www.list.co.uk/aroundtown EDINBURGH

Activities & Events FREE The Past as Propaganda: The Mongol ‘World History’ Thu 18 Nov, 7pm. Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22–26 George Street, 240 5000. Robert Hillenbrand discusses the world’s most valuable Islamic illustrated manuscript, which is housed in the University of Edinburgh’s library. Booking essential. Part of Medieval Week 2010. Paper Making Sat 20 Nov, 10.30am–5pm. £55. Four Winds Inspiration Centre, The Pavilion Inverleith Park Arboretum Place, 332 2229. One- day craft class with Louise Wood. Booking essential.

✽✽ Blockenspiel Sat 20 Nov, 2pm. £7 advance; £8 on the door (under 14s

free). Meadowbank Sports Centre, 139 London Road, 661 5351. An international fixture as the Auld Reekie Roller Girls’ Twisted Thistles team take on the Berlin Bombshells. FREE Absolut Limited Edition Experience Sat 20 Nov, 6.33–10.03pm. The South Pavilion, Quartermile, absolut.com/uk/seemore. Rather mysterious adults-only interactive experience from the makers of Absolut Vodka only ‘those who wish to do and see something different need apply’, apparently. FREE Victoria’s Legendary Singles’ Night Sat 20 Nov, 8pm. Victoria, 265 Leith Walk, 555 1638. A bit of matchmaking fun, with speed dating and the intriguing postman game. Traverse Theatre A&E Quiz Mon 22 Nov, 8pm. £1. Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 228 1404. Know your MoMA from your GoMA and your Toy Story from your West Side Story? If not, you’ve probably not got a chance at the Trav’s A&E quiz nights (that’s Arts & Entertainment, nothing to do with broken limbs and strange rashes). See caption, right. Big Kenny’s Pub Quiz Mon 22 & 29 Nov, 8pm. £1. The Canons’ Gait, 232 Canongate, 556 4481. A good old- fashioned pub quiz. The Guid Crack Club: St Andrew’s Day Fri 26 Nov, 7.30pm. Entry by donation. Waverley Bar, 1 St Mary’s Street, 557 1050. Hear and share stories celebrating our patron saint. FREE Edinburgh St Andrew’s Day Celebrations Sat 27 Nov–Tue 30 Nov, times vary. St Andrew Square, 529 4310. Song and dance sessions, poetry classes, the adrenaline-filled St Andrew’s Day challenge and the Battle of the Bands. FREE Mercat Tours Sat 27 & Sun 28 Nov, noon & 2pm. Mercat Cross, Royal Mile, 348 5000. As part of the Jacobite exhibition at the Scottish Parliament, this Edinburgh guiding company is offering free tours of the Royal Mile as seen through the eyes of a Jacobite rebel. Tours leave from the Mercat Cross and proceed down to the Parliament. FREE Egg Decorating Workshop Sat 27 & Sun 28 Nov, 12.30pm, 2pm & 4pm. The Scottish Parliament, 348 5000. One of the central treasures of the Jacobite exhibition is an ostrich egg engraved with secret codes and mysterious writings. Create your own (considerably tastier) chocolate version. Faith Music St Andrew’s Day Sat 27 Nov, 3–5pm. £8 (£6). Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43–45 High Street, 556 9579. Take the national saint’s day as an opportunity to celebrate all of Scotland’s faiths, with music and song from around the world. Strictly Dance Base Sat 27 Nov, 8pm. £20 (£17.50). Dance Base, 14–16 Grassmarket, 225 5525. A chance to show off your ballroom moves to the beats of Edinburgh big band Sound of Seventeen. The Steps of Style Masters Sun 28 Nov, 12–6pm. £4. Ghillie Dhu, 2 Rutland Place, 222 9930. Breakdance competition with cash prizes and brand clothing from sponsors. FREE St Andrew’s Day Sun 28 Nov, 1.45–2.15pm & 2.45–3.15pm. National

Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, 225 7534. Performances and a chance to join in with the Edinburgh Tattoo Highland Ceilidh Dancers. FREE Inspiring Scots Tue 30 Nov, 9am–noon. Arthur’s Seat, Holyrood Park, 652 8150. Find out all about how Edinburgh’s ‘sleeping lion’ has influenced some of Scotland’s great minds, from Sir Walter Scott to James Hutton. Booking essential.

Fairs ✽✽ FREE Compassionate Living Fayre Sat 20 Nov,

10.30am–5.30pm. The Augustine Church, 41–43 George IV Bridge. Organisations campaigning for animal rights, human rights and the environment. Edinburgh’s Christmas Thu 25 Nov–Tue 4 Jan 2011, times vary. Prices vary. City centre, 529 4310. Six weeks of winter wonderland and Teutonic treats (including, of course, Glühwein). See caption, left. Eric Liddell Centre Christmas Fair Sat 27 Nov, 10am. £1.50. Eric Liddell Centre, 15 Morningside Road, 446 3321. Craft and food stalls, face painting, hot drinks and a special visit . . .

