Scottish Football’s new low.


I was listening to the radio last night to hear of Brendan Rogers cheering on Leicester City’s first win as their new manager.

What the Brendan Rogers that is manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world, Celtic FC?

The team that’s on the verge of a historic treble, treble under his management?

The club that is on the verge of a historic ten league titles in a row.

To go to a mid rank English team that spanned a Championship win a few years ago before returning to mediocrity?

Nah, can’t be him.  He was managing Celtic, one of the world’s biggest clubs two days ago in a 4 – 1 win over Motherwell.

And then I heard that Neil Lennon, whom I admire greatly as a manager but have severe concerns about his mental health, a problem that led to him being fired from his previous job for calling the club MD, my club,  a ******* ****, is taking over till the end of the season.

A man who incites massive sectarian hatred in Glasgow.

He’s taking over?

Nah, he said he couldn’t handle that sort off shit any more.

Must have been a dream.

If it was real the Celtic fans would all be going daft.

Howard’s End.


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Our extremely good friends, Will and Ann, have lived in Howard Place for many years and last Saturday they had a leaving do that got a little bit, well, refreshed.

Anyway, as I left I kissed goodbye to Howard Place.

GGTTH.

 

T2: Review. So much better than the original.


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On the day that the infamous ‘Banana Flats’ in Leith were accorded ‘A listed’ architectural heritage status I was in the cinema to see the sequel to the movie that contributed to the Brutalist building’s cultural credibility.

Trainspotting left me cold in 1996. Danny Boyle’s casting of Ewan McGregor as Renton sat extremely uncomfortably with his characterisation in Irvine Welsh’s mind-blowing source novel.  The stage adaptation that featured both Ewen Bremner and Susan Vidler was much more mind-blowing and credible than the movie.

A public schoolboy from Creiff simply did not fit my vision of an, albeit relatively educated compared to his peers, junkie from West Granton.

The low budget special effects were largely corny.

The baby on the ceiling?  Come on.

The filthiest toilet in Scotland?  With crystal clear water?  Come on.

But the music was outstanding and it clearly nailed a cultural moment (I hesitate to say zeitgeist).

So, my expectations of a sequal, especially of a cult youth movie, twenty years on, were hardly sky high.

They should have been, because in my view this is everything that Trainspotting was not.

“Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family…. “ Renton’s cynical rant in the original is a sardonic take on the AIDS campaign that fitted so perfectly with the drug addled HIV capital of Europe  moniker that Edinburgh ‘enjoyed’ in the mid 1990’s.  The city’s unique needle-sharing skag culture had contributed to a minor epidemic, and choosing life was  not a decision, merely a potential outcome.

This underclass had zero control.

Zero choice.

Only Renton (who at least had supportive parents) had the wherewithal to escape; not just from the vicious circle, but from the country itself. Set up with £12,000 of his mates’ money, the proceeds of a London drug sale that he had, admittedly, part funded (That gets overlooked and is a slight plot-hole for me.) he escaped to Amsterdam and a new life.

That he chose.

T2 opens on Renton’s return to the Promised Land, an Edinburgh where the airport meeter greeters are Eastern European.  A family without his mother (he didn’t make the funeral).  A Leith that is part-gentrified, although Sick Boy’s Salamader Street flat symbolically overlooks a massive scrap metal yard, the graveyard of dream cars.  A metaphor for life’s finite span.

The movie (very) roughly adapts Welch’s Porno, but with many flashbacks and additional scenes from the Trainspotting novel that could have been in the original (not least the scene in Leith Central Station).

The budget is six times the original and it shows.  In a good way.  The cinematography bristles from start to finish (Anthony Dod Mantle) and the script bristles with comedy and tragedy in almost equal measure.  The scene in the King William Bar (1690) is a classic.

Not all the characters have fared as well as Renton.

SickBoy, although lithe (thanks to the Charlie) owns his Aunty’s boozer (the beautifully named Port Sunshine – Hibees ya bass) it’s a doss house and in need of investment. His Bulgarian girlfriend Veronika is the only new character to join the fray and cleverly plays the tart with, half, a heart.

Spud’s still a, now suicidal, junkie.

Begbie’s still a fucking bampot on the run from the jail.

Spud, Sickboy and Renton join forces to turn the Port Sunshine into a cultural heritage landmark in Leith attracting considerable public investment.  (For cultural heritage read brothel, sorry, sauna.)

