Edinburgh Teddy Bear Fair Sat 30 Oct, 10am-4pm. £2.50 (£1.50). Ellersly House Hotel, Ellersly Road. Info: 01625 590602. Whether you’re a serious collector or just a big kid, this fair promises all manner of teddy bears and dolls from the exotic to the ordinary. Self Build Homes Show Sat 30—Sun 31 Oct, 10am-5pm. Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, 333 3036. Forget Changing Rooms, how about building rooms? If you’ve been searching for your dream home without success then pop along to this show to find out the ins and outs of underfloor heating, energy conservation and reliable roofin .

Edinburgh Dolls ouse And Miniature Fair Sun 31 Oct, 10am—4pm. £2.50 (£1.50). Hopetoun House, Shore Road, South Queensferry, 331 2451. There’s no escaping childhood relics this weekend as this specialist collectors’ fair comes to town.


Rugby Fest '99 Sat 23—Sun 24 Oct, Sat 30—Sun 31 Oct, Thu 4 Nov, 12.30pm. £4-£7.50. Caledonian Brewery, Slateford Road, 220 3234. If you haven’t got a ticket for Murrayfield then pop along to the Caledonian Brewery for a host of activites ensuring you enjoy the Rugby World Cup to the max. During the day there’s big screens to watch all the action and real ales to heighten the enjoyment, whilst evenings see a range of live music and ceilidhs.


The Other Scottish Parliament Building Thu 28 Oct, 7pm. £2.50. RIAS, 15 Rutland Square. Architects Alan Dunlop and Gordon Murray explain the development of their shortlisted idea for Scotland’s Parliament, describing how the historic fabric of the Old Town influenced their approach.


Swing Dance Workshop Thu 4 Nov, 7—8.30pm. £5 (£2.50). The Hub, Castlehill, Royal Mile, 473 2000. Part of the World Dance & Music Residency, this workshop brings 1930’s Harlem to Edinburgh in a lively class for ages 16+.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival

All events at NetherbowArts Centre, 43 High Street, 556 95 79 unless otherwise stated.

George Mackay Brown - The Storytelling Vision Fri 29 Oct, 7.45pm. £6 (£4). Experience the myths and legends of Orkney through these colourful readings of Mackay Brown’s work. Heather Yule, David Campbell and Audrey Parks brin the sagas to life. Lights In The Dar ness Sun 31 Oct, 6.30pm. Free. Robin Chapel, Thistle Foundation, Niddriemains Road, Craigmillar. A storytelling celebration for All Saints, this event looks at what exactly it takes to be classed as a saint. (Going one day without chocolate isn’t enough, apparently).

Celtic Fires Mon 1 Nov, 7.45pm. Storytellers from Perthshire, Skye and Shetland rekindle the flames of Celtic New Year with stories of fire ceremonies and Celtic legends. Fire dancer Marion Kenny introduces the event with a fearless display set to music.

Diwali Celebration Tue 2 Nov, 7.45pm. £6 (£4). Through story, dance and music, Helen East, Basabi Fraser and Vijay Kangutkar celebrate this Festival of Lights.

Vorces From The Past - Gaelic Storytelling Tue 2 Nov, 8pm. £2.50 donation. The Waverley, St Mary’s Street. An evening of traditional tales told by Martin Maclntyre.

Northern Lights Wed 3 Nov, 7.45pm.

£6 (£4). Tales and ballads from Scandinavia, northern Scotland and the islands from Sheila Douglas, Stanley Robertson and Lawrence Tulloch.

Light Ahead, Dark Behind! Thu 4 Nov, 6.15pm. Free. This year, the fourth annual Alan Bruford Memorial Lecture is given by Reimund Kvideland of the University of Bergen on darkness and light in Scandinavian folk tales and legends.

The Scottish Traveller Thu 4 Nov, 7.45pm. £6 (£4). Join Traveller artists round the campfire to find out about Scotland’s rich storytelling traditions and the values and customs of Traveller culture.

Other Events

Living History Displays Edinburgh Castle, 225 9846. Entry to Castle: £6.50 (£2-£5). Three theatrical demonstrations bringing history to life this fortnight: A Tragic Queen & The French Prisons looks at the reign of Mary Queen Of Scots and the Napoleonic Wars respectively on Sun 24 and Sun 31 Oct, 11.30am-4.30pm. Life Under Seige recreates the time of the Jacobite uprising on Thu 21 Oct, Thu 28 Oct and Thu 4 Nov, 10am-4pm; and the Jacobite redcoats and Highland clans do battle in All For The Prince on Fri 22 Oct and Fri 29 Oct, lOam—4pm.

Volcano Tours Of Arthur's Seat Sat 23 Oct, 2pm. £5 (£4). Holyrood Palace Car Park, 555 5488. A guided walking tour exploring the geology and natural history of this extinct volcano. So next time you take your friends up the hill you’ll be able to impress them with your incredible knowledge and insight.

Walk On The West Side Sat 30—Sun 31 Oct, £10. Western General Hospital, Crewe Road South. The chance to have fun for a good cause at this sponsored abseil to raise funds for Imperial Cancer Research Fund. The event is open to everyone aged 14+; for an entry form and further information call 01786 478733. Samhuinn Sun 31 Oct, 9.30pm. Free, but donations welcome. Castle Esplanade, Royal Mile, 558 9555. See photo caption.


