Author Archive


I am one track into Butter Miracle and already I am smiling. Only Adam Duritz would use ‘ossifies’ in a lyric. Adam Duritz is and always has been more than just a songwriter. He’s a poet. He’s a genius.

Categories: General

Not before time

August 11, 2021 2 comments
Categories: General

New balls

August 8, 2021 3 comments

Simon Holmes, my least favourite Sky pundit, has a new phrase: ‘unforced error’. If his studio companion has any mischief about her, maybe she’ll ask him how an error in golf can be anything other than unforced.

Categories: Sport


August 7, 2021 1 comment

I have just seen what I reckon to be the pole-sitter in any contest to choose the worst TV ad ever. It’s for a product called Manscape and it was shown on Eurosport. Possibly because ITV and Sky refused it?

Categories: General

Doctor, No.

August 2, 2021 7 comments

When Irene, AJ, Susie and I arrived in Gullane, 50 years ago last May, Spud Bennett was the primary school headmaster, Doctors Barr and Blackett were the GPs, and it was a question of who arrived on your doorstep first, The Welcome Wagon or Doc Whiteford, the minister. The WW led on to The Housewives’ Register, which brought people of a similar age together, the main purpose being to have parties and get very pished. Today we have Facebook, Gullane News Group, the fledgling GVA, a few hundred new high-end houses, a medical centre with more doctors than I could name, a primary school that is growing exponentially, and the same unspeakable and inaccessible beach toilets. Knowing what I know now, if we were back in 1971 and a Time Lord offered to take us 50 years into the future, would I accept? Not a chance, because I would lose out on all the friends I made then and who are still with me today, physically or in my heart. If today’s twenty and thirty somethings are half as lucky, they’ll have done alright.

Categories: General

Stephen Sondheim

This is clear. The Holyrood Committee into the Scottish Government’s handling of the Salmond affair has voted along party lines, which makes its findings utterly useless, and all the time and money that has been diverted from public service has been shamefully wasted. The opposition parties saw it as an opportunity to embarrass, even remove, Nippy, and the SNP members rallied behind her.

It’s all been electioneering; for every pound spent there’s a child with special needs who could have had more help or a hole in the road that could have been filled.

Send in the clowns: don’t bother, they’re here.

Categories: Politics


This is a quote from a reputable news outlet, one that’s always up with the times.

‘The unrivalled queen of the celebrity sit-down, who has, over the past three decades, extracted raw and revelatory intimacies from Michael Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Whitney Houston, among many others, said yesterday, in the wake of the Sussexes’ incendiary interview, that she “could not believe” the things the couple were telling her.’

Change just one word and that’s what Piers Morgan said.

Categories: General


February 12, 2021 Leave a comment

Having watched most of the Trump prosecution evidence on CNN, I reckoned that his lawyers were going to have to up their game from their opening statement.

Then I realised it doesn’t matter. The jury is rigged.

Categories: Politics

Excuse me?

February 3, 2021 1 comment

Is the word ‘Vanilla’ racist in this context? Or am I not allowed to ask that question?

At a time when we are striving to build a diverse and multi-cultural society, I am not certain that Sir Trevor is helping.

Categories: General, Politics

Come on Eileen

January 26, 2021 2 comments

I’m starting to get a wee bit hacked off.

While I am very happy for my 70+ friends as the white vaccination envelopes come through the letter box (even if some of the locations display a lack of joined up thinking) I am increasingly annoyed that my 80+ vulnerable wife has heard nothing at all from the NHS.

I do not deal in assurances, or even promises. Only delivery matters.

Categories: General

The grownups are back

January 21, 2021 Leave a comment
Categories: General, Politics

Home truth

January 12, 2021 Leave a comment

I have a confession. I have been watching #SHOTY, (How did we exist in the pre-hashtag pre-history?) Scotland’s Home of the Year.