It turns into a hilarious revenge thriller with Begbie on the rampage.

In a turnkey scene Renton sits with Veronika in the fancy Harvey Nichols Forth [sic] floor restaurant.  He reminisces on the Choose Life soliloquy but reframes it, every bit as cynically, for 2017.

“Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares … Choose reality TV, slut shaming, revenge porn. Choose a zero-hours contract, a two-hour journey to work. And choose the same for your kids, only worse …”

This is the point of the movie.  I don’t think it’s about nostalgia as so many reviews have said.  What was great about the foursome’s life in 1996?  Fuck all.

No, this is about regret and the search for middle aged redemption.  A new opportunity to escape the cycle of shit that the trio (Begbie couldnae give a fuck) have immersed themselves in.

It’s an echo of the 1996 dream that, for Sickboy and Begbie, was stolen from them in that London hotel room.  But you know, deep down, it’s not going to work out.  Is it?

Danny Boyle and John Hodge have created a monumental movie.  Poignant, funny, beautifully nuanced and reflecting (not nostalgically) their acknowledged masterpiece of 1996.  The weaving together of three generations of the key chartacters’ respective lives is effortless and the music mirrors that extremely subtly.

Ewen Bremner is the real star with his beautifully sad performance as Spud.  Ewan McGregor has grown into Renton’s skin and can finally be forgiven the original miscasting. Robert Carlyle’s Begbie just manages to steer clear of charicature, and delivers moments of high camp scary bastardness.

The whole thing is a fucking blast.

Go see it.

By the way, credit to Harvey Nichols for granting the rights to use, and adapt, their outstanding shoplifting commercial as part of the movie.

A new word for the English language: Hibsed.


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Those of you who, like me, support Hibernian; Edinburgh’s most stylish football team and forefathers of the rather more successful Celtic FC, will be feeling that slightly sick feeling after once again victory was the more likely, more deserved and more bearable outcome on Sunday afternoon at ‘Scotland’s National Stadium.’

But we were Hisbsed.

We snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Consequently, a petition has been set up by a Mr Rudolph Skakel on Change.com begging the Oxford English Dictionary to add ‘Hibsed’ to their content.

It has a smell of schadenfreude about it.

For the uninitiated, to be Hibsed means ‘to be ahead in your pursuit of something, only to mess it up before you cross the finish line’.

And we’ve been Hibsed many times.  On Sunday particularly so, and Liam Fontaine, arguably the man of the match, must feel especially Hibsed as it was he who teed up the winning goal for a team that could best be described as diddy.

I mean, you could fit the population of Dingwall, from where they bide, into the back of a camper van and still have room for a couple of tents.

Many have argued that we shouldn’t be so down on ourselves because it was only the diddy cup we Hibsed.  But we Hibsed it in 2004 against the mighty Ferranti Thistle playing under the pseudonym of Livingston (a town so small it has an Edinburgh postcode).

We Hibsed it every time in living memory that we played in Europe and we’ve Hibsed it so many times against the other team in Edinburgh that I’ve simply lost count.

By Thursday morning there’s every chance we’ll have Hibsed it against that other Highland League powerhouse, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, in the big cup (that we put that other team from Edinburgh out of a few weeks ago), and we’ve already Hibsed it in the Scottish Championship having been in a great position to overtake long term leaders Rangers just after Christmas.

So, go on, Mr Skakel.  have you schadenfreudey moment.  the awful truth is, you’re right.

 

 

The mark of a true man.


Yesterday was yet another nightmare for Hibs fans.  Despite being the better team we inexplicably lost the with of our last ten cup finals.  The 12th of 15 in my life so far.

Arguably the man of the match Liam Fontaine had this to say after the game when he was involved in the losing goal.

It’s a sign of greatness in my eyes.

Articulate.  Emotional.  Great.

GGTTH.

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I’m all agog at agogo signing


Having thought about Calderwood’s signing of 31 year old “Junior” Agogo (he’s not THAT Junior at 31) for the Hibees I am wondering if it is worth a trip to Easter Road; if only to hear the Einstien Agogo riff when he scores.

I don’t think anything has put as much of a smile on my face , as a Hibby, for many a month.  (Sorry; year.)

