All posts by janebretin

3pm Today’s Edinburgh Napier News Bulletin

For a round-up of today’s news, watch the Edinburgh Napier News bulletin.

Today’s headlines:

– The SNP is under fire over a freedom of information request that took 9 months to respond to.

– A 20-year-old man is in court today charged with the murder of a retired Edinburgh lecturer.

– Morningside Library will close for eight months for refurbishment.

– How will yesterday’s budget affect Scotland’s video-gaming industry?

– Exclusive at Leith Docks – Michael McKeand looks at the latest addition to the port.

“The Forest has too much soul to close”

by Jane Bretin

Source The Forest blog


It has been announced today that The Forest Cafe must leave its current location in Bristo Place by August 31 2011.

The Cafe received a letter from the Trustees of Edinburgh University Settlement stating they would have to leave the premises when the lease ends in August. Edinburgh’s most famous independent arts’ centre launched a campaign last Autumn in an attempt to raise money to buy the building.

The campaign is set to continue until the very last-minute with more events to come which include the massive Roofraiser. This month-long event features free gigs every week, Wednesday to Sunday between 8pm and 11pm.

The outcome of the campaign is still uncertain. So what would happen if it did have to close? Harry Giles, fundraiser officer for the venue told us that if all else fails; “We will look for another building but The Forest has too much soul to close altogether. Even if we need to take a break for a few months to sort things out, we will reopen.”

The cafe has become one of the city’s landmarks throughout the years and is a popular festival venue. It relies on volunteers and organises free events to promote all forms of art. The Forest is also a community centre as it includes a hair salon, several music venues and is also involved in projects worldwide.

To take part in the campaign or show your support, click here to sign the petition or donate a couple of pounds.

Napier Craighouse Campus sold for residences

by Jane Bretin

Edinburgh Napier University has just announced the sale of their historic Craighouse campus to be converted into new homes.

The sale of the campus is part of a “long-term plan and is unrelated to education cuts” according to communications officer, Patrick McFall of Napier University.  The site was acquired by the university in 1994 and is home to the School of Arts and Creative Industries as well as the School of Health and Social Science. Both these disciplines will relocate their headquarters to either Merchiston or Sighthill campuses that offer a “better, more modern workspace” for staff and students.

The building, which was established in the 12th century, was bought by Craighouse Partnership. It will undergo redevelopment and be converted into private residences. It will continue to host private events until 2012 and will serve as university grounds until mid-2013.

Copyright FluFlixFlex

The buildings are also well-known for their original use as a mental asylum and its quirky architecture. According to the university’s website, it was home to the man who introduced skyscrapers to Japan.

The proceeds from the sale will be reinvested into the development of the university.

Happy birthday to the dog and bone!

by Jane Bretin

The telephone is 135 years old this month!

Alexander Graham Bell, the Scottish inventor, sought the patent for the first telephonic device in March 1876. Bell is officially recognised as the father of the phone but the American Congress has raised

Credit plenty.r

doubts about the origin of the idea. They credited the contribution of Italian inventor Antonio Meucci to the creation of the device.

It remains unclear who is responsible for its creation but there no doubt as to its practicality. To this day, it remains one of the most widely used communication methods and it has evolved beyond belief. Telephones are now mobile and communication is established directly from the caller to the receiver.

They now perform a whole range of different services such as texting, photography and even using the internet. The phones themselves have become small and light.

Who would have thought that such a revolution in the world of communication could evolve even further? Mr Bell would certainly be proud.

Seen but not heard

by Jane Bretin

Scotland is inaugurating its first silent film festival in Falkirk today. The Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema is set to last three days, from Friday to Sunday and will feature a number of all time

Credit miss mass

classics as well as less famous movies.

The festival includes the screening of a dozen films to suit all ages and tastes as well as an ongoing exhibition in the Bo’ness library. The exhibition retraces the evolution of cinema in the Falkirk area and highlights the importance of the 7th art to this day. Continue reading Seen but not heard

Grand Slam for England?

by Jane Bretin

The pressure is on for the English rugby team as they are set to play their final game in the 6 Nations Tournament in a bid to win the Grand Slam this Saturday.

The England team, that has not won a Grand Slam in eight years, is expecting tough resistance from the opposing Irish team when they play them in Dublin on Saturday. As Brian O’Driscoll, Ireland’s captain, told the RBS 6 Nations’s official website: “It’s always a huge game for us because of the history between the countries”. He added that they would exploit the opponents’ nerves as the pressure will be palpable for the British team.

Continue reading Grand Slam for England?

Scots drink more than ever before

by Jane Bretin and Adam Smyth

Today’s report from NHS health Scotland has revealed that Scottish alcohol consumption is at its highest level in 30 years.

Credit mhaithaca

The report states that alcohol consumption per person has risen by 1.2 liters of pure alcohol a year compared to 1994. It also showed that shop sales have increased significantly with spirits accounting for the largest part of the sales.

As the study showed, Scots are the biggest drinkers in the United Kingdom, well ahead of England and Wales. This raises the question, once again of minimum pricing per unit of alcohol and issue of what pushes the Scottish people to drink. Jennifer Curran, head of policy for Alcohol Focus Scotland told Edinburgh Napier news : “alcohol is now more affordable, more available and is more heavily marketed than at any time over the last 30 years.

