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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Trigger Happy

I was consulting with some experts in a hospital this morning.

And don't call me Shirley
But that’s not important right now.

That’s right, Leslie Nielsen. The details aren’t important right now. What’s important is that I wasn’t the Consultant. I feel like if you’re doing medicine stuff, it’s best that you be qualified to be doing the medicining.

[More of this sort of thing? Check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter.] Continue reading Trigger Happy

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Here Be Monsters…

Sorry this post is a day late, and probably a hundred words short. A big boobrie came and took it.

Aye, be careful with that search
Boobries!

A boobie, according to this interesting page of creatures of Scottish folklore, is

[a] gigantic black bird, which is supposed to have lived in the lochs of Argyllshire. It had webbed feet and fed on cattle.

[For more whimsy, don’t forget to check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter.] Continue reading Here Be Monsters…

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The Standard Version

As readers of last week’s blog post will know, I like to listen to BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland when I’m making breakfast in the morning.

RP? I'll give ye RP!!
“Och awa, ye daft gouk – this isnae yon BBC!”

Mrs Stroke Bloke worries about my blood pressure, I’m sure, as a disconcerting mixture of laughter and swearie words escapes the kitchen. But it keeps me somewhat connected to the larger world, and sometimes, there’s a wee gem of an item to consider. Say, on the subject of #strokes. Continue reading The Standard Version

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Thought For The Day

My love for BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, as hosted by Eddie Mair, is well-documented on this website (1, 2). During #indyref the first, I remember him conducting one of the better interviews I heard with Scotland’s First Minister.

You should see Blankety-Blank with Lilly Savage!
Eddie & Pals: Call My Bluff’s changed!

However, it’s becoming increasingly apparent – from, for example, the Today programme’s coverage of yesterday’s news that the Westminster government is mulling making substantial payments to the EU to retain financial services passporting rights for the City of London– that The Herald‘s chief reporter has captured a larger truth about the BBC’s output.

[Yes, somehow I’ll pivot this into strokes and art. Read on to find out how.] Continue reading Thought For The Day

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Bang!

If you’ve ever visited the About Me section of apoplectic.me, you may recognize this picture:

I'm more of a Poster Children guy, myself
Flower Manchild

(Actually, it could do with a bit of an update. I’ll do that when I’m done here.)

That’s four years ago, and I don’t really remember anything about the circumstances. Well, y’know, I had recently suffered a catastrophic haemorrhagic stroke. I’m pretty sure about that. But, other than that….

[For more whimsy and an eclectic weekly song selection, get the Apoplexy Tiny Letter here.] Continue reading Bang!

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The Broons

This might be a post for any non-Scottish readers who’ve ever wondered what the chuff I’m on about when I talk about Paw Broon.

The Broons, y’see, are Scotland’s Favourite Family. But then, you knew that already.

Scotland's second favourite family
Oh. We thought you meant…. Never mind.

Last Thursday, I went to the Perth Concert Hall to watch a new play, The Broons: Maggie’s Wedding, for a review for The Edinburgh ReporterContinue reading The Broons

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