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We welcome submissions for this section. Please send details to our offices at least ten days before publication. Edinburgh life listings compiled by Maureen Ellis.

Capital Christmas

Winter Wonderland Until Sun 6 Jan. Princes Street Gardens East. Princes Street. 226 6550. 10am—10pm (until 8pm Sun—Wed; Wed 26 Dec. lOam—lOpm: Mon 31 Dec. 10am—6pm). £5 (£4); family ticket £15. East Princes Street Gardens are transformed into a magical ice extravaganza featuring an open air ice rink and a toboggan ride. Toboggan run £1 for two shots; £2 for five shots.

The Edinburgh Wheel Until Sun 6

Jan. Princes Street Gardens East. Princes '

Street. 473 3800. lOam—l 1pm. Set against the backdrop of the Scott Monument and Winter Wonderland. The Traditional German Christmas Market L'ntil Fri 21 Dec. Princes Street Gardens East. Princes Street. 473 3800. 10am—8pm.

Experience the sights. sounds and smells

of traditional German market.


Tales And Traditions Of Christmas Edinburgh Castle. Royal Mile. 225 9846. 1 1am. noon. 2pm & 3pm. Normal admission applies. A Victorian character tells stories of the first Nativity play.

What Makes Santa’s Reindeer Fifi Royal Botanic Garden. lnverleith House. 552 7171. 3pm. Free. Ian Darwin touches on everything from the origins of mistletoe kissing to festive plants.

Other events

Scottish Sports Hall Of Fame Until Wed 31 Jul. 2002. Royal Museum. 2 Chambers Street. 247 4219. Free. An exhibition highlighting the 100 nominations for possible introduction into the first Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.

Book events

Lord Of The Rings Waterstone's, 13—14 Princes Street. 556 3034. 6.30pm. Free. The authors of the official

companion books. Jude Fisher and Brian

demonstrates Galileo's cosmological theory of Copernicus.

Other events

Old Town Christmas Markets Grassmarket. 652 5940. 1 lam—4pm. Free. A huge selection of seasonal produce direct from the farm.

Spons Hearts v Kllmarnock Tynecastle Stadium. Gorgie Road. 200 7201. 3pm.

£14—£l7 (£7—£9). SPL football match.

Livingston v St Johnstone West Lothian Courier Stadium. Alderstone Road, Livingston. 01506 417000. 3pm.

£17 (£10). SPL football match.

East Of Scotland Championship Meadowbank Sports Centre, 139 London Road. 661 5351. Badminton competition.

Reebok Cross Challenge Holyrood Park. 529 7794. Noon. Free for spectators. Around 650 runners compete in eight cross-country races.

Other events

Edinburgh’s Farmers’ Market Castle Terrace. 652 5940. 9am—2pm. Free. A chance to buy fresh produce direct from the makers.

Old Town Christmas Markets Grassmarket. 652 5940. l 1am—4pm. Free. See Fri 14.

Christmas 1800 Georgian House, 7

. Charlotte Square. 243 9346. 2—3.30pm. _ £5 (£4). Witness the maid. the cook and

the gentleman and lady of the house prepare for a dinner party.


The Holly And The Ivy Holyrood Park. 556 1761. £tbc. Discover the myths behind Celtic legends on a guided walk.

Political Scottish Countryside Alliance

March The Mound. A march

highlighting the plight of Scotland's rural communities.


East Of Scotland Championship Meadowbank Sports Centre. 139 London Road. 661 5351. See Sat 15. Edinburgh Rocks v Derby Meadowbank Sports Centre. 139 London


‘If all the birds of the world were to come together, imagine how colourful it would be.’ And on a blustery winter’s evening, French street theatre company Piasticiens Volants brought a little piece of the tropics to Edinburgh.

The subdued beginning in Parliamentary Square against the foreboding backdrop of St Giles Cathedral set a curiously mystical tone. Luminous inflatable birds on the backs of stilted actors squawked, pecked and fluttered around the Ayers Rock-like craggy set. The story was always going to be secondary to the visual spectacle, and involved a search for a legendary kingdom - the Simurgh with the narrative spoken in a mixture of French and English.

Constantly moving and demanding attention, the parade moved up and down the High Street. Delights were around every corner and every step of the way from the looming colossal owl to the chicken discotheque and intricate shadow puppetry. Imposing music played on an elaborate birdcage was a good signifier of the virtual movement around the world.

