Thursday, 31 December 2009

Music for the Year’s End

Being parochial, at this time I always look for Scottish music and my blog leaves this year with three lovely songs, each penned by Burns and each sung beautifully by the incomparable Eddi Reader.

Ae Fond Kiss

 

Willie Stewart

 

Auld Lang Syne

There can be only one song with which to end the year.  This version uses the original tune for which Burns wrote the words. 

Have a great year’s end and an even better 2010.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Old and Frail !!!!

Sometime in the last few days I became old and frail and in need of a free bus pass, free prescriptions and a winter fuel allowance.

How have 60 years passed since I entered this world? 

When did I pass 20, 30, 40 and 50?

I used to think 20 was old but 60, my God!  I’m ready for the scrap heap.  I should climb inside our rubbish bin and be carted off to the great landfill with every other piece of detritus.

NO! Only joking. 

I may look 60. I may be 60.  I am 60 but ….. I’m much younger at heart than I was 35 years ago.  I was a boring, grumpy old man in my 20’s.  Now I’m a boring, grumpy only man in my 60’s. 

NO!

I’m a lovely, interesting, caring, grumpy, old man!

I’m not a party animal, never have been and, so, I had a lovely low key birthday with a magical meal at Cafe St Honore in Edinburgh’s city centre. 

I’m sitting now enjoying my presents: a new pc and wireless headphones so I can go in communicado and not be aware of the mayhem which might be going on around me.  A truly magical present!

I must go now.  My nurse has told me that I mustn’t over-extend myself.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Awaken

Another freezing day dawns, snowy ice doing its worst to up-end walkers and render cars immobile, staying inside in the warmth a desire beyond others but yet I venture out. 

Am I a madman?  Probably.

Life must always go on although so often this is a dream.

This year’s start saw me frozen and unable to break a pattern of idle hibernation.  Only latterly has my brain started to thaw but still my thoughts hold me in a slow awakening.  Too easily, all too easily, do I turn over to sleep again knowing that I can waken another day:  “another”, always “another day”, always tomorrow but …..

This year’s end must be my awakening, my full awakening, my return to a life of ….. 

No!  Just a return to life.  No more.

Return to life.

Return to life, Calum.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Open Letter to Alex Salmond

Dear Alex

I wasn’t going to write you but I knew that you’d go all grumpy and complain about being ignored.  I know that you’d say that I had fallen into standard London-centric thinking, as though I could ever.  My reasoning was much simpler: how could I -  a mere blogger, a mere mortal – ever modify the thinking of one of the world’s great egos minds?  Later I realised that my insignificance – compared with you, O Great Emperor of Scotland, of All Things Scottish and Denier of the Union  – might leave a chink which I could exploit.

Your smirk, Alex, that “what the fuck do you know about it, you insignificant gnat” look is your greatest flaw although your utter superiority, your contempt for all your political opponents, your ruthless sarcasm run it close.  I know it’s difficult for one so greatly talented, Alex, but a smidgeon of humility would work wonders. 

Take a look at Nicola Sturgeon.  Now, she has the common touch.  She connects with people.  She is human. 

Bloody hell!!

That’s it, Alex,  you are not human.  You’re an incomer, dare I say it, an alien and your masters haven’t quite perfected the software.  Get on the blower now and tell them to reprogram that smirk but, I guess, it’s too late now. You’re exposed.

What I can’t understand is, “Why Scotland?”  Why not Britain?  Why not the great US of A? Your race is in there too, aren’t they.  Brown has an earlier version of the software which is why he appears so wooden.  Your update over-corrected.  I guess Bush didn’t even have the alpha version – probably just a few lines of code written on the back of a fag packet -  and as for Obama another over-correction isn’t it. 

Your race really struggles to understand the nuances of human behaviour. Each of you is just a caricature of humanity.  Spitting Image came closer than your alien power to capturing the reality of human life.

I’m sorry, Alex.  No, I’m not!  There is no advice for you.  There can’t be.  You’re not one of us.  We followed you but your only interest was to increase your power and that of your alien race and, you know what Alex, I’m not worried.

Now we know. Now we can see you as an alien creation your power has dissipated.

Goodbye, Alex, you little piece of alien shit!

