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.
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.
A day after the result of the #EUref came in, Mrs Stroke Bloke and I hopped on a train to London. Like the narrator of this wee ditty:
“Smoke lingers ’round your fingers / Train, heave on to Euston…”
(Smiths sceptics might find the above performance surprisingly muscular)
It was, y’see, an opportunity to check out an exclave of the soon-to-be nation of #Scotlond. By this time, Scotland’s First Minister had already reached out to the Mayor of London to discuss how their remain-voting areas could ameliorate the impact of Brexit. Continue reading London→
Mrs Stroke Bloke and I spent this past weekend in the Highlands. More precisely, we were visiting family in Strontian, on the banks of Loch Sunart. One of my cousins asked if I would be writing about our trip in the blog this week. And since she took me to see David Bowie’s Sound and Vision tour stop in Ingliston in 1990, I could hardly say “No.”
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…
Last Wednesday, I attended my class’s graduation ceremony from the Masters of Science programme in Creative Writing (?!) at the University of Edinburgh. As I wrote at the time…
We all had a lovely time. And I’m proud to be able to say that with the help of Beth and Paw Broon, I’m a post-stroke graduate! I have to say, though, that while it was nice to punctuate a wonderful year, it’s a bit concerning to be leaving the leafy groves of academe for a highly competitive world 18 years after I did it the first time.
Fortunately, Book Week Scotland was taking place out in the real world at the same time. And that helped ease the transition….
[In the Stroke Bloke privacy spectrum, get the good stuff and have a chat over here.]
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.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that “sometime this week, Beth and I are going to see Asif Kapadia’s documentary, Amy.” I saw his movie about the late Brazilian Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna on a plane last year, and thought it was very powerful.
Well, it turns out I was lying. Or, I didn’t have the full facts to hand. We went to see Amy last night.
[Sign up for the Apoplexy Tiny Letter here, for more words to while away the day.]