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


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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?

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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.

The last post. 2007. That was my year that was.


As I head off to enjoy, with a heavy cold, the Hogmanay celebrations it’s time to bring the 2007 blog to an end.

Looking back on the year one thing will rise above all other memories of 2007, the passing away of my father.

A great man who had a great send off.

Saturday past was a poignant ending to the year as we committed his ashes and closed a half open door. My Mum, all of my sisters, Jeana, Denny and James were there at a simple ceremony that was just right.

I have said much on this subject , but it can be summed up here.

The Hibees winning their first cup in 16 years was a great highlight too, but slightly marred by the aftermath and then JC’s ‘walking on water’ turning into ‘JC plays Judas’ in December.

Shame on you JC.

A full year of working for myself was very rewarding and proved I can bring the family up at the same time. That meant a lot to me.

As did my 78 on The Queens Course in November and my 78 at Ratho in August, my first ever single-figure-above-par golf round.

Amy’s Standard Grade results were outstanding and made both Jeana and I very proud, as did Tom with his pre-eminence on the golf course and Ria’s determination on the Gymnastics floor. She finally achieved that elusive bridged kick-over during the summer but was once again thwarted in her chase for a merit at her cnmpetition in November because the judges raised the bar and docked her points because her cuffs were too long.

It will happen.

Jeana’s contribution to a beautiful; Queensferry and her ability to manage the Queensferry’s non-gardening population in a rendition of Strictly Come Cat Herding was worthy of merit.

In books Joshua Ferris’, Then we came to the end was my new book of the year.

In music it had to be Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand.

And my movie of the year? A tough one, but I’ll plump for Control, just edging out Atonement.

TV show of the year? UI’m tempted to go for The Secret Millionaire but the one that inspired me most was the Genius of Photography.

The greatest thing that happened to me technologically was the discovery of Flickr and the amazing avenues it opened for me.

Gig of the year was a close call between midlake at the ABC in Glasgow and Candie Payne at Cabaret Voltaire. But I have to give it to midlake because they are the greatest band on earth right now (including Arcade Fire) and I saw them.

Ridiculous decision of the year undoubtedly goes top The Nobel Prize Jury who gave Al Gore the Peace Prize. Why? Great guy, great politics, great movie. Peace prize? Get real.

But awarding that free kick to Italy in the 90th minute runs it close. But that’s not just ridiculous. That’s corruption.

And my man of 2007, for several reasons, was Mike Donoghue.

Restaurant of the Year was, no question, Kismot.

Best day out was, ironically in a way because it was set amongst so much sorrow, the day Jeana and I walked to Cramond Island in a post-funeral state of exhaustion, shock and trauma to return, in a way spiritually refreshed, and to be met by Tony Delicata’s offer of a free lunch at The Cramond Brig.

Tony. That hit the spot.

Performance of the year went to my sister Jane for her rumbustious rendition of A Fairy Tale of New York at the FAT Christmas show.

Twats of the year? Mondial Insurance. Get it up Ya.

Muppets of the Year. Sky. Get it up ya. (But at least we’ve had a laugh at their expense.)

Wife of the year? Jeana Gorman.

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

And so to 2008.

My hopes?

Terry makes a full recovery.

Terry and I share school barbie duties at St Margarets in June.

Hibees remember they are a football team now that they are a succesful business. You’re not in the dock yet Mr Petrie but there will come a point after you’ve coined in another few million in January when enough is enough. (Oh yes, and we win the Scottish Cup, but even before it starts I’m putting that one on hold for 2009.)

Tom gets down to a 14 handicap.

Tiger Woods wins the Grand Slam (I don’t care I love Tiger Woods) but Scotland also find a golfer (Mark Warren looks the only real contender.)

I win something, anything, at Dundas Park.

PT Anderson wins Best Director at The Oscars.

Amy skooshes her highers.

Ria gets a merit at Gymnastics.

Jeana realises her potential. (Or at least realises she’s realised it!)

My mum and Emily have a fantastic time in China.

Carlisle Utd get promoted to the Championship.

Boris the Spider returns to the racetrack.

I am healthy throughout.