But you didn’t have to be an Einstien to work that out.

Andy Murray


Andy Murray in his "Hibs Green" shirt

I have refrained from blogging about Andy’s exploits for fear of jinxing him.  All I can say is good luck.  Scotland would be a very proud nation were he to succeed in the morning.

What is it about Colin Calderwood?


After defeat to Motherwell yesterday this very odd man said…

“There are aspects of the game I enjoyed. Problems are there to be solved so that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.”

On Tuesday night after Hibs went out to a team two leagues below the odd bod Calderwood commented…

“We had so many good opportunities, the goalkeeper’s had a number of good saves, we’ve had efforts cleared from the line and I think they defended their goal excellently.

He has so far won 2 out of 15 games.

Being, at best, an armchair fan I have not seen him in action but I am told he stands impassively, hands in pockets, barely involving himself in games and certainly not leaping about like the madman Yogi Hughes had become.

It all just seems like he’s going through the motions.

Remarkably he claims to be “really enjoying it” at Easter Road.

Inevitably, the fans’ ire tends to turn to the manager or the Chairman in these sorts of situation.  And Rod Petrie’s extended honeymoon is certainly looking to be over at this moment in time.

The sale of Stokes and Bamba appears to be hitting home now and our lack of action in the transfer market is becoming notable.  I’m a great admirer of what Petrie has acheived at Easter Road but it feels like he has made an extraordinarily bad appointment in Colin Calderwood and his earlier reputation for canniness is in danger of becoming one for penny pinching (for which I am told he has a strong internal reputation.)

Lastly, of course, there’s the team itself; some say it is a shadow of its former self, one of the worst to have played for Hibs in many years (if not ever), but I saw Zemamma, Miller, Riordan, Wotherspoon, Murray, Stack and McBride (all in the squad yesterday) play Dundee Utd on 3rd October 2009 and destroy them before drawing 1 -1.

At that point the table looked like this…

A month later it looked even better…

And even by mid January Hibs (with this team) were in touch with the top, so my contention is not that it is the players themselves that are poor but the way in which they are applying themselves.

It feels to me that there is a cancer somewhere in Easter Road that is permeating the team and turning good players into bad.  Yogi lost them, and Calderwood has never had them bar one freak night against Rangers.

It needs sorted, and quick.

Keane and Camarra put the Zip back into Celtic


Try dropping the second E mate.

Only kidding.

Door open for Hibs to finally breach the evil sisters.  Please don’t drop the ball now boys.

No. This is not an optical illusion. A game in hand and only two points adrift of a Champion’s league spot more than half way through the season.

Oh yes, and Hearts were dumped out of the diddy cup too.

Oh yes, and Chelsea dropped two points against Hull.

Oh yes, and Celtic didn’t take Stokesy.

Sweeeet.

I’m off to bed.

2009. That was my year that was.


And so the noughties come to a close…

2009 was a funny old year in many ways.

Work wise I’ve never been busier and gained some fascinating new clients along the way not least STV, Ampersand, Corporation Pop and LA Media.  But for some it has been a hell of a struggle and I hope things improve in 2010.  My own prospects for 2010 look a bit less silly than 2009.  Might even get some golf in.  Only played three medals in 2009 but following my FIRST EVER golf lesson in November I went on to finish second.  Yes, you heard that right, second in a winter medal and now sit proudly in 5th place overall in the winter league order of merit.  Just shows you that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

It was a mare of a year music wise.  I’ve already posted my tracks of the year elsewhere but I really struggled to pull together my top ten albums, so much so that I had to go into rereleases to make up the ten. Nevertheless, those that made it are great records in this or any year, there just weren’t many of them.

These are they;

The Phantom Band.  Checkmate Savage.

The year started brightly with this oddball Krautrock-influenced Rock and Roll album from what sounds like a bunch of stoners from Glasgow.  It’s great.  And I notice that this video from the album is directed by Martin Wedderburn (who I’ve worked with on commercials and Bronagh Keegan!  Who used to work for me at 1576.  Not to mention Ray Allan as a Barman and some Tetrahedron masks.)

Melody Gardot.  My One and Only Thrill.

Her first album showed promise, but her second is solid gold jazz and my personal achievement of the year was plucking up the courage to sing My One And Only Thrill from the record at the FAT concert on December 19th.

