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Into the Wild dinburgh Foraging for food in E

Holidays at home and abroad

No place like home


Meet Edinburgh’s hottest band

Mark Beaumont The man who cycled the world





ENTERTAINMENT Interview - Janet De Vigne 5 Summer festivals 6 Hot local bands 8



Orthorexia 11 Crime and sport in South Africa 12 Smart drugs: the smart choice? 13

LIFESTYLE Weddings on a budget 14 Urban foraging 15 Haunted Edinburgh 16 Recessions tips 18 Edinburgh for free 19 Summer fashion trends 20 16­Haunted­Edinburgh

TRAVEL Staying at home 22 Around the world 24

SPORTS Alternative summer sports 26 Interview - Mark Beaumont 27 Goodbye to Silverstone 30 24­Thailand

Welcome to iMPULSE, your indispensable summer read taking you through the warmer months with our fresh and vibrant outlook on all things you need to know. Turn the pages to find interviews with round-the-world cyclist Mark Beamount (p27) as well as some of Edinburgh’s hottest new bands (p8). We take a quirky, alternative look at the recession, with tips on how to get through the hard times (p18), to ideas on where to take your summer holiday (p24) and how to have that dream wedding (p14) – all on a budget! We also delve into the more serious side of life with a look at why an increasing number of young adults are turning to drugs in a bid to reach success (p13). iMPULSE is Edinburgh Napier University’s student magazine and is produced by third-year students in the Journalism and Publishing degrees. From the writing to the designing to the funding – it’s all been done by us. It’s been tough but we hope you’ll agree that the result is something special.

Gemma & Peter Editors

EDITORS: Gemma Haigh, Peter Simpson DEPUTY EDITORS: Frances Allan, Paul McCabe EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS: Meghan Brown, Myles Edwards PRODUCTION EDITORS: Natalie Leask, Gillian Swinton FEATURES EDITORS: Suhayl Afzal, Barry Begg, Mike Gerrity, Angelique Joly DESIGN & PICTURE EDITORS: Lisa Fleming, Kirsty Topping ADVERTISING EDITORS: Lori Carnochan, Andrea Molloy PRODUCTION TEAM: Michelle Ho, Jonathan Kaney, Megan Kelly, Douglas Neilson, Jamie Swanson ADVERTISING TEAM: Kate Caldwell, Emma Craig, Edward Crossan, Fiona Kirkcaldy, Anja Sajdok, Joyce Yip CONTRIBUTORS: Simon Crosbie, Andrew Donaldson, Nicola

Haggarty, David Maxwell, Shanaz Miah, Fiona Mitchell, Olivia Scott, Luci Wallace THANKS TO: Derek, Dave, Kate, Bill and all at the School of Arts and Creative Industries,


Edinburgh Napier University PRINTED BY:

Check out the iMPULSE website at



iMPULSE 0­9 “ Job’s a guid ’un ”

Editors’ letter


Simply WORDS: Peter Simpson IMAGES: William Relton, Ian Watson; Slumdog Millionaire image courtesy of Pathe Distribution Ltd

De Vigne iMPULSE talks to Edinburgh actress Janet De Vigne about appearing in one of the year’s biggest films, Slumdog Millionaire


iMPULSE Summer 2009

Entertainment it’s going to be good’. I mean, who’d turn down the chance to work with him?” As for India, Janet describes her time there as “a real culture shock”. The cast was constantly hassled by the real slumdogs and the grinding poverty was obvious, even at the Taj Mahal. “There was great poverty, and a lot of people with extreme disabilities, but none of them seemed sad or downcast. They almost seemed too busy to be depressed.” The film has come in for criticism for its portrayal of India. While the rags-to-riches story has captured the world's imagination, the young cast still live in and around Mumbai's slums. In April the father of Rubiana Ali , who played the young Latika, allegedly tried to sell her for £200,000. De Vigne's time on set led her to work with Scottish Love in Action on charity screenings of Slumdog, and when she approached Boyle for his thoughts, she was pleasantly surprised. “He hadn’t been back in the UK because awards season had kicked off, but he sent me a postcard saying how proud all of us, and the people of India, should be," she adds. "He really displays all the qualities of a truly great person, both personally and professionally.”

While the film’s success has helped De Vigne's career, her experiences of India have stayed with her. “When you’re standing there, in front of the Taj Mahal, and it looks like it’s just floating, and you’re surrounded by the best and the worst of humanity, it’s hard to put into words. It was a life-changing experience.”

It was a life-changing experience


hen Edinburgh opera singer and actor Janet De Vigne was contacted by a casting agent in December 2007, she could never have imagined that it would lead to her being in Slumdog Millionaire, which scooped eight Academy Awards. Yet the simple tale of a Mumbai street urchin who sets out to find the love of his life through the Indian version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ turned into a worldwide smash hit. Her audition for the part of Ada was far from normal. “I got a call from the producers, asking if I could come to an audition," said De Vigne. "I don’t think they realised that I was in Edinburgh, but when I told them they said I should do the audition on screen and send it down.” One borrowed computer later and it was done. “The weird thing about doing it on the Mac was that I could see myself auditioning as I was doing it, which was a bit off-putting”. Within days De Vigne was whisked away to the Taj Mahal, to play a German tourist taken on a comical tour by a group of street kids on the make. De Vigne is a regular singer with Edinburgh Grand Opera and has acted on stage in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Pitlochry. The chance to work with the esteemed Boyle was too good to miss. “I really knew nothing about the film when we started, but when I saw Danny’s name on the script I thought ‘If he’s involved 



Sounds of the Summer iMPULSE looks at this summer’s music festivals

WORDS: Meghan Brown, Emma Craig and Olivia Scott IMAGES: Gordon Tervit (flickr:dcvr), Megan Kelly

Whether this is the first time you’ve donned your thick sunglasses and straw hat (to protect against the beer-flavoured rain) the summer of 2009 is set to be a great year to check out the festival atmosphere around Europe. Ranging from the great British hippie-inspired musical haunts to the sunnier beach extravaganzas, this year festival fever will be running high!

Glastonbury The world-renowned festival gets more popular every year with its unique mix of music, art and other alternative entertainment. This year it runs between the 24th and 28th of June and will again be in South West England between the small villages of Pilton and Pylle. Highlights this year include Glaswegian indie rockers Franz Ferdinand, along with headliners Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and the reformed Blur. Notorious for its rain and mud-filled fields, revellers should expect to gain a new skin of thick English mud.

T in The Park


T in The Park the premier Scottish festival is again set to warm up even the coldest of nights with its potent cocktail of culture, euphoric atmosphere and brilliantly varied acts. The ever-expanding festival caters to everyone from riff-loving indie students to aging hippie rockers. Tucked in the lush setting of Balado, Kinross, the festival hosts over 80,000 musical fans who annually descend upon the unused airfield for 4 days of hygienically questionable camping in the intoxicating Scottish countryside. The music itself is a dazzling variety of rock, indie, metal, punk, techno, house and even ceilidh. 2009 has a line-up of around 180 artists including festival favourites Bloc Party and The Killers sharing the 11 stages with talented newcomers such as Blood Red Shoes, White Lies and Australian favourites The Presets.

