Britain’s Got Talent Third Semi Final.


The human saxophone was a highlight of particular silliness.  He sounds no more a saxophone than I do a cultured media observer.

But it was a victory for minor ethnic minorities.  Cyprus kicked ass in the form of the somewhat absurd Stavros Flatley.  It is so bad it’s nearly good and Dad’s fawning over Flatley Jr is a real (cynical?) vote winner.  For me though, the stars of the show were MD Showgroup who lost out in the final vote to  Welsh Iranian Shahin Jafargholi.  An oddly mature voice for a 12 year old.

Certainly kicks Susan Boyle into touch.  That’s for sure.

The apprentice Week 10


So Howard Ebison predictably bit the dust.

I say predictably because that’s what this series is.  There’s just no real drama.  There’s nobody I particularly like or dislike.  Howard was just getting gradually sidelined and was likely to go fairly soon.  And the task was really pretty dull.  In actual fact there was no strong case for any of the losing team to be ousted more than the other.  Yawn.

For what it’s worth, my money’s on Lorraine.  Debra’s too gobby and Kate’s just not cutting it.  James could sneak through on the ‘whatever’ ticket.

Barca kick Ass


I was cheering on Manchester Utd last night.  But there wasn’t much to cheer about.  Barca, and in particular Messi, Xavi and the utterly outstanding Iniesta sent them homewards to think again.

Credit to Alex Ferguson at the end of the match.  He acknowledged that Manchester Utd (whom English commentators insist in calling The Greatest Team on Earth) were soundly beaten by the better team and that his young team would learn from the experience.  The trouble is Barca (with the exception of a few notables such as Henri and Puyol) are hardly geriatrics.

What’s more, Barca had no more than a makeshift defence and a goalie that was supposed to be a weak link.  I’d hate to think what might have been the outcome if Barca’s defence had been at full strength.  As it happens after the first ten minutes they were barely troubled.

A great match and a peerless performance.

I wonder how great Pep Guardiola will be when he gains some experience!

Francesca Woodman at Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh

I am a big fan of The Ingleby Gallery, hidden away behind Waverley Station on Calton Road.  It’s new, it’s creative and it shows extraordinary work that I’ve commented on before in my blog.  Last week I popped in to check out this remarkable exhibition by Francesca Woodman.

An American photographer from Denver, she committed suicide, in 1981 at the age of 22.


Her work is intensely personal and much of it is self-portraiture.  It’s mainly female nudes (many of them her) that shows how much she must have loathed herself as few, if any, show her face in a good light.


The prints are small and Silver Gelatin – I think –  (as you’ll be familiar with if  you  saw Ansell Adams’  show in Edinburgh last year)




A New Zealand couple applied for a $4,000 loan from their bank.

The bank, by mistake paid $4,000,000 into their account.

They immediately emigrated (after first transferring the funds to another bank).

I like that.

britain’s got talent


Oh.  What a great first semi final tonight.

“The whole world’s talking about it.”  said the presenters who most wanted/needed “the whole world” to be talking about it.

Anyway, in a travesty of a public vote the woman who isn’t actually all that ugly and certainly isn’t all that good at singing (although she’s quite good) walked off with the public’s vote.

By FAR the best act, “Diversity”, were faced with a shoot out against the grannies’ favourite; the sweet (but rubbish) wee lassie, Natalie Okri.

Common sense ensured that the best act, by far, is in the final.

Julie Neidenko, the Latvian pole dancer, who claims to be a belly dancer, but doesn’t actually belly dance caught my (and Simon’s) eye.

When Darth Jackson took his mask off Ria immediately categorised him as a peado and that Latvian burd as a prossie.  (I’d like to say that as author of this blog I do not necessarily subscribe to either of my 14 year old daughter’s  views.)

What I do think though is that public nonsense could take a very average singer to surprising levels of success and I’m not in agreement with that.  Even if she is Scottish.

Come on Diversity!

A real foggy Bummer


Sam Bartram was Charlton’s goalkeeper from 1934 till 1956.  In that long and distinguished career perhaps one tale stands out.  I read it in the Guardin the other day and it amused me.  He was keeping goal in a match aianst Chelsea in a proverbial Pea Souper of a fog.  The game must have been going well he thought becuause was not even called into action for the first 15 minutes.  Indeed, his first encounter with a fellow human being was when a figure emerged from the fog.  But it wasn’t an opposing player, it was a copper.

“What are you doing here.” the copper exclaimed.  “The game was abandoned before kick off and the feild’as completely empty.

Nobody, it seemed, had seen the need to tell the goalie..”

Footnote: A Foggy Bummer is the Scottish name for a Bumble Bee.  (did you see what I did there?)

Demand a Milanda

I’m afraid this post will only appeal to those of a certain age and from a certain geographic base.

When I was a kid bread came in hauf loafs and the king of the hauf loaf was the Milanda.

Indeed my late father drove a Milanda van for some time, delivering to bakeries.

The reason for my post is that I met a bloke in Glasgow today who told me a brilliant story about Milanda (The advertising catchphrase, in the 60’s, was “Demand a Milanda”)

His story is that he met a lady in Ireland recently called Milanda and he was surprised by this.  Asking the derivation of her name she told him that her older sister had been tasked with naming the newborn and that she had taken a shine to the wee lassie in the bread ad (of the 60’s) “That wee Milanda lassie.”

Apparently she’d thought the girl, as opposed to the bread, was called Milanda.

Thank god she wasn’t watching the Ronseal ad.

A game of two halves


Played Tom at the Golf tonight.

The heavens opened after 13 holes and we had to abandon.  But it was certainly interesting.  He was three up after four.  It was all square at the turn and I was three up at the conclusion.  We called it an honourable draw.  Tee hee hee.