Goodbye all you other “leaders”.  You’re all little pieces of alien shit.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Sunday Morning Coffee with Uncle Mac

Welcome to the second in my weekly series in which I present music I like for you to enjoy over a cup of coffee (or tea).  Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the music but, if not, at least you’ve had a coffee.  Again, my thanks to Kevin and Jenny from whom I‘ve stolen the idea.  I’ve just discovered that, although their normal blog is on an indefinite break, they have a blog of their family adventures here.

Uncle Mac wasn’t a musician or a singer: he was only a radio presenter but not just a presenter.  He presented “Children’s Favourites” on the BBC’s Light  programme (channel) – 1954 to 1965 - which made him very important to many children.  Here we could listen to our (innocent) music.

As I come close to my 60th birthday I was thinking back to my very young days and those songs.  Unfortunately I’ve only space here for a few.  I hope you like my choice.

Puff the Magic Dragon

Although this song has been tainted by connotations of drug use, I loved this song and still do.  Mrs Carr and I used to sing it to our first child.  When we split for the first time I can still remember singing this song to our child as I drove  to Mrs C’s for the first handover.  This was the only way I could keep the tears back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This song sparked me to make up bedtime stories about meeting dragons in our dreams.  Sadly these have all been lost in the mists of my brain.

I have just discovered that Mary (Travers), of Peter, Paul and Mary, died earlier this year.  She had a gorgeous voice.  Somewhere in our basement, I have an LP of hers but, unfortunately, no turntable.  Mary, many thanks.

I Tawt I Saw a Puddy Tat

Silly times are here.  Tweety and Sylvester with voices by Mel Blanc.  No more to say.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Muddah Hello Faddah

This song by Allan Sherman describe the tales of horror his son had when away at camp.  According to Wikipedia  ‘the song is the Grammy-winning novelty song based on letters of complaint Allan Sherman received from his son Robert while attending Camp Champlain in Westport, New York.  The song is a parody that complains about Camp Granada and is set to the tune of Ponchielli’s "Dance of the Hours”.’

The background is irrelevant: the song is (was) a laugh.

PS.  There is no video to this song, only the black background.

This sums up children, doesn’t it?  Sheer hell instantly transformed.

Laughing Policeman

Charles Penrose, a music hall entertainer, has this most outrageous laugh.

Did we really enjoy this??

Nellie the Elephant

This is more like it now with Mandy Miller singing about …. Just listen, the song tells the story.

That’s more like it: a song with a realistic storyline!

I Know an Old Lady

Yes I do and with every year I’ll know more but this is not about age but about stupidity.  Apologies for the poor sound quality.

Whenever I start to sing this at home I don’t get past the second line before there is a chorus of “NO!!!!”

______

It’s time to finish with two of my real favourites.

The Runaway Train

I just loved this song by Michael Holliday.

Hopefully you did too.

 

Three Wheels on My Wagon

This song by The New Christy Minstrels with Barry McGuire (of “Eve of Destruction” fame) on lead vocal is a song of reality triumphing over hope.  Brilliant all the same.




I used to sing along to this at full pelt but the ending never changed.

___________

If you have any favourites from the programme let me know because I’ve probably forgotten about them but will enjoy.

Well, that’s it for another week.  Tune in again next week and thanks for listening.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Having a Winter Break

The cold and snowy weather is lovely but tonight I want a break and so here are some photos from summertimes past.

This first photo could be an advert for Caledonian MacBrayne and their Oban to Mull ferry which is named, unsurprisingly, “The Isle of Mull”.  In the immediate background is the island of Kerrera which shelters Oban bay.  Mull is in the distance.

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The second below is of the same ferry taken a few seconds earlier as it entered Oban bay.   The hills in the distant background are Morven and the low dark island (at same height as the ferry) is Lismore

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This could almost be the Caribbean but – surprise, surprise it isn’t.  Scotland again! The lovely island of Iona.

 

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Sailing in the silvery Sound of Mull with Morven in the background.

 

Shock!!  A photo which isn’t of Scotland but may be a Shetland pony foal, dead to the world in the blazing Devon sun at the Dartmoor Pony Centre.SB_135079741

Now I must return to the reality of winter: freezing outside; warm as a pie inside and that’s absolutely fine.

Friday, 25 December 2009

All But Gone

Christmas Day is all but gone but, unlike last year, the niceness, the happiness remains.  This understates the position greatly: I am filled with a lovely feeling of completeness for a day for which I am thankful. 

What a contrast! 

Despair last year to delight and wonder this!

Problems still and large but we’ll get there as we got through this year.

There is no understanding this world.   

