Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Crime Files

Scene of the Crime – Quintin Jardine | Crime Files
— Read on

Categories: General


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


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

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
— Read on

Categories: General, Politics


White House Blames Deadly Gaza Violence On Hamas ‘Propaganda’ | HuffPost
— Read on

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

A week to go ….

…. until the eleventh celebration of Arrels de Vi, the annual wine fair in St Martí d’ Empuries, a must for oenophiles in Empordà and for those who simply like a good day out.

As always the finest Empordàn wine-makers will be offering tastings of their range, alongside other artisan products.

Categories: General

Where the sun never shines

Last Sunday, I flew out of Edinburgh Airport. I have this thing that when I travel I always like to keep my baggage within sight, but the security procedures there don’t permit that. There is no such thing as hassle free security but there are officials who see it as their job to be officious.

Anyway, as Rexie would say, a couple of hours later I realised on board the aircraft that I didn’t have my Kindle Paperwhite although I remembered taking it out for inspection. I also remembered an officious official rearranging items in the two boxes I presented and moving items from one to another for no obvious reason.

Next morning I reported the loss via the Airport website. Shortly afterward I had an email from someone named ******, described as a Sales and Retail Assistant at an entity known as Luggage-point. She said she believed they had my property, and that I could have it back, on production of photo ID. (It’s a Kindle dear, it doesn’t have my name on it.) She added that in addition to producing my driving licence, bus pass etc, I should also produce £12, the ‘Standard retrieval fee.’

When I pointed out that any citizen finding an item of property is normally expected to hand it to the police, ****** said that was not Airport policy and that I had seven days to cough up. At my request she attached a copy of the Airport Bye Laws (sic).

I am afraid that I advised her I could not comply with her requirements and that her organisation should place the item somewhere absolutely beyond the reach of sunshine. Let’s hope she understood.

Categories: General

Go Jim.

Last night I finished my current read, ‘A Higher Loyalty: truth, lies and leadership’ by James Comey, who was three and a half years into a ten year appointment as director of the FBI, until President Trump fired him, without hint of warning.

The latter part of the book was not new to me; the matter (a word I chose carefully, as those who have read it will understand) was well documented when it all went down. The rest is an account of Comey’s early life and career. During that time he served three presidents; the fact that he was appointed by Trump’s hated predecessor may have been the underlying cause of his dismissal. Or it may simply that Comey refused to surrender the essential independence of his office to the president, a concept that Trump’s seriously disturbed mind did not allow him to understand or accept.

Of course there are two sides to every debate. It may be that Comey is the deluded liar. However given Trump’s general behaviour, and his self obsessed, utterly boorish manner, and Comey’s emphasis on the ethics of leadership, that is not the way I would bet.

Let’s assume that the allegations of Russian hookers urinating, in Trump’s presence, on a bed once used by the Obamas, are untrue. Jesus, I hope they are. Even so, the fact that many, possibly most, people consider them credible is evidence enough that the minority of the US electorate who put him in office have made a very serious mistake.

Categories: General, Politics