Dunfermline 1, Hibernian 0.


That’s it. Another season of underachievement. I know they can’t take the diddy cup away but it feels like the diddy cup now.

Another year for the rest of the world to say that Hibs are the best team not to win the real cup.

That’s 106 years now.

I find it really quite annoying actually. I was very tempted to throw something destructive through the TV when Dunfermline got that pretty soft penalty. When I say tempted, I mean the red haze came over. it is soooo disappointing.

And as for the SFA holding the match at Hampden. The worst football ground in Scotland and only slightly less unreachable than Pittodrie. Well, they just do what they feel like. Don’t they? Why on earth should they give even a nanosecond’s thought to what the fans want. a date with destiny in (I have to admit) the best ground in Scotland. Tynecastle.

What a rubbish way to go out of a cup though. Having played the bottom team (albeit not the lack of form team) in the league for 4 and a half hours we could not put the ball in the net once. Not even a disallowed goal. We don’t even have any gripes on that front.

You know what…I don’t know how to write this without reverting to swearing.

I’m really, annoyed actually.

Despite the disappointment I really do hope Dunfermline put one over the rubbishest league winners in memory. It will be a proud road (and probably a unique one) to victory.

Rangers

Hearts

Hibs

Celtic

And it’ll spare our blushes.

C’mon the Pars.

Lucinda Williams’ corker


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It’s taken a while but at last there are two great albums this year. Following (in truth it preceded but I only got a copy last week) the might Neon Bible by Arcade Fire comes Lucinda Williams’ new album, West.  It lives up to my expectations. I saw her at a half empty Barrowlands gig last year and she was outstanding. For me this is by far her best work to date.

A bit world weary in tone (some, but not me, might say a bit depressing) but stunningly beautiful and crafted. This is a quality artist at the height of her powers.

Very, very good indeed.

Taityboy working like a Trojan


My old pal Stephen Tait made contact with me through my blog this morning from Brisbane, on the way to the North Shore area of Sydney.

Excuse my ignorance but I assume that’s like the Trinity of Sydney, although Stephen will no doubt profess to it being a horrendous slum.

He never changes.  A sample of the things he was saying to me in his email are.

“Crippled with debt.”

“Working 14 hour days”

His next comment is just plain bloody stupid…

“A pint in the Diggers watching Hearts would be a welcome break….but only for 90mins.”

Anyway I thought I’d look into the crippling hard working life in Australia.  And here is what I found.

Enough said?

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Och, poor wee Stephen, my heart bleeds for you. It’s so bloody stressful you’ve had to convert to Buddhism.  Say one or me will ya?

Is that a bottle of Castlemaine xxxx by the way, or is he in serious need of a visit to the local clinic?

Buddah’s got a funny look in that area too.

Must be the pressure.

Poor old Tracie!

“Aaaw! Look at the little baby Sparrow…”


That was the cry from my kitchen as wife and mother in law cooed and chuckled.

And here it is…the ickle baby sparrer!  as photographed from our kitchen window at 4 pm this very day.

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But…It’s not a bleedin sparrer; it’s a bleedin Wren, innit!

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Wrens are apparently a very rare site these days, so it is testament to the excellence of Jeana’s wildlife garden.

But for the record.  This is a Sparrer.

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And so is this… (Victor Sparrow to be precise)

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Scotland’s Best


My good friend Mr Fowler, of Notes From the Bench fame, pointed me in the direction of this interesting poll.

It’s the top ten Scottish Albums of all time.

Before I had a look (So as I wasn’t influenced by the voting) I thought I’d have a bash. Let me know your own thoughts.

In no particular order…

1 Simple Minds Sons and Fascination/Sister feelings Call. Sublime music before they got all new, gold and dreamy on us.

2 David Byrne/Brian Eno My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Byrne’s Scottish. That’s good enough for me.

3 Belle and Sebastian. Tigermilk. Which goes to prove at debut albums can be their best (I nearly went for Push Barman to open old Wounds. Pretty much their debut (but ten years late)

4 Camera Obscura. Let’s get out of this country. Lovely, Belle and Sebastianesque pop.

5 Aztec Camera. High Land, Hard Rain. Poptastic

6 Primal Scream. Screamadelica. First is best. Again.

7 The Blue Nile. Peace At Last. (Could just as easily have been “A walk across the rooftops.”)

8 Orange Juice. Rip it up and Start Again.

9 The Associates. Fourth Drawer Down (Hard to choose between this and The Affectionate Punch). Nothing really like this before or since.

10 John Martyn. Solid Air. This is soooo good.

11 Isabel Campbell and Mark Lanegan. Ballad of the Broken Seas. Like Byrne/Eno only half Scottish so that allows me an extra mention.

Close but no cigar…

Mogwai. Come on Die Young.

The Proclaimers. Sunshine on Leith

Aberfeldy. Young Forever

Scars. Author Author. I went to school with them and that may have influenced my vote.

Craig Armstrong. The space between us.

Eddie Reader. Sings the Songs of Robert Burns. (Immense and uncool. But immense nonetheless).

Lemon Jelly. First Album

Mylo. Destroy Rock and Roll

Snow Patrol. Eyes open.

Teenage Fanclub. Any of them. They all sound the same.

Vashti Bunyan. Lookaftering

James Yorkston and he Athletes. Moving up Country.

Sorry, couldn’t resist this last one…


 

David’s in Singapore as I write this. I was going to leave this last classic out but hell I’m really jealous, so I’ve changed my mind.