Located bang in the middle of the Spanish summer in Valencia, Benicassim offers a beach setting on the shores of the Mediterranean sea along with the cream of the musical crop. Internationally renowned Kings of Leon are the main headline this year. The festival focuses mainly on alternative rock and electronica as well as offering festival goers alternatives such as theatre, fashion, art and film. It lasts three days, from the 16th to the 19th of July, however campers are urged from the 13th to set up home for the next week or so! The campsite is a fair walk from the main venue, tempting many weary campers to sleep on the pristine beach instead. An estimated 150,000 people are thought to be heading to Benicassim this year, ready to experience the sun, sand, sea and whatever else may encourage them to shake their Spanish castanets!

be nothing a festival would e the es to shar t a m f o s ad without lo experience

Roskilde Roskilde, located 25 miles from Copenhagen, is due to host another sell-out festival. It’s famed for its diverse entertainment with alternative activities such as skating, rock climbing and a multitude of arty distractions aimed at enthralling the crowds. It lasts eight days, the first four being a warm-up before the music begins on the 2nd of July. This year will see the likes of Coldplay, Slipknot, Madness and Cancer Bats, emphasising the diverse mix of sounds.


And if you get bored...

Montreux Jazz Festival

With previous performers such as Ray Charles and Deep Purple, Montreux stands as the best-known music festival in Switzerland, and is Europe’s most prestigious and respected jazz festival. Despite the name, the festival incorporates many musical elements, although jazz does remain a vital and celebrated part of it. The festival is held in a large convention centre and casino on the shores of Lake Geneva, acting as an intimate setting, with the campsite only metres away. This year the runs from the 3rd to the 18th of July, making it one of the longer, more unique European festivals.

Not everyone going to this summer’s festivals will be there for the music – there’s a whole world of things going on away from the crowds. T In The Park hosts a silent disco every year, as well as the recent event of dress up Friday, specifically aimed at the happy campers. If you dare to step out of the main arenas at Glastonbury you could find yourself in one of the theatres or circuses which fill 3 fields at the festival, where around 1,200 shows are performed over the entire weekend. If the music at Benicassim gets a bit boring, then take a stroll along the nearby beach. The summer festivals are jam-packed with lots of fun things to do – oh, and there’s some music as well.

Rock Werchter Said to be Europe’s growing “Big Gun” festival, Rock Wercher, situated in Belgium is a 4-day international band tribute crammed full of beer, waffles and the odd chocolate, shunning the traditional festival grease. The festival runs from Thursday the 3rd to Sunday the 6th of July with Radiohead as headliners, along with The Prodigy, Oasis, Elbow and many others.

THE ESSENTIAL FESTIVAL SURVIVAL KIT iMPULSE brings you its six essential tips for surviving this summer’s festivals... Toilet roll: Probably the most important item in your bag. Trust us. Festival toilets are not nice and generally don’t have toilet roll, soap, or even dry floors. Face wipes: Ideal in the morning when you wake up with your name written on your forehead. Doubles up as an in-tent shower when you feel just a bit disgusting. Which could be quite often. Lots of friends: A festival would be nothing without loads of mates to share the experience. Bring as many as you can ones who enjoy singing ‘Journey’ loudly when walking back to the campsite.

Something large and inflatable: TV cameras love that sort of thing, and it’s fun to be on TV. Also, everything seems easier and more fun when one of you is holding an inflatable cactus. A flag works in pretty much the same way and is easier to carry.

Glow-in-the-dark facepaint: Pointless. Awesome.

DO NOT TAKE: Your iPod. Just don’t. Or anything else that you would be absolutely gutted about losing.

iMPULSE Summer 2009


CHUTES FROM THE HIP Entertainment Entertainment


Blog On! B

Exciting times ahead for Edinburgh’s music revival

Edinburgh’s music scene is

currently enjoying a positive time


iMPULSE Summer 2009

formed through gigging together, partying together and discussing music and life.” It is clear that Chutes feel resentment at the council’s lack of respect for the music scene: “Edinburgh has always faced problems with venues shutting down and the council do not exactly go out of their way to help the local scene.” However, they are spirited in their expression of where things in Edinburgh are going after the recent success Broken Records (another Edinburgh band) have had signing to 4ad. They hope it will shine a light on the many brilliant bands in Edinburgh, such as Meursault, Jesus H. Foxx, We See Lights, Y’all is Fantasy Island and themselves. They say: “There are also a couple of new venues opening such as The Bowery on Roxburgh Place, which strive to put on unique events.” Chutes are in a more privileged position than most bands. Two of the band members, Craig Ross and Stuart Brunton, opened the doors to The Depot – their very own practice rooms and recording studios – in January 2008. So, why did they do it? “We were all sick and tired of turning up at practice,

where the amps were poor, drums were broken, PA system not big enough and microphones looking like you may catch something off them,” the band say. “So we wanted to make somewhere we would be happy rehearsing in.” Many of Edinburgh’s top bands now opt for their services and it has become a kind of musical community. So, how does The Depot compare to other recording studios? “With regards to the actual recording

room, I would say we have a great space for recording that a lot of places in Edinburgh don’t have. We have a spacious live room, and separate vocal booth and amp booth. I would say our choice of gear is different to anyone else, which we feel is why people should come down ‘cos we are getting some ace sounds and also our prices are fair for the current climate; bands ain’t got any money!” It must be a dream come true for a band to be able to call these facilities home and that is exactly what Chutes do. “We can take our time perfecting our music,” they say. “It is a home for us to work in.” 2009 promises to be an exciting time for the Edinburgh music scene, The Depot and Chutes. On the back of memorable gigs at T in the Park, Rockness and the opening of The Picture House, where Chutes supported Idlewild, they have been busy finishing recording their EP, which is released this summer. An EP that is influenced by Edinburgh, love, loss and lust, it’s bound to grab more than just attention.


WORDS: Paul McCabe IMAGE: Ryan Dunn

WORDS: Barry Begg IMAGES: Sara Simmons


or a while it seemed as if the Edinburgh music scene was stuttering, aided by a council that was hell bent on destroying it entirely. With venues closing down instead of opening, and a fire that closed one of the only decent live music venues in the city – The Liquid Room, things were far from upbeat. Edinburgh has always lived in Glasgow’s musical shadow. It has never been able to compete with the likes of King Tut’s, the Barrowlands and the 02 Academy. Recently however, it has become more evident that the capital no longer cares, they are going it alone and a striving local music scene has emerged. Local band Chutes are the perfect example of the upturn in the city’s music revival. The 5-piece band have been playing gigs in Edinburgh for some time and are excited about the changes that are taking place: “The Edinburgh music scene is currently enjoying a positive time. Bands and promoters no longer strive to be compared to Glasgow and are comfortable producing music that is varied and exciting. There is a sense of community

