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Crime Files

Scene of the Crime – Quintin Jardine | Crime Files
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Categories: General


May 23, 2018 1 comment

If I ran a multi-million pound business that traded exclusively in England, and sought to maintain the goodwill of the customer base and the media, would I appoint a chief operating officer whose command of the language was limited at best? No, I don’t think I would.

Categories: Sport


A very good friend of ours needs a hug just now. We’re sending ours, maybe you could do the same. The destination doesn’t matter, just take my word for it and send.

Categories: General


Promise kept: in my Bluetooth bubble I listened to ‘Desire’ all the way through. Eight stories and a love song. Anyone who can’t understand the link between Bob Dylan and the Nobel Prize might want to take a listen.

I think back to 1976 before it was released in the UK. Someone gave John Peel an advance copy. He played it all the way through and then he played it again. Next night he did the same.

Categories: General

Public spirited

Nothing to do with profit, of course.

Categories: General

Faraway eyes

I was involved earlier today in a discussion surrounding a piece in the Guardian by a columnist who took it upon himself to rate, bottom to top, all of The Rolling Stones’ studio albums. It seems that its editor thinks that such acts of self-indulgence sell newspapers: and she’s right for here I am writing about it.

Needless to say I don’t agree with Alexis Petridis’ ranking, but that’s not unexpected. Nor is it unreasonable, since he wasn’t born when the earliest of them were released and can have no first hand knowledge of their social impact at the time, which was considerable and should be part of such a judgement, IMO.

When I was 17, early 60s, a guy I knew was lifted at a Stones gig in a hotel in Hamilton (really). The police turned up mob handed and laid into everyone at the first sign of over exuberance, including my classmate who was doing no more than waiting to collect his sister. That’s how they were viewed in those days, and so a simple listing of their edited work is banal without a parallel study of their life and times.

The Guardian’s is banal also because it trots out the old ‘world’s greatest rock and roll band’ label. Most famous, yes, but greatest, how could they be, particularly when that is the assessment of a study that excludes their live work?

The best live music experience I’ve ever had, recorded or witnessed, involved Bruce and the E Street Band performing Racing in the Streets in St James Park, 30 something years ago. They’ll have had better nights and they’ll have had worse, but then I thought they were gods.

In my library I have five live versions of ‘Rain King’, a Counting Crows anthem, them being among my favourite bands and Adam Duritz being among my favourite writers. Each one is different and each one I like, most of all the most recent, when Adam really loses it. Which is the greatest of the five? You tell me.

My point? That my opinion is of no less or greater value than yours, or than that of the guy in the Guardian. My resentment? That he gets paid for expressing his.

Now I am off to listen to Dylan’s ‘Desire’. The greatest studio album ever made? I think so.

Categories: General


Watching the tv adaptation of A Very English Scandal brought back to mind two slogans that a chum of mine devised but never as the nerve to use.

One was ‘I’ll be buggered if I’ll vote Liberal’ and the other was ‘Vote Liberal or we’ll shoot your dog.’

For younger readers who don’t get the latter, keep watching.

Categories: Politics


Today I kept my promise to myself and retreated within my Bluetooth bubble to listen to Van Morrison and his live version of Astral Weeks.

I didn’t get to the end of the first track. There was a great line years back about a Stevie Nicks album being ‘digitally remumbled’, and that’s how it was with Sir Van. Couldn’t make out a bloody word.

Instead I did what I should have done in the first place and spent a happy 47 minutes cocooned with Moondance.

Categories: General


Categories: Sport

Trump’s God

May 18, 2018 1 comment

‘… and may God be with the National Rifle Association.’

Categories: General


It’s 50 years since Van Morrison recorded Astral Weeks. I am marking the milestone by playing it all the way through.

It crept out rather than being released: no singles were ever issued. It took time, and the blessing of John Peel, the Pope of modern music, but now it’s seen as the most significant work of a long career.

Eileen hates it so I have retreated within the bubble of my Bluetooth headset. When it’s done, I may play the much more recent live version.

It makes me feel as old as Sir Van, as in fact I am.

Categories: General

Cleft stick

Re my earlier post drawing attention to the First Minister’s high profile endorsement of Jamie Oliver.

His Italian Restaurant chain is current running a promo: ‘Pasta and Prosecco, only £9.95.’ Cut price booze? How does that square with Holyrood’s minimum unit pricing for alcohol?

Domino’s a villain for making pizza affordable for kids, but it’s okay for Jamie to lure their parents through the door with promises of bargain fizz?

Categories: General


This is the same guy who’s persuaded Queen Nicola to ban two for one pizza deals. (Aye, right!) I don’t see any value for money offers on his website. But I do see loads of expensive pizzas. So what is his ‘healthy option’ campaign other than a bid to win custom for his own chain by undermining the competition.

I’ll take Gullane Superfry and the Main Course over this duplicitous twat eight days a week. Piss off, Jamie.

As for Herself, childhood obesity is a problem but it won’t be solved by association with cheap stunts.

Nor will it be solved by diktat. What’s next? Will John Swinney’s Named Person be given power to oversee the family menu? Don’t laugh: it’s conceivable.

Jamie’s Italian features fantastic, rustic dishes, using recipes that Jamie loves! Jamie’s Italian was inspired by Italy & its traditions & values
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Categories: General, Politics


White House Blames Deadly Gaza Violence On Hamas ‘Propaganda’ | HuffPost
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Categories: General

Bloody awful

Will this weigh upon the conscience of The Donald, given that he is largely responsible? It might, if he had one.

Categories: General, Politics


We watched Midsomer Murders tonight, right to the ludicrous end, held spellbound by the sheer inanity of the plot and the impossibility of the means by which the victims were dispatched.

Neil Dudgeon was always an unlikely successor to John Nettles, but he becomes less convincing with every episode.

This evening there were times when we could not contain our laughter. If MM has any future, the producers must come clean and admit that it’s a flat out comedy.

Categories: General


May 13, 2018 1 comment

Last night John talked me into trying a fish he had off menu. He said it was a Mero, but didn’t know the English name.

I had it and it was interesting. Afterwards I had a rummage on Google and discovered that I’d just eaten a Grouper, one of these. As I told John, last time I saw anything like that it was wearing a black shirt and front of house in a restaurant.

Categories: General

RT tells it like it is

Categories: General

Nice ones, Declan

Categories: General

Why is all this happening?

Categories: General