Toast of the Town: Photography Workshop


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A couple of weekends ago, I caught an early train through to Glasgow with Laura and Jade for a photography workshop with Dreghorn Photography. The Toast of the Town campaign hosted by Millenium Hotel Glasgow aimed to celebrate Glasgow in the run up to the Commonwealth Games, as well as the hotel's recent refurbishment. We spent the morning learning some of the basics about how to use our cameras (no automatic mode allowed!) and trying out a few easy exercises to get to grips with things like shutter speed, focus and ISO. We then headed downstairs to the hotel's Brasserie for lunch, and we tucked into a buffet of venison hot dogs, haggis bonbons, beef burgers and lots more. Yum!

After lunch, we then headed outside with Stuart and Hamish from Dreghorn Photography to take some photos around Glasgow city centre. We had a wander round George Square, Buchanan Street and Royal Exchange Square and happily snapped away using some of the techniques we'd learned earlier in the day. I think I'm getting pretty good at taking photos of things that don't move (like product photos for my blog), but taking photos out and about is definitely something I want to do more of. In the last 6 months or so I've really stepped away from using any of the automatic settings on my camera (it's a Lumix G3 if you were wondering!) but even though I almost always use manual now, I'm still learning lots about the best settings to use for different types of photographs. If you're based near Glasgow and fancy making the most of your camera too, Dreghorn Photography offer lots of different photography courses covering the basics right up to advanced techniques.

I had a great day improving my photography skills and snapping away in Glasgow, which was looking lovely in the run up to the Commonwealth Games. Big thanks to Dreghorn Photography for their expert guidance, Millenium Hotels for hosting us (you can read more about the day in their blog post), and Joe Blogs Blogger Network for organising it all!

Have you got any top photography tips?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #134


1.BBQ platter at The Blackbird 2.Burgers at Burger 3.Topshop nail polish rainbow 4.Rainy Edinburgh 5.Costa breakfast 6.Misty

This feels like it's been a really busy week, but I actually haven't done very much at all. I've mostly just been busy with work and flat stuff. Laura is all moved in now and we've spent the week building furniture (who knew flatpack dining chairs were SO DIFFICULT to make?), decorating, tidying and throwing out several binbags worth of stuff I've been hoarding for the past 5 years. Oops.

Yesterday I headed to Costa to meet up with a few blogger pals and take part in Lynsey's focus group for her dissertation. The discussion was about blogging and social media in relation to beauty purchases... so basically just the same as a normal chat for us! If you've got a spare 5 minutes, you can help out by filling in Lynsey's online survey here. After the focus group (with added croissants of course) and a chat, Laura and I headed off for a wee mooch around town. We spent ages in Oliver Bonas cooing over their beautiful homewares, then headed to Marks and Spencer to stock up on picnic food and fancy bread for a lazy Saturday evening lounging on the sofa. I had intended on going clothes and makeup shopping, but the horrible misty/rainy weather put paid to that so we went straight home to eat our food. Typical.

Last Sunday evening we headed to The Blackbird for some post-moving celebratory drinks (and food, of course), and this Sunday we're planning on doing the same. Looks like this might become a weekly routine?! Hopefully the sun will reappear so we can sit out in the beer garden.

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Edinburgh Fringe Picks 2014: Comedy


I can hardly believe it's nearly Festival time already, but August is just a couple of weeks away and soon the madness will descend again. I've tried to be organised this year and pick out as many things I want to see as possible, so I thought I may as well turn this into a mini series of blog posts to share my picks with you too. If you're heading to the Fringe, hopefully this will give you some ideas (but don't blame me if some of them are rubbish, obviously I haven't seen any of them yet!). Let's kick things off with some comedy.

The Axis of Awesome: Viva La Vida Loca Las Vegas - Gilded Balloon, 9pm
I would looovveeee to see Flight of the Conchords at the Fringe, but failing that Axis of Awesome are also pretty great. This Australian comedy music trio certainly know how to write a good pop parody song and their shows are always full of original tunes that will make you laugh. I saw them a couple of years ago and loved the show (which included probably their most famous song, 4 Chords), and this year they're back with lots of new songs.

Dan Clark: Me, My Selfie and I - Pleasance Dome, 8.20pm
I used to be a huge fan of How Not To Live Your Life, but had entirely forgotten about its existence until I spotted Dan Clark whilst scrolling through the Fringe website. I think I'll have to give it a rewatch to remind myself of Dan's quirky style of humour before heading along to see this.

One Man Breaking Bad - The Famous Spiegeltent, 7pm
If you know me at all, you'll know Breaking Bad is my favourite. So a 60-minute comedy version of this in the form of Miles Allen's One Man Breaking Bad sounds right up my street. This is definitely top of this year's must-watch list for me.

Frankenstein: UnBolted - Just the Tonic at The Caves, 7.25pm
A couple of years ago I saw potentially my favourite ever Fringe show (high praise indeed), Last Chance Saloon's Dracula: Sex, Sucking and Stardom. It was a tiny show with three actors playing all the parts in one of my favourite stories, Dracula, but with plenty of comedy and musical numbers to the tune of Lady Gaga and Copacabana. AMAZING. I was very excited to see that they're back this year with another gothic tale, Frankenstein: UnBolted which is filled with "grotesquely twisted pop songs, an assortment of ridiculous characters and a nod to the golden age of classic British comedy".

BJ Novak: One More Thing - Assembly George Square Studios, 9.10pm
Now, the idea of a spoken word dramatic reading wouldn't normally be top of my to-do list, but when it's BJ Novak doing the reading I'm sure I can make an exception. Best known as Ryan from The Office, Novak's Fringe show this year is a series of comedy stories taken from his new book, One More Thing.

Miranda Sings - Venue150 @ EICC, 6.30pm
If you're an avid Youtube watcher, you'll have probably already heard of Miranda Sings. Now Youtube and real life collide in Miranda's bizarre and hilarious stand up show which combines comedy, hit songs, magic tricks and dramatic readings of hate mail. Fun.

Thünderbards: Seconds - Pleasance Courtyard, 4.45pm
I know absolutely nothing about Thünderbards, but the description of their time travelling sketch show made me think of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, which in turn makes me think that this show might also be excellent. Party on, dudes.

More Fun Stuff
Paul Foot: Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon # Major · Chris Ramsey: The Most Dangerous Man On Saturday Morning Television · Winter Is Coming · The Room · Simon Amstell Tour Previews · Frisky and Mannish: Just Too Much · Boxman

What's on your Fringe list this year? Keep your eyes peeled for my music and theatre picks soon!

Gillian x