Book events

Nicholas Evans Waterstone‘s. 128 Princes Street. 226 2666. 6pm. Free. The author of The Horse li'hisperer reads from his new book. Smoke Jumper.


A Nasty Piece Of Work Royal Botanic Garden. Inverleith Row. 248 2968. 3pm. Free. but book in advattce. The man responsible for the M8's Big Heids‘. David Mach. talks about his work. Art In Vienna In The Time Of Freud Royal Botanic Garden. Inverleith House. 353 3399. 6.30pm. £8. Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Richard Calvocoressi.

Chris Bonington Assembly Rooms. 54 George Street. 220 4349. 7pm. £10 for lecture; £25 supper & lecture. Mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington gives a lecture on his latest expeditions.

Other events

The South Bank Show: 25th Season National Gallery of Modern Art. Belford Road. 624 6200. 12.45pm. Free. To celebrate the South Bank Show"s 25th series. a free screening of a vintage show with Francis Bacon.

Book events

Hugh Cornwell Waterstone‘s. 128 Princes Street. 226 2666. 6pm. The Stranglers frontman reads froin his book. The Stranglers.“ Song By Song.


Yonex East Of Scotland Junior Championships Meadowbank Sports Centre. 139 London Road. 445 5151. Singles. doubles and mixed matches. Hearts v Celtic Tynecastle Stadium. Gorgie Road. 200 7201. 3pm. £l6—£l9 (£10). SPL football match. Livingston v Dundee West Lothian Courier Stadium. Alderstone Road. Livingston. 01506 417000. 3pm. £tbc. SP1- football match.

Other events

Graham Crowden The Claretnont Bar. 133—135 Fast Claremont Street. 661 8923. l—6pm. £15. An afternoon with this Scottish actor. Proceeds to the Foundation for the Study of Infant Death Syndrome.

Edinburgh’s Farmers’ Market Castle Terrace. 652 5940. 9am—2pm. Free. A chance to buy fresh produce. Christmas Gift Fair Morningside Braid Church Hall. Nile Grove. (off Morningside Road). 621 1561. 10am—4pm. 50p. Locally made crafts sold iit aid of St Columba‘s Hospice. Kilimanjaro Ball Sheraton Grand Hotel. 1 Festival Square. 313 1457.



Camera Obscura Castlehill, Royal Mile. 226 3709. Daily thm—Spm. £4.75 ($240—$380): family ticket E14. Pick up a pedestrian in yOur hand at this attraction. which gives Visitors a real-time. 360' image of the City. Dean Gallery

Belford Road. 624 6200.

Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun noon—5pm. The Dean is entirely devoted to the whole of 20th century art. Formerly a 19th century orphanage. it houses a large collection of work by Eduardo Paolozzi. Dynamic Earth Holyrood Road. 550 7800. Wed—Sun 10am—5pm. £6.95 (23.95—24.95); family ticket £218.50. This visitor attraction uses stunning new developments in

7.30pm. £45. A charity ball in aid of

MYSA. a Kenyan charity aiming to improve people's lives through sport.

Sunday 18


Yonex East Of Scotland Junior Championships Meadowbank Sports Centre. 139 London Road. 445 5151. See Sat 17.

Scotland v Argentina Murrayl'teld Stadium. Riversdale Crescent. 0870 040 1925. 3pm. £10—£20 (£5). International rugby match in the Autumn Test.


The Saltire, The Lyon And The Drum Edinburgh Castle. Royal Mile. 225 9846. 1pm. 2pm 8; 3pm. Normal admission applies. Hugh Robertson tells the story of Scotland's flag.

Monday 1 9

Book events

Brian Patten Assembly Rooms. 54 George Street. 220 4349. 7pm. £4. Acclaimed poet and writer reads from his new book. The Story (iiant.


Conservation Of Historic Graveyards Conference Royal MUseunt. 2 Chambers Street. 247 4219. 9am. £10—£15. A one-day conference considering issues of preservation. restoration and management.


Frontiers - Manned Space Flight Edinburgh City Chambers. High Street. 228 l 155. 6.30pm. Free on day: £3 in advance. Frank Longhurst of the European Space Agency on manned space exploration.

Other events

The Traditional German Christmas Market L'ntil Fri 21 Dec. Princes Street Gardens Fast. Princes Street. 473 2000. 10am—8pm. Experience the sights. sounds and smells of a traditional German market.

Tuesday 20


Hidden Revelations Royal Observatory Visitor Centre. Blackford Hill. 668 8405. 7.30pm. Free. Rtissell Fberst on the phenomenon of occultation.

