Archive for December, 2012


Friday, December 28th, 2012
Pic: Lloyd Smith, Edinburgh's Hogmanay

The Loony Dook in 2011 (Pic: Lloyd Smith, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay)

I’VE been lucky enough to have had a few Scottish friends in my time – and aside from being splendid company, they have always been full of stories.

Happily, I’m now about to head to Edinburgh to see in the new  year, as one of a group of bloggers invited for the Hogmanay celebrations there. This fine gathering of some of the best travel bloggers around is named Blogmanay – geddit? I’ll be there from 29 December until I return to London on 2 January – the rest of the group move on that latter date for a tour of Scotland until 9 January.

Apart from taking SOTMs of the rest of the Blogmanay group, I’ll be getting general shots of all the shenanigans going on too. Do give me a nudge if you’d like to pose for SOTM while I’m in Edinburgh, particularly if you’re a local.

Here’s some of the events that I’ll be photographing over the next few days:

Torchlight Procession through Edinburgh’s city centre.

Concert in the Gardens headlined by Simple Minds, also with Bwani Junction and The View.

Hogmanay Street Party and Street Carnival which is legendary the world over! A Scottish chap I know has already advised me to get to Princes Street on New Year’s Eve “if you like kissing”. 

The Keilidh which is a traditional Scottish dance party. Might try and slip a few Gangnam Style moves in.

Midnight Fireworks and World’s Biggest Auld Lang Syne which sounds like a nightmare for the adjudicators. Imagine trying to do the headcount on that one.

Edinburgh’s Dogmanay which is sled racing by dogs. Boom.

Loony Dook where people dress up, walk through the city and then jump into the sea. I’d love to take part, but I, er, don’t want to get my camera wet…

And this isn’t even all that’s taking place at Hogmanay this year.  See more of what’s going on here.

To keep up with all the updates from me and the other bloggers, follow the #Blogmanay tag on Twitter and Instagram. Do feel free to join in with using the tag if you’ll be in Edinburgh for Hogmanay. You can also follow the official Blogmanay tumblr.

Some of the finest travel bloggers on the webs will be in Edinburgh – here’s a who’s who of the attendees.

Kash from The Budget Traveller, Melvin from Traveldudes, Kirsten from Aviators and a Camera, Mike from Fevered Mutterings, Chris from The Aussie Nomad, Isabelle from Isabelle’s Travel Guide, JD from earthXplorer, Audrey and Dan from Uncornered Market, Peter from Travel Unmasked, Jools from Trains on the Brain, Amanda from A Dangerous Business, Emma from Emma’s Travel Tales, Flora fromFlora the Explorer, Kate from Adventurous Kate, Abhishek from Wild Navigator, Nadine from The Nadwork, Jane from Runaway Jane, Julie from A Lady in London, and Mei and Jo from CC Food Travel.

Many thanks to the organisers for putting on such a splendid  feast of activities: Edinburgh’s HogmanayEventScotlandVisitScotlandEdinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG), Festivals EdinburghHaggis Adventures and Skyscanner.

Oh, and one final word of caution – there’s rumours of kilts being provided for the male members of this esteemed group. You have been warned…

What A Carry On!

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

You've Got Daddy IssuesI WAS invited to the Erotic Meet Christmas party for erotic bloggers in Soho. This was actually the second time I’d been to one of their shindigs, and both times I’ve had a very warm welcome from some lovely people.

My invitations were extended by the charming Annie Player, who is kindly a fan of SOTM.

These events have been great fun – the whole thing reminds me, in the nicest possible way, of the Carry On movies (of which I’m a big fan) with a few dirty jokes and lots of innuendo, sparking many laughs. It also involves a handful (not literally) of briefly-exposed willies and boobs.

I’ve been told some very interesting SOTM stories during my time among these rather fascinating people. One beautiful example from my first visit came from a woman who had been written a letter by her uncle, when she was only six months old. Her SOTM quote was the end of the letter, and has proved memorable for her whole life.

Also, one subject wrote to the broadcaster and author Danny Wallace for advice, and his personal reply formed her choice of SOTM quote.  As for my favourite shot of the night, this was a combination of an intriguing quote, a photogenic subject and a good setting – it’s the lady you can see in the photo on this post.

Returning to the Carry On theme – most surprising SOTM was from this chap, who runs an adult online shop and wrote something which looked like it was going to have a saucy explanation, when actually it was about something else.

I’ll be posting the images I took from the Christmas bash very soon on SOTM. My encounters there included photographing a burlesque dancer in their underwear who was pulling a face with remarkably rubber lips, a shaven-headed man in a kilt who turned out to be a teacher currently working in pest control, and a drag queen who wanted to be photographed in a toilet “because I’m trash”.

The Erotic bloggers meet regularly in Soho if you also write erotica and fancy popping along.