 

This final pose is probably his/her finest moment…Coquettish, impish, charming. This is Smudgerina as a pure fox. Note the Melanie-esque (or is it Gilbert O’sullivan-esque) chapeau. The virginal hands on chin, the come and get me…but keep your distance big boy, look is surely the result of considerable mirror practice.

 

 

Oh god, if only I was twenty years younger and a mixed up kid I really could fall for Davina in this, his/her most minxy pose.

 

Welcome home Davina. Oh how we’ve missed you.

 

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Smudgerina, in all her/his glory


About a month ago I gave you all a tantalising glimpse of Smudgerina, AKA David Reid, in a low res file that just wasn’t cutting the quality control mustard. However, thanks to the wonderful Neil Laurence of Canny Scot I have unearthed a far greater bounty.

Here she is.

Phwooaaarrrr!

This is the classic, full frontal, padded bra version, known and loved by all from his/her Leith Agency days

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And this, the famous cutesy pie, itsy bity teeny weeny little tartan skirtyeeny shot.

He/she is so provocative with those ‘come to Mathers’ eyes, don’t you think? You can just imagine snuggling up for a few fags and a fish supper; maybe washed down with a wee LD.

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This last one is new to the world. An undiscovered gem. Whilst it’s not so obvious that it’s the lovely Davina in disguise in the boat race department. It’s still unmistakable Smudgerina terrtitory.The hands, like two pun o’ Haslet, fingers arced as if teased out of a fridge full of Wee Willie Winkies and Tesco Own Label Butchers’ Choice Pork Links, gracefully pinned to the waist. Breasts akimbo.

The Sunday best, oh so tasteful. “Darlin’ yir a stoatur. Ye dinnae hauf scrub up well.”

And those knees. Willie Bauld himself would have been proud of those.

Smudgerina we salute you. You are indeed the perfect sheman specimen.

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I predict a riot


As the mighty cabbage prepare for yet another Hampden triumph news reaches us that all is not well in the dressing room at Easter Road.

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The good news though is that we threw the match against Dunfermline on Saturday, staged the dressing room fallout and trained extra hard all week.

Wide open spaces. Ivan Sproule. Nice combination. Especially with his new found maturity.

Dunfy, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Midlake slipperfest


The Midlake gig in Glasgow tonight was something of a quiet affair. The band were even more reverential than the audience, who loved them in a considered sort of way. Can you describe a gig as lovely? Probably not, but that’s the word closest to the front of my mind as I write this.

If you don’t know Midlake you are an unfortunate being. So try this for size and change your life.

This is my personal favourite though.

Both magnificent tracks from The Trials of Van Occupanther. No question, the album of 2006.

Current Reading


Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.

This is fun.

I’m debating whether or not to let Amy read it as she is considering a career in catering.  She might change her mind if she reads this.

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The case of the missing blogger


Apologies my dear reader, for my absence from the ether for some time. I have been, to put it politely, up to my knackers in it of late and whilst this is no excuse I will point to the fact that I’ve been installing not one, but two brand new computers to our domain as evidence for reduced blogging activity. However they are both now in operation. My Acer Aspire sits proudly atop my desk with matching flatscreen. I feel like the secretary in some Holywood movie office.

“Ooooh look at you with your fancy-dan flatscreen” they shout.

But would you not be tempted at the offer of both computer and screen for not much more than £400? If you are, then ebuyer surely is the finest place in the land for such purchases. My HP laptop with Windows XP (keep well clear of Vista for now most folk say – even though it’s all you can buy in the High Street) preinstalled at £430 or so is magnificent and would have been well over a grand a few years ago. Also from ebuyer

The real problem with the machine is that I hadn’t installed my Canon EOS software, so couldn’t download photos like these direct onto my computer. Transferring pictures therefore involved the elaborate use of memory sticks.

However I have resolved all that as of this morning and it’s been worth it. I have a fine record of my day out with Tony Harding at Kelso on Monday while you lot all sweated away in your workplaces. Picture the scene. Tony and me in the front of his BMW. As if David Lynch had opted for a remake of Thelma and Louise but the local dwarf community had blackballed him and so he had to look elsewhere to cast his oddballs.

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A far finer figure was cut in the pre-parade ring by our horse, Boris the Spider, who went off at a healthy 20/1. (Hardly surprising since he broke his leg last time out.)

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And the proud owner stands aside a fine filly (Boris is, of course, a colt!) Arf arf.

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Look at the fear in Boris’ eyes in the picture below though. You just know what he’s thinking…

Feck me I thought Wilson Renwick was the jockey, nobody told me it was Tony Fecking Harding, and since when were our racing colours a dark blue Adidasesque tracky?

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“If he gets a place make sure you get to the winners enclosure after the race” said Tony, brashly, “We’ll have a celebratory drink.” He opined.

“Although I don’t think he will.” he darkly muttered with the foresight of a Russel Grant figure. (Indeed with the figure of a Russel Grant foresight.)

And so, at last, our journey’s end. Here he is on the track galloping strongly on to the finish, not another horse to be seen.

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That is because, my friend, every other horse was safely tucked up in its box half way down the A1 to Middleham et al whilst we have pulled up, whilst in last place, and only now were we ” finding our rhythm”.

Still, he came back in one piece and that’s important. We live to fight another day. Nonetheless, a whole £2.50 each way down the drain!