Wednesday 21

Book events

Terry Pratchett Borders Books. L'nit 26. Fort Kinnaird Retail Park. 657 4041. 4.30pm. The prolific fantasy author signs copies of The Last Hero and Amazing Maurice and His Iz'dta'ated Rodent.

Tim Smlt Waterstone's. 128 Princes Street. 226 2666. 6pm. Free. The author of Lust Gardens ()va/LLZUII discusses his new work.

interactive technology to piece together the history of the planet. Creating a thor0ugh1y modern way to step



Various venues, Thu 22 Nov-Mon 24 Dec.

Edinburgh life

It probably won’t come as a shock, but event-related press conferences in general are incredibly dull affairs. What they lack in pizzazz they make up for in coffee, promotional bumph and boring speeches, excerpts of which will most likely have made their way to the desks of non-attendees before you return to the office. But when the City of Edinburgh Council launched this year’s Capital Christmas campaign, it was a different story.

Unfavourable coverage in the press in the week leading up to the launch had frayed more than a few nerves. What should have been a quiet, reserved affair descended into a rabble over retailers’ contributions, dwindling tourist numbers, and even car parking. Hardly conducive to the Christmas spirit.

Somewhere in the mire of political rhetoric lay arguably the best, most inclusive programme of Christmas events to be found anywhere in Britain. Building on the success of old favourites like Winter Wonderland, the Christmas Parade and last year’s inaugural Edinburgh Wheel and Continental Market, come some new and exciting features. Firstly, children can delight in Santa’s Ice Cave Grotto, a magical ice installation perched atop Princes Mall, and secondly, French street theatre group Plasticiens Volants will set the High Street alight with their show incorporating spectacular inflatables, live

music and pyrotechnics.

The mammoth task of programming Edinburgh’s winter festival has fallen again on the able shoulders of Unique Events and creating an inclusive, exciting programme is riddled with challenges. ‘It is hard because Christmas is full of clichés,’ explains director Pete Irvine. ‘lt’s full of fairly predictable things, and it’s also very commercial, so our challenge is to transform the city centre into a Christmassy place, and for it not to seem corny or too commercial or exploitative. We want kids to be amazed and everybody to feel good about it, but we think that’s what we will be able to do.’ (Maureen Ellis)

' Talks

The Use Of Referenda Open Door. 420 Morningside Road. 447 1103. 10.30am. £1. lidinburgh Cni's Cllr Andrew Burns on referenda.

Book events

Timothy Freke and Peter Candy Waterstone's. 128 Princes Street. 226 2666. 6pm. The best-selling authors talk about Jesus And The Goddess: The .St’t'l'i'l Teachings" ()_/"l'he ()rt'gina/ Christians. Will Self Traverse Theatre. Cambridge Street. 228 1404. 7pm. £4 (£3). Self reads from his new book. Feeding l-‘ren:_\'. Brian Hennigan ()ttakar's Bookshop. Cameron Toll Shopping Centre. 6 Lady

Road. 666 1866. 7pm. See photo caption.

back in time. Edinburgh Castle

Royal Mile. 225 9846. Daily 9.30am—5pm. E7

1 Royal Observatory Visitor Dem

($32—$25). Although much of the castles medieval character was lost when it was converted into barracks in the t9th century. continuing excavations aim to redress this.

Edinburgh Zoo Corstorphine Road. 3:34 91 71 . Daily Bani—4.30pm. E7 (5:11—5:51: family lleCl 5220—5324550. Widely accepted as one of the finest zoos in Britain. there's plenty here to

Big Word Performance Poetry (iilded Saloon. 233 Cowgate. 226 6550. 9pm. £4 (£3). l'pbeat poetic musings from Richard Allen. 1i'fan Merchant. Stephen Barnaby and Jan-.»\ndrew Henderson.


The Future Of Space Exploration Royal Museum. 2 Chambers Street. 228 l 155. 6.30pm. Free on day; £3 in adsance. John Young of NASA on the future of space travel.

Other events

Herbal Remedies - Christmas Gifts Gorgie City Farm. 51 Gorgie Road. 337 4202. l0am—-noon. £6 (£4). Concoct a Christmas present with a difference at this two-day course. while away an afternoon. Or even a whole day if yOLi' take yOu'r time. Mary King’s Close Tours

Meet at Mercat Cross (beSide St Giles' Cat'nedrall. 557 61464. 27.51911: children £3. literally. a trio to Edinburgh's underworld. Man. King's Close is part of a now subterranean network of streets. walled off in the middle ages during an outbreak of the plague.

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