gibberish


Updated my flickr site
May 31, 2007, 9:06 pm
Filed under: photography

At the risk of seriously irritating my first wife I was putting a load of photos onto my Flickr site today that I like. It still needs a bit of culling but I think it is worthy of public display now. Have a look and tell me what you think. Click on the link on the sidebar (bottom left of this page.)



Gone, but not forgotten
May 31, 2007, 2:17 pm
Filed under: motors

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My beloved pimpmobile has been sold.  But it is by no means a thing of the past as it will be one of the lead cars in rust2rome 2007.  See the link here.

Sponsored by Think Hard it will set off from South Queensferry at 10am this Saturday June 2nd on a 14 day rally from SQ to Rome and back. I will keep you posted on progress.

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Here’s the lucky owner/driver, Alan (on the right) and Rally organiser, Marko (on the left) fuelling up for the challenge ahead.



Our Wee Wonder
May 30, 2007, 11:14 pm
Filed under: golf

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Last Sunday Tom, our 12 year old son, took part in the HSBC Wee Wonders golf competition.

To say he is into his golf is a bit of an understatement. But to achieve something does not necessarily follow. To illustrate the point, in the last seven years I have competed in something like 25 Medals and not once had my handicap reduced.  But nobody could accuse me of not trying.

When I say not once, I mean… not once.

In contrast; in the last two years, Tom has never had his increased.

Anyway, to the story. Tom is first out. 26 of Edinburgh’s finest 12 and under golfers. The player that gets the ball furthest round the course in 36 strikes goes to the Scottish final in Royal Troon.

He wins.

He celebrates.

He finds out that the Royal Troon event coincides with when we are in (Non-Royal) Lagos.

Ach well, like Scotland in the 1978 World Cup he can be the only undefeated person in the entire tournament (apart from the winner of course).



Current Listening; Monkeys, orchestras and rufuses
May 29, 2007, 9:36 pm
Filed under: music

There have been a number of interesting new releases of late that I have parted cash with. A bit of a mixed bag but pretty good overall.

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The new Artcic Monkeys album has forced me to reappraise their first which, after the fuss has died down, is rather good.

The new one is very good. It’s got more light and shade (a ballad even) and seems significantly more mature – if a little less spontaneous.

Rumour had it that John Cooper Clarke wrote the first album, but as speculation has died dowwn and, I think, realism has kicked in, it seems unlikely. However it may be true that he is retained as a mentor – which I can believe.

Some of their lyrics are really very good indeed. Very witty. And very Yorkshire. Even so, John Cooper Clarke could not possibly have captured that essence of youth. No way Jose.

For a band this young to have released two albums so good is actually quite rare and quite remarkable.

Highly recommended.

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The Cinematic Orchestra’s 4th album, Ma Fleur,  is a hard one to call. I like it a lot. But in mood and tone it is virtually identical to their first which, in contrast to ‘The Monkeys’, is disappointing. However if you are unfamiliar with this excellent band do not let this slight criticism put you off. It is a mature, easy to listen to (but not easy listening) modern Jazz record of some quality. Whether it lasts the test of time to feature in the albums of the year list though I am uncertain of.

Recommended.

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Rufus Wainwright’s 5th release is a game of two halves.  Overly praised by the critics it has not progressed at all since his last. But may prove to be his most commercially successful. It is the usual mixture of torch songs, angst and dirtiness, but it peaks early and fades fast. It’s good, because he is brilliant. But it’s not that good.

Nevertheless I expect the two stand out tracks, “Do I disappoint you” featuring his awesome sister, Martha, and ‘Going to a town’ to both feature heavily in the reckoning on my tracks of the year CD come December.

Despite my reservations; recommended.



Just discovered my mate Jim Downie’s Flickr site
May 27, 2007, 5:45 pm
Filed under: photography, WordPress

Maisie discovers a new planet

Originally uploaded by jimbodownie.

Wow, this is amazing. Have a look for yourself. Absolutely stunning.



A religious experience
May 26, 2007, 11:53 am
Filed under: books, Rants

Wow, what a day I had yesterday. The 7.45 train to Glasgow with my pal Doug was hitch free, three meetings later (inc lunch) I got onto the 2.45 back to Embra but it was cancelled.

“Nae bother”I thought “It’s only 15 minutes till the next one.” And sure enough, it was.

Only the “next one” was only going as far as Polmont. Reason being that (allegedly) a train had hit a cow on the tracks between Polmont and Linlithgow. Now, I say allegedly because Scotrail is not known for its economic use of truthfulness.

An announcement goes out along the lines of…

“Sorry about this but we’ve laid on a bus from Polmont to Linlithgow and you’ll get back on the train there.”

“Fine” I thought, “15 minute delay, not the end of the world”

So I phoned my pal, Will, to tell him I’d see him at 4.15, not 4pm as arranged.

The train arrives at Polmont and that’s where it all started to go wrong because, as Scotrail had promised, there was a bus laid on.

A BUS.

That is… ONE BUS.

Now, I was very good at arithmetic at school, so I know that a six carriage train divided by a 58 seat bus (coach actually) = something like 10. So A BUS isn’t that useful.

But perhaps I was wrong because, after half an hour a NOTHER bus turned up and took a NOTHER 58 people to Linlithgow.

At that pointScotrail must have passed the problem onto one of their arithmetically minded people because a NOTHER bus turned up and i got onto it.

Strangely, the bus driver decided that the best route to Linlithgow was the shortest one in miles that is, (ie through the town as opposed to along the motorway then double back thereby avoiding THE BUSIEST TOWN CENTRE WITH THE LONGEST HIGH STREET IN SCOTLAND).  So instead of the journey taking 10 minutes it took 25.

No bother, I was now in Linlithgow. at 4.25.

But the pain was not over. Oh no!

“The next train will leave at 4.52” Why they should need to wait half a NOTHER hour for a train to leave for is beyond my scope of comprehension. Needless to say at 4.52 they announced a further delay until they loaded a NOTHER trainful of passengers onto our already, by now bulging, train.

Ten minutes later we were off. “The train will arrive in Edinbutrgh at 5.15” they said.

My arse, it was 5.21. But what’s 6 minutes out of 2 and a half hours.?

I’ll tell you what it is. It’s a NOTHER 4% delay.

Anyway, on the plus side it gave me a chance to start this amazing book which I will review fully later.

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And I saw this church sign in Polmont, which made me smile.

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South Queensferry Arts Festival
May 26, 2007, 11:20 am
Filed under: Arts

This has been consuming a considerable amount of my time of late. But I’ve been working with a great committee and its be a lot of fun. It kicks off on June 8th and promises to be a right good weekend. Descend in your droves to SQ. Most of it is free! Here’s the link to the website. If you want a programme let me know. I’ve got 6000 on my drive!