Filed under: Arts, creativity, gigs, humour, jokes, life, politics, Rants, Scotland, swearing | Tags: alex salmond, Glastonbury 2-13 T in the Park 2013, http www youtube, kraftwerk, Nigel Farage, rant, Scottish Independence, UKIP
I love these and I’ve done a few now.
This one’s about Nigel Farage. Known locally as a Nigel Cockend.
But this one’s rather more sympathetic. It’s a Kraftwerk rant.
Filed under: cycling, life, Scotland, sports, stories | Tags: bike riding, Bikes, cycling, Cycling Scotland, Kinross Sportive, Tour de france
Yesterday I took part in the Kinross Sportiv Black run. 88 miles (my clock read 91) and 6561 feet of climbing (1.5 x the height of Ben Nevis).
See those red boxes? They’re the hills and they are very cleverly spaced out so as to just about allow you to recover from one before you hit the next.
Of course some are worse than others. Just like waterboarding is worse than the rack or having fingernails extracted.
But you think the ascents are bad? Well, on three of them, having reached the peak you see this.
And those signs are there for a reason.
I had ho’d and hummed a lot the night before about whether to put the new brake blocks I’d just bought onto my (not very) trusty Willier and eventually decided, after removing them and scraping them, that they’d suffice.
Well, they did. Just. But that was after recording my top speed, so far, on a bike (38mph) on a not dangerous descent.
Going down those bad ones was a test of nerve – and one that I abjectly failed because my arms ached at the bottom of each of them with the sheer effort of clamping those 2cm blocks of rubber to the rims of my wheels. At times I simply had no idea if the brakes would last out. Feathering them was rarely an option as the descents were so brutal, the second you let go the bike would just leap forward at horrendous speed. Clamping was the key. So, the next time you watch a descent on the Tour de France consider the risks these guys are taking.
Towards the end of my six and a bit hours in the saddle (we had three stops for punctures and two for food on top of that) I was in a state of complete exhaustion.
Maybe it was the half pint of Guinness that we had in Dunning that did me in. As the barmaid said “Oh, you’re the first cyclists we’ve had in three years that had a drink!” But it certainly helped us up the 900ft climb, that is Dunning Common, that we faced the second we got back on the bike.
As I sit at my computer at 9.30 the next day I feel fine. Had I done an equivalent feat by running I’d have been in agony for at least three days.
So, vive le cycling.
Filed under: creativity, cycling, life, politics, Rants, science, Scotland, stories | Tags: drug cheats in sport, In pursuit of Lance Armstrong, lance armstrong drug cheat, Lyceum Edinburgh David Walsh, The Lyceum
David Walsh is nothing like the pompous, arrogant Sunday Times sportswriter that you might imagine sportswriters for aggressive newspaper groups in search of the scalp of the world’s greatest sports cheat, Lance Armstrong, might be.
David Walsh is a man whose son died in a cycling accident, coincidentally, aged 12 yet went on to be a great lover of cycling, and sport in general.
Tonight, in Britain’s most beautiful theatre (The Lyceum in Edinburgh) Walsh, acknowledging its humbling beauty, told the story of how he went out to get the lying cheat that is Lance Armstrong. And won.
It was an epic tale presented without a single note and narrated for over an hour.
And it pressed every one of my “Why Lance Armstrong is unforgivable buttons.”
Walsh eloquently argued why Armstrong not only used his cancer as both “a shield and a sword” but that his use of Growth Hormones before his diagnosis probably accelerated its invasiveness.
He made reference to the many, many people that Armstrong inhumanely took out, completely ruthlessly, in pursuit of the self preservation of his entirely false achievements.
He defended Sky and Wiggins as doggedly as he vilified US Postal and Armstrong.
And he did it all calmly, reflectively, convincingly, powerfully.
Please God. Tell me Walshy’s not on EPO.
Filed under: cycling, Scotland, sports | Tags: 801 dalmeny, Cleish Hill, Dunning Hill, Scottish Cycling, Scottish hill climbs by bike
Today we set off as usual at 8.01 from Dalmeny Station, 11 of us. And headed for Auchterarder.
At Yetts o’ Muckart the group split and six of us carried on to Auchteradrer where we had coffee and bacon rolls (some had Carrot cake) at Indulge. The Maitre of the house elicited positive observation from all parties. Indeed, it may require further visitation.