Auld Reekie's Ultimate Ghost & Torture Tour

Meet at The Tron Church, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, 557 4700. £6 (£5); children £4. Times vary advanced booking is advised. Find out about Edinburgh’s grisly past in the company of a costumed guide on this city tour, which also takes in an underground haunted vault featuring fully operational Pagan temple.

Camera Obscura

Castlehill (Royal Mile), Edinburgh, 226 3709. Sat & Sun 10am—6pm; Mon—Fri 9.30am—6pm. £3.95 (£1.95—£3.15); family ticket £11.50. Pick up a pedestrian in your hand at this attraction, which gives visitors a real-time, 360 degree image of the city. There’s also an exhibition devoted to holographs and photography on the lower floors.

Dynamic Earth

Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, 550 7800. Mon—Sun 10am—6pm. £5.95 (£3.50); family ticket £16.50. With volcanoes erupting beneath your feet, a tropical rainstorm pouring down, earthquakes and tidal waves at every turn, the history of the earth has never been more interesting. Edinburgh’s brand new visitor attraction uses stunning new developments in interactive technology to piece together the history of the planet, creating a thoroughly modern way to step back in time.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh, 225 9846. Daily 9.30am—6pm (last admission 5.15pm). £6 (£2—£5). Although much of the castle’s medieval

character was lost when it was converted

into barracks in the 19th century,

continuing excavations aim to redress this. Other attractions include James IV’s famous cannon, Mons Meg, lots of military silverware and, of course, The Stone Of Destiny, used to crown Scottish kings since time began.

Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour

Meet at The Beehive Inn, Grassmarket, Edinburgh, 226 6665. £7 (£5). Thu—Sun 7.30pm pre-booking required for parties of ten or more. An excellent way to imbibe culture by visiting the favourite watering holes of Scotland’s literary heroes, including Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Irvine Welsh.

Mary King's Close Tours

Meet at Mercat Cross (beside St Giles’ Cathedral), Edinburgh, 225 6591. £5 (£4); children £3. Various times between 10.30am and 9.30pm - advanced booking is necessary. Literally, a trip to Edinburgh’s underworld, Mary King’s Close is part of a now subterranean network of streets, walled off during an outbreak of the plague. Visit the restored (or at least made stable and safe) street and hear the horror stories of the residents left to die.

Midlothian Ski Centre

Hillend, Edinburgh, 445 4433. Mon—Sat 9.30am-9pm; Sun 9.30am-7pm. £6 for a one hour session (under 185 £4). Europe’s longest artificial ski slope is the perfect place to learn or hone ski-ing and snowboarding skills. The centre also houses a competitively priced ski repair and maintenance facility.

Palace Of Holyroodhouse Royal Mile, Edinburgh, 556 1096. Daily 9.30am—6pm (last admission 5.15pm).


£5.50 (£2.70—£4); family ticket £13.50. Starting life as a 13th century abbey, the palace has evolved into a sumptuous regal residence crammed full of paintings and artefacts dating back primarily to the 17th century. The tower apartments housed a sad and lonely Mary Queen of Scots for a time, but with a spectacular view of Arthur’s Seat, and magnificent gardens to look at, it’s hard to feel too sorry for her.

Royal Yacht Britannia

Ocean Drive, Leith, Edinburgh, 555 5566. Daily 10.30am—6pm (last admission 4.30pm). £7.50 (£3.75—£5.75); family ticket £20. The former royal yacht has opened its doors to members of the public after a £25 million refit. The on- shore visitor centre contains historical information on the boat and its furnishings while, on the yacht itself, members of the public can have a good nosy round the royals’ former quarters.

The People's Story

Canongate Tolbooth, 163 Canongate, Edinburgh, 529 4057. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Free. Situated in the Canongate Tolbooth, the sights, sounds and even smells of Edinburgh folk from the 18th century onwards are faithfully reproduced.

Witchery Tour

Meet outside The Witchery restaurant, Castlehill (Royal Mile), Edinburgh, 225 6745. £7 (£4). Times vary and advanced booking is necessary. Take a trip to the dark side of Edinburgh with your guide, Adam Lyal deceased, who will regale you with stories of torture, murder and witchcraft but watch out for ghosts and ghouls lurking in the shadows.

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Samhuinn Celebration

What? Samhuinn - pronounced Sa-wayne. . I'm still not any clearer It's the ancient Celtic New Year celebration, marking the end of summer and the beginning of winter, which falls on what we now call


So lots of dressing up and turnip Iantems and stuff? Yup, and those wonderful people at the Beltane Fire Society (who bring you the festivities on Calton Hill on the 30th of April) will be organising a procession with the usual weird costumes

and even weirder antics.

What are the details then? The procession leaves Castle Esplanade at 9.30pm and makes its way down to Parliament Square, where the men and women of the summer court meet those of the winter court and engage in all sorts of dancing, fighting and fire-swinging. Then there's a fundraising night at the Bongo Club

starting at 11pm.

And they do all this out of the goodness of their hearts? Yes, all the. performers and organisers are volunteers, but staging events like this is an expensrve busrness so any donations are gratefully received - look out for bucketeers on the night.

Samhuinn Festival, Sun 31 October. procession leaves Castle Esplanade at 9.30pm; Anonymi, 11 pm-3am at The Bongo Club, New Street. £5 (£4).

21 Oct-4 Nov 1999 THE “ST 93