Tag Archives: Orbital

Thirtysomething Yr


1992. Halcyon days. At least, if you like war in Europe and riots in America. Yep. So much has changed now. Better days.

One of the closing themes of my book, Stroke, is the subjective nature of time. So, it’s interesting to hear two remixes of Orbital’s Halcyon, thirty years on.

Logic 1000 strips it back and makes an asthmatic middle-aged stroke survivor think he could still rave it up in a sweaty whitewashed cube of a room somewhere in Edinburgh – if such a place still exists, Grandad.

John Hopkins makes some concessions to the passing of time and makes an A.M-a.S.S. think he could really dig it after the Wee Man’s gone to sleep, on a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

None of it convinces me that 17-year-old Ricky was right in his conviction that time’s arrow was dragging us into a future that could only get better [sic].

On the other hand, Long-sufferingreaderoftheblogpaul introduced me today to a trilogy of science fiction books which opens with Earth awaiting an invasion from the closest star system. So, things aren’t necessarily all bad.

“One of these days, we’re going to cut you up into little pieces”


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A Year In Review – Pt.1

Time is social. Harvests. Day and night. Diurnal clocks. Biorhythms and cycles. All that mushy wetware bio stuff I never learned but is real.

Long-suffering reader of the blog paul

The winter solstice was on Friday, and now we’re beginning the long dig out towards the long evenings of summer. So, as is traditional, let’s sit down in front of a big gold piano and reflect on the year.

Blap-Blap-Blap, beotches!
Yaas, Kween!

January (1)

As the annus horribilis that was 2018 dragged to an end, it seemed that 2019 could only be better. The Queen’s appeal that we put divisions behind us and simply make the best of what we had seemed like it was going to usher in an annus mirabilis as the newly refitted HMS Britannia prepared to begin its buccaneering voyage across an expectant world.

At home, Theresa May announced that she would be combining her passions of hiking and hating immigrants Doing Her Duty to the country by meeting the Hard-Working People of Our Precious Union™️ at the top of the highest peaks in each of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“Theresa, do you remember that lovely new visitors’ centre atop Mount Snowdon?”

After the unexpected cancellation of the Mays’ trip to Snowdonia in Wales, they set off for Ben Nevis in Scotland in traditional wear for the English visitor on a day trip to the Scottish mountains – Theresa in leopard-print kitten heel hiking boots, and Dishy Philip in his preferred Savile Row suit and hipster glasses. As May Maynia gripped the country, enthusiastic Scots began their trek up the mountain…

January (2)

After the disappearance of the Mays in Glen Nevis, another popular favourite had to take to the House of Commons to announce the delay of the Meaningful Vote on the outcome of the UK’s Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

“The Government intends to proceed with the meaningful vote as soon as the Prime Minister is able to return to this Place” – Deputy Prime Minister David Lidington

Then, just as it seemed that the fabric of British society would rupture notwithstanding the desires of the Queen, the people were united by the empathy engendered by the release of the paperback of an astonishing new memoir on 22nd January…

Unflinching, mate.
“Are you sure that every word in this Year in Review is true?”


As the search for the Mays continued, questions began to be asked about the costs that were being incurred. Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell indicated that he would resign if the costs of the rescue operation exceeded £30,000.

When it was pointed out that Mundell had previously backtracked on promises to resign relating to Brexit outcomes for the Common Fisheries Policy and differentiation for Northern Ireland, he upped the ante considerably.

The Viceroy speaks
“Let me be absolutely clear: In the event I don’t resign, I’ll resign.”


As Brexit-related turmoil continued, Gatwick Airport entered its fourth month of flight cancellation. After police had announced in December that the drone that had caused 140,000 passengers to be stranded at the airport simultaneously:

  • had been discovered; and
  • had never existed

it emerged that Gatwick itself had never existed. The so-called airport was merely a hoax conjured by mentalist and illusionist Derren Brown. Each of the 140,000 stranded “passengers” was in fact a paid actor. Brown himself had travelled in time to turn-of-the-century Ohio to deliver the plans for powered flight to the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur.

Derren Brown and Wilbur Wright, 1903

Meanwhile, popular favourite David Lidington returned to the House of Commons to update the country on the status of Brexit.

Go on then, you draw David Lidington from memory.
“We must honour the PM by effecting the moment of her greatest triumph on 29 March, 2019”

To be continued…

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Last week’s first five suggestions for a top ten list of musical introductions ended with a plea for help in picking out the balance. And Long-Suffering Readers Of The Blog Prof Paul and Atletico Marcelo didn’t disappoint in the comments.

Srzly, how difficult can it be?
Top Ten Times The Late Show Top Ten List Was Funny: a countdown from 0-0

[How to round out a Top Ten List: read on.] Continue reading Outros

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The Band of Möbius

Anyone who’s ever subscribed to the Apoplexy Newsletter, read this blog, or met me, will be unsurprised to read that The Fabulous Beth and I went to see Billy Bragg play Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall last week. And those sorts of people will probably also find it predictable that Billy brought along a quirky support act, made an obscure and humorous reference to Craig Gannon in his stage banter, and was playing in the aftermath of the United Kingdom’s (sic) decision to open a new campaign of war.

Quirky support act

I was particularly taken by Duke Special – for it is he – because he has ridiculous/awesome hair, had covered half of the merch table with an eclectic range of different types of art, and he sang a song called Last Night I Nearly Died.  (That’s enough rule of three – Ed.)

Hey! Last night about three years ago, I nearly died!

But that wasn’t all that went on last week…

Continue reading The Band of Möbius

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