Then the hard work began.
37 miles under our belt and coffeed up we set off for Dunning to begin the dreaded ascent of the 3 mile long Dunning Hill (probably about 1,000 feet ascent). At one point I was down to 5.3mph in my lowest gear. Really, really tough.
But Roddy McRae, total whippet, was in front of me and got off his bike to photograph us as we neared the summit.
This is the result.
That was at 45 miles.
15 miles later we hit Cleish Hill. Another, slightly shorter killer climb.
At 2.15 we finally got home. 77 miles later. Shattered but happy
Filed under: Arts, creativity, football, humour, life, Scotland, sports, stories, Uncategorized | Tags: arthur seat, celtic fc, Chips'n'cheese, easter Road stadium, Edinburgh, Edinburgh View, Edinburgh's Greatest Football Team, Hibees, Hibernian FC, Ian McAteer, Leith, Sunshine on Leith, The Bhouys, the hoops, the union
Advertising supremo, Iain McAteer, of The Union was climbing Arthur Seat on a chill but not Arctic New Year’s day.
The hike was an attempt to wash the bitter taste of the defeat (and too much red wine) of his beloved Chips’n'cheese-eating, potato picking, football team to the (ex) purveyors of the beautiful game, the mighty Hibernian FC from his mouth.
He turned to take in the glorious view and was rewarded with this stunning vision.
Filed under: cycling, humour, Scotland, sports, stories, Uncategorized | Tags: 801 Dalment cycle club, Cleish Hill, Scottish Cycling
It would seem I have failed to understand, pretty much fundamentally, the fashion code for serious cyclists as this excerpt from the very amusing 801 Dalmeny blog suggests
“Newbie Mark G compounded multiple violations of the rules (mountain bike, trainers, camelbak, raybans, mudguards, panniers, pants showing through lycra shorts…) with a milky coffee choice and boiled eggs with soldiers.”
Filed under: cycling, Scotland, sports, stories | Tags: 9th september, Beecraigs Park, Cycling Scotland, freshnlo, freshnlo pedal for scotland ride, glasgow to edinburgh bike ride, Linlithgoww, Livingston, scotland glasgow, thigh muscles, Torphicen, track roads
On Saturday I cycled this route (initially in the rain as dawn broke – well 7am) with a couple of pals. It took me to a lovely little, one pub, village called Torphichen in the hills between Livingston and Linlithgow and through the Beecraigs Park.
Quite hilly, it proved almost too much for one of our group and it was a leisurely 4 and a half hours before we set foot back on Queensferry soil. But the route was fantastic, much of it on car free single track roads so I thought, what the hell, I’ll go out again this afternoon and see what time I can do it in. Two hours on the dot and with 63 miles in my legs idea preparation for the freshnlo Pedal for Scotland Glasgow to Edinburgh bike race on 9th September. You can register here.
By the end of the second run though my thigh muscles were starting to groan and a long bath was called for.
Monday was a work from home day with meetings in Edinburgh both in the morning and in the evening. Consequently I put another 52 miles on the clock. So a good few days all in all.
Filed under: humour, life, movies, Scotland, swearing | Tags: comedy, John Henshaw, Ken Loach, Kes, paul lavety, The Angels' share
Wow, Ken Loach’s 21st movie (might be more) further deepens his fondness for documentary style movie making in Scotland. As a child I was supremely moved by Kes. My Uncle took me to see it as a 7 year old and it scared me. The anger and bitterness of a Northern life of poverty, dominated by a glowering Brian Glover as the bullying PE teacher and the innocence of the lead character played by David Bradley left me all aquiver. Since then I’ve followed Loach almost universally. Riff Raff, Raining Stones, My Name is Joe, Carla’s Song, Looking for Eric. All brilliant. All gritty, all uncompromising.
Looking For Eric raised his box office bar by ingeniously casting Cantona and described as a comedy it had the odd laugh, but was no comedy. And this in some way compares.
This man is a national treasure.
And, so, to a movie billed as a proper comedy.
Well, it is very, very funny. Paul Lavety has made sure of that with a brittle acerbic, cynical script that bowls along spewing expletives faster than you can say “see you next Tuesday”. The plot itself is a little fantastical but you can forgive that because the performances are extraordinary, not least by British TV stalwart John Henshaw in a career defining role. In some ways it’s Henshaw’s movie and the denouement, which features him, is extremely moving.