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Mair “McGonagall” Noo an’ in Twa Thoosan’ an Ten

 

Ah read McGonagall owre at Pair Mooth’s here

The poem it got me thinkin’

I could dae ane o’ these masel’

It wud be awfae guid, no’ stinkin’

 

A feenished it aff this mornin’

Dinna ken when ah’ll post it

Wi’ Christmas an ’New Year the noo

Ah’ll be awa’ fur a wee bit

 

Noo watch this space richt keenly

Wi’ a’ your een peelit

Ma poem’s a richt guid wurk o’ airt

Ya wudna want tae miss it

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Snow Fair

 

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No it isn’t fair, it is snowing.

The sky was clear at 06.00 and by 07.30 Edinburgh had an unusually large snowfall (4 to 5 inches).  Early morning road chaos ensued but those of us with time could walk in gorgeously crisp snow.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

 

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Sheep

 

Who will become sheep first?  Us or them?

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Or have we won already?

Open Letter to Nick Clegg

Dear Nick

I didn’t want you to miss out on my series of open letters  (to Gordon Brown and David Cameron) and so, against my better judgment, I decided to write and, therefore, here is my considered advice.

Nick, keep doing what you are doing.  In fact, do whatever you want because both you and your party are irrelevant.

Open Letter to David Cameron

Dear Davie,

You will have been expecting this letter, possibly dreading would be better, given the advice I gave Gordon a few days ago but you can rest easy.  You are a much harder target to hit, a bit like Teflon Tony used to be, but I’ll have a few shots along the way.  My hope is not so much to damage you, although that would be a bonus, as to help you make the right decisions for the country.

I must admit that I’m disappointed in you in several ways.  Firstly, you have been too successful: you have made your party electable – damn! – but this is a selfish view on my part.  Many, I know, will be delighted to see a Conservative government. Other than the rich who are greedy enough to always support you the rest are poor souls deluded by your vague promises.  Here’s my first bit advice, Davie, tell us in more detail what you plan to do, should you win.  I know the spin is that you’ll do this after the New Year but ….. we’ll see.

You’re a politician, that’s my next disappointment.  When you became Leader and faced Blair you said that the country needed a move away from Yah Boo politics.  You unsettled Blair by asking serious questions seriously at PMQs.  Perhaps you were going to follow through on your promise but ….. no!   As soon as you had Brown on the back foot you switched into attack mode again and again and again.   There was no desire on your part to be serious about politics, was there?  it was strategy: one for Blair whom you couldn’t cope with and another for Brown whom you could.  What was best for the county didn’t matter it was what was best for you.  This could be your undoing – I pray – but I am honest enough to tell you so that you can change.  Did I really say that?

My major disappointment regards your disowning your Scottish background.  Yes, we know about your monied Scottish background but that’s a deception, isn’t it, Davie or should I say “Jimmie”.  Yes, your a Tory blue now but you come from Glasgow, don’t you, the blue half.  Your father was responsible for assaulting Scotland with this, wasn’t he?

Your father is really the alleged comedian and bluenose - Glasgow Rangers diehard, Andy Cameron, isn’t he?

Here look at these pics:

I’m sure you’ll agree there is a major likeness.

You were brought up by a bluenose who made enough money to send you to Eton.  When you said you were a bluenose everyone assumed you meant you were a Tory but you weren’t.  You didn’t know what a Tory was but, rather than show your ignorance, you went along with the sham and, in time and with your father’s help, you became a good stage performer.  You became a Tory because you couldn’t own up to who you really were.

You’re from funny stock, aren’t you?  Well, not really funny stock.  Not even this, it’s rather embarrassingly unfunny stock but your roots are your roots.  No point in hiding them.

Of course, it’s understandable that you should do so.  Being a Scottish comedian’s son wouldn’t have garnered you too many votes in England and so you ditched this. You hid your natural accent.  None would know you were from Glasgow.   Big mistake, Davie, always be yourself.  That’s my advice.  Truth will out …. always.

I heard a rumour, probably nothing in it, that you have your election music chosen.  You’re returning to your father’s career to use your Dad’s one hit -  which we’ve all just heard.  You’ll change the words, of course. 

The chorus will be, I believe, as follows.  Oh, by the way I’ve anglicised the words just for your followers who won’t, unlike you, understand.

