European City of Culture. Another example of the foolish implications of Brexit.


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I know a number of people who poured their hearts and souls into Dundee’s bid to become the UK’s contender for European City of Culture 2023.  I don’t know anyone in Leeds, Nottingham, Milton Keynes or Belfast/Derry who did the same, but I bet they too broke their backs and, in some cases, their bank accounts.

But guess what, The EU has decided that the UK has essentially null and voided its application because it has elected to leave Europe’s governing body.

What would I do if I was the European arbiter of this situation?  Exactly the same.  Although I would have had the grace to declare the UK null and void before the process began.  (Now, I appreciate that wasn’t possible as the bids were opened in 2014. But upon declaration of the UK’s intention to leave the EU the implications should have been stated, not the week the entries went in.)

And all those research scientists.  Do they really think they’ll now get those grant applications in the light of this decision?

Sunderland got lucky when Nissan stamped its feet about the Brexit decision and the UK Govt stumped up a ton of dosh to pacify them.  Shame the silly fuckers voted to leave without thinking about the possible consequences for one of their biggest employers.

The UK is a global laughing stock and yet Theresa May marches on regardless. (I have to say JC is not covering himself in glory on this one either.)

In previous protestations I have blamed the Tories for this fiasco and I still do because they are carrying the torch for this and refusing the reconsider, or even listen.  To their own back benches if not the country.

Please dear readers, can we start a revolution?

Why are there no public demonstrations about the utter fuckwittery of this arrogant posturing?

 

 

 

 

A new venture. Spotted by Locals; Edinburgh.


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Look out for my impending travel writing.  I’ve just been interviewed by Bart and Sanne who run Spotted by Locals.  A travel app and website, created in 2008 and reaching over 60 cities, that invites a small group of writers to share their insights into their HOME city.

It’s a great idea because you get insights into cities all over the world from a non commercial perspective and outside of the usual historical or just plain obvious sights.

Anyway there will be five Edinburgh writers when I start.  Looking forward to it.  If anyone has any interesting spots for me to check out do please let me know and I’ll go investigate.

Wind Resistance by Karine Polwart at The Lyceum.


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It’s simply impossible not to go over the top about how wonderful this magical piece of theatre/music/storytelling is.

A standing ovation on a Saturday afternoon from the resolute “we will not give performances a standing ovation at the Lyceum” audience pretty much sums up its brilliance.

Joyce MacMillan’s 5 star review (I nearly always concur with this doyen of Scottish Theatre) supports the case.

My tears in act two (a rare thing in the theatre) closes it.

This is live performance at its very finest.  A beautiful brew of environmentalism, motherly love, medicine and football delivered through stories and song with a simply astounding soundscape and visual technology making for theatrical magic.

Polwart’s performance draws breath again and again.  I could hear sobs and sniffles all over the auditorium as the tale of life near a peat bog in Fala, in the Scottish Borders, drew in strands that connected the nearby ‘beautifull’ (I concur Karine) wind turbines, bird life and tales of birth in 1919 and 2007 with a beautiful symmetry that makes the conclusion achingly beautiful.

Whilst Polwart has published the script and invites others to perform it, it is hers.

100% hers.

Nobody has the range and skill to deliver this monumental (but understated) piece of Scottish theatre like Karine Polwart.

Bravo.

Hats off too to David Grieg for persuading Karine to turn an idea into a thing.

A thing of truly great beauty.

Wow. Just wow. The Killing of a Sacred Deer: Movie review.


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Wow.

Just wow.

Sorry for the repetition.

It’s not easy to reinvent cinema; but Yorgos Lanthimos is doing just that.

He’s pulling in Hollywood A listers to put in career defining performances in his movies and hey, with a Greek shrug of his shoulders, he’s pulling it off.

Agamemnon would cheer; I think.

This is a great piece of work.  It’s art house and it’s extremely challenging, but nobody left the screening I was at, despite several flinching moments.

I can’t review this on a plot basis because it would spoil it entirely.

But I will say it’s a masterpiece in direction, superb acted by all three main protagonists and darkly hilarious, although not many in the auditorium laughed.

And beautiful.

Just beautiful.