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.
A fair amount of water has passed under the bridge in five years. Let’s reflect, shall we?
Phew! That was quite a weekend! On Friday evening, I had the great pleasure of co-hosting the launch of the chapbook In Failure & In Ruins by my friend, former Into the Void Poetry Competition winner Mark Bolsover.
The next day, Mrs Stroke Bloke and I headed through to Glasgow to see the latest production from Kneehigh Theatre, whose Mayday Mayday had such an effect on us in the months after my stroke.
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
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.
— Ricky Brown (@ricky_ballboy) July 12, 2016
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…?
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.]
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?