Category Archives: Edinburgh

Way Too Blue

Do you know the way to blue? This guy does.

What? The Canadian rapper guy?
Not that one. The other one.

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.

[Extra time to waste on Labor Day (US)? Get more apoplexy here.]

Continue reading Way Too Blue

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A Northern Soul

Tonight, the Edinburgh Festival and the Fringe will be over for another year. Once again, the shows I went to see for The Edinburgh Reporter were never less than interesting, and the second half of the month was no less thought-provoking.

In addition to the stuff I mentioned last week, Daniel Kitson at the Traverse was great, and AL Kennedy at the Book Festival was a masterclass on how to take an audience with you when reading off the page.

Put on a proper suit, do up your tie, and sing the Star-Spangled Banner
This year’s recommendation for the NYC apoplectic massive

Blog hero Paul Morley on Bowie didn’t translate well to the inherently conservative milieu of Charlotte Square, but perhaps the most gripping night of August was… Continue reading A Northern Soul

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Powder Puff

We’re well into the second half of the 2016 Edinburgh Festival and Fringe. When apoplectic.me isn’t counting its existence in major international soccer tournaments, it’s counting it in Festivals (2013, 2014, 2015).

"Get the gimp"
2016: Mrs Stroke Bloke loves owls. In a very particular way.

The beginning of the Fringe is always a bit of a whirl. I’m doing reviews and interviews during preview week and the first week proper. For the second half of the month, it’s more a case of hanging on and getting through to the end.

[If you hang on and get to the end of this post, there’s the Apoplexy Tiny Letter, too.] Continue reading Powder Puff

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The Elephant’s Nelly – Pt 2

Before being distracted by something shiny last week, I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on with this Donald Trump thing. Why, over the past week, have presidential general election polls continued to see Trump bouncing along at 40%, when he’s indicated that a Trump presidency would look like this?

Hurrah for the Stuffed Shirt!
To be fair, The Daily Mail would take a more celebratory approach

That’s an actual [inside] page from this The Globe back in April, described as the front page we hope we never have to print. The accompanying editorial called Trump’s White House run “flippant and reckless” and “profoundly un-American”. But while this would all seem obvious from within The Globe‘s newsroom, or my Twitter feed, Trump easily won the Massachusetts Republican primary, collecting 22 delegates and nearly 50% of the vote. Meanwhile, over 50% of the voters in the recent EU referendum in these islands voted for an Out campaign fronted by Trump-like trolls.

So rather than dismissing this tendency out of hand, I’ve been trying to think a little about how we came to this pass. Continue reading The Elephant’s Nelly – Pt 2

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The Elephant’s Nelly

Last week’s post was described by The Prof as a perfect distillation of an apoplectic.me post – presumably in the hope that I would JUST STOP ALREADY!!! Well, I won’t. Because I distilled it even further, and it was presented on Broadcasting Giant Eddie Mair‘s Radio 4 PM show on 5th August.

Apparently super-strong cannabis was more important. Which is fair enough.
I come in at around 46m 09s

[Can’t stop, won’t stop? Get more apoplexy straight to your inbox here.] Continue reading The Elephant’s Nelly

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I Hate the ’80s

Last week, I promised readers of the Apoplexy Tiny Letter a break from the political stuff, after the recent Democracy trilogy (1, 2, 3). And after last week’s Frankie Goes to Hollywood-mendous post, why not stay in the comforting nostalgic embrace of the ’80s?

Where's the pic of Michael Foot's donkey jacket?!
Dude. Those are clearly C21st Kayne shades.

I mean, seriously? Kayne, John Mayer, and The Police’s version of Message In a Bottle at 2007’s Live Earth concert to combat climate change made me want the Earth’s surface to be heated to 100,000,000°C. But we spoke about that sort of thing last week. And haemorrhagic stroke survivors are meant to keep their blood pressure down. So. Pleasant thoughts… Continue reading I Hate the ’80s

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Relax

Over the last two weeks, Stroke Bloke has reported from Berlin and London on modern iterations of democracy. Today, a report from closer to home…

Last week’s post, Monarchy had a hint of the oracle about it. I asked

Can Angela [Eagle] fit 172 Labour Party MPs in her tiny battle bus before its square wheels fall off?

And that very night, the Labour Party’s National executive committee voted to allow Jeremy Corbyn, as the incumbent leader of the party,  to enter the party’s leadership election without having to collect the nominations of 50 of his MPs and MEPs.

But let’s leave that aside for now – who can predict British politics at the moment?

The other question that was left hanging at the end of last week’s post was

What happened when I had a chance to visit the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood…?

Need more whimsy and obscure ’90s indie references to getting through the working week? Check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter. Continue reading Relax

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Stroke Bloke at Euro 2016

Some years ago, Mrs Stroke Bloke and I noticed that – not much like J. Alfred Prufrock – our relationship could be measured out in international soccer tournaments.

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons, maaaan.”

Back in the summer of 2010, I was introducing my new American girlfriend to a Scottish pal in a Brooklyn bar as we watched (was it?) the USA v England in South Africa.

And as well as being beautiful and funny, she already understands the offside rule!

But as Scotland fail, yet again, to qualify for a major tournament at France 2016, how do I find a team to give me a rooting interest? Read on…

[Join the conversation at the Apoplexy Tiny Letter here.]

Continue reading Stroke Bloke at Euro 2016

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May Day

It’s the Early May Bank Holiday in Scotland today. Ian Wiki confirms that May Day is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival.

The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the Floralia, festival of Flora.

Flora: the Roman goddess of partially hydrogenated sunflower oil-based spread

In explaining the origins of May Day, Ian comes up with all sort of specifics, but kind of slides over the idea that – as Longsufferingreaderoftheblogpaul wrote in a comment to a particularly off-the-wall post – time is social. Harvests. Day and night. Diurnal clocks. Biorhythms and cycles. All that mushy wetware bio stuff I never learned but is real.

Cornwall in England definitely gets into that side of things:

[On May Day,] Padstow holds its annual Hobby Horse day of festivities, believed to be one of the oldest fertility rites in the UK.

Continue reading May Day

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Panama

Well, if there’s one thing that this week’s news has encouraged me to do, it’s go off and listen to some good music. With a hat-tip to Longsufferingreaderoftheblogpaul for sharing it aaaaages ago, here’s Reggie Watts’ cover of Van Halen’s Panama:

Where the original is – I’m told – about a race car, Reggie’s version is about the country. What do you think about, when you think about Panama?

[For more absurdity, whimsy, and brain droppings, check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter.] Continue reading Panama

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