I said it was a bit fantastical but the overall effect is fantastic. At one moment gut wrenchingly violent. The completely believable East end of Glasgow Gang culture that it’s set amidst is quite shocking at times, and at others it’s laugh out loud especially with its liberal use of top notch gratuitous swearing.
Don’t take your mother (although my mother had been the week before me and loved it!).
This is a great movie. A certainty for award victories and a life affirming way to spend an afternoon or evening in the cinema.
8.5 out of 10.
Filed under: creativity, cycling, Scotland, sports, stories | Tags: arthurs seat], cycling, Edinburgh, glasgow to edinburgh cycle race, old bike, pedal for scotland, south queensferry, vacation
I had an afternoon off and I had some stuff to pick up in Edinburgh so, between rain showers (well, when I say SHOWERS…), I jumped on the old bike to do a training run for the Pedal For Scotland ride that’s now only 8 weeks away. You can register here… http://ow.ly/c1Ssg
So, I cycled into Edinburgh (11 miles ) and then did two circuits of Arthur’s Seat (my second volcanic circumnavigation in a week given that I’d done Vesuvius last week).
The trip round Arthur’s Seat is 3.3 miles and I clocked 14 minutes or so both times. My memories of the ascent (just under a mile) to Dunsapie Loch were far more onerous than the reality.
After that a cycle back to South Queensferry and all 32 miles done and dusted in about 2hrs 15 minutes.
Cream crackered now like.
Filed under: creativity, gardening, Scotland | Tags: botanical gardens edinburgh, orchids
In Edinburgh Botanical Gardens
Filed under: family, food, life, Scotland | Tags: 50 for 50, Diet, weight loss
Well, it’s been a tough but exciting two months.
I’ve cycled 400 miles and walked 240.
I’ve been on a (roughly speaking) about 1500 calorie a day regime but it’s been worth t as I put on a suit yesterday that I “earned” from Smiths Menswear in 1995.
Most pleasing of all my BMI moved from obese to overweight this morning. That’s a really big thing for me as it completely re-categorises me in my own mind (mind you that’s on the halls md scale (an American model that challenges the usual dodgy findings of the existing BMI standards that take no account of muscle percentage, merely weight. NOT THAT I AM SAYING I AM MUSCULAR.
So, I have a good half stone to go on the regular measure to make that claim but in my mind I am no longer obese.
I’ve lost 13.5% of my body weight so far and am 70% towards my target of 50lbs lost by 50. (Mid May.)
I know I will get there now; it’s only a question of when?
Thanks everyone for your support so far and especially Pete and Jeana.
If you want to pledge your support for the charities that we are raising money for please sign up here.
Me? I’m off for some scran.
Filed under: family, food, life, science, Scotland, stories | Tags: 50 for 50, campbells meat, complex carbohydrates, Cube Hyde, food combining, food combining diet, low carb diet, mark gorman, mark gorman think hard, nike, Nike Plus, Pete and mark.wordpress.com, pete the meat, peter Flockhart, rachel Apppolinari Fund, steve appolinari, think hard
My friends on facebook will be aware of the challenge my next door neighbour, Pete Flockhart (aka Pete the Meat) and myself set ourselves in the depressing dog days of 2011. Both of us had piled on the weight in the last couple of years as a result of lack of exercise, overeating (or eating the wrong stuff to be more precise) and over drinking.
We’re both 50 in May, ten days apart in fact and the prospect of our local GP carrying out rectal examinations whilst lecturing us about our obesity was too much to contemplate.
So we decided to set ourselves a challenge.
We’d both lose 50 lbs by our 50th birthdays.
Our good pal Doug Cook offered to design us a campaign logo. This is it…
And we set up a blog to follow the journey.
We’ve dramatically reduced our alcohol intake (bar a few binges).
We’ve put ourselves on really good diets. Pete’s a bit heavy on the rabbit food but I’ve been following a food combining approach which consists of Muesli and fresh fruit for breakfast, salad with lots of protein for lunch and a good mix of protein and complex carbs for dinner.
No pies, no crisps, no sweets, very few, virtually none in fact, simple carbs (white rice, white bread, white pasta, potatoes – in fact none of any of them in a month), no butter, reduced fat (the one cal spray you can buy is excellent), no chocolate, no biscuits, no visits to Greggs AT ALL.
