Archive for May, 2014


Thanks to Shirl and David for a very nice evening. Down the hill next time.

Categories: General

Happy return

Sunny day in L’Escala with a touch of Tramuntana, but nothing too bad. Today we went up to St Marti, which is not quite the same now that the wine shop isn’t there any more, but still the nicest place I know. We may go back to eat this evening.

Categories: General

Up themselves

This is classic. I called my bank today to discuss a piece of potential business, and spoke to what they call these days ‘a relationship manager.’ (Bank Managers used to be important people; now they’re sat at desks in call centres.) He told me that before we could go any further, he would have to obtain ‘cross border authority’ to talk to me, since I was calling from Spain. Still trying to get my head round that one.

Categories: General

Still I rise

Two Americans born in the same year, 1928, died yesterday: Dr Maya Angelou and Malcolm Glazer. I know which one I’ll miss.

Categories: General

Don’t believe the hype

I’m bored … By the tedious build-up to Froch vs Groves II. The former has delusions of super-stardom and the latter is a chinny pain in the arse. It’s just two guys having a fight, and neither is Muhammad Ali, yet 80,000 punters have parted with good money to see it, and many more have bought the TV pay-per-view.

One will spark the other in a couple of rounds, or they’ll maul and cuddle for twelve,then one will complain that he was robbed. The only certainty is that it won’t live up to the hype.

QJ’s tip? Groves on points, but I’d prefer it if Froch stiffened the guy properly this time.

Categories: Sport


I’m puzzled. Why would anyone want to fix a Scotland game?

Categories: Sport

Dead politicians walking

Sad to see the shocked red-eyed Nick Clegg on today’s news? Hell no!

Slick Nick and his party are paying the price for selling every principle they ever proclaimed (but didn’t actually hold) for the sake of red boxes and ministerial cars turning up at their doors. Farage isn’t the issue, Lib Dem duplicity is; whoever leads them will be tainted, and doomed to lead them right back to the wilderness.

i dedicate this post to my friend Sir Anthony Garrett, who will agree with every word of it.

Categories: Politics

Music while I laze

Caustic Love : Paolo Nutini. I’ve been waiting around five years for young Mr Nutini to make a great album. He has now.

Categories: General


Commiserations to my Hibs supporting friends on snatching relegation from the jaws of safety yesterday.

It’s an inconceivable scenario for the numpties who run Scottish football, but it will happen. Next season, the top tier in The SPFL will be missing not only Rangers but both Edinburgh clubs as well. Bereft of visits by three of the top five, the financial consequences for everyone but Celtic could well be dire.

Categories: Sport

Doubtfire no more

It was almost overlooked because of the outstanding performance of Rory the L*** R** (sorry kid, didn’t mean it) at Wentworth, but a great day arrived yesterday. Colin Montgomerie, Old Grumpy himself, finally won a major championship, the US Senior PGA. Twenty years too late, Big Man, but well done, and on to the Grand Slam.

Categories: Sport

QJ on holiday

Categories: Pics


Back in L’Escala for a few weeks, I join a band of Brits dismayed by the disappearance of UK Freesat TV, after a recent satellite move to one with a smaller footprint. Sky is still there, but BBC, ITV1 etc are gone from that platform too.

Sure, there’s a school of thought that says, if you move to another country you should embrace all of it, and leave your former culture behind you. There’s an alternative school of thought that says, bugger that for a game of soldiers. And there’s another, one that I intend to promote actively, that poses a question. If citizens of European Union nations can move freely across its internal borders, where is the logic that denies the same flexibility to television signals?

Categories: General, Politics

Vale of tears

Last weekend, Olivia Colman picked up a merited best actress TV BAFTA for Broadchurch. You’d get very short odds on Sarah Lancashire picking up the same gong in 2015 for Happy Valley. I know, it’s violent, too violent for many; even I find myself thinking about it well into the night. I know also that British TV drama stands accused of being infected by the wave of ‘Scandi-noir’ that has swept across our screen in the last few years. However an actor can only do their best with the script that he or she is given.

Of all its virtues, I’m most impressed by the fact that it is the work of Sally Wainwright. The same mind that gave us Last Tango in Halifax also created Happy Valley, a diametrically different vision of the same location: astonishing.

Categories: General

The ego is landing

It’ll be all right now. Van Gaal is coming.

I’ll reserve judgement on that.


Categories: Sport


I have also been following the Icebreaker affair in which Gary Barlow, Gabby Logan etc, have been shown to be engaging in active tax avoidance. David Cameron thinks that Gary should keep his OBE, but voluntarily pay additional tax.

What do I think? As always, the Prime Minister is being duplicitous. Tax evasion is illegal, tax avoidance is not. Indeed, it is an industry, one which exists because of regulations that have been put in place under the watch of this and previous governments.  If blame is to be attributed it should land at the door of those ultimately responsible, Cameron, Osborne and their predecessors in office.

Categories: Politics

Political incorrectness

I have been following, from a distance, the Richard Scudamore affair, in which the chief exec of the English Premier League has been pilloried for forwarding allegedly sexist emails.

Here’s my take on the MPs and others who have been stirring this: Get a ******* life.

Categories: General, Sport

The Street

Thanks to Marina, and everyone else who turned out at Waterstone’s Sauchiehall Street today. Glasgow’s changing; needs a dose of Skinner.

Same bookstore different town tomorrow evening. Almondvale, Livingston, 6:30pm. There may be refreshments!

Categories: General

Wild west

Quiet Monday, then tomorrow I’m looking forward to a visit to Waterstone’s in Sauchiehall Street, 12:30pm.

Categories: General

Brief respite

Another football league season gone, apart from the last knockings of the play-offs, which could see the top tier in Scotland without either of the Edinburgh clubs, an unprecedented and financially dangerous situation, and in England, the return of the ‘Wally with the Brolly’ to the Premier League. The first ever Scottish Premiership ended in controversy, with the mighty Motherwell emerging once again as the best of the rest, thanks to a last minute, and perfectly legitimate, goal against the sore-losing Aberdeen. The first ever English Premier League without Fergie was the poorer for his absence, as were Manchester United, who may be gone for a while if they abandon continuity in favour of the much-travelled veteran Dutchman who has been anointed by the media as the next manager. Top four next season? England: 1 Man City 2 Chelsea 3 Tottenham 4 Liverpool. Scotland: 1 Celtic 2, 3, 4 Pick any 3 from 11.

So on we go to the World Cup. QJ’s forecast: Argentina to beat Portugal in the final, Brazil to win the third-place play-off over Germany or Belgium. England? Get to quarter-finals, lose to Brazil.

Categories: Sport


I heard Dave Cameron quoted as morning as expressing his support for a woman as the next chair of the BBC Trust.

Would that be any woman? I hope that the choice will be the best person for the job, regardless of gender.

Categories: General, Politics