Pop!

It’s Trump -2 days until The Elephant’s Nelly (throwback: 1, 2) is anointed leader of that shining city on a hill.

How do you feel? Exultant? Depressed?

Normal?

[apoplectic.me’s been a little stroke-lite recently. Not today, though. And there’s a stroke special coming next week…]

Continue reading Pop!

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A Cunning Plan

I did have a plan for today’s blog. Honest. It was super-clever. So clever, I’m going to retain it for next week’s post.

A cunning plan, you say?
Mmmf mmmf mmf mmf-mmf mmmf!

But in the meantime, I’ve been asked to do a review of David Bowie’s posthumous download-only No Plan EP that dropped yesterday. So I’ve been working on that today.

[Feeling short-changed by today’s post? There’s more at the Apoplexy Tiny Letter.] Continue reading A Cunning Plan

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New Year’s Day

Happy New Year!

Hogmanay in Scotland is a time for traditions. First-footing, coal, whisky, Auld Lang Syne, steak pie (apparently), black bun, and all the rest. When I lived in America, New Year’s Eve was the hardest time of year to be away from the country of my birth.

Dude, you've got twelve months! Write a joke!
You mean I don’t have to watch Only An Excuse?! I’m moving, too!

But there’s another tradition that covers all of Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland that I didn’t miss so much – the New Year’s Honours List.

[Check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter for more of this sort of thing.
If this is the sort of thing you’re into.
]
Continue reading New Year’s Day

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Last Christmas

Every so often, something happens in the world and you can suddenly see the teenage girl inside the fortysomething professional pol.

Or for that matter, the snarky fortysomething stroke bloke.

Last week’s post on chairs was meant to segue seamlessly into a post this week about a musician who – like chairs – features surprisingly little on the blog yet has a chameleon-like ability to adapt to the times. Then George Michael died.

[Check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter for more Scottish humour formulated along classic lines.] Continue reading Last Christmas

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Three Chairs!!!

I’ve been kind of obsessed with chairs for around a decade-and-a-half.

I can’t remember if it started when I got a copy of 100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection, or if I got the book because the seeds of my obsession had already started to sprout.

In fact, I’m surprised this hasn’t cropped up on the blog before.

Natürlichsollteessein
Hold on, shouldn’t that be one word?

[For things that don’t show up on the blog, check out the apoplexy newsletter.] Continue reading Three Chairs!!!

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Our Christmas Gift to You

Well, nobody found the Birds Fate Ruins Xmas EP during the past week. Which is hardly surprising, given the story of its creation and deletion. Besides, Prof Paul, Mouthsounds Steph and I have made a point of scouring car boot and stoop sales, second-hand record stores, and record fairs for Birds Fate material for more years than I think any of us care to remember.

It's Broken Mirror or nothing, man.
“Get outta my store, losers!”

But you know how it is with your favourite bands – you don’t listen to them for ages, and then you put ’em on and remember why you loved them in the first place. So it was that the Prof went back to his Birds Fate archive after reading last weeks post.

[More whimsy, more material, more secrets at the Apoplexy Tiny Letter.]

Continue reading Our Christmas Gift to You

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Birds Fate Ruins Xmas

I’ve just opened the doors on my advent calendars for the sixth of December. “Tobacco” beard oil, a jasmine green tea light ale, and a piece of chocolate bearing the countenance of an appropriately sceptical elf, since you ask.

I swear, I’m not making this up!

He sees when you don't upcycle
You better shop local/Hipster Santa’s coming to town

[For more festive good cheer, sign up for the Apoplectic newsletter.]

Continue reading Birds Fate Ruins Xmas

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Thanksgiving

On Tuesday, I was invited to an event run by The Open University’s Reading Communities team in association with The Scottish Book Trust’s Book Week Scotland and the Being Human festival of the Humanities. It was called Edinburgh: A City of Readers. As well as my story Valhalla, I was asked to read an extract from an 1830 letter written by the actress, writer, and abolitionist campaigner Fanny Kemble in which she talks of breakfasting with Walter Scott and a small party of other Scottish luminaries of the time.

Apparently, she found it

strange that so varied and noble an intellect should be expressed in the features of a shrewd, kindly, but not otherwise striking countenance.

Walt gets all Teenage Fanclub
Ain’t that enough?!

[For more Walter Scott/Teenage Fanclub mash-ups, head over to the Apoplexy newsletter] Continue reading Thanksgiving

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Dark Web

The other day, apropos of something, Prof Paul asked Mouthsounds Steph and I

How well 1-10 do you guys know Dark Side of the Moon? I’m about 12.

That's not a moon – that's a space station
Er, it’s this one, right?

[Read on – it’s not about conflict, greed, the passage of time, and mental illness. Promise!] Continue reading Dark Web

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The Partisan

Let’s just ignore the elephant in the room for a moment, shall we? Yes, for someone who has the ability to speak out against racism and misogyny and homophobia (dons Stroke Bloke hat – or ablism)  to choose to stay silent on these matters is the same as condoning them. So let’s be clear – I’m against these things here, in my life, and in my art.

Does that make me a phobophobe?

Help Ricky figure his shit out in the Apoplexy Tiny Letter. Continue reading The Partisan

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