostly, it's used as a source of inspiration and wardrobe planning. I made my first set this evening to avoid studying:

There's 'man clothes' (haha) too, if you were worried by how girlie this post is. Speaking of 'man clothes', I also found this super tee-shirt site: http://store.glennz.com/, it's quite similar to threadless but a bit more geeky.


Charity Shop Finds in Edinburgh

Found the best bargains in a wonderful charity shop today. Bethany Christian Trust have the right idea when it comes to utilising the high volume of high value stock that's available in Edinburgh. In other words, thank goodness for the old ladies of Midlothian who give away MaxMara suits, Calvin Klein winter coats and M&S Autograph woolen goodies.

I was in the BCT Newington shop today, but I've been in the Morningside and Stockbridge branches and they're all full of little gems.

Goodies today:
Mounted North by Northwest Print, £2.

 Daks Collection Wool Jacket, £15

Episode Pencil Dress, £4.50

Best Edinburgh charity shops to see:
  • Oxfam Bookshop - Stockbridge - filled with rare editions and classic Vic lit, you won't find a Dan Brown novel in sight.
  • Mary's Living and Giving Shop - Stockbridge - Mary Portas' pop-up charity shop with donations from designers, celebrities and the Edinburgh elite, with the likes of Christopher Kane, Ralph Lauren, Pringle hanging on the rails, donated by Jamie Oliver, Grazia magazine, Lauren Lavergne ...you get the picture. 

  • Oxfam Music - Stockbridge - Sheet music in a charity shop? Musicians rejoice! It's also got 'decent' vinyl, with classic jazz, funk and rock covered, a pretty good selection of CDs and occasionally musical instruments. Dandy.
  • Shelter - Stockbridge and Newington branches - Filled to the brim with Topshop, M&S, Gap, Reiss, Calvin Klein, Thomas Burberry, Barbour etc etc. Menswear is particularly good.
  • Oxfam Books - Newington - Given its close proximity to the university, half the shop has been filled with academic books and textbooks. I got a Davidson's Principles and Practicles of Medicine, RRP £46.99 for £6 a few years ago.
  • Cancer Research - Morningside - Super place for posh shirts. Thomas Pink, Burberry, Calvin Klein...I don't know why they seem to accumulate here but there's a great selection. 
  • St. Columba's Hospice - Morningside - For furniture and bric'a'brac. I'm told that when the rich old people of Morningside die, this is usually where their stuff is given to. I can neither confirm nor deny this but there are lots of lovely old things in there...


Recipe: Nut Roast, Poached Pears

Belated seasonal post - January was too cold and snowy to inspire anything other than overeating and hot toddy consumption.

Had a delicious nut roast for Christmas Day, a super veggie dish that takes minimal effort but is very filling and protein-rich. The 'traditional' dessert of poached pears was made by moi, except I made the mistake of using a very fruity Merlot to poach the pears in, and I think an oaky wine works better, like Rioja, so it doesn't overpower the taste of the pears.

Chestnut Nut Roast
Serves 5

1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1-2 small carrots, grated or finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g chestnut puree (or mashed chestnuts)
1-2 tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used parsley and thyme)
1 tbsp veggie stock/Bouillon powder
1 egg
1/2 cup (lightly packed) grated cheese
Salt + Pepper

1. Grease and line a loaf tin (about 13 x 22 cm) with baking paper or well greased greaseproof paper. Heat the oven to 200 C.

2. Heat oil in frypan and fry the onion, garlic, celery and carrots for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well.

3. Spoon mixture into prepared loaf tin and bake for 45-60 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes and the turn out onto serving dish. Goes superbly well with roast parsnips and cranberry sauce. I had steamed broccoli on the side too (but I only took a photo of the next day's leftovers, which I had freezer veg with instead).

Poached Pears
Serves 4

1/2 bottle good red wine
4 pears, cored (tricky, but an apple corer does the job)
200 g caster sugar
1 clove

1. Put wine, clove and sugar into pot and bring slowly to a bubble.

2. Add pears upright [takes a bit of fiddly balancing] and leave to simmer for 30 mins, or until pink colour has spread through the pear (make take longer than 30 mins, depending on type of pear and ripeness)

3. Remove pears from pan then boil down remaining wine mixture to a sticky syrup [the proper recipes say reduce it by half]. Pour this over each of the pears and if you want something to top it all off with, add a couple of raspberries to the plate.