Suntrap Garden Open Day – This Sunday

It’s been a very busy month getting ready for the Open Day.  It’s this Sunday, 24 May, from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm.

We’re donating to Perennial, Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society.


It’s always a good day out with gardening demonstrations, advice, plant sales, children’s games and this year there will be a beautiful 18 month old snowy owl called Eubee.  For more information check out the Suntrap blog.

There’s an added bonus this year, Mark and I are volunteering in the garden centre.

Why not come along and enjoy a great day out.

Lisa hannigan

I was totally blown away by her performance on Jools on Friday.  Never heard of her before.  I will be queuing up for her CD, Sea Sew,  at the earliest opportunity.  (In fact I’ve ordered it already)  Fantastic videos below.  Just please don’t compare her to Bjork.



If you missed this brilliant documentary I pity you.

It told the tale of the ultimate beach bum (Dorian Pascowitz) who had 9 kids, chose to have no job, and a life on the road.

Initially I was dead jealous, but reality kicked in.

In one nasty scene Dorian (surf supremo of all time) spoke to two of his sons saying to one of them that “Joshua’s full of muscles Abraham.”

and to the other “And Abraham, you’re full of fat.”

Sibling comparison is not a good technique in my book.

The man turned from hero to zero, but later in the film came back (a bit).

Cool show though with all that 50’s and 60’s surf stuff.  Watch it!



A Scottish word meaning ladies of the night.  Not particularly a term of affection and one used frequently in Fife where people refer to one another as “ya hoor ye.”

It’s an appropriate title then for Gregory Burke’s latest play which is currently premièring at he Traverse because Burke is fiercely proud of his Fife-ness.  His first play ‘Gagarin Way’ is named after a street in Fife which, in turn, is rather randomly named after the famous cosmonaut who has, to my knowledge, as much Fife Blood in him as I have Russian.

The Black Watch, the regiment that inspired Burke’s tour de force, are largely recruited from Fife, and Hoors is set in Fife in the aftermath of a calamitous stag night where the bridegroom to be only goes and dies.

We open in the bride to be’s living room as she prepares for the following day’s funeral with her sister; pishing it up.

They’re waiting on a couple of lads.  The ‘brides’ bit on the side and his mate; a right Jack the lad (in his shady past).

The play, literally, rotates between the bride’s bedroom and living room where various debates and revelations unravel themselves over the next hour and a half.

Sex and death.  Or shagging and copping it are the main themes in a show that is peppered with hilarious one-liners and foul-mouthed observations.  But great insights and depth of meaning seemed pretty thin on the ground.  That’s fine by me, as not everything has to carry the burden of enlightenment with it.  But I gather Mr Burke is a bit hacked off with the post-Black Watch expectations which mark this, to some,  as a weak follow up.

I can’t comment.  I’ve read Gagarin Way which I liked very much but I didn’t see the Black Watch.

Both Jeana and I enjoyed this.  But it’s a Chinese meal of a play.  Good at the time but you’re still craving a chippy at midnight.

Amy’s a waitperson!


Hurrah!  Amy got a job at the Dakota Hotel in South Queensferry as a waitperson.

I wouldn’t want to prejudice her fledgling career by making comment on her job title.

So shall I leave it to you lot instead?

I mean.  It exists as a word.  See…

wait·per·son (wāt′pʉr′sən)


a person who waits on tables, as in a restaurant; waiter or waitress

Or try this one from



a waiter or waitress.

wait(er) or wait(ress) + -person

The 60 Watt boys, part three

Grow-your-own-new work version

The latest instalment of 60 Watt’s Austerity campaign.

I’m very fond of this execution.  But…it reminds me of my childhood.

Toiling in my father’s allotment for what?  I’ll tell you for what!   Broccoli.

Twenty frigging tons a year of broccoli.

I hated broccoli; it gave me the frickin’ boak.  We had broccoli stew, broccoli pasta, broccoli salad, boiled broccoli, roasted broccoli, summer broccoli, winter broccoli, spring broccoli, purple sprouting broccoli.  We even had Cubby bloody Broccoli.

We had broccoli salad, broccoli soup (that was OK I suppose), broccoli and eggs, broccoli and broccoli, raw broccoli, microwaved broccoli, broccoli tart, broccoli ice cream (actually I made that one up) and last but not least, leftover broccoli.


This ad gives me nightmares.

Copenhagen by The Royal Lyceum Theatre Company


By now, dear reader, you will be familiar with my connection with The Lyceum and my ceaseless stream of praise for this season’s work.  But the time has come for me to lay bare my soul and confess that I did not enjoy the closing show of the season.  The critics did (hugely), my fellow audience members did.  But me?  Nope, sorry.

On the plus side it was brilliantly acted – there can be no question of how astounding the performances were in this hugely complex and dense play.

But really, I did not like the script one bit.  A shame because all the critics raved and even fawned over Michael Frayn’s writing.  And if you know me well enough you’ll know that I always say “it’s all in the writing.”  It’s brilliantly written – no question – but so’s The Iliad and I didn’t enjoy that either.

The ceaseless dialogue is believable, real and very intense.  But, I’m sorry to say I just found it boring.  (It might just be me.  Maybe I don’t have the depth of intellect required to enjoy this show.)  I quickly got lost in the complex and, I felt, a bit contrived plotting twists and time changes.  What’s more the subject matter; nuclear physics, mathematics and the beauty of them left me cold.

And it’s long.  Very.

So, sorry to close on a low, but you know you just can’t please all the people all of the time.

One very positive technical note though.  I loved the lighting.