On the bus into Edinburgh’s New Town yesterday, I was reflecting on a short story I’ve been working on, a historical fiction about the Ross-shire Sheep Riots (also known as the – ten-day long – Year Of The Sheep). As the name suggests, it’s set in Scotland. My work tends to be set most often there, or in NYC, or in some imagined hybrid of the two.
After chatting about shiftwork last week, I planned to spend this week talking about why we’re working longer and later hours. But then some stuff cropped up, and there’s going to have to be a change to our scheduled programming.
First, here’s LongSufferingReaderOfTheBlogPaul’s favourite track of 2018 [sic], regardless.
Rule of thumb: That guy
would never swimmie-swim knows what he’s talking about
Here is the news…
— Ricky Monahan Brown (@ricky_ballboy) November 2, 2017
[Is this more FAKE NEWS?!?! Read on to find out where Stroke Bloke’s going with this…] Continue reading Apoplectic Me
A fair amount of water has passed under the bridge in five years. Let’s reflect, shall we?
I haven’t been able to get to much on the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year, for reasons. After seeing Tariq Ali discuss Lenin, I managed to miss Stuart Cosgrove returning to the subject of Detroit ’67, and 404 Ink marking their epochal Nasty Women with Nadine Aisha Jassat, Joelle Owusu & Laura Waddell.
And I missed Limmy, too. 😭
Mrs Stroke Bloke and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary this past weekend.
And what a pleasant day our anniversary was. We started off at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, which was featuring a Bridget Riley exhibition. I found that some of the impact of seeing her work for the first time in New York many years ago had faded. YMMV, obvs.
For more uninformed opinion, check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter. Or BBC politics correspondent Norman Smith trying to talk about Scottish politics on the PM show.
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.
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.
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.
I think the talking heads who review newspapers on London TV shows like Marr are running out of excuses for not understanding Scotland.
— David Leask (@LeaskyHT) October 16, 2016
[Yes, somehow I’ll pivot this into strokes and art. Read on to find out how.] Continue reading Thought For The Day
If you’ve ever visited the About Me section of apoplectic.me, you may recognize this picture:
(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….
Do you know the way to blue? This guy does.
Like Nick Drake, I’ve got to assume that most people who’ve suffered the effects of a stroke – and their loved ones – are familiar with the blues. And some of them may even look out the Blues as a form of therapy. I can’t locate the exact quote, but someone once said
It’s a sad music that makes you feel happy.
So it was that Mrs Stroke Bloke and I went along with a couple of friends to a show put on by the Edinburgh Blues Club on Friday.