chants, stories and dance from around the world in this workshop aimed at all the family (age 8+). At prices like these there’s no excuse not to get out of bed and do something less boring instead.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival

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

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 discover more about Scotland’s rich storytelling traditions and the values and customs of Traveller culture.

The Soul Of Bengal - Stories at Songs Of Tagore Fri 5 Nov, 7.45pm. £6 (£4). The poetry of Bengal’s most famous and Nobel Prize winning poet, Rabindranath Tagore, is featured in this evening of Scottish melodies and traditional Indian harmonies. Stories from Tagore’s life and


Water. It plays a big part in the life of Deep-Sea World. Firstly, Edinburgh folk have to cross a large stretch of it to get to its shorefront home in North Queensferry. Secondly, the place is full of it, including the largest underwater tank in the world filled with no less than 1 million tons of the wet stuff. And finally, the popularity of this aquatic funhouse soars when the amount falling from the skies rivals that in the tanks. That said, Deep-Sea World is much more than a last resort on a rainy afternoon.

Since its opening seven years ago, the centre has become the second most popular paying visitor attraction in the UK, and although the £6.25 entrance fee may seem a bit steep, if you take your time going round, it's almost worth every penny.

First up come the touch pools, where you can run your fingers over a smiley-faced ray, spongy starfish or a surprisingly velvety crab, courtesy of a wetsuit-clad member of staff who jumps from one pool to

hing you ever wanted to know about

another imparting a host of fish-related facts. Further exploration of the tanks offers up a plethora of weird species with even weirder names (look out for Dead Man’s Fingers, Bloodyhenry, Tiger Shovel-Nose, Lesser-spotted Dogfish, Nurse Hound and the supremely ugly Wolfish to name but a few) and only nature could conceive of some of the inhabitants here, in particular the chiffon-like Lion Fish which would look more at home on a Paris catwalk than in a tank.

If you can stand the wait, the twelve-minute long 'Amazon Day' display takes you through a day-in-the-life of a rainforest, with thunderstorms, birdsong and a mini-waterfall. Electric eels that can kill a human with one 650v shock and a whole tank of South American Red Bellied Piranha can make the hairs on your neck stand on end (particularly at feed-time it‘s carnage), but the undisputed highlight of this centre lies way below ground.

Stretching over 360 feet and populated by 3,000 diverse characters, the underwater safari's moving walkway takes you on an oceanic journey through five habitats Kelp Forest, Sandy Flats, Subterranean Caves, The Abyss and Deep Ocean. Try and time your visit round a shark feed - a feisty one once took a chunk out of a diver’s lip, but for the most part they just feed them fish.

Fun Factor 4/5 Informative 4/5 Value for money 4/5

Added extras Cafe, Gift shop, outdoor picnic area

How you get there Drive across the Forth Bridge; get a train to North Queensferry; get a bus (call 01383 621249 for numbers and times)

How much it costs £6.25 (BBS-£4.50)

When it's open Mon—Fri 11am-5pm; weekends and bank holidays 10am—6pm.

(Kelly Apter)

l Deep-Sea World, North Oueensferry, 01383 417880.

92 TiiE HST 4-18 Nov 1999

tales from the Bengali folk tradition give an additional insight into the rich culture of Bengal.

Sagas and Ragasl Sat 6 Nov, 10.30am-4.30pm. £18 (£9). A story and song workshop with Rajeswar Bhattacharya, Pat Bowen and Sue Kali Stubbs.

Fireside Tales For A Winter Night Sat 6 Nov, 7.45pm. £6 (£4). An evening with three of Edinburgh’s finest storytellers, Bea Ferguson, Claire Mulholland and Heather Yule, accompanied by music on the Scottish harp.

The Eight Lights Of Story Sun 7 Nov, 7.45pm. £6 (£4). Ruth Halpern, Audrey Parks and Martin Watssman light each candle of the menorah with a story.

War And Glaur Wed 10 Nov, 7.45pm. £6 (£4). A piece devised and performed by John Nichol which looks at the Great War through the voices of Scottish writers.

Other Events

Ikea Edinburgh Opening Thu 4 Nov, 10am. lkea, Straiton Road, Loanhead, 448 0500. Normally a new furniture shop opening wouldn’t warrant a mention in City Life, but lkea looks set to be a mecca for a nation gone mad on DlY. With everything from beds to pot plants, mostly with intriguing Swedish names, Scotland’s residents can breathe a sigh of relief that they’ll never have to travel to Gateshead again.

