It has never been hard to tell the difference between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine, PG Wodehouse once wrote. And today, as the Scottish Parliament debates the merits of approaching Westminster regarding another Independence referendum and just under half of the MSPs grumble about the Scottish Government manufacturing grievances, maybe it’s time to change the stereotype?
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.
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 Reporter… Continue reading The Broons
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?
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
I’ve been trying to tell myself that it’s too early for an #EURef post. But even now, still two-and-a-half weeks out, the media coverage is suffocating. It’s hard to focus on anything else. Europe touches so much that goes on in the blog.
Last week, Mrs Stroke Bloke and I had just returned from our trip to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. One thing that really caught our eyes – other than the crazy number of Deloreans on the ferry from Cairnryan to Belfast – was the ease of crossing the border.
[Enjoy apoplectic.me? Get close and personal with the Apoplexy Tiny Letter here.]
Yesterday evening, I still had no idea what this week’s blog would be about. Then, the hand of history reached out across the British Isles….
Crowds gather, waiting for Boris’s column to be posted. Make sure your children are with you. Memory to treasure pic.twitter.com/p9RVhMZTuw
— Robert Harris (@Robert___Harris) February 21, 2016
It was quite a filmic weekend.
On Friday night, Beth and I went to a packed Filmhouse 2 to see The Hateful Eight. Definitely in my top three Tarantino movies.
Although it’s reminiscent of Reservoir Dogs in its bunch-of-desperados-trapped-in-a-room central conceit, a number of Leone-esque shots of a mythic American landscape pepper the movie.
On Saturday, we stayed in and (finally) watched There Will Be Blood. Like The Hateful Eight and Once Upon a Time in the West (both scored by Ennio Morricone), it’s got a great score that carries long, dialogue-free stretches of film. In this case, the score is by Johnny Greenwood (or Radiohead and collaborations with the terrifying Krzysztof Penderecki).
Watching these two movies in quick succession got me to thinking…
Beth and I went to see the new James Bond movie, SPECTRE, last night. Long-suffering readers may recall that Bond has a cameo roll to play in the story of my massive haemorrhagic stroke. More about that in Being a Man Again: Strokes, Power Tools and James Bond.
It feels like seeing the stark, terrible beauty of Glencoe in Skyfall serves as easy reference for all of the parts of my life that were coming together to direct me back to Scotland. The Glen eventually served as a major character in a short story I wrote for the first issue of Brain of Forgetting.
Saw #SPECTRE tonight. Here’s the review. (Spoiler alert!) A lot of things happened. In no particular order. It was pretty. 2 stars.
— Ricky Brown (@ricky_ballboy) November 1, 2015
So, Longsufferinggirlfriendoftheblogbeth and I did indeed make it to Inverness last week to embark upon a scientifically rigorous search for the Loch Ness Monster. We stayed at a hotel on the Lochside. We took a boat ride up the loch to Urquhart Castle. And the results are in…..
But for those of you who aren’t experienced in sonar interpretation, here’s some pictorial evidence of our results that’s even more conclusive than that presented in last week’s blog. Continue reading Of Fairies and Plesiosaurs
As followers of the apoplectic.me Tiny Letter will be aware, the University of Edinburgh’s Creative Writers had their second reading night of the year just over a week ago. I co-hosted with my co-host, the handsome and talented Mr Jacques Tsiantar.
For this event, we only had three minutes for each of our individual slots. That’s about 600 words, which isn’t a lot. But fortunately, the first 600 or so words of my stroke-y memoir of extreme survival stop at a real doozie of a line.