We're on the march with David's Army,
He’ll be going to see the Queen,
And he’s shaken Labour up,
The election's all wrapped up
Because David leads the rich and toffs' team

Can you imagine this blaring out at your pre-election triumphal gatherings?

Don’t do it, Davie!  Return to your roots, please.  You’ll lose the election for sure if you do but you’ll be happy being among your ain folk. 

You’re a sham politician.  You’re not who you say you are.  Be honest to us, to yourself, Davie.  Return to Glasgow and leave the biggest stages to others.  Your father never reached the heights and neither will you, Davie.

Return to your ain bluenose folk!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Do or Doing or Simply Confused?

DO

Mondays come as Mondays do

As Sundays go as Sundays do

I was doing as I always do

Never doing as I always do

Or don’t

 

You said today, “What did you do?”

As you said yesterday as you always do

I was doing as I always do

Never doing as I always do

Or don’t

 

I don’t know about you but I’m bloody confused and I did this or didn’t I?

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Christmas – Here’s Hoping

I enter Christmas in a much much better frame of mind, and I expect a much happier Christmas, than last year. So much has changed: some for the better, some for the worse but I am not defeated.  Then I was totally and utterly without hope that anything could change for the better.

I said this in “A Message of Christmas Spirit Depleted” last year,

“Christmas happiness is a fleeting occurrence lasting only as long as presents are opened and appreciated.  Soon, all to soon, the drabness, the drudgery, the difficulties of everyday life recover their poise and rule our lives like the vicious tyrants they are.”

and

“With no change, despair, loneliness and poverty await in 2009 but where is there hope of a changed, or even changing, life away from the tyrants?

I had no hope of any improvement, any change.  I denied the existence of hope.  The very next day I wrote this poem

“HOPE

Where lies hope, my friend, in this tangled mess
Of life's many twists and turns knotted tight?

Can hope be, my friend, in this tortured soul
Battered by life's storms and drowning alone?

What is hope, my friend, to the losing of will?
A meaningless word, a concept so trite.

Hope, my friend, is no friend to those such as I.
A teaser, no more. No support in the void.

No hope, my friend, no hope.”

although “Hopelessness” would have been a more appropriate title.

That I am blogging today is a symptom of a less depressed state.  For much of the year I couldn’t have entertained the thought of blogging: I was struggling through life doing my all to be a good parent and buried  - I wasn’t but it felt so – under a mountain of tasks all of which were too big even to contemplate.

But there have been changes:  Mrs Carr is immeasurably better although she still has a very long way to go.  Her move away from NHS Lothian has been a major bonus.  Instead of dreading every contact, instead of being made worse by every contact she now has a very understanding NHS psychiatrist but, much more importantly, a highly experienced counsellor with whom Mrs C has been working for a year.  After NHS Lothian denying Mrs C treatment, the counsellor told Mrs C that she had been extremely ill when she started, possibly too ill to even to continue working with the counsellor.  Fortunately those days are passed but there are many more days of hard hard work to go.

What is this treatment costing the NHS – nothing?  In fact it’s saving money because treatment she would have received from this other Health Authority is not now required.

What is this treatment costing Mrs Carr?   Nothing!  A charity is providing help free as it does for all its clients.  A magical resource!

Mrs C’s progress is a delight to see but she still has so far to travel.  Despite our split – reported last year – my heart still beats and flips for Mrs C.

I can’t go into what has changed for me because there are areas into which I cannot intrude but, despite all our problems and there are major ones which have arisen during the year, I can see a more positive future.  There are others, whom I won‘t name, who deserve praise and thanks for their help and support during the last few months.

I’m not out of the woods yet, far from it, but with God’s grace, 2010 will see yet more positive movement.

This Christmas will be good, not necessarily brilliant,  but “good” is good enough.  The kids will enjoy themselves although we’ve had to cut back in a big way on our expenditure – we’ll not be alone.  Then a few days later I’ll receive my free bus pass and my brother and sister-in-law are buying me a new computer!!!  Yea!  And I’m getting wireless headphones so I can listen to my music throughout the house without bothering anyone.

 

All in all a potentially disastrous year is ending much much higher than we could ever have thought possible.

Perhaps the message is “ALWAYS HAVE HOPE.”

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Sunday Morning Coffee with Matt McGinn

Welcome to this first in a weekly series in which I present music I like for you to enjoy over a cup of coffee (or tea if you prefer).  If you’re lucky you’ll be able to sit down with your drink, relax and listen.  If you’re very lucky you’ll enjoy the music too.