And of course, the exercise. I have a Nike Plus wristband which acts as a GPS device, pedometer and calorie burn measurer which is calibrated (extremely accurately I have to say) for stride length and distance walked plus weight.
Our regime has been walking 2 out of every three days across the Forth Road Bridge and back. That’s about 5.7miles (9km) and we have a slightly longer route that’s 7 miles (11km). In January I walked 190km ( 118 miles) and Pete was about the same. However I’ve also recently bought an amazing, really really amazing, new bike – a Cube Hyde Pro – that’s carried me 200 miles in and out of town this month.
We’re taking the opportunity to raise funds for two very deserving charities as we go and you can pledge your support here if you’d like to help us. They are the Rachel Appolinari Fund which has been set up on behalf of a young girl, a friend of my family, who died, aged 19, of a brain tumour at Edinburgh neuro-oncology unit at the Western General Hospital. Her Dad and sisters have already raised £50,000 for the hospital in Rachel’s name. The other (Pete’s choice) is the Chest, Heart and Stroke Foundation in Scotland for obvious reasons. I hope you will support us.
The results are encouraging.
In the first month, which ended today, I lost 22lbs and Pete lost 30lbs. That’s 9% of our combined body weight. Our BMI’s have tumbled but there’s a long, long way to go and to be honest 50lbs may have set the bar a little too low.
We realise the easiest bit is over and we really do need to dig in now, but we’ve been saying that since the end of week one in which Pete lost a staggering 16.5 lbs, so maybe we’re striking the right balance.
A big thing about this, to my mind, is the value of attempting a challenge like that with others. Doing it solo is very difficult indeed. So, to Pete the Meat, Slainte! Onwards and upwards. Together we shall prevail!
Anyway, follow our exploits here. You can sign up for updates on the left hand side of the blog and please support us as best you can.
Filed under: creativity, humour, life, Scotland, writing | Tags: english, english pronounciation, english pronunciation, english vocabulary, idiosynchrasy, language, native english speakers, tongue tied, tonguetwister, vocabulary
Thanks to my old mucker, Bruce Haines who was President of the IPA back in the day when I sat on the President’s committee. He now resides in Seoul so I’m sure he could have a lot of fun teaching this to the locals.
It’s an astounding vocal trickery game really that has to be read out loud.
A wonderful celebration of the English language. Enjoy.
If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.
After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Fe0ffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!
Filed under: creativity, family, humour, jokes, life, Scotland, stories | Tags: Cluness, elton john, pissed singing, seducing girlfriend, The Circle of life
Especially if you are the only one that’s been drinking, quite a lot, and the rest of the family are at home. (Her family that is.)
Filed under: advertising, Arts, books, business, creativity, family, gigs, golf, humour, life, movies, photography, Scotland, stories, theatre, tv, videos, work | Tags: 2011, 2011 in hindsight, best of 2011, gibberish, mark gorman, review iof 2011
2011 was rather less fraught than 2010. I didn’t work to such ridiculous extremes, and the year end saw my portfolio change quite considerably compared to 12 months ago. Three big new clients at year end were Maidsafe, Vets2 and Front Page Design, all autumnal starters and all brilliant to work with. My STV contract finally came to an end after three years but its been great and I am very grateful to them for all the work.
Some old troopers still stand by me; 60 Watt, Paligap, The Usability Lab, Corporation Pop, Ampersand and LA Media, with occassional work from a small number of others.
To you all; slainte and have a great 2012.
If my golf was bad in 2010 it beggared belief in 2011. I gave up my membership at Dundas Park and clearly that did not have a galvanising effect on my game. I was shit awful on both trips of the year and even my winter game has been poor.
We didn’t go away as a family in 2011, for a variety of reasons but I had the holiday (maybe an exaggeration to call it that) of a lifetime in June when Ria and I went to Glastonbury. To say it was memorable would be something of an understatement. There is one abiding memory of it, I have to say…the bogs.
But there were other memorable sights and moments, like this…
Which brings me onto my musical highlights of the year.
My best of CD which you can have if you like included these tracks…
In a good year for music my song of the year, without question, was Video Games by Lana Del Rey.
