Back from a brilliant skiing short break, which followed a fabulous Hogmanay (NYE for the non-sottish folk), which followed a busy work period, which followed the usual Christmas nights out and it is finally time to relax. With the rest of the week off from work (yep sorry if you are back but I am going to enjoy this!) my plans are – nothing!! Well not nothing but here is my list of relaxing nothingness.


Still feeling like a beginner again I took suggestions on what to play. A neighbour said she loved Beethovens Sonata no 14 in C sharp minor. So I now own a copy of the sheet music and I think she overestimated my talent. It is literally one of the most beautiful, haunting and damn difficult piece of music I have seen. Would twinkle twinkle not have done?! So I am about 12 bars in and I think this one may take me all year (positive thinking there) to fumble over. Luckily the first 12 bars are my favourite.


Airports always give me an excuse to buy a book. Like an actual book rather than my usual kindle ones. I bought Dust. I love the Philip Pullman books and waited till my holiday to buy the latest one. I lumbered it on the plane (it is massive), read about 3 chapters on holiday whilst trying to soak my ski legs in the bath each night and then I lumbered it home. I am currently savouring this book whilst having a long lie in the mornings. Bliss!


Yin has been the choice class for me but I am back to a full body conditioning class tomorrow. I might just be ready for it as long as there isn’t too much leg thingies. There is bound to be. I’m sure it will be fine as long as I can just get to shavasana.


I wouldn’t class this as the most relaxing thing but I figure my legs should not be as sore next year when skiing. So back on it – joined the local one with the pool. I have always had a gym membership but gave it up a year ago when work was far too busy and I figured yoga 4 times a week was enough. At the time I had good intentions of using my work one but I just don’t think I can combine the gym with work. I’d rather just get home. So first session today and as I have yoga again tomorrow I may just go for a swim. That still counts as relaxation.

Being fed

I may have mentioned my lack of skills in the kitchen once or twice. So I am thankful for brilliant neighbours who actually like cooking. I had a parcel delivered by the piano loving neighbour which contained a feast of Dahl and sides. So I was fed yesterday and today. The coffee shop can feed me tomorrow. It technically is part of my new year resolution not to use the cooker but I have managed to get to now without even using my kitchen. Bonus!


Piano, reading, yoga, gym and being fed compiles my only aims for this week. It won’t last though. By Sunday I will have the anticipation of work. Hopefully by Sunday I will need it.

Then back to the madness, the rush, the attempt at balance in life….always the fun.

For anyone who fancies having a listen to someone who can actually play that bloody Sonata…here you go.

Header image Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Read, relax, repeat

Sunday morning again and I am feeling so much better than I did last weekend. My Sunday long lie in today is being spent reading. There is something amazing about being taken away to the place an author created. I go through phases of reading a lot and reading a little; but I have always got a book to hand. Sometimes I have a couple on the go.

Actual paper vs Gadgets

To be fair I like both. The book books I keep are ones I love and feel like I could read again. For example I started last year (yep late to the party) Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Then the Book of Dust . Getting that wee link has meant I now know there is a second Book of Dust coming out in October. Yay. So, anyway, I bought the paper versions of most of them because, after the first, I knew I wanted to have these books to keep (and not just keep on a device). I didn’t even care really that they weighed down my weekend bag. Its just nice to sit in the sun and have the weight of a book to both use as a shade and to drift off into a world not my own. Paper is also my favourite option for reading in bed. I think. Unless the book is too heavy for lying flat and reading. Actually I am not sure about this preference nowadays as I am just as happy this morning reading from my tablet. But book books are great. When I want to pass on the ones I don’t need to keep (you know the ones; the quick reads you picked up in the airport) there are good options in Edinburgh. Stockbridge has a book sharing cabinet in one of the quiet colony streets so I just pop my excesses in there. Even in my local Tesco you can donate a book to the reading shelf for someone else to pop in and purchase (for charity) it for 50p.

I do also like my Kindle books. I came late to this party too having been committed to all things Apple until I started with Amazon Prime. I did this purely to get the TV thingy so I could watch Outlander (it wasn’t on anything else at the time). I ignored the books part until Kindle did an app that even I could download so I jumped on it. It seemed a waste not to get free books. The app is definitely my favourite for coffee shop loiterings. If I nip along the road I have a good three options for sitting and watching the world go by with a decent size cappuccino. So lugging a book along is not always the go-to option. My tablet or phone however will do just the job. I don’t have an actual kindle so I may be cheating…but I do have the app. I probably should buy one and would appreciate any advice on this as so far it has just felt like I would be adding to a long list of gadgets when my phone will do the same job.

The point of this blatant namedropping (honestly though, for me as long as people are reading; how they are reading isn’t the issue) is that with my app thingy I get and read new books I would never pick up in the airport or in Tesco. My subscription (currently on the Unlimited trial having been a general Prime member) means that books are suggested. This, for me, makes everything easy. Something pops up on email or as a suggestion; I give it a go. My current book is like that. It may turn out rubbish but you could also be reading something that enthrals, excites or entertains you (or an encapsulation of all three).