Doves.  Kingdom of Rust.

This year’s Elbow?  I suppose so, but this is to underestimate the quality of this beautiful, haunting and melodic rock record with real soul.

EG.  Adventure Man.

Why does this man (Eg White – silly name I know) not have a higher profile?  He writes many of Britain’s best pop songs (Chasing Pavements, Warwick Avenue, songs for Pink, James Morrison, Take That, Beverley Knight, Kylie Minogue, Will Young etc) .  He’s current songwriter of the year and nobody has heard of him. This is only his third album in two decades and it is astounding.  Pure wondrous pop.  Check him out please.

Bill Callahan. Sometimes I wish we were an eagle.

He was in Smog.  He WAS Smog.  (So what.  Nobody knows Smog either. Ed.)  This album came from nowhere from my point of view so thanks to Ian Dommett for introducing it to me.  It’s a wee bit like Lambchop from a vocal perspective but the music is way, way different.  Trust me on this one.

The XX.  The XX.

A quite extraordinary debut.  Sounding like a cross between Young Marble Giants and The Cocteau twins, but nothing like either, this was surely the debut of the year.  Electrifying and beautiful.  Self produced too.  Not bad for a bunch of teenagers. Interesting to see what happens next time round.  This video has already had 1.7m hits on youtube so clearly they are hitting a few people’s buttons.

Andrew Bird.  Noble Beast.

A multi instrumentalist from the states.  This is his 5th album and I’d missed them all before.  I will be catching up next year.

The Mummers. Tale to tell.

I saw March of The Dawn on Jools and was immediately blown away (that’s also where I discovered the XX).  The rest of the album hangs together well but this is the stand out track for sure.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  It’s Blitz.

Truth to tell I’ve not played this album that much, but it’s a great slice of arthouse rock and roll.  The critics loved it.  It only got into my top ten by the skin of its teeth though.

Kraftwerk.  Radioactivity, Computer Love and Trans Europe Express.

The re-release of Kraftwerk’s entire back catalogue fully remastered was the music event of the year.  This band’s influence never wanes.  But it’s clear they had a golden period with the three albums above taking my personal plaudits.  All of them pure 5 star and all quite different.  I think Radioactivity is my favourite.

Although all of the following met with critical acclaim I’m cool on them; Noah and The Whale, Paulo Nuttini (Although this would probably win the family’s album of the year overall on default – Ria and Jeana loved it and Tom and I were OK with it), Pete Doherty, (back to being a wanker again I see – is that ‘cos nobody bought his so so album) even Graham Coxon’s latest wasn’t that brilliant.

Martha Wainwright’s Edith Piaf record is good but not great, the God Help the Girl album was not good at all (I think Stuart Murdoch is missing the influence of his muse).

Time may show that I have overlooked the Animal Collective’s interesting album but I’m not so sure – a bit like TV on the Radio, the critics love it bus is it actually any good.

My blog has hit 296,000 views in the year which is 40,000 down on 2008 and perhaps reflects fewer posts (only 385 in total).  Or maybe it’s just shit now.  Still I think it’s a respectable total and thanks for your comments but I’d still like more contributions telling me when I’m being a tosser.  Especially you Iain as you regularly tell me offline.

The Hibees came back with a vengeance under the coaching of Yogi Hughes but the defeat to Rangers last week suggests a glass ceiling has been well and truly hit.  But there is some hope AGAIN for the cup.

Our clubs in Europe were pitiful and my lowlight in that respect was Falkirk (population 34,000) going out to a team from the mighty Lichtenstein – population 35,000 – that’s the country, not the town the team comes from.  Liechtenstein is so small it doesn’t even have a league.

Theatre played a big part in my year.  Apart from as an audience member.

I enjoyed Confined Human Condition by Cryptic and The Last Witch during the festival (although it was a bit overrated).  My role as a director of The Lyceum developed and I thought the production of Memoirs of a Justified Sinner was the highlight of the year.  Truly awesome.  But nothing was to match the impact of Ragtime during the festival in which Ria joined the ranks brilliantly and Ya Beauty which was an experience I will never forget.  My dad would have had “the tingles” for months.

Amy did brilliantly at school and finally nailed her English which gives her a great bunch of results to pursue her further education later this year.  In the meantime she’s doing great working full time at Dakota and having passed her driving test has her own transport (a rather beaten up Fiat Punto but it works, mostly).  Sadly Stuart moved away to Port Knockie so we ain’t seen so much of him.