logging: what do you reckon? A wondrous viral world of entertainment and knowledge giving a previously unheard voice to the hidden masses, or a load of mind-numbing twaddle typed by friendless creeps sitting in their pants in the dark? Probably a bit of both to be honest, but one bonus of the whole blogging trend is that it’s a great way to get hold of free music. And some Scottish sites are among the best of the lot. Jim Clark has been running a blog called The Vinyl Villain for over two years and receives over 700 hits a day: “The main purpose remains the idea of getting folk to listen to the sort of music that I’ve most enjoyed over the past 30 plus years, and in particular to try and provide an opportunity to listen to tracks that may otherwise have either been forgotten about or are hard to track down digitally or on CD, with a heavy emphasis on bands/singers from Scotland.” Over at a blog called The Pop Cop, Jason Cranwell has a very specific purpose in mind, “To promote what’s happening in the Scottish music scene – this can include Scottish artists, non-Scottish artists who are playing in Scotland, or artists who have some sort of Scottish link.” In addition to this Jason also organises the Music Alliance Pact, where over 20 blogs throughout the world share their favourite song from their country on the 15th of every month. However, there are those that frown upon giving away music for free. Some people have been taken to court and even jailed because of it. But as Jason points out: “PR companies hired by artists sanction the use of certain free mp3 downloads, and a lot of artists encourage bloggers to post individual songs because they appreciate the benefits they get in terms of increased exposure.” Jim doesn’t support the sort of file sharing where whole LPs are made available to download just as they have been made available to buy, which is why he has a policy of never putting up new songs. So, with all the time (and slight expense) that can be involved, is blogging worth it? Unsurprisingly both say yes. “I’ve met maybe six or so fellow bloggers in the flesh and one of them has become a close friend so it’s a great social activity,” says Jim. “And I also have to say that it’s great for the ego when you get a positive response via the comments or e-mails to something you’ve written.” Jason points out: “Everybody gets a thrill from discovering great new bands and being the first to tell their friends about them before they get famous, so a blog takes that one step further by giving you the chance to tell strangers from around the world who are visiting your website.” So check out the blogs, get some great free music and support the artists.



WATCH THIS BASS… Unhealthy iMPULSE talks to the cream of Edinburgh’s musical crop


e truth behind the frightening dangers of Orthorexia




Best known for his blinding sets at Luvely, Tommy Kay is definitely the liveliest and probably one of Edinburgh’s most popular and best DJs on the house music scene. Known as Tommy Gallo for his Flaunt residency, this side of Tommy focuses on more vocal and funky house tunes while his Luvely residency allows him to play Dutch house which creates a much tougher sound. Tommy explains: “The musical contrast between what I play at Luvely and what Flaunt play is phenomenal but they liked the energy that I had so we came up with the idea of going under a different name.” Making his sets lively and enjoying them is Tommy’s main priority and rightly so; it creates an electric atmosphere when the DJ spinning the tunes is into it as much as the crowd. Tommy’s highlight so far was playing at the Pukka Up boat parties in Ibiza last summer for 200 nutters. “You think it just can’t get any better than this!” Tommy says. And he’ll be back this summer to rock the White Isle some more but don’t worry if you’re not going, Tommy can still be found at his monthly residences of Luvely and Flaunt.

They played the Barrowlands after just five months together and after a year had their first single released. It’s all about three guys – Svengali. “You go to this place to see your heroes,” Niall says. “And we’re walking in the stage door thinking, man, Oasis played here. You get goose pimples.” Niall, bass guitarist, says: “Scott’s always had songs, he’s been writing for years. The three of us love music so we’ve got a common bond with that.” According to Scott their sound is “very Oasis, Stone Roses and The Who. Imagine those three scrambled together… but maybe not as good!” It’s a huge achievement but bringing out their single ‘The Start of the Scene’ and creating a music video has really put the icing on the cake. “It was amazing going into a studio,” Scott says. “I probably enjoyed that more than the gigs.” Scott adds: “At the end of the gig when people come up to you and shake your hand, it’s amazing.” Besides marrying all five members of Girls Aloud, they “want to be a band that matters to people to make music that people can connect with and have fun doing it.”

Bath tubs, cheese and knickers – it can only be an after party with The Vibe. The five piece formed in October 2008, and have been hitting the Edinburgh music scene hard, gaining interest and popularity. This is a band who are all about honesty. Bruce, lead guitarist says: “Myself and Chris were in a band together before this…and then we found these two lovely characters kicking around. It was a mixture of fate and magic.” Influenced by all kinds of music, they described their sound as an “effective mixture” of heavy metal and 90s indie. They tell us that one song can sound like The Coral and the next can sound totally different. “Variety – that’s the word of the day,” says Bruce. Whistlebinkies is the band’s favourite place to play in the city, because there is always a good crowd: “It’s always a good atmosphere,” says Chris, although if they could only play one more gig, then it would be in the sky, “because the sky’s the limit,” drummer Matt said. On after-parties: “Let’s just say that the last one involved Chris, a pile of women’s knickers, a bath tub and a block of cheese. But we can’t elaborate!”


iMPULSE Summer 2009

unit of Beth Israel Hospital in Boston sive with healthy eating, and I was so happy when someone finally came up with where she was put on anti-depressants – the orthorexic’s biggest enemy. Kate wrote a term for it,” she says. “Orthorexia is in Beyond Vegetarianism: “I felt very mismostly stemmed from a need for certainunderstood. They thought I had this fear ty, moral purity and simplicity. So, even of being fat, whereas my focus and goal in though orthorexics believe that their diet all the diets I had tried had always been is healthy, their underlying motivation is health. I totally resisted the idea of taking an anxiety to control their weight.” antidepressants, which seemed so antiThe current social pressures of healthy natural. (But) I was also worried that if I eating create the perfect environment for didn't take them, I wouldn't be let out of orthorexics to thrive. Kate’s eating habits the hospital.” Deanne Jade said that the included eating the majority of her food resistance for treatment and reluctance to right before bed, which, contrary to what admit their problems are the biggest she had thought, actually caused small obstacles to recovery. “They usually think blockages in her small intestines and rid there’s nothing wrong with them, which is her of any appetite. But to the orthorexic, these odd and most often dangerous behaviors are rewarding, if not, necessary One of her cleansing rituals to survive. “She was so absorbed with cleansing her body of toxins ... that was had brought 5 foot 8 inches tall Kate her lifelong goal,” said Kate’s sister, Erin in an interview last year. “The beautiful, down to just six stone vibrant Kate had really become someone that looked much older. People would stare.” In November 1995, Kate’s family why treating them could be so difficult,” finally put her into the eating disorder she said. “Most of them will say ‘I’m just trying to control my weight’ and sometimes they even take pride in saying ‘I don’t eat X, Y and Z’ at a dinner party.” But while a cure is yet to be discovered, prevention is not far from our fingertips. Susan Pryde, the head of Food Standard Diet Nutrition Policy, said the key to healthy eating is maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Eat your five fruit and veg, stay active, drink plenty of water, while the occasional treat is fine.


