Edinburgh’s Christmas Market has opened to the public this weekend.
The market, one of the most popular Christmas celebrations in the UK, will run for six weeks until the 7th January.
Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens will be transformed into a veritable winter wonderland by a rich array fairground attractions, lights, buskers, artists and street-chefs.
The market has grown its reputation as one of Europe’s largest Christmas attractions.
Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said to Edinburgh Evening News, “Edinburgh’s Christmas promises to wow once again, and the Christmas Market alongside with the Street of Light is a spectacular and mesmerising addition to what is already a brilliant line-up.”
Around 900,000 unique visitors from all over Europe are expected to fill St. Andrews Square in the coming weeks.
Hundreds of chefs and artisans are expected to open their shutters, offering nibbles, trinkets and a more magical Christmas experience.
Shopkeeper Judies, owner of ChristmasWorld, sells traditional German wooden ornaments. She said, “Me and my brother have been here in Edinburgh for the Christmas markets even before they became a huge event. This is our fifteenth year in this street, and I wouldn’t like to be anywhere else.”
Norwegian shopkeeper Kari Ittervel claims that she comes to Edinburgh just for the market. A resident of Amsterdam, she flies over for just two months a year to sell her handmade pottery.
“I’ve been here for two years now, I was in London’s Christmas Market before, but it’s not even a tenth as nice as in Edinburgh’s. One day I heard that there was a beautiful market here and I resolved: ‘let’s make Edinburgh’s ladies happy with my items!’”
“The markets are amazing. Beautiful people, beautiful city, it’s just fantastic!”
It’s not just the shopkeepers who love the atmosphere. Jasmine – a tourist from Newcastle – said, “I came a long way from Newcastle, just because I think the Christmas markets are great. They bring a bit of European culture to the cities in the UK.”
“I think it is really nice, the smell is nice in the air, the sites and there are really a lot of lights and we are looking forward to go around, it is a great thing.”
The experience is certainly rich – families peer into the Gardens from the terrace of the Scottish National Gallery as the smell of burned wood and the sound of buskers fill the air.
The Edinburgh Christmas Market will stay vibrant with music, sounds, sights and smells until early 2017.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club have made an official complaint to the FA and Walsall Football Club over racist abuse directed at their players.
They assert that Carl Ikeme and George Elokobi were the subjects of racial abuse at Banks Stadiums during the teams match on Saturday.
A statement on the Wolves website stated: “The complaint relates to a small number of individuals in the crowd at Saturday’s game and will not sour the good relationship that exists between the two clubs.”
Ikeme and Elokobi had both reported incidents of racial abuse during the game to members of Wolves management.
Walsall have also released a statement saying: “We are taking this matter very seriously and will fully co-operate with West Midlands Police and Wolverhampton Wanderers throughout this investigation.”
Carl Froch and George Groves have come face to face for the first time since their fight last year. The meeting took place at a press conference earlier today, to promote their rematch at Wembley Stadium on May 31st.
The first fight between the pair saw Froch retain his WBA and IBF super-middleweight titles with a controversial stoppage. This time round Groves is determined to even up the score.
“It was a stone-wall robbery last time. Everyone knows it. It brings me great joy that this is happening because otherwise this is not a fight that was going to take place.”
Froch meanwhile, is feeling rejuvenated after a Christmas off and is ready to hit the gym. “I’ve missed the gym, I’ve missed boxing, I’ve missed hitting the bag, I’ve missed listening to (trainer) Rob (McCracken), working hard on the road runs and that’s bad news for George Groves because I’m now excited and looking forward to getting back in the gym and getting in the ring on May 31 and doing the business.”
The fight is expected to break the attendance record for a post-War fight with roughly 60,000 to 70,000 people expected. Shattering the previous total of 55,000, set by Ricky Hatton’s fight against Juan Lazcano at the City of Manchester Stadium.
Edinburgh Rugby has confirmed that lock Izak van der Westhuizen will return to South Africa at the end of the season.
