Our House. A pact with Guru Dudu.


In an earlier post I told you how Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tour was one of five star hits of the festival.

So much so that when he said on his Facebook page on Sunday that he needed a room for a few days we offered the room in our Air B’nB free of charge.

On one condition.

He put on a Silent Disco Walking Tour here in South Queensferry.

It was particularly relevant as today was the day the Queen opened the new Queensferry Crossing so it seemed like an excellent way to celebrate.

He agreed and I put the jungle drums into motion.  24 hours later 45 Guru Dudu virgins were assembled in Scotmid’s Car Park and the tour began.

Starting with his legendary East meets West Yoga/Disco warm up we all found our inner Disco Chakra’s to Chic’s Le Freak.  And what’s more, with Guru Dudu having implored the Disco Divas to take the relentless rain away, they did, and we were treated to a pleasant autumnal evening’s weather.

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Moving to The Loan we were further uninhibited as we each took to the dance stage in our own style which was echoed by the assembled.

Next stop the harbour, with the 53 year old Road bridge and the aforementioned 12 hour old Queensferry crossing as our background to the West and the iconic 145 year old Rail Bridge as the dance canvas to the East.

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Post bridge orgy we headed to the High Street for our mass choir performance of Bohemian Rhapsody to the Orocco Pier posse.  It was awesome (plenty of air guitars on show).

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Up the West Terrace past the Ferry Tap to the East Terrace where we did a ‘Soul Train’ to Rose Royce’s Car Wash.

Next up we performed Our House by Madness.  IN. A. HOUSE.  (The pink one on East Terrace)

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Not to be outdone, a resident of West Terrace took us up The Vennel (painful) before inviting us into her back garden, where we jigged to Rihanna.

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As we basked in a glorious sunset we headed back to Scotmid for the piece de resistance and finale.

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Scotmid staff and customers were utterly bemused as this flash mob descended on their favourite supermarket.

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And just to top it all off we did a collection for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute that has a station in South Queensferry.  (Again it seemed appropriate, on this special day, as they have been saving lives around the bridges for many, many years.)

£280 later…

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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: Book Review


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“And America too is a delusion, the grandest one of all.  The White race believes – believes with all its heart – that it is their right to take the land.  To kill Indians.  Make War. Enslave their brothers.  This nation shouldn’t exist, if there is any justice in the world, for its foundations are murder, theft and cruelty.  Yet here we are.”

“The word we.  In some ways, the only thing we have in common is the colour of our skin.  Our ancestors came from all over the African continent.  It’s quite large.”

“Black hands built the White House, the seat of our nation’s government.  The word we.  We are not one people but many different people.  How can one person speak for this great, beautiful race – which is not one race but many, with a million desires and hopes and wishes for ourselves and our children.”

The words of black activist Lander at the conclusion of Colson Whitehead’s monumental novel about slavery.

And yet, this man, made it to the White House.

obama_sotu_2016_ap_img.jpgTo represent a race that has been shackled and burdoned for centuries. only to pass it back into the hands of a disgusting white supremacist, the likes of which stride the evil pages of this wondrous novel.

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A white man that dies his skin orange.  Perhaps because of the shame of his innermost thoughts.

In Whitehead’s novel he makes the Underground Railroad a real thing.  A metaphor for the metaphor that was the actual Underground Railroad.  A nationwide collaboration between white slavery abolitionists.

It’s genius to do that.

The story is one slave’s journey (Cora) from Georgia to ‘The North’ where slavery has been abolished in, well I don’t know, maybe the 1860’s.

It deservedly won, not only the National Book Award, but the Pulitzer Prize for fiction too.

It really is monumental.  Cora is chased from here to there, stumbling upon the Underground Railroad, again and again.  And all the while pursued by an evil slave catcher set to the task by her owner, Terence Randall, of cotton picking Georgia.

I won’t say any more, I don’t want to spoil it for you.  Just promise me one thing; you’ll read it.

Whitehead’s prose takes a little getting used to and there’s many a stumble along the way.  Appropriately so.

And while it’s all fiction, its resonance and sense of history, of evilness, is breathtaking in its grip.

Many books are called masterpieces.  This should be one of them.

Devastating.