Continue reading Scots drink more than ever before

Wear your Poppy proudly

By Jane Bretin

Each year, the world celebrates the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month as the end of World War 1.

It is traditional, in countries across the Commonwealth, to wear a poppy in the weeks leading up to the 11th of November. The badge symbolises a tribute to ex service men and women who fought for our freedom.  The symbolical date marks the signing of the Armistice in 1918 but it has evolved into a day of remembrance since 1921. Originally, the date was put forward to remember those who had died in both World Wars but it now also includes the legions fighting in subsequent conflicts and particularly the ongoing Iraq war.

Ceremonies are held across the country but most of them take place on Remembrance Sunday, the Sunday closest to the date, to allow more people to attend. This year again, no less then 7 parades will be held in the greater Edinburgh area, including one on High Street. Religious services in the region will also commemorate war veterans as well as those who lost their lives for the country.

Poppy badge

The universities in Edinburgh, Edinburgh University, Napier University and Herriot-Watt University, hosted a joint ceremony for staff, students and their families and friends, on Sunday 8th of November. The tribute included a service, the laying of wreaths and the traditional 2 minutes of silence. For those who were unable to attend, they are holding an other one on Sunday 14th of November. Scotland’s National Remembrance ceremony will also take place place at Edinburgh University on Sunday 14th. The service will be held at the Stone of Remembrance in McEwan Hall at 10:40am.

This year, the Poppy Appeal started on the 28th of October and is worn by many, including news presenters and celebrities. The poppy badges are available after donation in many shops as well as online. The poppy symbol comes from a poem by John McCrae called Flanders’ Fields, written after he saw the combat fields in the Belgian province of Flanders and in the North of France. He was moved by the devastation and noticed that poppies were the only flowers that grew on the battlefields.

The Poppy Appeal is launched each year by the Royal British Legion to provide ex service men and women with everything from bare essentials to medical care or psychological support. Donations can be made through the Royal British Legion and the Poppy websites.


It’s that time of year again

By Jane Bretin

Here it is, once again, that time of year when it’s not all about women, their fashion and their hair. Movember has landed and it is all about men and their (facial) hair. The one time of year they can steal the limelight and it is all for a good cause.

For the past seven years, men have been growing moustaches during the entire month of November to raise awareness about their health issues. Originally a joke among friends, the trend grew and became an event in several countries across the globe including the United-Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. The campaign has also evolved and now specifically targets prostate cancer.

Over the years it has become an event in the UK and friends now get together to fight for the cause as a group. Men love a competition too, so it’s all about who has the best shape, fastest growing or most impressive one.

The event becomes more and more obvious throughout the month as men turn their back on the current  pretty boy trend and show their virility. Facial hair is an inherent part of manhood so how better to combat a disease that threatens male organs?

Although men were behind the moustache idea, they were inspired by the women around them and their engagement in breast cancer campaigns. Now it is time for all women to encourage the smooth faced men in their lives to take the plunge and go with the Mo!

It is not all about the tache of course and donations are more than welcome. All men taking part should register on to enable donations to be made. Prizes will be drawn at the beginning of December for those who have been most successful in collecting funds. In 2009, the event managed to raise £26 million for research, support and awareness initiatives.

It is all for a good cause so let the women step down and the men take centre stage.

For more information, please visit the prostate cancer charity website. Donations can be made directly through the Movember website or on the Cancer Research website.


Merci Paris…

The final day of the Paris Fashion Week has arrived! After a full ten days of catwalks, designers, models, and after parties, the time has come to leave the city of lights and reflect on the new trends that will invade our wardrobes next Spring.

The event kicked off on the 29th of September and the all big names of the fashion industry were there. All main French, as well as international designers showcased their latest work in spectacular shows. The main stages included shows by classical French houses Chanel, Dior, Yves St Laurent and Balmain among others and Vuitton and Hermes still to come.

The shows in themselves were flamboyant and managed to give the audience a taste of what is to come for the coming season. Although this winter, the mood is dark in the fashion world, it is set to brighten up in the Spring with a big colour comeback.

A creation by Russian designer Valentin Yudashkin as part of his Spring/Summer 2011 women's ready-to-wear fashion collection during Paris Fashion Week October 6, 2010.

Orange and peach will come into our closets as a natural shift from the nude shades we experienced last summer. Block colours as well as prints will create an outburst of change in our sombre winter styles, as seen in Galliano and Elie Saab’s collections. All these trends are equally reflected in the traditional Alexander McQueen style reflecting his team’s tribute and keeping his legacy alive.

Of course, Fashion Week would not be itself without the traditional after parties and Lagerfeld playing host on more than one occasion. He hosted several extravaganzas, including one to celebrate his collaboration with Hogan and another one for the launch of Fendi’s new fragrance. These were a huge success and all the bold and beautiful people were there. A detailed account of the gossip and the full shows can be seen on the vogue website!

Now that it is all coming to an end, it is time to celebrate one last time in the name of fashion and wish all the designers luck to give us as good a Fashion Week next season.