The 28-year-old signed at the start of the 2012/13 campaign from Free State Cheetahs. However, his debut season in the capital was hampered by an ankle injury. Despite this he has since gone on to make 19 starts in 24 appearances for the club.
Westhuizen said: “Scotland will always have a special place for me and I’ll be able to look back on a lot of good times.”
While head coach Alan Solomons added: “Sakki has done a splendid job for us this year and will continue to do so until the end of the season. An opportunity has presented itself back in his home country that suits him and his young family. I’m sure he will make a valuable contribution to the Kings.”
Morgan Lynn, a coach at Hibernian Ladies football club, has died after falling from the roof of her fifth floor balcony hotel room in Spain. The 25-year-old was on holiday in Benidorm with two female friends when the tragic accident occurred.
Local police and the foreign office have confirmed that Ms Lynn fell from the balcony at around 3am, after her and her companions returned to the Hotel Gala Placidia, where they were staying.
Her parents Kenny, 49, and Wenda, 48, were today too upset to talk about the tragedy.
Kelly Gallagher has won Britain’s very first gold in the Winter Paralympics. She claimed victory in the impaired super-G in Sochi with the aid of her guide Charlotte Evans, in a time of one minute and 28.72 seconds.
The 28-year-old from Bangor in County Down had previously taken the silver medal at the World Championships in Spain last year, but went one better in Sochi taking home the gold.
It was a huge turnaround in fortunes for the pair, who on Saturday had finished last in the downhill event.
Gallagher said: “We came last so we really had to work to pick ourselves up. It was really hard coming from downhill into Super-G because they are similar speed events.”
The gold medal was only the start of the good news for Team GB, as Jade Etherington and her guide Caroline Powell took bronze in the Super Giant Slalom, adding to the silver they had previously won on Saturday.
Described by Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, Alistair Campbell, as insightful and provocative, Mandy was praised by the Prime Minister David Cameron for being ahead of the game for her analysis of the financial crisis and the coalition at Westminster.
Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, says her magazine, Holyrood, is “essential reading”.
Mandy’s skill lies in her ability to never be predictable in her line of attack and Tony Blair’s arch spin doctor, Alistair Campbell, who subscribes to the magazine says she has brought back good old-fashioned journalism to the field of politics.
Mandy began her career on a local newspaper in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived housing estate where she cut her teeth on stories that reflected a a society with a growing drug problem, rising poverty and the emergence of the social and medical issues related to HIV and Aids.
She went on to be part of the founding editorial team on Scotland on Sunday and continued her campaigning journalism in her role as Social Affairs Correspondent breaking front page stories on child abuse, illegal trafficking of children and groundbreaking features inside Scotland’s prisons.
She then moved into television and fronted a number of campaigning programmes exposing social inequality before moving behind the camera and working as a television documentary director with the BBC where she later hosted her own medical programme for Radio Scotland before leaving Scotland for London where she became a full time mum and part time commissioner of documentary programmes for Channel 4.
Mandy returned to Scotland in 2002 and became the editor of Holyrood magazine three years later and Managing Editor of Holyrood Communications shortly thereafter working closely with the Managing Director on the strategic direction of the business and for providing the political intelligence for the conference arm of the company.
In the eight years that she has been there, Mandy has transformed Holyrood Magazine from a niche policy publication into a must read for Scotland’s body politic and civic society. She has built a talented, cohesive and incredibly loyal team of journalists and conference researchers and encouraged and guided them in areas of specialism suited to their own particular interests, knowledge and ability. Mandy’s fortnightly ‘Editor’s Notes’ column has become essential reading for the body politic and her high-profile political profiles are regularly quoted by politicians within the Scottish Parliament and make headlines in the mainstream media.
Edinburgh based fashion writer Lynne McCrossan is to be the latest guest at the Media Mondays lecture series run by the School of Journalism.
The Style Columnist, who writes for both the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland on Sunday, was a former resident expert on STV’s The Hour and also authored the book “A Girl’s Guide to Vintage”.