Talks FREE Edinburgh Skeptics Thu 18 Nov, 7.30pm. The Bongo Club, Moray House, 37 Holyrood Road, 558 7604. Guest speaker Professor Robin Dunbar looks at the reality of ‘friends’ on Facebook. Robots in Telescopes Mon 22 Nov, 7.30–8.30pm. £3 (£1.50; season tickets available). Royal Observatory Visitor Centre, Blackford Hill, 668 8404. Discover how the use of robots enables astronomers to study many difference objects simultaneously. FREE Mirrors: Beyond Prison Tue 23 Nov, 12.45–1.30pm. National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound, 624 6200. Two members of the National Galleries’ Outreach Team review the artwork produced on this portrait project in five Scottish prisons. FREE On Form and Fiction: Steven Campbell’s Art in Context Tue 23 Nov, 6–7.30pm. National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound, 624 6200. Art historian and critic Duncan Macmillan delivers the second Steven Campbell lecture. FREE Tackling Cycle Storage for Tenements Thu 25 Nov, 6.45pm. The Augustine Church, 41–43 George IV Bridge. A talk organised by local charity for the promotion of cycling, Spokes. FREE Lunchtime Curator’s Talk Sat 27 Nov, 1–2pm. The Scottish Parliament, 348 5000. Head of Museums Neil Curtis reveals how the current Jacobites exhibition was put together. FREE The Body in Question: Surrealist Anatomies Mon 29 Nov, 12.45–1.30pm. National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound, 624 6200. Art historian Elizabeth Cowling examines the effects of the surrealist artists’ rezoning and reinterpreting of human bodies on their take on figurative art. FREE St Andrew’s Day Debate Mon 29 Nov, 4–5.30pm. The Scottish Parliament, 348 5000. See the final rounds of the annual debating competition for secondary school and university students. The Night Sky in December Mon 29 Nov, 7.30–8.30pm. £3 (£1.50). Royal Observatory Visitor Centre, Blackford Hill, 668 8404. Turn your eye towards the heavens to see the stars of winter. FREE Michel Remy: On the Thirteenth Stroke of Noon Tue 30 Nov, 12.45–1.30pm. National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound, 624 6200. Professor Remy presents a talk on British Surrealism. FREE St Andrew’s Night Debate: Who Were the Winners and Losers of the Jacobite Cause? Tue 30 Nov, 6–8pm. The Scottish Parliament, 348 5000. Scotsman journalist Joan McAlpine leads a debate with various scholars.

AroundTown Britain’s got . . . brainy thespians

The Traverse Theatre Bar’s legendarily difficult A&E quiz (that’s Arts & Entertainment, of course) rolls round again, promising questions on literature, theatre, music, telly, visual art - actually, the only thing banned is sports. Teams of up to six are welcome, and proceeds go to the Maggie’s Centre. Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Mon 22 Nov, 8pm. £1.

Talk and Tea at the John Hope Gateway Wed 1 Dec, 10am. £5. Royal Botanic Garden, Arboretum Place, 248 2979. A presentation on the design and construction of the Botanics’ new flagship building. Shadows of Winter Wed 1 Dec, 10.30am. £8. Lauriston Castle, 2a Cramond Road South, 336 2060. Discover how 19th century artists kept out the cold while capturing winter landscapes. Booking essential. Jock McFadyen: Looking at Landscapes Wed 1 Dec, 6.30–8pm. £12 (£8). Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyrood Palace, 557 2500. The painter considers areas of commonality between the 17th century landscapes on display and his own work. Invisible and Subterranean Creatures Thu 2 Dec, 10.30am. £8. Lauriston Castle, 2a Cramond Road South, 336 2060. Find out how many Scottish writers have been drawn to the elusive fairy folk of legend. Booking essential. ✽✽ FREE The Future of Libraries Thu 2 Dec, 6pm. National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, 623 3918. The role and value of libraries in an increasingly digitally-obsessed world is discussed by three experts. Talking Cities Lecture Thu 2 Dec, 6.30pm. £5. Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road, 228 1155. Andrew Dixon, CEO of Creative Scotland, discusses ‘Shining The Spotlight on Scotland’s Creative Cities.’ Workshops Joyworks! Laugh In Fri 19 Nov, 1.30pm. £8 (£6). The Melting Pot, 5 Rose

Street, 243 2626. Laughter workshop including yoga, games and relaxation. Kindling / Log Baskets with Anthea Naylor Sat 20 Nov, 10.30am–5pm. £55. Four Winds Inspiration Centre, The Pavilion, Inverleith Park, 332 2229. An intermediate class for graduates of Naylor’s willow weaving workshops. Felt Christmas Decorations Sun 21 Nov, 10.30am–3.30pm. £15. Lauriston Castle, 2a Cramond Road South, 336 2060. Create a collection of festive decorations. Ages 16+. Booking essential. Kitchen Cupboard Remedies Mon 22 Nov, 7–9pm. £5. Stockbridge Parish Church, 7b Saxe Coburg Street, 332 0122. A combined effort from Real Foods and herbalists Napiers. Includes goodie bags with samples and recipes. Hedgerow Baskets with Anthea Naylor Sat 27 Nov, 10.30am–5pm. £55. Four Winds Inspiration Centre, The Pavilion Inverleith Park Arboretum Place, 332 2229. Make a basket from freshly- collected hedgerow cuttings. Withy Lanterns with Susan Smith Sat 27 Nov, 10.30am–5pm. £55. Four Winds Inspiration Centre, The Pavilion, Inverleith Park Arboretum Place, 332 2229. Create your lantern, sculpture, and other projects. OUTSIDE THE CITIES St Andrews FREE St Andrew’s Festival 2010 Fri 26–Tue 30 Nov. Venues and times vary. Prices vary. St Andrews, Fife. www.standrewsfestival.co.uk. See feature, page 29.

18 Nov–2 Dec 2010 THE LIST 31