I’ve stolen this idea from Kevin and Jenny of the Bartoy Blog  - I hope they don’t mind: they’re on an indefinite break at the moment and I loved this feature there.

 

Opening this series is Matt McGinn, the late Matt McGinn (d 1977).  Matt was from Glasgow (b1928) and shared the humour and left-wing politics of that age.  A well-known folk-singer – Pete Seeger even took him to the States: to Carnegie Hall – he wrote, so the story goes, a thousand songs but as Billy Connolly lovingly relates “he couldna’ sing, no sense of timing and no sense of music at all”.  Don’t let this worry you at all: he could write and he could entertain. 

His politics and his humour is seen in his songs but there was also tenderness and this we see in the first piece:

Coorie Doon (aka A Miner’s Lullaby)

“Coorie” is a Scots word meaning “snuggle down” or “crouch down”.  I used “coorie” with our kids when much younger when they wanted to snuggle in for a cuddle or just to get warm.

How typical of McGinn is this that even in a lullaby he links harsh working conditions with a baby sleeping.

 

With Fire and  with Sword

Politics was McGinn’s driving force and he wrote many powerful protest songs.  For me this is his best – “With Fire and with Sword” and this is also the only film of McGinn in action.

Strong stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Ballad of John MacLean

More politics here, the next choice telling the story, not surprisingly, of John MacLean – a Scottish working class hero from the time of the First World War.  No more commentary from me is needed.

Apparently if there were any trade dispute, e.g. when the workers from the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) staged their work-in, McGinn would be there helping and singing. 

After the politics it’s time for humour and there is plenty choice from McGinn and here we start with a classic.

The Jeely Piece Song  (or the Jelly Sandwich Song)

In the tenements of Glasgow, kids were always (well almost) out playing.  Mothers used to throw pieces out the windows down to their children.  When the tenements were demolished to be replaced by high-rise flats this practice was impossible hence the song.

This isn’t fantasy: Mrs Carr’s parents both remember this practice.

Red Yo-Yo

Another children’s favourite now and the whole world looks for a lost red yo-yo.

 

The Effen Bee

Sometimes McGinn could sing down to the Glasgow humour as he does in this song about a beekeeper from the French town of Effen.  Is there such a place? 

Yes, I know that you know what is coming but I bet you smile anyway.

 

Gallowgate Calypso

Nearly finished now and we listen now to humour with social commentary.  The Gallowgate is the area of Glasgow in which McGinn was born and raised.

 

Magic Shadow Show

For all the politics and humour Matt could write beautifully and here he is in brilliant form.  I’ve appended the lyrics below.

The Magic Shadow Show
In and out, above, below
Phanton figures come and go,
Just a magic shadow show
Come, love, watch with me.

It may be sad, it may be fun,
The leaves of life fall one by one,
The wine of life too soon is done
In this magic shadow show

A loaf of bread and you and me,
A jug of wine beneath the tree,
We will sit and we will see
A magic shadow show

A thousand blossoms of today
Will soon be scattered into clay,
Today becomes a yesterday-
Magic shadow show

Leave tomorrow and yesterday,
With old Khayyam come sip today,
Listen to my Rubaiyat,
Magic shadow show

Could you and I with fate conspire
Remould the scheme of things entire
Nearer to the heart's desire,
What a magic shadow show

 

Matt died in 1977 at the ridiculously young age of 49.  What on earth would he have made of Maggie Thatcher who came to power in 1979.  I bet he’s regaling the souls in heaven.

He is sorely missed here on earth.  A rare talent -  especially one who can’t sing.

Please drop by next week for another coffee and some music.

Sources:  www.mattmcginn.info

Photohunt FAST - Unofficial

I’ve decided to be an even bigger scoundrel than yesterday by posting both more photos but also by hooking on to the Photohunters’ theme of “FAST”.

 

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These shots are of the seaplane which flies between Glasgow and Oban.

 

Please God, don’t let this become just a photoblog.  Surely I’m not a SCOUNDREL!

Tomorrow I start a music series, “Sunday Morning Coffee with ….”   and I’ll be delighted if you “tune in” then.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Parental Love

There are times that parental love allows us to act in ways which would otherwise be beyond us.  Today I had one such example but, before I tell you, let me relate a very short story – you’ve probably all heard this before – about parental love.  A man who came to fatherhood late in life – with twins – said,

Aye parental love is a wonderful thing, you know.  Without it you’d take these little so-and-sos out and drown them.”