My albums of the year were;
Bad as Me by Tom Waits (overall my favourite record)
Let England Shake by PJ Harvey
You and I by The Pierces
The English Riviera by Metronomy
A creature I don’t know by Laura Marling
50 Words for Snow by Kate Bush
Hotel Shampoo by Gruff Rhyss
Build a Rocket Boys by Elbow who also performed the gig of the year at Glastonbury (closely followed by King Creosote at The Liquid Rooms)
A different Kind of Love by Bombay Bicycle Club
21 by Adele
I did a lot of cinema in 2011…
Here’s what I thought of what I saw in my IMDB profile…
Two ten out of tens and a few nines show that it was also a good year for movies. In retrospect I plump for three as my best of the year
A Separation and
On TV This is England 2008 moved me to tears and was by far the year’s greatest offering. I liked Top Boy too.
I didn’t read a great deal this year but have really enjoyed
The Brothers Sisters by Patrick DeWitt.
The Childrens Hospital by Chris Adrtian.
And Filthy English, The How, Why When and What of Everyday Swearing by Pete Silverton.
But the best read of the year by far was…The Guardian which I grow deeper in love with.
This was a big year of theatre for me. I reckon I saw at least 20 different productions but easily the stand out was Dance Marathon in which Jeana and I and Chris and Liam danced our asses off for five hours before I was told I was relentless by the Producer. We also had amazing nights at The Kings for James Cordon in One Man, Two Guvnors and The Lyceum for both Dunsinane and Age of Arousal.
This year was sadly marked by way too much illness among our friends for me to want to dwell on but Matt, David and Jenny I am thinking of you now.
Also, we lost James King, Joyce Cambell and Fiona Pirie from FCT and Rachel Appolinari at the outrageous age of 19. RIP all of you. xxx
All of the family have blossomed in the past year, thank God, and long may it continue. In particular Amy has shown an almost exponential growth in confidence and skills in many different areas.
2012 is University year for Tom and Ria should they both choose to go down that path.
And so, to 2012. It’s the year I turn 50, Amy 21, Tom and Ria 18 and I aim, with Pete the Meat, to lose at least 50 pounds each before we turn 50 in May. We are raising money to do so and you’ll soon hear of our plans.
Thanks for being my reader once again in 2011. My year end Technorati rating was an all time high closing in on a top 1% of all the blogs in the world rating.
16,000th out of 1.2 million.
Filed under: advertising, creativity, Scotland, tv, videos | Tags: domestic abuse, strathclyde police, Strathclyde Police domestic abuse
I worked with STV Creative’s team to create this commercial about Domestic Abuse that ran on TV screens in Strathclyde over Christmas.
I think it packs a real emotional punch and is fantastically spare in its execution.
I can hardly say I hope you enjoy it but I do hope you admire it.
Filed under: Arts, creativity, photography, Scotland | Tags: beach hut, dark skies, scottish seaside architecture, scottish weather. Hurricane fucking freezing, sky, the sea, troon, winter
I was in Troon today and in the time it took to take these pictures and a few others I actually thought I was at risk of hypothermia.
Filed under: Scotland, sports | Tags: gales, golf, scottish golf weather, weather, wind
80 mile an hour wind gusts with the prevailing windspeed around 30mph.
The group that went out in front of us at Lundin Links on Fife’s southern coast lasted one and a half holes, lost one of their trolleys which blew onto the beach and one of the players had already also lost three balls.
We had a bacon roll, a cup of tea and headed home.
Common sense prevailing over the prevailing winds.
Filed under: creativity, family, life, photography, Scotland, stories | Tags: A christmas celebration, chriostmas, Christmas cake, Christmas cards, Christmas dinner, christmas in Scotland, Christmas trifle, How to do Christmas
Filed under: creativity, photography, Scotland | Tags: angels, religion, scottish religion
Originally uploaded by mark gorman.
st giles is a stunning place. the choir is amazing.
Filed under: creativity, family, Scotland | Tags: 2011 happy Christmas, Christmas card, gibberish, Happy Christmas from the gormans, mark gorman, merry Christmas from Gibberish
Thanks for sticking with me all year.
Good wishes and good fortune in 2012. You deserve it if you’ve read this claptrap all year.
Not one card but two…
Filed under: advertising, business, creativity, humour, motors, photography, Scotland, stories | Tags: edinburgh zoo, edinburgh zoo van, hino van, newhaven communications, r, Rufus Wedderburn
Years ago I was responsible for taking a brief from my then client, Edinburgh Zoo.