WORDS: Joyce Yip IMAGES: Kirsty Topping

WORDS: Frances Allan and Gemma Haigh IMAGES: Siobhan Stewart


ix years ago, Kate Finn died from eating too healthily. Desperate to cure the problems with her digestive system, the 37-year-old, from Rhode Island, had jumped between extreme diets of occasional fasting, and a mixture of raw and junk food. Not only did her problems persist but she was also facing significant weight loss and lethargy when practicing her extreme diets. One of her cleansing rituals had brought 5 foot 8 inches tall Kate down to just six stone. A term coined by Californian Dr Steve Bratman in 1996, orthorexia is an obsession with healthy eating where sufferers are only concerned about the purity of their foods. It is not yet an official medical diagnosis but is used by practitioners who have seen the damaging results of the condition. Deanne Jade, the founder of the National Centre for Eating Disorders, says that this so-called “new-found condition” is old news. “For a very long time, I was dealing with patients and friends who were obses-



iMPULSE investigates the staggering health risks being taken by students and young professionals trying to get ahead

This summer at least fifty thousand rugby fans from across Britain and Ireland will descend on South Africa to follow the British Lions on their first tour of the country in twelve years. Next summer, the country plays host to the FIFA World Cup, with similar numbers of Brits expected to travel. While the sporting competition will be tough, it will be nothing in comparison with the violence facing some of the country’s forty-three million citizens on a daily basis. In 2001 the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released a study of sixty countries across the globe. South Africa ranked second for assault, second for murder, and first for rape. Violent crime rates in the country have fallen over the past decade, but that’s where the good news stops. According to official statistics from both countries, you’re still ten times more likely to be murdered on the streets of Johannesburg than in Edinburgh. Yet vast numbers of Brits will head to the country for this summer’s sport regardless. Geraldine Norris from sports travel agency Gulliver’s says that Lions fans concerned about the security situation are in the minority: “I would honestly say that I don’t think any security concerns have affected our numbers on this tour. I certainly haven’t spoken to anyone who has said they were going to book but have decided against travelling to South Africa [because of its reputation].”


iMPULSE Summer 2009

Inside the country there are genuine fears that South Africa’s turn in the spotlight could be marred by violence. In a recent survey, 53% of South Africans said they were worried that the country’s history of violent crime could ruin the 2010 World Cup. But despite widespread talk of South Africa’s crime problem, tourism remains a major part of the country’s economy. Official figures show that the tourist trade is worth 60 billion Rand (£4billion) per annum with over half-a-million Brits heading to South Africa every year. Of those, an estimated 12% complained of security and safety worries. Rhona Eistetter of the South African Tourist Board said; “We do receive inquiries about the security in our country. The basic safety precautions are the same in South Africa as anywhere in the world. “We also advise that people plan their route in advance, use maps and when in doubt as to the safety of specific areas or which route to take, to contact the police.” While the games on the Lions tour and at the World Cup may not be taking place in the slums of Diepsloot or the ganglands of Hillbrow, that doesn’t change the fact that South Africa is one of the more dangerous locations on a British sports fan’s itinerary. The hope is that the contest on the pitch is the only violence supporters see this summer.

What Are Smart Drugs? ‘Smart drugs’ include Dexedrine, Modafinil and Ritalin. They are used to treat medical conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and are worryingly now being used by the UK’s student and working population to help them study and work for longer, reducing the need for sleep and even curbing hunger. 21 year-old Chris, a student at a Scottish university, took Ritalin whilst studying. “I was struggling to stay awake,” he says. “I was worried about the side effects so I only took one. An American exchange student had offered them to me. I could not believe how well it worked! I did not even need to stop to eat and I managed to stay up and concentrate for hours on end.”

How Do They Work? It is not yet known why these so-called ‘smart drugs’ work on a healthy human brain. They were originally created to combat narcolepsy and depression. The active ingredient in Ritalin acts by manipulating natural chemicals in the brain, which control behaviour and attention span. Modafinil, a non-addictive prescription drug, is also being used to assist with concentration. However, the use of such stimulants remains controversial. Those who take them see it as a means to aid their study, or stay on top of demanding lifestyles. Others say that the use of such medication enhances their mental capability making them feel they can achieve more. But in reality it is doing more damage than good.

Other Methods

There is a more healthy and advisable route to raising awareness and mental agility. Rather than bombarding the body with coffee and high amounts of Red Bull, you could help boost your brain with simple, good old-fashioned exercise. It increasese the flow to the brain so you can absorb much more information. Try running, cycling or swimming. You can also enjoy the other benefits associated with excercise such as improved energy levels and better health. Being more active helps your brain release endorphins and adrenaline in the body, creating a general sense of well-being and calm. 


WORDS: Shanaz Miah IMAGES:

WORDS: Peter Simpson IMAGES:

With South Africa hosting two major international sporting events in the next twelve months, iMPULSE takes a look at the Rainbow Nations’s struggle with violence

The addictive quality of Ritalin means that prolonged abuse can build up resistance so that tolerance develops, much like alcohol. The dangers posed to a previously healthy brain are unknown, as the drugs have not yet been made available long enough to determine the long term side effects. It is known that prescription drugs can upset the delicate balance between neurotransmitters in the brain that can induce mania, affect the heart and lead to suicidal thoughts.


into the

WILD Dinner?

or poorer?

For richer



lanning a wedding can make the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics look like a piece of cake. It requires time, effort and attention to detail. You have to worry about what the bridesmaids are going to wear, where the inlaws are going to sit, how far away Uncle John has to be from the bar. And how are you going to pay for it all? Some people take out a loan while others save for years. Some poor soul (the bride’s father) even has to pay for the entire thing. But occasionally you just have to find a way round the issue of money. The truth is weddings on a budget are achievable, and they’re good too! It doesn’t all have to be paper cups and party poppers from a supermarket (although don’t rule that out). You can find a number of ways to have a great wedding and not have to sell the house to pay for it all. The dress is very important to the bride, unsurprisingly, as she can’t turn up to the wedding naked. Instead of that fabulous creation you saw in a magazine how about giving charity shops a try? Barnados have Bride By Appointment stores all over the UK which stock end of the line designer dresses and have ex-sample stock all at a fifth of the original price so you could end up getting something utterly gorgeous without having to spend a lot. They

iMPULSE Summer 2009

also stock outfits for bridesmaids and the mother of the bride as well as tiaras, shoes and bags. The best part is that the money you spend goes straight to charity too. The venue is another factor which can wreck the budget. It does not have to be a Highland castle favoured by pop stars. Registry offices are a cost effective choice of venue and are suitable if you want a quieter do. If you’re looking for something a bit bigger then Holiday Inn offer a great wedding package for £1000. This can cater for up to 50 daytime guests, up to 120 evening guests, a private suite for the wedding ceremony, a three course wedding menu and evening entertainment as well as overnight accommodation for the bride and groom. The only worry is turning up on time and what you are going to wear. Another thing to think about is the kilt. This can be hired from a good kilt shop along with the jacket and shoes and will not blow the budget. Use the recession to bring out the creative side of you. For things like party favours just make them yourself. All you need are sweets, fine netting and narrow ribbon. For the cake you could just buy a plain one and decorate it yourself as well. By using your imagination, you can have a stunning wedding, with a stunning price tag.