Well I’ve never got to this stage although I can understand the sentiments but today I had to push myself beyond the limit.

I’ve done my share of nappy-changing, wiped bums, picked up poo.  In our household I’m the cat poo picker-upper.  I can stand most smells but today was something else.

I had to go Christmas shopping!!  No, I’m OK with shopping and even Christmas shopping but to have to go to Lush – the handmade cosmetics shop -  is too much.  Before today I was never in the shop; even passing the shop assaulted my senses; standing outside while daughter was inside damaged my nose much more than my wallet.  But to cross the threshold …….aaaaagh!

I survived though and, you know what, parental love was again confirmed as being incredibly strong.

The surprise: the smell inside was much better than that outside.

Blue Day

After the runaway success of my “Open Letter to Gordon Brown”, I shall pen a letter to David Cameron.  Bet you can’t wait for that.  I’ll be inundated with calls to write it NOW but I shall resist such calls.  Quality is important and quality takes time – for me at least.

In the meantime you need to make do with this.

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A photo post:  the last resort of a blogging scoundrel.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Imagine

I came across this image among many I’d taken in the last few months but – other than a polished stone – what could it be?

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Open Letter to Gordon Brown

Dear Gordon,

You don’t mind my calling you “Gordon” do you?  You’ve had such a major effect on my life that I feel I know you so well that familiarity is acceptable. 

Do you remember last year you almost gave me the job at RBS to replace Sir Fred Hoodwink?  You invited me to North Queensferry for a fish supper and I called you some rather ungentlemanly names,

"Broon, ya bastard! Better not take your jacket off cos every peg is fucking shoogily.  Broon yerra loser!"

Mind you you had told me, after your clunking fist knocked me for six, to "Fuck off to Dunfermline!".

I have forgotten about that unseemly incident and I wish only, as you do, for the best for the country. You have the power in your hands to transform our dear land and it is in this spirit that I offer you advice.

You must be so pleased to (delighted possibly) have had such positive news from the recent ICM poll in The Guardian.  At last a Conservative victory is not a banker.  Sorry!  How you must hate that word!  They led and benefited from our apparent economic success and then caused our real demise and still they pay themselves massive bonuses while you, poor Gordon, are left to pick up the pieces. How were you to know they were selfish bastards?

Back to the ICM poll again. A hung Parliament, possibly or even, let’s pray, another Labour victory is on the cards.  I wouldn’t bet on Labour yet – I would but your policies have left me in poverty. “A small price to pay” I’m sure you would say “and imagine what life would be like under the Tories”.  I know that prospect doesn’t bear thinking about but you, and your government, might have left me with a tad more cash.  I’m sorry I’ve been diverted from my main point which is, with defeat no longer certain, to offer you some advice on the route forward.

You must be so confused.  So much conflicting advice: “Go to the country in March before the next Budget”, “Give more time for the Labour recovery to grow”.  Also so many of those who favoured your stepping down have changed their tune.  They feel they may save their seats if you go in March.  Do these people have no thought other than their own survival?  At least, in you, we have a Prime Minister who has always put the needs of the country ahead of his own selfish desires!  I know many say the opposite but they are jealous of your prodigious talents and achievements. 

While many would have stood up to Blair over Iraq and saved billions of pounds and, much more importantly, hundreds of thousands of lives you were steadfast.  Resign and the country would never benefit from your prodigious talents as Prime Minister.  You stayed, not for your own personal ambitions, massive as many say them top be, but for the country!  I feel so humble – and poor too, for that matter – that you put the country so far ahead of your desires.  What a man you truly are!

I’m sorry if you think I’m buttering you up so that you’ll take my advice but I am.  I’m trying to help you make the correct decision.

You’re known, as Michael White so unkindly put it, as a “ditherer”.  That is so unkind, Mavis.  Are you OK with my now calling you “Mavis”?  Sorry, remember Mavis Reilly from Coronation Street.  Years ago.  Only those of a certain mature age will remember.

I’ve been diverted again.  You are such a great man that I am dithering.  Enough.  Time to make my point.

Mavis, don’t listen to those who want an election in March.  Those people are selfish and think only of themselves.  Don’t listen to those who want you to hold off until the last possible moment.  All that matters is doing everything to save the country from Dave’s blue toffs!  I know you agree.  Our country comes first. 

