Five things to do to beat the lockdown blues this week

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Celtic Connections Festival

Taking a new online format, the Celtic Connections Festival returns for its 2021 instalment. The first event on the calendar takes the form of two concerts. The first coming in the shape of BEMIS presents C with music from Jamaican musician Brina. The Ando Glasho Collective, a group that showcases the cultural heritage of the Roma people living in Scotland, will also perform as part of the early evening show. Later that evening will see Shooglenifty, fiddle playing royalty RANT and Scots singer Fiona Hunter take to the stage alongside singer-songwriter Paul McKenna and Sudanese singer-songwriter Amira Kheir.

16 January, Tickets from £7. Online event: https://www.celticconnections.com

New Voices: Josie Duncan

Another exciting event, part of the Celtic Connections Festival sees one of Scotland’s most exciting new musical talents Josie Duncan take the stage, joined by a band comprised of Scotland’s most accomplished musicians. The performance will also be available to watch for one week after the live date to accommodate different time zones.

17 January from 1pm. Tickets from £2. Online event: https://www.celticconnections.com

Not So Blue Monday Nature Talk

For anyone interested in the natural world, this talk from the LanarkTrust is the perfect lockdown activity. This nature talk, delivered via Zoom, comes from Stuart Ritchie, educational gardener at Castlebank Horticultural Centre. He will explore the magic of light, natural pigments and how the human eye perceives the colour blue.

18 January from 7pm. Free (booking essential). Online event: https://lanarktrust.co.uk

Comedy 101 – A Zoom Workshop with Dean Gummer

Take up a new skill this lockdown with this interactive workshop from Edinburgh’s funny man drag king, Dean Gummer. Suitable for beginners, or as a refresher, ticket holders will receive a list of materials to prepare for the workshop – along with live demonstrations and DIY activities during the workshop.

19 January from 7-9pm. Tickets from £20. Online event: https://www.outsavvy.com/event/5577/comedy-101-a-zoom-workshop-with-dean-gummer-tickets

Heroines of the Canongate: Women as Urban and Social Reformers in the Edwardian Old Town

If history is more your cup of tea, this online lecture from Museums and Galleries Edinburgh is a great afternoon lockdown activity. Presented by Dr Elizabeth Darling, whose research focuses on gender reform, inter-war English architectural modernism, social housing and very often the intersections among them all. This talk offers a different account fo urban reform in Edwardian Edinburgh, exploring the many women who worked together to change the living conditions of the communities in the city’s Old Town.

20 January from 2-3pm. Free. Online event: https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/digital-lecture-heroines-canongate-women-urban-and-social-reformers-edwardian-old-town

Charlotte Cohen

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