Tom’s golf continued to improve and his handicap went from 15 to 11. He won two medals and The Greenkeepers Trophy and competed regularly for the team which is an achievement as it’s probably Ratho’s best ever junior team.   We went to watch but that ended in tears. A lot of the older guys leave for next year so interesting times. He also got into the Dunfermline Masters for the second year running.

He and Ria both have their Standard Grades this year and both got credits (in Tom’s case on appeal) in their English this year.

That particular subject has caused some grief as it is clear that Tom and Ria take rather different views on the importance of studying.  But I’ll not go into that here.

Ria substituted gymnastics for drama and I think she enjoys it much more as she has made a great new bunch of pals at FCT and is in her second show this Easter (Just So based on The Rudyard Kipling stories.  Watch this space.).  Ria is working like a trooper and had brilliant results in her prelims.  And she’s got a fella!  He’s not had the Gorman grilling yet.  But there is time for that.

Jeana’s work at Suntrap has blossomed (pun intended) and she loves it.  She managed two open days this year to great success.  Aided and abetted by her blog which you can find here .  It has steadily grown and is now pulling in 10,000 views a month.  She provided Tom and I with our comedy moment of the year when she slipped in Alvor during the summer holidays and cut her knee.  The slip was a true Laurel and Hardy moment as she careered down a cobbled street on her knees.  Tom and I wet ourselves but that was THE WRONG THING TO DO,  and we were punished accordingly.  Needless to say Ria was a tower of strength to Jeana in this moment of humiliation.  Tom and I still laugh about it.

We apologise.  Sorry Jeana.

However Alvor did give us our funniest collective moment of the year as you will see from this video which we shot in the town square in Alvor.  It was the local orchestra playing and this wee bloke at the back had only one job which he executed with lack of enthusiasm but not a great deal of ability as will be revealed.  We enjoyed it immensely as you will hear.

I also discovered the old 1576 promo videos that we created many years ago.  Not a good idea.

In books only one really stands out in a disappointing year.  I just didn’t have time.  This is astounding.

But I enjoyed this too…

And my movie of the year? I got to see a lot of great movies this year and the ones that really stood out were; the Hurt Locker, Harry Brown, The White Ribbon, Sherlock Holmes, Looking For Eric and Drag Me to Hell but the best for me was a TV documentary/movie of epic proportions made by the History Channel.

TV show of the year? No Question.  True Blood.

Digital gizmo of the year?  Again. no question.  Spotify.  But Facebook make a major ressurgence.  So much so that Jeana complained at one point that I was neglecting the blog.  Yeah, right enough.  Only 380 posts!.  Twitter continues to not flick my switch but I persevere.

My man of 2008, was Yogi Hughes.

Idiot of the Year?  Kenny Macaskill for doing a Tony Bliar [sic] on us about Magrahi.

Best party was the Yah Beauty wrap, followed closely by the Ragtime wrap.

Wife of the year? Jeana Gorman. 20th year running.

Put it this way. I couldn’t live with me. Still.

And so to 2010.

My hopes?

Hibees win the Scottish Cup.  (You say that every year.  Ed.)

Tom gets down to a 7 handicap.

I win something, anything, at Dundas Park

Amy gets into Uni.

I am healthy throughout.

Both Cath and Jean stay healthy too.

Tom and Ria do well in their exams.

The credit crunch doesn’t get worse again.

my recent trip to Ibrox


The only Hibby stuff I  saw was this…

coisty

And I was at that match at Parkhead where Coisty came off the bench and beat us singlehanded in a league cup final with an overhead kick.

It was a killer,    By a legend.

Will.  Before you start.  You were with me.

Numero Due (Due, That’s Italian for 2, but you probably missed that if you’re not a classy Hibs fan. Because we are.)


BBC SPORT | Football | Scottish Premier | Table | Scottish Premier League table_1257206300288

Bring on the Jambos.  Managed from hell.

Gradually Petrie is being vindicated, as I have mostly supported. (He’s had some amazing transfer deals – Whittaker, Brown and Fletcher in particular.)

Intake of breath…we have a team.  Have you seen Liam Miller?  Wotherspoon?  Zemmama (on form)?