They wanted their logo put on the side of their new van.
“That’s surely a bit of a missed opportunity is it not?” I asked.
“Why?” was the response “It’s just a van.”
“No it’s not” was my firm retort. “It’s a poster. And what’s more the media cost of it is free.”
I asked them to leave it with me and not long after I presented them with the idea (created by Rufus Wedderburn, now at Newhaven Communications) of creating a visual gag which made it look as if a Rhino was being transported across Edinburgh and that its horn had burst through the van’s roof.
They bought it. And here she is in all her glory.
It won every ad award going and the citizens (and visitors) of Edinburgh delighted in seeing it every time it passed through the street.
Filed under: advertising, bbc, business, creativity, Scotland | Tags: BBC radio Scotland, David Ogilvy, Graeme atha, mark gorman, The original mad man, victor Brierley
Next Monday myself and Graeme Atha will be in conversation with Victor Brierley in a special one off documentary investigating the legend that was David Ogilvy.
Here’s a link to the 30 minute programme that goes out on Monday afternoon at 2.05.
Filed under: Rants, Scotland, stories | Tags: dangerous drivers, drving in fog, idiuot drivers, M5 crash lessons
OK, so to all of the arseholes that drove alongside me; mostly rammed up my tailpipe from Kilmarnock to South Queensferry today in a very thick fog from 4pm – 6pm I can only assume you were ALL unaware of the news story on Friday night where 51 people were seriously injured and 7 died as a result of thick fog mixed with smoke on the M5 near Taunton.
Here’s a picture of it just in case you think I’m making it up…
Because if you were aware of it you all make me sick to the pit of my stomach. Particularly professional drivers of lorries and vans who are happy to overtake on crowded rush hour roads at 70mph when anything over 50 mph was already risky driving.
Thankfully I survived but you lot can fuck right off.
Filed under: Arts, creativity, Scotland, theatre | Tags: 27, abi morgan, Altzheimers disease, national theatre of Scotland, Royal Lyceum, Vikki featherstone
Once again, I declare my RLTC interests before sharing my views on this really interesting night in the theatre.
Abi Morgan’s new play for National Theatre of Scotland and The Royal Lyceum Theatre is a slow burning thought piece. Over five Acts it gradually unfolds its subtle pickings as it runs through the theatrical gearbox with ease.
Although Maureen Beattie takes marketing centre-stage it’s by no means all about her (although her performance purrs) and, in fact, it’s Nicholas Le Prevost who overcomes a slowish start to increasingly dominate the proceedings.
I’m not going to dwell on the plot because it would be too easy to spoil it by revealing the action.
In some ways the action is not really that important because this is a polemical, rather than plot-based, play about two opposing “kirks”: science and religion. But it’s obvious that what drives blind science and blind faith is…err…blind belief. Read Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and you will see exactly what I mean.
The need for order, belief, integrity and singlemindedness are every bit as important in a convent as they are in a lab and this play explores deeply the integrity of belief.
It’s thoroughly thought provoking and it is delivered via a totally engaging, and yet, at times, humorous, but at all times riveting script.
The set is astounding. A brutalist concrete bunker that could at once be a university, the Catholic grotto at Carfin or a business hotel foyer where business has to be done.
And business does have to be done
The cast are great.
I loved Maureen Beattie’s unemotional and consequently hugely sympathetic performance as the convent boss elect. Her predecessor, the ageing Sister Miriam, played by Colette O’Neil was wonderful: what a part for an actor of a certain age. And the newbie, the loose cannon that is Audrey, brilliantly builds her character throughout. I enjoyed Molly Innes’ performance in Wondrous Flitting (for me the stand out performance in that show) and she delivers again as the agent provocateur of the conservative Catholic church.
This play neither belittles nor celebrates religion. It challenges scientific orthodoxy and as a result weaves a fine line between all camps leaving you, the viewer, to use your brain.
Oh, I nearly forgot. It’s about Alzheimers disease.
And it’s only on for three weeks.
You, like me, will probably want to go twice, so move it.
Filed under: football, life, Scotland | Tags: Euro 2012, euro 2012 qualifiers, scotland v spain, spain v scotland
It says it all.
Spain will no doubt field a weakened side and yet Scotland is still 16/1 to win.
But then. To win you need a manager that is willing to field a team that might even try to score.