Given my lack of foraging experience, I make two early decisions – to have a big breakfast, and to do some research. The Wild Food School’s sixty-page ‘Pocket Urban Foraging Guide’ is my manual for the day, and following an unnerving introduction it is packed with advice. Next job is to find some forage spots. Sadly, Edinburgh’s foragers keep their favourite locations close to their chests, so I scribble down some places that seem suitable, pack a plastic bag and a pair of scissors and head out into the unknown. Location one on my foraging tour – the Craiglockhart nature trail. Seems like the obvious place to start – lots of little nooks and crannies, and plantlife everywhere. Soon I think I spy something from my guide. It looks like Chickweed, which is, apparently, ‘a star salad veggie’. But before I can investigate, a pair of Labradors amble up and ‘do their business’ all over my potential crop. With Morningside’s canines seemingly in league against me, I cut my losses and move on. I arrive at my second location, The Meadows, and find that it really isn’t the kind of place a man can go foraging, as it’s full of Ultimate Frisbee players and aggressive cyclists. I look around, but there’s nothing of note, so I move on. What I need is somewhere slightly more rugged. Arthur’s Seat it is – if I can not find any wild food on a small mountain then there’s something wrong with the world. I’m on the lookout for thistles and sorrels, great for valuable nutrition the next time you’re

halfway up a mountain. Sadly, everything’s a bit trodden on, so I content myself with my first find – a handful of fresh nettles that could make a nice tea or soup – and head on. Buoyed by my minor success, I head to Holyrood Park in search of more grub. A stroll through some bushes brings me to a patch of cress that resembles an exploded window box. It looks good, it smells good, so I grab a handful and add it to the bag. Finally, after three hours of near-constant walking, I find a wild food goldmine – the cycle path to St. Leonard’s. A look through the guide proves there’s plenty to eat here. There’s the comically-titled Hairy Bittercress, nettles everywhere and plenty of other leaves and herbs. My prize find is the three-cornered leek. It looks just like grass, but it’s actually a form of wild chive. The aroma is pretty potent, but after a day of foraging it smells of success. I’m feeling good. Then it starts to rain. Jubilant, but slightly damp, I head back into town with my carrier bag full. Then I see a squirrel running through the trees. A thought runs through my head – can you forage a squirrel? Thankfully for the both of us, it runs off before I get any closer. At home, I unload the bag, and reflect my handiwork. I have plenty of salad leaves, enough chives to take down Dracula, and I’ve done more exercise in one day than I would most weeks. One thing is for sure, it was more fun than a trip to the supermarket, even though their meat can’t run away from you... 


WORDS: Luci Wallace IMAGES: Kirsty Topping

Make your wedding day perfect without breaking the bank

iMPULSE spends a day in Edinburgh’s parks, looking through Mother Nature’s larder



g, and in h tc a n s y d o b f o hisperings w , y r to is h d e k arned a e o s s a h d o h g lo r b u s b it in h d it E , W gious strife li e r d n a e s a e to the is e d f id o u s g r ie r u o to s ’s e h r s e li H u gho in Europe’. y it c d te n u a h apital t C s o e th ‘m e in th s e s c a la le p it t t s s it spookie Greyfriars Kirkyard

WORDS: Emma Craig IMAGES: Philip Hutchison, Tor Stewart and Kirsty Topping

The Greyfriars cemetery is reputedly haunted, with promotional material claiming ‘the best-documented supernatural case in history’. One of the ghosts is said to be George Mackenzie, in charge of the Covenanters’ prison in the 17th century. Mackenzie became infamous for the glee with which he would sentence the Covenanters to the gallows. He killed more than 18,000 people earning the nickname ‘Bloody Mackenzie’, and his restless spirit apparently roams the prison in the cemetery. More than 500 attacks were reported in 2006 within the Greyfriars Kirkyard with most feelings of unease apparent around the Mackenzie mausoleum.

Mary King’s Close In the dark, narrow closes and wynds of the city centre lies an ancient underworld. Most popular is the sinister Mary King’s Close, which is now known as the most haunted spot in Scotland. Amid the disease and plague of the mid 17th century, the decision was made to quarantine the close to prevent spread of disease, leading to the myth that plague victims were locked inside and left to die. The close was reopened and soon people reported strange goings-on. The most prominent ghost of the close is a young girl called ‘Annie’, who wanders the close. There are also reportings of a mysterious old man, with a wispy grey beard and disembodied head.


iMPULSE Summer 2009

Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle is also known as one of the most haunted spots in the city. The castle once hosted Lady Janet Douglas of Glamis, who was accused of witchcraft and conspiracy to murder James V. She was convicted and burned at the stake, with her young son forced to watch . Her restless spirit is said to haunt the castle, with ‘hollow knocking sounds’ often heard at night. Another reported ghost of the castle is an unnamed prisoner who is said to have climbed into a barrel of dung in a desperate bid for freedom. The barrel was emptied over the battlements sending the young boy to plummet to his death on the rock face. Visitors often complain of feeling a push when they are standing near the battlements.

Holyrood Palace The grand palace is thought to have legions of ghostly inhabitants who still roam the palace today. One such ghost is that of David Rizzio, stabbed to death by the husband of Mary Queen of Scots after a suspected affair. His red bloodstains could never be permanently removed from the palace however hard the servants scrubbed. They were reported to reappear overnight, as a consistent reminder of the sinful deed. Mary’s husband, Lord Darnley, died in suspicious circumstances and is thought to still occupy the palace, lurking and sulking in the dark shadows.



e m i t e l t t i l a d n e Sp e e r f r o f

Blaggin’ tiPs

B i t e si on s 1 4 2

Buying your whole outfit from Primark. It’s okay, honestly, no-one will even know and even if they do, who cares? You can just be happy that you have a new outfit and they don’t. Ringing your friends, then hanging up so they have to call you back. This saves you money and you can also just use the excuse that your reception went then launch into the hour long conversation you had planned, at their expense.

Play music on the street. If you need to come up with some quick cash, take to the streets with whatever you can get your hands on - guitar, tambourine, Tupperware. If you can’t play it, all the better. Head to Princes Street and start wailing like a lunatic. Even if it sounds awful, chances are that passers by will at least take pity and pay you to stop.

If you’re going to drink, now’s the time to lower your expectations. Peckham’s in Newington or Bruntsfield sells an incredible litre of tolerable whisky for ten quid, for example. We must all be cheaper drunks in these hard times.

“Borrow” your mates clothes and never return them. Let’s be honest, we have probably all done it by accident so why not do it deliberately then feign surprise when they ask for said item back. After all, what are friends for?


Blag numBer 1: the make over

My first goal is to get a make over at a beauty counter. I browse until the assistant comes over. I tell her I’m trying to find a new look but I can’t decide what colours to use. Five minutes of suggestive chat and I walk 18 Impulse out ofiMPULSE the shop with 2009 a new look! 1818 Impulse Summer


Blag numBer 2: the


Collect condiments from McDonalds. If you go for a meal and ask for some sauces but you don’t use them all, what’s the point in throwing them away? Keep them in the cupboard out of sight and no one ever has to know.


