The lure of the filthy lucre is strong in the upper echelons of the classical music industry. Dangled before genius, the contract that promises to make musicians rich can unmoor and pollute. But only if caution is not exercised. Money, in this respect, can be poisonous, and Nicola Benedetti agrees...
Putting on a show at the Edinburgh Fringe is like getting into the hopper that selects lotto numbers and punching the balls until, maybe, the desired numbers come up.
The Festival in Edinburgh is a marvel. There really isn't anything like it anywhere else in the world. But don't forget to sneak off now and then and discover what's made this city a world-class destination ever since the Enlightenment - take a peek beyond the fringe.
These days the Fringe Festival attracts any performer who can pay the fee for entry and can perform whatever they chose.
We fly into Edinburgh in the early afternoon, and the buzz of the Fringe Festival is present from the moment we hit the runway and especially as we begin a walk through the city. The sun is shining, street performers circle the sidewalks, and traffic is exceptionally terrible.
People say that flyering is the single most important thing in Edinburgh in terms of getting people to come to your shows. But really, getting famous works far better. In the absence of getting famous, however, flyering becomes quite important.
There is nothing worse than being enforced 'train pals' with someone who you can't remember whether you slept with the previous year. Last year I pretended to be asleep for a solid four hours to avoid having to talk to a comedian who sat down next to me.
Now all people want to talk about is Alex Salmond. Blah, blah, blah; Salmond, Salmond, Salmond. God, I'm sick of it. He's overshadowed all of the infinitely more interesting things about my country and it's breaking my heart.
Another reason is the commitment of Scottish readers. There are something approaching 150 book festivals in the UK and Scotland is host to almost a third of them - including the Edinburgh International Book Festival - the world's largest.
iconic Parisian label Chanel created overblown cuffs, with the house's signature pearls sitting alongside tartan, tweed and chains for a Scottish heritage feel. A trip into the archives reveals that this isn't the first time that the Gallic fashion house has turned Gaelic, however.
Stunning scenery and delicious local food coupled with lots to see and do makes Scotland the perfect place to enjoy a luxury break. From wondering the West Highland Way, to cycling the gorgeous Ghia, bonnie Scotland never fails to impress or entertain.
Bouncers of an Edinburgh bar sneered at and refused entry to a gay couple, who were told to "prove" their relationship in order to be allowed in. Derek Couper and David Leitch were on a night out with another gay couple as well as a female and male friend, when they tried to get into Shandwick's bar, Edinburgh on Friday 26 July.
When Scotland votes Yes in the referendum, I firmly believe this will see the end of nuclear weapons based on the British Isles. Whether or not NATO decides to house them elsewhere on the European mainland is contentious.
Summer in Scotland might generally be associated with, well, rain...but the land of tartan and Andy Murray is actually gaining momentum as a must-visit travel destination at the moment.
The programme's already been released, the comedians have long had their promotional photos ready, and now the countdown to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival well and truly begins. 2013 will be my fifth year as a punter and I've already scoured the listings to seek out some early ideas for what to see when I visit.
Maybe the time has come for the United Kingdom to become the Federated Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Germany, much like the US, is made up of sixteen federal states, each with their own leader and their government, overseen by the Federal Government in Berlin. Maybe this is what we should do...