However, I’ve tended to watch it with the sound turned down. There have been some spectacular properties on show, and some ‘are they serious?’ entries too. The show is fine in concept, but for me it falls flat because of the judges. (One in particular gets on my tits. I’m not saying who, but there may be a clue in there.)

Each is offered as an expert in the home-making field, but ultimately what they wind up judging is other people’s taste. Why pick a winner? Why not let each home speak for itself? Or better still, why not allow the viewers to make the choice, with a weekly phone-in vote?

Categories: General

Patience, patient?

January 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Nicola Sturgeon, ‘Nippy’ to her opponents, hasn’t got too much wrong over the last ten months. The pandemic has been prudently managed in Scotland.

That said, I have reservations about the way the vaccine programme is being rolled out. We’ve all had a leaflet, at significant cost, that’s a bit of a chocolate fireguard. Its core message is ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you.’ Not unnaturally, most of us want to know when that will happen. We’re not being told; worse, we’re being told not to ask.

I know two people, both in their eighties, one in England, one in Scotland. The former will be vaccinated this week, the latter has been told that there are many people ahead of him in the queue.

The information gap is frustrating, and it contrasts with the English situation. Implementation north of the border has been handed, we are told, to individual health boards. To me, that builds in potential inequalities across the country, a postcode lottery, to resort to a phrase I dislike. I would prefer to see an individual tasked with personal responsibility for delivery. The Health Secretary might argue that it’s her. If it is, she should be front and centre giving much more specific information.

My wife is in group one. I have been told that she’ll be contacted by our medical practice, but nobody is quite sure how. It’s most likely, it seems, to be a letter. That begs a question. How are GPs equipped to issue dozens, maybe hundreds of letters to their elderly patients? And another. In the case of the most vulnerable, who might still be living alone but in need of support, what means are in place to ensure these letters are understood?

Lots of questions but no apparent will to answer them. Come on Nippy, step up.

Categories: General, Politics

Selling her book already

January 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Like all of you, I have reflected on the past year and how the invisible enemy, Covid-19, swept across our beautiful country. All Nations have experienced
— Read on

Categories: General, Politics

Level up the playing field?

I am indebted to my friend John for pointing out something that should have been obvious to me … or maybe I simply ignored it.

At my suggestion he has started watching Aussie Big Bash cricket on BT Sport. Last time we spoke he had a rant about the amount of advertising that’s jammed into the coverage, and he’s right. They seem to slot an add in after each over, two when a wicket falls, and as many as they can during other breaks. This has an impact on the coverage, as BT is taking the Australian output, but cutting off the expert commentators in mid sentence. There must be close on 100 commercials in a single match broadcast.

That’s further evidence to me of the mendacity of BT. We all have to live with that, but there is one way in which it and Sky might be opened up to really serious competition. What if the BBC was allowed to enter the subscription TV market, in a way that didn’t compete with its core entertainment services, concentrating on sport and premium cinema services? With its customer base, which still dwarfs the satellite operators, it could afford to outbid any competitor. As a bonus, the profit this would generate could go towards reducing or even eliminating the Broadcasting Tax.

Categories: General, Sport


January 1, 2021 1 comment

I’m glad that’s over, and I’m doing my best to see the glass of the new year as half full. Not easy, but somehow I felt uplifted when I opened the curtains and saw this.

Categories: General, Pics

The Omen

December 29, 2020 Leave a comment

Walking Sunny today I slipped on a steep muddy path. I pretty much totalled my left leg from the knee down; more than that, my jeans are the worse for wear.

They’re my best pair, by Pierre Cardin. When my phone told me that he had died, well, that felt pretty strange.

Categories: General

Or Aldi

December 22, 2020 Leave a comment
Categories: General


December 19, 2020 Leave a comment

Best tv ad just now: LIDL. It has a moment that really sticks it to its main rival.

Categories: General

Obscene or crazy or both?

December 15, 2020 Leave a comment

Premier League: Clubs pay £263m to agents in 2019-20 – BBC Sport
— Read on

Categories: Sport