It’s actually quite exciting.

Nice


Hearts_vs._Hibs

I was just talking to Lee,  my Hearts fan colleague, about how nice it was to see Hibs joint top of the league and Hearts joint bottom and he went and got all upset,  libelous about Yogi and basically acted like you’d expect a Hearts fan to act when his team is £30 odd million in debt and joint bottom of the league.

He had to revert to boasting about the fact that they were top of the crap teams last year.   And then he had the audacity to slag Hibs for being one down at half time against St Mirren.  As if it mattered what the score was at half time.  I don’t actually ever recall points being awarded for first half performances do you?

Kris Boyd to be sold to a richer club. Oh isn’t that awful.


Don't cry for me argy bargy.

Don’t cry for me argy bargy.

It makes me laugh till I spew reading the angst emanating from Ibrox about Kris Boyd being sold.  What?  The family jewels sold off to a bigger and richer club, (Birmingham City) just when they were doing well.

Well, now you know how it feels!

Thomson, Miller, Whittaker, Murray and, over the fence, Caldwell, Killen, Riordan, Brown and that’s probably not all of them that have been ripped out of Easter Road in the last few years and it’s no different at Hearts or Dundee Utd.

Shadenfruede?

You bet.

(Oh and I believe they’re after Andy Driver at Hearts.  Bloody hypocrites.)

That was 2008, that was. (the year of Barack Obama)


obama

As I head off to enjoy the Hogmanay celebrations it’s time to bring the 2008 blog to an end.

Looking back on the year it was a good one overall. No-one got hurt. Nobody died. We had several achievements as a family. I continued to pay the bills. Barrack Obama got into power.

My blog has hit 340,000 views in the year. Considering I only had 31,000 in 2007 that represents reasonable progress. I hope you enjoy it. And those of you who read but never comment, come on, open up a bit in 2009.

The Hibees were a joke in 2008. Very dissapointing in many ways, in fact Scottish football, full stop, came crashing back to earth after the heady highs of season 2007/8. Our clubs in Europe were pitiful and they became unrequired viewing the more the season progressed. Celtic are unbelievably bad and yet they are easily the best team in this country. God help us.

As The Hibees set off in pusuit of the Scottish cup for the 106th time since we last succeeded we face Hearts in Round 3. That could be a momentous occassion and who’s to say we won’t do it, after all we only EVER play good football when we are up against it. Last week against Kilmarnock totally summed Hibs’ season up… 2 – 2 at half time at home against only 10 men and we lose 4 – 2. That’s unprofessional.

Work was very rewarding and I enjoyed helping out Pete and Iain at 60 Watt in particular, in tough times it has to be said. I also won fabulous projects from PoppyScotland and The Black Watch. My work with the SMA was challenging but I’m pleased with the way it has developed. I suppose the event I led at Parliament in March has to be a professional highlight, but working on behalf on the industry can be soul destroying when people back off. I also did a lot of work with Golley Slater for which I am very grateful and ended the year with a hatrick of new commissions for stv, Ampersand (a stable of Advocates – yes indeed) and Whitespace. During the year I also enjoyed projects with Corporation Pop, as a mentoring programme for nmp, and have been asked to do more work with them in 2009. Story, Spider Online and Graphic Partners also gave me work in 2008 for which I am extremely grateful

I was delighted to be made a board director of The Lyceum in September and have taken on a fundraising role for FCT as well as taking part in the FAT Christmas show and rehearsing the 2009 Easter Show which is a ‘Best of FCT’ over their first 30 years. It promises to be simply stunning. I’m also chair of the Ferry Fringe but it is proving difficult to really get this rolling for 2009 despite the commitment of a small core of volunteers. Watch this space.

However, on a sad note, the demise of 1576, the company I co-founded, in February was a real shock and a truly sad moment. I’m glad to report that all who sailed in her appear to be in gainful employment and moving on; including both David and Adrian.

I’ve already crowed about my golf in 2008 which was my best ever and I really enjoyed it. I threw far fewer clubs about but still had my moments.

Amy’s Highers Grade results were very good and she was unlucky to miss out on her English which is focussing her mind as we go into 2009. We’re all desperately hoping she’ll get into Duncan of Jordanstone to study Art and she’s taking a Portfolio Course at Telford to help in that ambition. Here’s hoping.