My current book

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

This was a recommendation by email. Brilliant. But…This doesn’t always go well as books are a very personal thing and one book doesn’t appeal to everyone. Anyhoo having just read the reviews they are pretty good (apart from the odd one) and even though I am now only 2 chapters in I am already hooked. Im not keen on political backdrops (the reference in this book being Ireland) but it already seems like it is being used as a reference point to a love story. Who doesn’t like a love story? Even books that aren’t about love often have something in them about love. It also starts with a grandfather / granddaughter relationship which sets a tone which is, well which is comforting. Eoin the grandfather has just passed away so off Annie is going (she is a writer) to the place he was born and raised in. Don’t worry this isn’t really a spoiler. Like I said I am only 2 chapters in but so far the author’s writing has me gripped. She writes wonderfully well (apparently a few New York Times bestsellers also agree with me in their reviews) and the book is flowing. It really does just flow and is perfect for relaxing with. Some books feel like hard work, tense, unexpected; this one doesn’t. This blog and paragraph is short because of that. Because I am just about to dump the laptop for my phone. I may even get up (in a bit) and take this one along to the coffee shop.

The link to her book is here: What the Wind Knows.

I think I am going to bookmark her name somewhere if this one ends up being brilliant. P.s. the link below is marketing. I am doing this subscription as its free for a bit before I go back to my normal Prime subscription (waiting on the next season of Outlander obviously!).

Kindle Unlimited


Sunday’s are for yin

Sunday bliss doesn’t come from being busy. When the sun is out and the days are getting longer my idea of a great Sunday is spent lazing, pottering, doing a little bit of gardening and then strolling to yoga for a bit of yin bliss.

The relaxing bits

Sometimes Sunday’s are spent strolling around the new town or along to Stockbridge but today I just donned the flip flops and light clothing to sit in the garden. After a little trip to Tesco to get a few essentials I grabbed my book and water and sunglasses. Light reading today – ‘Crazy Rich Asians‘. A really fab book to remind me of sunny days on my holidays to Asia (minus the crazy rich folk). It’s well worth a read and the film is also great.

The neighbours are out too so my day reading is interspersed with a bit of good chat and a few snacks.

The booking

Done, the notification beeped to say there was a space for yin yoga. A delight of a class and whilst there is an edge to the long held stretches, it prepares the body and the mind for a kind of serene calmness that takes you into the evening and then to rest.

So I now have an hour or so to wait. I’ll water the growing veg then grab my mat and go. I’m already looking forward to the shavasana.

A good book on a rainy night in Edinburgh

Its getting colder again. After a sunny few days in February it is now back to rain and…more rain. I’ve even spotted some snow symbols on my iPhone weather app for next week! So due to the previously noted rain, a taxi was in order to get me to my school night glass of wine catch up in the old town. I love the architecture in Edinburgh and although I live more New Town way, the old town has just that little bit more mystery, beauty and romanticism about it.

In the taxi we giggled as we got held up by a Harry Potter tour crossing the road – just down from the Tron Church. His wand waving appealed, to the driver, although he didn’t make us disappear; possibly owing to a rubbish flick action and a pretty inept cape. It got me thinking about the books that I love, set in Edinburgh or by writers inspired by the surrounding.

Edinburgh isn’t just the home to Harry Potter

I love Harry Potter and genuinely think its a modern day classic. I bought my first one in an antiques bookshop in Cannonmills whilst looking for a present for my mum. He had it as it was an early edition (not a first…oh well!) and it was written in Edinburgh by a little known (unknown at that time) author. I read it in one sitting and passed it on to my mother, and dad, and sister; they all loved it as much as me.

But its not the only Edinburgh based authors that have kept me gripped over the years. Pulling out my collection I have lots of them, and lots set in this bloody brilliant city. The obvious classics like Heart of Midlothian (passed this spot too on the way to the pub) by Sir Walter Scott and the less obvious classic Kidnapped by the obvious Robert Louis Stevenson. In fact the Scottish Novels, which is a collection of Stevenson’s novels, is one of the most revisited books in my collection.

Yes of course I also have a few Ian Rankin books. If you live in Edinburgh I am convinced its a crime if you don’t own one. Being an early forty something (I’m going to hang on to the early as long as I can!!), I also have a youth characterised by acid house and then indie; so Trainspotting is a clear winner. My first reading of this felt like owning and promoting the gritty side of Edinburgh. It was something about the slang and the colloqualisms though that made me feel like I was a part of something bigger. I wasn’t exactly living in the difficult, gritty and unhealthy lifestyles of Mark Renton, Spud and Sick Boy (more of a Diane) but there was a sense of pride in Irvine Welsh who, according to a pal, was just a regular guy done good. When the movie was released I sat in the cinema, along with fellow ‘Edinburgers’ and there was this weird sense of the collective. This sense that around the world other people would be now know what ‘likesay’ and ‘ken’ meant. It was a strange feeling of pride and so this book will always be on my shelf.

The, not so obvious, book I settled on.

The one that will win tonight is a Kate Atkinson book. I found it by an accidental read of a review. One Good Turn Deserves Another. It has everything I like. An extra sense of comfort in that you know the streets it set in and the timing (Edinburgh Festival). Great characters and a plot that has a little grit. If you know Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson then you will already have an idea of a theme running through my book shelf. It also has the potential of more (aka other books in a series). I am a complete sucker for a series of books. This is the one I have dug out and this is the one that I am now heading to bed with. Its still raining, its dark, and the lights are twinkling out of the windows in the street. The tall windows of the classic New Town architecture. It is getting late but I can’t wait to revisit this book before I fall asleep.