Go skip surfing. One man’s rubbish can be another man’s riches. If you pick and choose your dumpster carefully you can come out on top. Bookstores usually throw their books out for a free read. You can even find food if you look in the right places. Just remember to make sure it hasn’t gone bad.

Blag numBer 3: Back

cluB guest list

stage entry at a gig

My task is to get free entry into a club by pretending I’m on the guest list. I tell the bouncer I’m on the guest list and give him the first name that pops into my head. It doesn’t work but he must be in a good mood because I get in anyway.

My toughest challenge yet – trying to get backstage at a gig. I tell the bouncer that the band invited me but he doesn’t believe it. I give up and tell him what I’m doing but that doesn’t help. I guess there are some things you just can’t blag.


e don’t get much of a summer in Scotland but the short glimmer of sun we do get allows us to venture outdoors for once. There are surprisingly many things you can get up to in the Edinburgh summertime and they won’t cost you a penny. Despite living in a built-up yet beautiful city there are still some green areas dotted around. Princes Street Gardens offers a calm, serene haven right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the town’s main shopping street. Arthur’s Seat also offers this complete with some ducks to feed and the Meadows are always a fun place to visit and people-watch. The perfect setting for a peaceful picnic has to be the Botanic

Gardens with its landscaped grounds and plenty of space to explore. If you’re feeling slightly more productive remember all the museums and galleries in the city are free to get in, as is the Scottish Parliament. But if you prefer to stay outdoors when the sun is gleaming

The short glimmer of

sun we do get allows us to

venture outdoors for once

perhaps Portobello Beach is the place to visit. Admittedly not as beautiful as it once was, the sun is kind to the beach and it’s buzzing in the summer.

For the more active of you, grab a bike and cycle alongside the calm surroundings of the Union Canal. In Edinburgh it runs from Ratho to Slateford to Fountainbridge where it ends at Edinburgh Quay. Probably the most important events in the summertime in Edinburgh are, of course, the festivals and every year there is a free festival. This year running from 6th – 30th August a wide choice of shows are on offer from comedy and theatre to music and children’s shows, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the festival on a budget. You don’t need any cash to enjoy your city in the summer so at that first glimmer of sunshine get the picnic basket and head outside – make the most of the little share of it we get!


WORDS: Gemma Haigh IMAGES: Ashley Anderson, Mahyad Gilani, Henrietta Gonzales Mcfarlane and the Scottish Parliament

WORDS: Nicola Haggarty and Mike Gerrity IMAGE:

Tips Rece s


From the catwalk to your closet

The award for the most comfortable summer trend definitely goes to harem trousers. These are perfect for a night out because even if your high heels are making your feet ache; you are going to feel relaxed, sexy and cosy. For a perfect look put together a pair of Kurt Geiger lace-up high heels, harem pants, a white T-shirt and a tailored black jacket. Add some accessories and off you go; a perfect outfit for all day and night. This season is also time to dig out your basic cotton shirt and style it up. Accessorise with low belts, shorts or leggings, a pair of boots and some jewellery – a cheap and easy way to bring your look right up to date. John Galliano started another amazing trend a few years ago that everyone copied: the nude. It is the opposite of the 80s. The nude is about purity, freshness and elegance. Sheer, creamy and beige colours on light and smooth materials which look like a second skin. Many celebrities, like Jennifer Aniston, Kate Moss and Lauren Conrad, have already adopted it. After shape, the next focus is colour and one of the key colours on the catwalk this season is orange. Pieces range from

bold and bright to more subdued, and whether you wear it head-to-toe or add a splash with accessories, colour will instantly update your look. Absinthe green also featured heavily on the spring/summer 2009 runways. This colour is deliciously intoxicating and screams both elegance and decadence. Fashion in summer 2009 is cultured and worldly wise. If it evokes a feeling of the exotic and the adventurous, it fits with the summer style mindset. 2009 also contrasts transparency and purity with ultra-structured or ultra-cosy this season; it is a matter of choice of styles, not of body shapes. 


WORDS: Angelique Joly IMAGES: Anna Kozak


his season’s fashion is so diverse that there is something for everyone. The styles can be adapted to every body shape. The 80s are making a big comeback this season, as are basic fashion items, so there is no need to buy a whole new wardrobe. One of the key looks is the shape of your clothes – 1980s shoulders are once again under the spotlight. Rounded or sharply designed shoulders are everywhere on tops, jackets and dresses – tall, sporty women with a masculine body shape are perfect for this style. If you have the appropriate body, these clothes will make you look ultra-structured and ultra-feminine. Stella McCartney and Balenciaga are masters of this trend, while Topshop Unique are the high-street option. A light and feminine trend is fringing, a follow-on from 2008’s flapper style. Fringing is a dominant feature of the spring/summer 2009 runways. Whether modern and sleek, silken femininity or showgirl burlesque, fringed dresses in particular should be on every girl’s ‘to buy’ list this summer. Alexander McQueen created a structured fringing which is flattering around the body. Jil Sander’s fringing was long and free-flowing, whereas Alberta Ferretti’s was delicately pretty. The appeal of fringing also owes a lot to the way it moves, so pay careful attention to buying quality fabrics that shimmy, shine and don’t clump together.




n o i t a


WORDS: Frances Allan, Natalie Leask and Gillian Swinton IMAGES: Pete Clark, Gillian Swinton and

iMPULSE takes a whistle-stop tour of the UK and selects the best spots to spend your hard earned cash


irst up is Shetland, Scotland’s most northerly group of islands. For those seeking music or culture, there are a number of festivals held from May – September including the Folk Festival, Film and Book festival, the Johnsmas Foy and Fiddle Frenzy – a weeklong fiddle school and festival. Moving south, try Aviemore, part of the Cairngorms National Park. Here you can try skiing, snowboarding, archery or mountain biking to name a few. It’s easily accessible from the A9 between Perth and Inverness. Heading west, next is Gairloch, Wester Ross on the west coast of Scotland. A number of villages centered around Loch Gairloch offer fishing, golfing, pony trekking and some of the best walks in Scotland.   Just a short ferry hop away is the Cuillin hills and the colourful pubs of Portree Harbour are just the tip of what the Isle of Skye has to offer. Portree hosts an array of campsites and hostels to


iMPULSE Summer 2009


offer a host of exciting activities. Coasteering is not for the faint hearted but will give you an adrenaline kick. Make sure you try some of the other beach based activities here too as it’s home to the UK’s best surf. Travel inland and you can find Dartmoor National Park, which is great for walkers and artists. The Eden Project is interesting not only for those with green fingers; kids will love the plants and the differing climates too. Wales is home to a huge amount of gorgeous beaches and magical castles. A favourite is Harlech which looks out over the sea and is a World Heritage Site. It’s possible to travel on hundred year old railways, climb to the top of Mount Snowdon and visit the National Botanic Gardens. Our There is also a huge amount of adrenaline pumping activities and Welsh history is rife throughout the country.   Finally we reach London, capital of England. From major tourist attractions to the weird and wonderful, there are never a shortage of things to do. Big Ben, Westminster and the London Eye are all worth a visit, while Portobello Market and Oxford Street will fulfill any shopper’s dreams. For those seeking culture the Notting Hill Carnival is held every August Bank Holiday weekend and offers a colourful and exciting experience. The nightlife in London never stops and from A-list clubs to dingy bars, you will find the perfect way to end your holiday. So there you have it. Don’t go abroad this summer when the UK has so much to offer, each place with its own quirks and merits. Stay close to home and experience the real Britain.

