September was the new Kim Stanley Robinson book, Shaman. Only a year since his previous novel, 2312, which is quick for him these days.
It’s very good, and a big change from his previous settings, being a pre-history story about a small group of people who are responsible for some famous cave paintings recently found in southern France. Much of it is based on current research and also hos own experiences in survival techniques and off-trail hiking, etc. in the Rockies in all sorts of weather.
More here on my Flickr site, also in the ‘this year’s ‘covers & comments’ set there.
Other books read included the 4th (of 5) Stephen Lawhead book in his ‘Bright Empires’ sequence about using ley-lines to traqvel across space and time. The Shadow Lamp. Good fun, however flakey the premise!
And now I’m almost 1/2 way through the latest Stephen Baxter sf novel, Proxima, about colonising (or not) an exo-planet. Good but I can’t halp comparing the exo-planet sections with D. G. Compton‘s Farewell, Earth’s Bliss, with which it have some similarities. There’s also another plot strand set back in the Solar System (mainly Mercury and Earth) which just got strange!
We only went to one film, and it was in October, thus making this post’s title a lie! It was the ducumentary about restoring, and then the actual film, of Georges Méliès‘ A Trip to the Moon (1902). The documentary was fascinating (I think it was the same one shown on tv not too long ago) and the actual film, although quite short), was great! Real treat to see on on the big(gish) screen in glorious colour!
The only gig we saw was a fairly spontaneous decision to go see The Royal Southern Brotherhood play the Niddrie Street Caves. Madeleine wasn’t too sure; she hadn’t heard a note and I have only just watched a few youtube clips, but we went and were fairly blown away!
The band members had pedigree (almost literally, as one member was Devon Allman, son of Gregg!) The lead singer was Cyril Neville (of The Neville Brothers fame) It was heavy blues rock, with a lot of solo-ing from all five of the very tight band. Highlight was possibly during a very extended Fire on the Mountain (the Dead classic) when both lead guitarists advanced in step down some little steps at the front of the stage, pausing on each step to exchange riffs, until they were standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF US literally a foot away playing like demons on fire!
Great night, sadly not as well attended as it deserved (which meant we got a great view right at the front!!) Afterwards they sold us a couple of cds and were happy to sign them for us.
I’m sure they could fill larger venues if they chose but they seem to want to play small clubs. Cyril Neville was apparently due to play the Albert Hall a couple of weeks later!
Next gig is likely to be Mark Eitzel (again!) in an equally small venue but the vibe will be utterly different…
A couple of Sundays ago we visited Newhailles House grounds for the first time in a couple of years – nice for walking around, and we got good weather.
And last Sunday it was the annual Doors Open Day, when various august, and not so august, buildings let the public in for a nose around. We started with Trinity House down in Leith,
Lapidary Club, Leith
continued on to The Lapidery Club, in it’s new location in Maritime Lane, then some lunch at Porto & Fi on the shore (sorry to hear their city centre location has closed; we went there immediately it opened and have been back several times since) and then up the road a little to Newhaven Station.
This is a narrow little building built on a road bridge across an old branch line (now a pedestrian/cycle way) which is slowly being refurbished. Should look very neat once it’s finished, and it has a great balcony above where the track and platforms would have been.
View east from Roof
Then up to Summerhall to see some exhibitions, etc. and a cool beer in the late sun. I also took the opportunity to stray from the usual areas and get out on the roof! The building isn’t really very high but it’s set back from most other things so you get great views, especially over to Arthur’s Seat.
Sunset over Edinburgh