Tom’s golf continued to improve and his handicap overtook mine during the year as he went from 21 to 15. He also got a hole in one in August, something I’ve never done, and won quite a few medals – but none of Ratho’s ‘majors’. I’m hoping that when he gets to 14, as he surely will, he will play against me in the men’s medals at Dundas Park. That’ll be really exciting

If he is not an Olympic Champion at X Box 360 by now he ought to be as he has put in unstinting effort. Shame we can’t say the same about his homework.

Ria continued to improve in her gymnastics but the elusive merit continued to evade her, still, she did master the bridge kick over at last and she was brilliant in Perth in November when her first vault was amazing (we’ll overlook the second one shall we?) She works really hard does Ria and that is showing up in really great results and a huge bunch of really nice friends. She deserves them because she is such a genuine young person.

Jeana won yet another award for South Queensferry in the Summer’s Britain in bloom competition with a Highly Recommended award. The village continues to progress under the Greenferry team’s amazing dedication. She also started her own blog which you can find here and whooped with joy about two weeks ago when she got her first ever comment. She’s not far short of her 1,000th view so get reading.

I had a sloppy evening at Cath’s 80th that constituted the Bad Hair Day of the year.

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In books Cormac McCarthy’s The Road simply blew me away and was my favourite read.

In music it had to be Dig Lazarus Dig by Nick Cave but I am growing increasingly interested in African Music and Amadou and Mariam’s new album, Welcome to Mali, is lovely. But check out Je Pense a Toi and Dimanche A Bamacko too (the latter is stunning and their best to date).

And my movie of the year? Not my busiest ever year at the movies so it’s hard to choose a best but I guess it was going to be No Country For Old Men (also based on a Cormac McCarthy book) until Hunger (by Steve McQueen) came along. A really outstanding and breathtaking movie.

TV show of the year? I loved Gavin and Stacey, but my most anticipated show each week was Later with Jools Holland which seemed to find a much more interesting mix this year than of late.

Best theatrical experience, amongst many, was my cousin Susan’s show at The Traverse; Nobody Will ever Forgive Us, which was a stunner.

My gadget of the year was unquestionably the sublime Canon G9, what a wonderful wee camera this is. I also got myself a much more muscular beast – a Canon EOS 400D which is fab too and this has been reflected in my continued devotion to Flickr. I love Flickr. Undoubtedly my find of the year on Flickr was Snailbooty. I mean, look what he just posted today. How good is that?

ill-cry-tomorrow-on-flickr-photo-sharing_1230751238822

My man of 2008, was unquestionably Barrack Obama.

Best day out was Alton Towers in the pissing rain in July. It rocked.

Result of the year? Terry got the all clear from his cancer and joined me at the School BBQ in June.

Wife of the year? Jeana Gorman. Again.

Put it this way. I couldn’t live with me. Still.

And so to 2009.

My hopes?

Hibees win the Scottish Cup. (LOL. That is so stupid.)

Tom gets down to a 10 handicap.

Tiger Woods comes back and kicks ass. It wasn’t the same without him.

I win something, anything, at Dundas Park

Amy gets into D of J. (And enjoys it.)

I am healthy throughout.

The FCT 30th Anniversary show is as good as I hope it will be.

The credit crunch doesn’t ruin everything for everyone.

It hurts so much. This eternal underachievement.


Oh well, might as well be fucking pish at everything

Oh well, might as well be totally rubbish at everything.

As a Scottish foootball fan one has two options: support the Old Firm (either half will do) or follow your heart and stay local.

I chose that route and support Hibernian FC.

When it comes to your country the choice is rather more restricted.  Therefore I support Scotland.

Today I watched my country play Macedonia in what was a very important game.  What I witnessed was what I see week in week out from my club team.  Complacency.

Scotland, in the first half, against a team ranked 50 or so places behind them in the FIFA rankings were out-fought, out-thought and out-bothered.  Scotland didn’t give a damn.  It was a really disappointing thing to see, post Euro 2008 badluckness. Sure, it was a different thing in the second half, when it was a race against time.

‘It was too hot’ they’ll say.  But it was the Macedonians who were most suffering at the end.  So that is no excuse.

I think the comparison to being a Hibs fan is very relevant here.  Week in, week out Hibs fail to beat the rank and file (like St Mirren, say) but come the glamour tie all the stops are pulled out (The Old Firm and Hearts).