camper van



The Lake Dis trict


stay in for a very reasonable price. The beaches of North Uist are soaked in history and on a beautiful day, the deserted island can provide you with stunning views that will simply take your breath away, especially if you take a dip in the water! Robust causeways link North Uist to Benbecula, and take you from one fantastic view to another. The local campsite at Lionacleit School parks you right next to the best white beach - just don’t walk too far along to ‘Stinky Bay’. This is the island of amazing views, friendly locals, excellent wildlife, and a great dinner if you head to the Dark Island hotel! Take a journey on the West Coast railway. It’s one of the most spectacular in the world and takes in the Glenfinnan Viaduct, silent star of the Harry Potter films. Then head south to the Lake District which offers a whole range of experiences, whether you want to sleep rough on the side of a mountain or stay in a 5-Star hotel. Try climbing, walking, fell running, canoeing, kayaking, boating or diving. Explore the tiny villages and market towns whilst soaking up the bustling atmosphere. 2008 City of Culture, Liverpool, has museums which will keep you entertained for most of the day and offer a free alternative to pounding the streets of the main shopping area. The Beatles Stage on Albert Walk is a must for music fans. Make your way down the coast where Devon and Cornwall 


d n u Aro the world on £80...* New York


iMPULSE Summer 2009




If you are seeking warm climates and If you’re travelling abroad this summer sandy beaches this summer on a budget, and want to avoid the obvious tourist why not try island-hopping in Thailand? traps, a trip to Lithuania could be the While getting there can be slightly answer. expensive, on arrival your money will go Experience authentic eastern European far. Those on a budget can get by on just culture on a budget at this unique under £10 a day at the major beach destination. Its two main cities, Kaunas resorts and islands. This covers food, and Vilnius, offer cheap accommodation accommodation, transport and even a few and beautiful surroundings. cocktails. Despite losing the capital city crown to For a more relaxing time, indulge in one Vilnius in 1918, Kaunas has lost none of of the many spa treatments available and its appeal. Known for having the largest treat yourself from as little as £2 for student population in all of Lithuania, it’s massages and pedicures on the beach! no surprise that Kaunas has one of the best clubbing scenes, so your evenings will be spent on the dance floor. If you need a quiet place to recover the A visit to Koh Phangan for next day, head to one of the city’s many museums. There is a vast selection, the famous full moon parties is the ranging from the traditional art galleries to the extreme Devil’s Museum. ultimate Thai experience Kaunas is great if you are on a tight budget, with a night in a city centre hotel Don’t miss the markets on the island of costing from as little as £27. Koh Samui, also home to many shops, bars A short drive from Kaunas is the city’s and restaruants. The more adventurous current capital, Vilnius. Voted Europe’s traveller can visit Koh Tao Island, one of Culture Capital 2009, the city is an Thailand’s key snorkelling and diving eccentric mix of architectural styles. You locations with crystal clear waters and can find traditional, conservative fascinating sea coral. museums next to controversial statues of At night relax and unwind on the beach, modern art all in the same place. watching the sunset with a cocktail. A visit Vilnius’s unique culture clashes are what make this city stand out. Hotels start to the island of Koh Phangan, where they play host to the world-famous full moon at £28 per night so it’s also cheaper than parties, is the ultimate Thai experience. most other capital cities.

With bright, bustling streets, walled towns, breathtaking medinas and rich culture, Morocco is the perfect choice for a backpacking trip. Fly into the vibrant Marrakesh, also known as the ‘Red City’, and be overwhelmed by the atmosphere and spectacular location, with the peaks of the Atlas Mountains rising behind the city. A labyrinth of winding streets are waiting to be explored and you will be rewarded when you reach the souks that are a focal point of Moroccan life. From Marrakesh, travel south-west to the less touristy destination of Taroudant. This walled town, which has also been called ‘the little Marrakesh’, is an authentic, quiet, charming location to visit after the manic Marrakesh. For sunseekers, take a trip north up the Atlantic coast, taking in picturesque beach towns perfect for kite surfing and windsurfing, or for just laying back with the sun on your face. Before heading back to Marrakesh, take time to get acquainted with Morocco’s more lively side; either visit Tangiers with its vibrant nightlife and North African/Mediterranean feel or the famous city of Fes – the largest Medieval Islamic city in the world. With the euro so strong, savvy travellers are looking for alternative locations, and with 12 Dirhams to the Pound, you’d be mad not to go.


WORDS: Barry Begg, Fiona Kircaldy, David Maxwell and Andrea Molloy IMAGES: Barry Begg, Natalie Leask, Greg Robb and Lithuania Tourist Board

* Well, nearly

A city where money definitely does talk. But for those of us with not very much of it, fear not, as we have the answer on how to get the most out of your stay in one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Stay away from the main tourist spots! The prices are bumped up in the most popular areas. In places like SoHo or Little Italy, there are fantastic authentic restaurants which charge half the price of those in the centre. Ideally, you want to stay in central Manhattan to experience New York to its fullest. The cheapest way to do so is in a hostel, which is roughly £20 per person per night, or £50 for a private room. With so much to see you’ll spend next to no time there. But first you have to get there. The best option for flights is to book early and, if possible, fly to JFK. It’s nearest to Manhattan and will save a long and expensive commute there and back. Once you are in the city, walk or use the subway if you have far to go. An unlimited day ticket is only £5. Sight seeing packages are available online from various companies in New York. These will give you access to all the major sights. Alternatively, you can buy individual tickets online before you go for less than you would on the door. And if you plan to attend any sporting events, tickets are cheaper on the street than through ticket outlets.

Save your money with our guide to the top destinations this summer



Sports Beau Monde

Go surfing on the east coast and take advantage of the beaches and waves on offer. Great fun and a great laugh, grab your mates and go with a company for your tuition and your kit. Try for all your needs. Head to Ratho for a spot of climbing – the indoor wall is the biggest in Europe and offers classes for beginners. Once you have got to grips with the techniques and the shoes, you will be on your way to climbing success.


iMPULSE Summer 2009


n February 2008, Mark Beaumont finished an epic journey cycling around the world in 194 days and 17 hours, smashing the previous world record by more than 80 days. However, he is not driven by world records, fame or even cycling. This is a world record holder with a difference. After reading an article in the Dundee Courier about a man who had cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End, Beaumont, then aged 11, was inspired to attempt some very ambitious challenges. The following year he undertook a 145-mile cycle across Scotland, and two years later completed the 1,038 mile John O’Groats to Land’s End cycle, raising £3,000 for

numerous charities. But this was just the beginning. After graduating in Economics and Politics from Glasgow University, he enthusiastically set out on various challenges and a new career as an ‘adventurer’. His life-changing moment and the catalyst for more extraordinary challenges came during an internship in Boston. “Originally I wanted to be a fund manager, but only because I fancied the money. I had no idea what they actually did. During my internship in Boston I saw guys in positions I had aspired to who were ten years older than me and it wasn’t how I imagined it would be.