One of the most impressive features was the interaction with the crowd. Each of the characters shrieked and chattered in response with the audience, and perhaps due to the wind, the flying owl sometimes got a little too close for comfort.

Had it not been for a disappointingly flat ending, Simurgh would have been a perfect antidote to the tackiness and commercialism of the Christmas build-up. Instead it was a brief escape from reality which transported you to a dazzling world but brought you quickly back down to earth with a bump. (Maureen Ellis)

343 Oxgangs Road North. 529 5549. 6.30—7.30pm. Free. The well-known crime writer reads from his work.

Tuesday 1 8 ,

Spons Musselburgh Races Musselburgh Racecourse. Linkfield Road.


Livingston v Celtic West Lothian Courier Stadium. Alderstone Road. Livingston. 01506 417000. 7.45pm. SOLD OUT. Rescheduled CIS Cup match.

Other events

Sibley. Road. 661 5351. 5pm. £7 (£5). BBL T Musselburgh. 665 2859. 12.20—3.20pm. Christmas By Candlelight Royal

Cham ionship basketball match. 1 Family race day with children's Botanic Garden. Inverleith House. 552 Talks Edinburgh Capitals V Cardiff entertainment. 7171. 7.30pm. £75. Rostrum provides the Tales And Traditions Of Devils Murrayfield ice Rink. i seasonal music for this intimate dinner. Christmas Edinburgh Castle. Royal Riversdale Crescent. 313 2977. 6pm. £8 . Talks

Mile. 225 9846. 1 1am. noon. 2pm & 3pm. Normal admission applies. See Thu 13.

Galileo - The Telescope And Its Discoveries Royal Observatory Visitor Centre. Blackf'ord Hill. 668 8405. 7pm. £3.50 (£2.50). Eli Atad

(£5). British National League ice hockey match.


Book events Quentin Jardine Oxgangs Library.

From The Big Bang To Black Holes Royal Observatory Visitor Centre. Blackf'ord Hill. 668 8405. 7.30pm. Free. Alan Heavens on the expansion of' the universe and the importance of its dark matter.

Thursday 20


Tales And Traditions Of Christmas Edinburgh Castle. Royal Mile. 225 9846. l lam. noon. 2pm & 3pm. Normal admission applies. See Thu 13.


Castlehill, Royal Mile, 226 3709. Daily 10am—5pm; Closed Tue 25 Dec; Mon 31 Dec. 10am—6pm; Tue 1 Jan, 11am—5pm . 24.75 (22.40—23.80): family ticket 214. Pick up a pedestrian in yOur hand at this attraction. which gives visitOrs a real-time.

3603 image of the city. Dean Gallery

noon—5pm. Situated opposite the National Gallery of Modern Art. The Dean Gallery is entirely devoted to the whole of 20th century art.

Dynamic Earth Holyrood Road, 550 7800. Wed—Sun 10am—5pm; Closed Sun

24—Wed 26 080; Mon 31 Dec—Tue 1 Jan. 11am—4pm. £6.95

beneath yOur feet. a tropical rainstorm pouring

Closed Tue 25 8 Wed 26 Dec.£7(E2—251 Although much of the

down. earthquakes and

tidal waves at every turn. the history of the earth

attraction takes you on a Spine-chilling tom of the deepest darkest

- Belford Road. 624 6200. . . attractions MomSat 1Oam_5pm, (23.95—24.95); family has never been more caStleS med'eVa' Chapters of Swings v - , ' ticket $18.50. With interesting. character Was lost when h- t . M... , 4, g a Sun noon-5pm. Closed . 't n rt d ‘nt ’8 OW Camera Obscura ue ec, ue Jan. barracks in the 19th 1" U79 00

Royal Mile. 225 9846.

'l Roed.334 Daily 9.803m-5pm; Corst0ip 11118 i

9171. Daily Slam—4.30pm. C7 ($24—$51: family ticket C20—E2460. Widely accepted as one of the finest 2008 in Britain. there's plenty here to while away an afternoon, or even a whole day if yOu take your lilllO.

century. continuing excavations aim to redress this. Edinburgh Dungeon 81 Market Street. 0870 8460 666. Daily 10.30am—5pm; Closed Tue 25 Dec 8 Tue 1 Jan. £6.95 (CABS-£6.95). Edinburgh's latest gruesome Visitor

13 Dec 20017 ‘3 Jan 1‘1‘1‘17 THE LIST 101

Wednesday 1 9