Scotland can turn it on, big style, against France, Italy and, no doubt, the Dutch but an eminently beatable Macedonian team screwed it for us once again for lack of application.

By the way, I hate, naye loathe, Skopje.  I slept in the train station overnight there in 1983 and it was full of idiots. 30 degree heat all night and folk pacing about in leather studs and chains.  I honestly don’t know how I got out of there alive.

Hibs 0 – 6 Barcelona


Messi.  Very, very Messi.

Messi; very, very Messi.

Not a particularly good European campaign for the Hibees this summer. Three defeats, no goals scored, a veritable humping from a merely warming up Barcelona under the inspired leadership of Messi. Yes, it was, very Messi indeed.

Mixu was at least honest enough to admit that Hibs were given a real lesson. I wonder if we are about to see the start of the implications of selling 11 or so internationals over the last three years.

Anyway at least the Jambos were happy. Gives them five minutes free from contemplation about how their team can survive until the end of the season.

I pity them, I really do.

 

Rant of the season


This is brilliant.  Click on the interview panel on the BBC sports page at this link.

Craig Levien, Dundee Utd’s manager, letting off steam after losing a crucial game to Rangers today. Now, when I say letting off steam I mean totally losing it. I like and respect Craig Levien – even if he is a Jambo – and I know exactly how he must feel

And oh what joy to find this old school photo of him on google…

And this one…

Yes, that’s right. It is yours truly on the left. A vision in black. And not overly gaylordish.

Now, we all know that referees favour Celtic and Rangers, but according to Levien, Mike McCurry’s performance today was nothing short of a scandal. He calls him a cheat – which will get him in big trouble with the numpties that run our game – but he is almost certainly right. I haven’t seen the incidents in question, but judging from this outburst I think he probably has a point.

Listening to discussion about it on Five Live’s 606-phone in a Rangers fan brushed it off by saying…

“They’re getting all excited about this one game. Maybe if they’d tried this hard all season against lesser teams this would be less of an issue.”

A neat body swerve I have to say, but, you know what? Totally true!

And that applies to every other team in this shitty league.

And Hibs are no exception.

They turn up for the old firm and Hearts matches and don’t bother their arses against the likes of Aberdeen, Motherwell, St Mirren…

That’s why I don’t go along any more.

Sun(y)life Hearts Plan


Are you worried about the future?

Let’s face it, we’re not getting any younger and we all have to think about our lavish lifestyles after our careers are over.

  • Are you well past your best?
  • Are you looking for an easy life?
  • Are you looking for an easy way to enter Britain?

Then you are eligible for the Hearts Life-Plan!

WE PAY YOU over £10,000 a week, there’s a pointless medical and no salesperson will call (you might even get a shot at being manager).

CALL NOW!

There’s a FREE house, car and limitless golf at some of Scotland’s finest courses.

Don’t take our word for it, read these recommendations from some very satisfied clients….

“When I’m no longer playing, I know my family will be financially secure”

Mr Beslija, Belgium

“I recommended the Hearts plan to all my friends back home.”
Mr Saulious, Edinburgh

“The Hearts plan supplemented my pension, just when I thought it was too late.”
Mr Pressley, Glasgow

“The generosity of the Hearts plan is unmatched in the world of pension finance. It was the best move I have ever made.”
Mr E Kurkis, Lithuania

“Even when everyone said I was too old, Hearts were prepared to supplement my pension with an outrageous offer.”
Mr Neil, Edinburgh

“Despite being permanently injured I was still eligible for the Hearts Life-plan – year after year!”
Mr Pinilla, Chile

So don’t sit there worrying about the future – relax – that phone will ring!

Hearts Life-Plan is regulated by V Romanov and his pals at the bank and is funded by the 10,000 who have invested in the “HMFC Season Ticket” pyramid scam over the last 3 years.

Now, that’s what I call a headline…


Real Madrid track Hibernian’s Steven Fletcher

By Steve Wilson

Last Updated: 12:43pm GMT 11/02/2008

Real Madrid have been watching the progress of Hibernian striker Steven Fletcher with a view to making a £4 million bid for the 20-year-old at the end of the season.

 

(From Today’s Telegraph).

Stick that in your pipe Mr Romanov…