Friday, April 26, 2013


The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes -
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands -
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

Louis MacNeice, 1907 – 1963 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

It's a shame about Ray

For any fan of Scottish music in the last few years of the twentieth century, a job at the recording studio in my village would have been a dream. Who wouldn't have wanted to be sitting in reception as Edwyn Collins walked by on the way to record "In a Nutshell"? It could just as well have been The Krankies on their way to "lay down" their immortal (and unofficial, by which I mean there is no trace of it in the official archives and no other mention of it anywhere on the internet) 1982 Scotland World Cup song ("We're goin' tae Spain/Oan an aery-plane"), but the indie glamour was still all there.

Because it's a tiny village I don't think the the owner realised that there were any hiring choices, and he took on a village boy - let's call him Raymond - who was less than enthused by his new career and behaved with slovenly disregard for his employer. Efforts to get him to be politer, and to do, er, his job, were meant with mutinous silence. Eventually he was given notice and told he was not working out in the role. After a silence, he responded slowly: "Aye. It cuts both ways, ken."

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Words to live by

“I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."
Roger Ebert 1942 - 2013