Mavis, what you must do is clear.

Go to the country NOW!

“Now!” you say.

NOW!!  and we can keep the Tory cutters out!

You’re confused, Mavis.  I can see it in your eyes. let me explain and help you decide.

Mavis, get the fuck out of this country and let anyone else – left wing of course – take us through the election.  Victory is ours but only if you, as usual, put the country ahead of your own ambitions.

Mavis, Go to the country NOW!

Any bloody country will do as long as you’re not here!!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Where Have All the Blogs Gone?

Where have all the blogs gone?
So few posting
Where have all the blogs gone?
So few to find
Where have all the blogs gone?
Gone elsewhere every one
When will they ever post?
When will they ever post?

Why have all the blogs gone?
Empty blogrolls ev'rywhere
Why have all the blogs gone?
So few to read
Why have all the blogs gone?
To rest or Twitter every one
When will they ever post?
When will they ever post?

With apologies to Pete Seeger

Apologies too for reworking a post from September 2008.

Very obvious on my return is the massive change in blogging during my year off.  Much of my blogroll is out of date, many of those remaining post much less frequently – other than James who seems to be waging a one man campaign to maintain a high level of posting.

Is blogging yesterday’s hobby?

Are we too busy now?

Is Twitter so IN?

Has the emergence of super-blogs - “super” only in terms of their readership and the high profile of their authors (I won’t name them because they’re not among my favourites) – created an underclass of blogs/bloggers who feel “why the fuck do I bother?”  I hope I’m wrong here – probably am.  This is a bit rich coming from me who has had more blog breaks than any I know.

Well, I’m back, for now at least, and I have actually written a post –  almost.  Never having been one to use one word when ten can be used I guess I’ll soon be writing epic length posts.

 

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Old Man of Kintraw

As I break myself gently into blogging mode I give you another picture post: serious posts can wait a few days  …. unless….

This is “The Old Man of Kintraw”.  I write this as though he were well-known: he isn’t.  In fact, as far as I am aware, I am the only person to have noticed this feature and, therefore, to have named it.

P1020139

Occasionally I feel as old as he looks ……... but often I look as odd and as old as he is. 

CalumAvatar1

I know it’s hard to imagine that those short fat legs of my avatar could carry this head but ….. hopefully, this blog will continue to surprise you.

Jeremy, Please Play and Listen to This

In today’s Times, Jeremy Clarkson says,

“….. and if I hear Away in a Manger, I’m filled with a sometimes uncontrollable need to kill myself.”

Go on, Jeremy, click on this …. PLEASE!  You know you’ll enjoy it.

 

Yes, I know this isn’t very clever but it’s too early too think more deeply.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Berlusconi

One of the headlines on The Daily Telegraph home page was printed with an error?!

The headline shown was,

Berlusconi assaulted by mental patient at Milan rally

Surely the correct headline is,

“Patient assaulted by mental Berlusconi at Milan rally”

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Edinburgh Morning Sky

Here are some of the pics caught this morning, the taking of which had my 18 year old cat falling off the roof.  The sky was magnificent but, unfortunately, the sky lightened while I was getting my camera set up.

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This is an original looking over West Edinburgh towards and beyond the Pentland Hills (with no touching up at all).

 

P1020819

This is a cropped version of the pic above – no other touching up.

Finally another cropped photo – otherwise as taken.P1020816

The Benefits of Soup

Early this morning I stumbled across Soup, signed up and micro-posted here – “ A Life Gone”.  Since that sparked me to restart full blogging I thought it worthwhile, plus it gives me a free post, to copy that post here.

One Life Gone

Was taking pic of morning sky when .... bumped cat out bedroom window .... scrabble, scrabble on slates .... cat disappears off roof .... I ran downstairs .... opened back door .... cat walked in .... phew!!

Pic  -  of sky later.”

In my first attempt at posting I missed out “I”.  Without this letter my cat appears to be both very lucky and very clever.

The pics will appear soon.

Return Completed

I am NOW blogging again.

Seems funny saying that but it is true.  I came across http://soup.io this morning, signed up and blogged a micropost.  Then I thought that rather than microblogging I should just restart my blog.  


Therefore as of now I AM A BLOGGER .......... again.


You are very welcome here.  Thanks for visiting.

Calum on Soup

Have just set up a microblog on Soup.  First scary post made.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Returning

My blogging break will soon be over.


Check back soon.