The Year In Review – A Few Favourites.

Maison Bleu - Edinburgh - sx70 Polaroid Painting

Maison Bleu - Edinburgh - sx70 Polaroid Painting

Inspired by Alyson Stanfield of ArtBizBlog.com I’m rounding up a few of my favourites from this year…

Books -

Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume by Silvena Rowe – Wonderful Bulgarian/Turkish cookbook.

Water For Elephants by Sara Guerin – one of my favourite fiction reads of the year.

Donna Leon’s series of crime books set in Venice. Not really my thing, detective fiction, but somehow everything being set in Venice makes it all quite different.

Crush-It by Gary Vaynerchuk – Biz category – He’s a real inspiration in using the internet to build his business.

( I did read quite a lot during the year, but not many things that I  enjoyed enough to recommend. And some things that I have persevered with but still not finished, like The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk ( Sorry Orhan, I love your other books)

Films -

The Illusionist –  There is more than one film with this name – I mean the animated film set in Edinburgh. Although with a slow rather melancholy story the images more than make up for it. If you’ve ever been to Edinburgh it is a real treat.

(I will gloss over the fact that in going to see this film during the film festival I inadvertently gate crashed the red carpet, so I can tick “walk on the red carpet ” off my “to do ” list.)

Constantin and Elena - Just a beautiful film depicting the life in rural Romania of the film maker’s grandparents. Their self sufficiency, extreme proficiency in tasks from baking to butchery to weaving somehow highlights what “city dwellers” have lost. And their cheerfulness in all that they do is inspirational.

Concert

The Gypsy Kings and Queens. I saw this in January and was a perfect way to kickstart the year. High energy, marvellous musicianship ( that doesn’t even begin to describe it) dancing in the aisles , and because of Alicia’s influence, thanking the musicians at the stage door. I always feel too shy to do that but saw that they did appreciate it.

( with added bonus of meeting my accordion hero Phil Cunningham afterwards )

Places

For different reasons -

Thassos- Sunny , recharging relaxation.

and Venice – Just beauty everywhere you look.

Exhibitions

Leon Morocco

Impressionist’s Gardens

Matisse to Malevich at the Amsterdam Hermitage

Learning

Podcast workshop with Inner Ear

The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle Laporte. I’ve written about them here. They are not something I’ve worked with once and then set aside. I go back to different parts whenever I want to add a bit of extra energy or clarity to what I’m doing.

Local Shop

Hannah Zakari - A lovely addition to the shops in Edinburgh selling an eclectic mix of arty goodness. They also have an online shop so no need to miss out if you are far away.

Online Shop

Oh where to start, far too many to mention, so I’ll limit myself to my latest – Sweet Anthem Perfumes. I have a bit of a weakness for perfume which I blame on a stint in Paris where I was given a bag full of samples from all the big names by a friend of a friend who was a perfume rep. So , my little end of year “present to me” was some samples from them. Out of the five samples I really like 4 , which isn’t bad going – now just have to decide which one I’ll choose.

Have you got a list ?

Let me know in the comments or leave a link to your blog – I love these kinds of lists as a way of discovering new things.

Have a safe and happy Hogmanay and a wonderful 2011 !

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