Fireworks Display Fri 5 Nov, 7pm. Meadowbank Sports Centre, 139 London Road, 661 5351. Edinburgh’s biggest bonfire and fireworks display, , remembering that rascal Guy Fawkes. All together now, ‘ooooo. . . aaaaaah!’ 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 7 and Sun 14 Nov, 11.30am-4.30pm. Life Under Seige recreates the time of the Jacobite uprising on Thu 4 Nov, Thu 11 Nov and Thu 18 Nov, 10am—4pm; and the Jacobite redcoats and Highland clans do battle in All For The Prince on Fri 5 Nov and Fri 12 Nov, 10am—4pm.

Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Sat 13 & Sun 14 Nov, 9am-6pm. Meadowbank Sports Centre, 139 London Road, 661 5351. Thirty-two teams from around the UK, including four Edinburgh teams, show off their frisbee skills at this beginner’s tournament. So if you get hit by an unidentified flying object on London Road this weekend, you’ll know what it is.

Scottish Claymores Cheerleader Tryout Finals Sun 14 Nov, noon. Murrayfield Stadium, Riverside Crescent, 478 7200. Believe it or not, cheerleading was originally seen as a male pursuit when gridiron was first played over a hundred years ago. So you’ll be pleased to know that the Claymores are recruiting men as well as glamorous girls, under the banner of ’Pep Squads’. Go along to see them fight tooth and nail for a place on the touchline.


Dynamic Earth

Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, 550 7800. Daily IOam-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-5pm

(last admission 4.15pm). £6 (£2-£5). Although much of the castle’s medieval character was lost when it was converted into barracks in the 19th antury, continuing excavations aim to redress this. Other attractions include James lV’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 Zoo

Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, 334 9171. Daily 9am-4.30pm. £6.80 (£3.80—£4.80); family ficket £19—£23.50. Widely accepted as one of the finest zoos in Britain, there’s plenty here to while away an afternoon, or even a whole day if you take your time. The penguin parade at 2pm is a must and the newly- built African plains afford a fantastic view of the city. Also on show: Wildlife Through A Lens. See Edinburgh Art Listings page 85.

Museum Of Childhood

42 High Street, Edinburgh, 529 4142. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Free. Founded in 1955, the museum has five public galleries with all manner of archive material and old toys relating to childhood through the ages. From antique dolls to 19805 computer games, there’s plenty here to send you off on a trip down memory lane. Also on show: On The Crest OfA Wave. See Edinburgh Art Listings page 85.

Museum Of Scotland

Chambers Street, Edinburgh, 247 4219. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun noon—5pm; Tue 10am—8pm. £3 (£1.50); under 183 free. Devoted solely to the history and heritage of Scotland, the building contains five thematically-arranged exhibitions, moving from pre-history, through the Industrial Revolution, to the present day, at which point national heroes such as Billy Connolly and Elaine C. Smith get involved.

Old Town Weaving Company

555 Castlehill, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, 226 1555. Mon-Sat 9am—5.30pm; Sun lOam-Spm. £4 (£1); family ticket £8. Watch tartan appear before your eyes at this weaving wonderland. You’ll get the chance to try your hand on a real loom and visit two mixed-media exhibitions, Story Of Weaving and Highland Dress Through The Ages. And if you’re feeling brave you can dress up in ancient Scottish costume and have your photie taken.

Rosslyn Chapel

Roslin, Edinburgh, 440 2159. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun noon—4.45pm. £3 (£1-£2.50). What you get out of a trip to Rosslyn Chapel may depend on your familiarity with books of the conspiracy theorist genre: a stronghold for the Knights Templar?; proof of pre- Columbian trans-Atlantic travel?; even the final resting place of the Holy Grail?!? What is certain though is that the chapel contains enough historically fascinating carvings and symbols to hold the attention of even the most determined philistine.

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.

Writers' Museum

Lady Stair’s House, Lady Stair’s Close, Edinburgh, 529 4901. Mon—Sat 10am-5pm. Free. A treasure-house of items relating to three of Scotland’s most famous writers: Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. Also on show: Makars’ Court Exhibition. See Edinburgh Art Listings page 85.