“This gave me a fresh look at things and made me ask myself, ‘Where are your passions? Where are your ambitions?’ and I decided to go for it. As a career I want to bring endurance events to the screen in a very personal and intimate way, not survival programmes – but the real deal – I want to be the all-round athlete.” There is clearly an audience for ultra-endurance expeditions, as his journey was watched by over three million viewers on the BBC documentary series The Man Who Cycled the World, which was nominated for a Scottish Bafta award. His journey round the world was not without setbacks. He was knocked off his bike on three occasions and mugged on 


WORDS: Myles Edwards IMAGES: David Peat

On a sunny day, the Meadows are filled with teams that are taking the good old game of Frisbee seriously. Alex Robertson, president of the Edinburgh University Ultimate Frisbee Club, said: “Ultimate is an amazing sport because it incorporates the physical fitness of all team sports, fast thinking, skill and coordination.”   Students from Edinburgh Uni can join the team, or you could just round up a group of friends. To get a copy of the rules and play, visit

Biking Ultimate Frisbee

Whatever the weather, mountain biking can allow anyone to get out into the country and experience some fantastic sights. Located in the heart of Scotland, the popular Glentress Forest covers bike rental and lessons. Visit for more info.

e man who cycled the world

Surfing Climbing

WORDS: Frances Allan and Gillian Swinton IMAGES: Ben Arnott, Ross Swinton and Edinburgh Leisure

If you are looking for a way to keep yourself active over the summer then Edinburgh is a great place to take up a sport which is a little bit different


another. Despite this, Mark completed his circumnavigation, finishing at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris having cycled through 20 countries and covered over 18,000 miles. It wasn’t all plain sailing in getting his career as an adventurer off the ground, but, as he explains, his determination shone through to get the ball rolling.

My main reason for cycling

around the world was for the

journey which it involved

“Unfortunately there is no magic wand. It takes hard work to get your first project off the ground and get people to buy into your dream. I spent three or four months doing full-time admin jobs. I would work into the night on the logistical planning for the world cycle and the training. To work and back, I was running a total of a half marathon every day. It was pretty demoralizing at times but luckily I got my break.” Mark required every ounce of determination he could muster to raise the tens of thousands of pounds he needed to kick off his world cycle. “I was flat broke and working very hard to get sponsorship. It took eight months of getting turned away before I got my first capital sponsorship, which was £500. It’s a balance between making the most of opportunities and making sure you are living your own ambitions and dreams.” After such hard work he was under no illusions as to how he would make his impact on the world as an adventurer. “If you are going to build a career in this sort of thing you have to make a bit of a splash first time and I thought to myself that there is nothing bigger than the world.” Despite cycling being a large part of his life to date, Mark has no intention to limit himself to the one sport. “I’ve never had any ambitions to cycle as a career in any of the tours. My main reason for cycling round the world was for the journey which it involved.”

Smashing a world record is the average competitive sportsperson’s dream and is what drives them to push themselves to the limit. Fame and fortune can be a huge driving force, too. But with Mark, it couldn’t be further from the truth. “It wasn’t about beating the next man. The fact there are now three people planning to try to break my record is great. It is what the record is there for and it is not going to make me want to do it again. I am not doing this to be famous; I am living a personal ambition and by doing so it can also be beneficial to other people. It is my hope and ambition not to be pigeon-holed in any one sport. I’d like to try my hand at different challenges.” Throughout the years Mark has placed a high importance on raising money for various charities while at the same time living out his dream as an ‘adventurer’. A wide range of charities have benefited from his efforts including Save the Children, Tusk Trust and Community Action Nepal (CAN). Whilst glory is bestowed on Mark for his amazing achievements, he is quick to acknowledge the invaluable support of the team behind him, including a physio-therapist, masseuse, nutritionist, sports doctor and others. Most important of these is his mother, Una, whom he describes as his “first point of contact” and “base camp” during the world cycle. She has been an ever-present influence since the days when he first dreamt of a career as an adventurer. This adventurer is truly unique and his achievements will take some beating. Fellow cyclist Lance Armstrong called his autobiography, It’s Not About the Bike. This phrase could not be more applicable to Mark Beaumont’s philosophy. His refreshing enthusiasm and drive will serve as an inspiration to many who try to emulate his success.

WORDS: Suhayl Afzal and Andrew Donaldson IMAGE: Stuart Codling

Last Lap This year’s F1 British Grand Prix is sure to be a historic one. If everything goes to plan, it will be the last race to be held at the sport’s spiritual home of Silverstone before Donington takes over the mantle in 2010. For the first time in over 20 years, the race will be held away from the famous Northamptonshire circuit. With this in mind, Impulse takes a look back at five of the most memorable British Grand Prix moments provided by the track in recent decades.


After a pit-stop left Nigel Mansell trailing his Williams team-mate and championship rival, Nelson Piquet, by half a minute, he set off on one of the greatest Formula One comebacks of all time. With 28 laps remaining, Mansell began gaining on the Brazilian and, with only a few laps to go, performed a risky but brilliant overtaking manoeuvre at Stowe corner, which would ensure that he tasted victory in the British Grand Prix.


While Nigel Mansell won the 1991 British Grand Prix, his championship rival Ayrton Senna ran out of petrol on the last lap of the race. As if Mansell’s third victory at a British Grand Prix wasn’t memorable enough, when coming back round the track on his victory lap, he stopped and offered the stranded Senna a lift back to the pit lane on the back of his car. It was a remarkable gesture which helped to dispel any rumours of a rift between the two drivers.


Winning a race while in the pit lane might seem strange, but in 1998 Schumacher did just that. After lapping a car under safety car conditions he was handed a stop/go penalty with two laps remaining. Due to a delay in issuing the penalty, Ferrari had him serve it on the final lap, causing him to cross the line before reaching his pitbox. Schumacher escaped further punishment because it was decided that the penalty had been issued incorrectly.


Michael Schumacher breaking his leg has to be considered a significant, if painful, moment. The accident changed the course of the title race and some would argue that he would have retired with eight titles had it not been for this. On the first lap the race was stopped due to cars stalling on the grid. The German, however, not aware of this, carried on with the race, and at Stowe corner his brakes failed, causing him to carry straight on into the tyre wall.


Lewis Hamilton’s win last year in his title-winning campaign is an iconic Silverstone moment. In a wet race, Hamilton made a dramatic start from fourth on the grid, leaping up to second and nearly crashing into his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen. While others lost their cool in the tricky conditions, most notably title rival Massa, the Briton showed his quality by winning the race by 68 seconds – the biggest winning margin since 1995.

GREAT INTRODUCTORY OFFERS FOR STUDENTS COVERING EDINBURGH, MID & EAST LOTHIAN: £22 an hour for lessons £200 for 10 hours and receive a free hour on top (saving you around £44) T: 07989054945 M: 07753233860

Impulse Magazine '09  

Magazine by students at Edinburgh Napier University, published Summer 2009.

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