Had we have done so in the Czech Republic we may already be in the play offs.
Filed under: Arts, creativity, music, Scotland | Tags: deacon blue, scotland's greatest album, simple minds, stv, texas, the blue nile, the proclaimes, the skids, travis
OK, so the series, fronted by the delightful Claire Grogan, kicks off on Tuesday on STV.
Here’s the facebook link.
My feeling is that the decision will be heavily weighted by the viewing demograph which will therefore strongly favour albums of the 70-’s and 80′s with a shout for those of the early 90′s.
That gives a strong advantage to the following
New Gold Dream by Simple Minds – average pop that was far bettered in their earlier albums, especially Real to Reel Cacophony and the sublime double album release that was Sons and Fascination/Sisters Feeling Call.
This is the Story by the Proclaimers ( a potentially worthy winner)
Rain Town by Deacon Blue (also of note).
Some pish by Travis or fucking Texas.
But the real talent lies elsewhere, but will be pushed out by popularism.
No chance will Belle and Sebastian win but Tiger Milk is extraordinary.
Not a fan but Jesus and Mary Chain should, but won’t feature.
The Blue Nile are OBVIOUSLY one of Scotland’s greatest if not THE greatest. On that basis I think I’d give it to A Walk Across the Rooftops.
The Fannies. Too many albums will split their vote.
Aztec Camera. The wondrous High Land, Hard Rain should but wont.
Orange Juice are too fey and anyway were a better singles than albums band.
Bill Wells trio no-one has heard of.
King Creosote should probably be in there for his body of work but his Mercury nominated opus magnificus of this year has no chance.
The Skids. Fuck off back to Fife.
Craig Armstrong’s the space between us is beautiful but has no chance.
The Scars. Author Author. magic. No chance.
John Martyn is too folk/Jazz to win.
Eddie Reader likewise.
So, that leaves me with my outside bet.
Screamadelica. Over -rated but loved and toured to death this year including a lot of high profile gigs. Could just do it.
So, my prediction?
What do you think. Please comment.
Filed under: advertising, creativity, life, Scotland | Tags: billy strathdee, gareth Howells, newhaven communications, Poppyscotland, prosthetic leg sportsman, swimming channel, war hero
I am auctioning around 35 incredible lots tomorrow night at Newhaven Communications’ fabulous Ambulance House, prompted by the one and only Gareth Howells.
It’s for a guy called Billy Strathdee who had his right leg blown off as an acting soldier in Ulster.
He is fitter than a butcher’s dog and is about to set off on an incredible adventure wherein he swims the English channel then cycles to Grangemouth before running to John O’Groats.
On a prosthetic leg.
All funds go to a charity close to my heart; Poppyscotland.
Please support this, either by coming along for what will be a fantastic evening. Drinks at 6 and the auction starts at 8.
All of the details can be found here.
And if you can’t make it you can put in an advance bid.
We are probably talking bargains for a lot of photography and jewellery and designer breaks and stuff.
Filed under: Scotland, sports | Tags: dan parks, rugby, rugby worl cup, scotland v argentina, sctittish rugby union
The match against Argentina this morning was rugby at its most attritional and exciting despite the fact Scotland lost and there was only one try. However Scotland’s curse raises its head once again and we look likely to fail to reach the quarter finals. It makes next Saturday’s match against England truly unmissable. Horrific missed drop goal by Dan Parks right at the death and I suspect a lack of concentration after we’d eked out that six point lead only to concede a converted try less than a minute later.
Filed under: creativity, gardening, science, Scotland, stories | Tags: Amorphophallus titanium, botany, Corpse flower, Royal botanic Gardens Edinburgh, scottish botany, titus arum
Have you been following the progress of this beauty?
You can keep up to date with it here.
I’ve had my eye on it all summer.
It’s called Amorphophallus titanium which roughly translated means absolutely ginormous penis. And it’s growing right here in Edinburgh in the Royal Botanic Gardens’ greenhouse. Currently it is progressing by 10cm a day and when and if it flowers it will have been the first to do so in Scotland and is a very rare happening when cultivated.
Have a freaking look at this. (A specimen cultivated in Stuttgart)
It has the largest “unbranched” inflorescance of any plant in the world which roughly translated means it has humungous flowers.
And the best thing is…it smells like a rotting animal. Hence its common name “the Corpse Flower”.
Best get your ass down there for a look.