Speaking about her career, Lynne said: “It’s about picking projects you are passionate about and more often than not seizing opportunities open to you.”
Lynne will take part in a Q and A with students on Monday 21st October, 1-2pm in F10, Merchiston.
By Alexander Neal, Lauren Elliott and Lisa Mitchell.
Listen to Alex Thomson (Channel 4 News) and Mark Daly (BBC Scotland) discuss the origins of the problems Rangers faced and how the situation at present with regard to the saga. A detailed and extended talk from the pair, who provided witty insight and analysis of the events that led to the current scenario, as well as answering questions pitched by audience members.
This chronological account provides a good reference point for anyone interested in the story, and how it was covered in various forms of media. The pair discuss how they covered the story, on top of talking about how other agencies covered it and why.
This was a popular talk, with both men exploring in depth the issues surrounding possibly the biggest sports story to come from Scotland.
The next installment of the Media Monday lectures has arrived. The Director of Content at STV, Alan Clements, one of the most influential men in broadcasting has come to Napier to talk about his career and his experiences in the world of media.
By: Lauren Elliott and Lisa Mitchell Media Mondays
The first of a series of powerhouse lectures by the biggest and best in British Journalism has finally been introduced to Edinburgh Napier News. The listings of popular and influential journalistic minds will be tagged on Twitter under the name Media Mondays. This week we had the privilege to host a masterclass starring BBC special correspondent and legend, Allan Little. In his lecture he talks about ‘good writing’ and his experiences in the field. Listen here:
Lloyds TSB is set to create 500 new jobs across the UK.
The banking company will create the new jobs as part of its plans to sell several of its branches to the Co-op.
Project Verde will see the sale of 632 Lloyds bank branches. The new jobs will be created in support centres in Sunderland, Gloucester, Livingston, Birmingham and Swansea.
The sale is a result of an order from the European Union, following the UK government’s bailout of Lloyds during 2008’s financial crisis and will likely make the Co-operative Group responsible for 19% of mortgages.
Gordon Edwards, telephone banking director at Lloyd’s Sunderland site, said these new jobs are “great news.”
Project Verde is proving to be a “highly complex” deal and is now facing delay as the Financial Services Authority seek assurances regarding the capacity of the Co-operative Group to take on this major acquisition.
Local community group Friends of Craighouse Grounds & Woods have raised concerns on the future of the green fields and woodland surrounding Craighouse in Morningside, Edinburgh.
They oppose plans by the new owners, which include constructing 3-storey housing across the orchard, with 3 to 4-storey blocks dotted about the site, and a very substantial new-build development across a large area of Open Green Space and mature woodland.
None of these proposals were previously mentioned by the developers in their recent public consultation exhibition.
Friends of Craighouse have created an online petition to show “how much people care about this incredible site and how much they value this important green space and woodland where kids play, people walk, run, enjoy the spectacular views, walk their dogs, watch the fireworks, and catch a glimpse of some of the local wildlife. ”
It has been announced today that the two Giant Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo are to be sponsored by deodorant company Lynx during their mating season.
Lynx is well-known for its advertising campaigns, which claim the opposite sex cannot fail to be wooed by the effect of their deodorant, known as the ‘Lynx Effect’. The new advert comes as the pandas begin their long-awaited breeding season.
While the pandas themselves are unlikely to be sprayed with the alluring scent of Lynx, smell does play a pivotal role in panda breeding. Iain Valentine, director of research and conservation at the zoo said, “In the wild pandas use a chemical communication system involving pheromones to locate and choose mates. Scent is also how males will know that female pandas are fertile.”
Tian Tian, the female panda, is being closely monitored by the zoo to see when she is ready to conceive. Pandas have been found to be notoriously picky in choosing their mates, however the zoo believes their pair are getting along well and there is a good chance they could mate.
Lynx, meanwhile believes its knowledge in attracting the opposite sex could come in handy when the Pandas choose to get together. Kieran Danaher from Lynx said, “It’s the perfect time to partner with Edinburgh Zoo and use our attraction know-how to help out with panda mating season.”