Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Bowie at The Proms

July 30, 2016 5 comments

It’s all about opinions and the Bowie Proms night split the critics. An assorted collection of musicians, some well-known others not so, took part in classical renditions from David Bowie’s back catalogue. It’s not the first time the Starman has received this treatment. Phillip Glass wrote The Low Symphony based on the album of the same name.

This listener enjoyed some of the different versions while others didn’t quite shake it right. The point is though, they were different and these were the type of experimentations that Bowie did throughout his long career.

In a nutshell capsule, all rock songs can be covered many ways unlike traditional classical music. You goes to the concert hall to hear Beethoven’s 5th and you will hear, note for note, the 5th. Any impromptus would displease the purists. So well played, The Proms for this improvised Fantastic Voyage with all time lows and heavy swells.

Categories: General Tags: ,

American vignettes

July 27, 2016 12 comments

It’s now official, God help us. These two should be on Comedy Central and not C-Span.

Hill Liar: Compulsive liar. All the big lies are in the public domain but there’s a lot of little ones as well lurking in the atmosphere. It was the late Christopher Hitchens that wrote about the meeting of the two famous Hillarys in Asia in 1985. Mrs Clinton claimed she was named after the mountaineer. It was only later that the truth came out. Clinton was born in 1947, six years before Edmund scaled the summit. All those lies, big and small, have led HC to touching distance of the ultimate peak.

Vladimirump: Compulsive thief. Anne Applebaum and the chess expert turned astute political analyst, Garry Kasparov are just two to have written that Trump is a pawn of Putin. It is a big story in Washington at the moment. Donald’s extensive business interests in the Motherland are reason enough for him to not go to war if Russia invades the Baltics. For Commander in Chief Trump the NATO pact is not worth a rouble. Luckily for Donald there is no HUAC to grill him about his Siberian links only an Azeri Grandmaster.

With the choice being between Scylla and Charybdis expect a low turn out on polling day as voters won’t know where to turn. As Kissinger said “It’s a pity they can’t both lose.” Maybe, they can. Is there an honest, hard-working, clean-cut, intelligent Independent candidate out there that could upset the apple cart? Could the 45th POTUS be a dark horse elected by tactical voting?

Fond Memories

July 26, 2016 15 comments

Every so often, I read a story that drags me back  too many years.

This is one that just did it for me:-

As an an Army-born brat, my  initial reaction was that junior officers will be junior officers.  I would not want them to be anything else, given the excellent  job that they will do for my country in their future years of service. They would not, in my opinion, be able to do that  vital job for the rest of us unless they were  heid-banger inclined  in the first place. I could, of course, be biased. Read more…

Categories: General

Scene and Herd

July 24, 2016 12 comments

At my local convenience store today.

The hitching post and buggy parking spots have been there for a while and are often used (sometimes just to leave a deposit as evidenced), the electric car charger is new and as far as I know, unused.

A few captions spring to my somewhat biased mind:

Sublime or ridiculous

Charging or discharging

Bullsh!t or horsesh!t

Nonsense or horsesense

The Madness of Painters

July 23, 2016 12 comments

Vincent van Gogh will be getting the Book of the Week treatment next week on Radio 4. The book is unimaginatively called Van Gogh’s Ear. Poor Vincent, all those sunflowers and wheat fields stem into insignificance next to his self-mutilation that fascinates us to this day. Not even the subsequent self-portrait with bandaged ear could get him noticed in the art world. Only in death would VVG  become famous.

My first impression of this painter was in a negative light and my post-impressions haven’t changed. Canvases smudged with more paint than a courtesan’s make-up. Unrealistic facial portraits and inaccuracies in anatomy. Then there’s all those flowers. He should have cut them up.

I’ve avoided the temptation to put this painter in the Overrated series because all painters are off their head. Hours puzzling over light and shade. Mixing oils and cleaning brushes. All this painstaking preparation when the landscape or sitter could be captured with the click of a camera.

My ears have heard many pronunciations of the painter’s last name. Obviously, I use the popular Goff but other versions include Go and the guttural Hock. Maybe, it’s Hoff or Ho, who knows?

Lastly, it was in 1888 that Vincent took the razor to his ear. What a terrible year was MDCCCLXXXVIII. Jack the Ripper was serial killing in Whitechapel and the seed was planted that birthed an Austrian monster.

A Fest of Lit.

July 23, 2016 3 comments

As an aspiring writer, my big breakthrough piece of fiction is still unwritten, I have always wanted to visit the Cheltenham Literature Festival. The chance to hob-nob with fellow unpublished sorts and to see in the flesh real authors would be happiness unbound.

Mingling at social gatherings with the lit-set I would forgo the glasses of bubbly on the trays and demand a beer from the Jeeves-like waiter. After all, With Faulks’ powers faltering, I’m the next big thing in town. I’d also ask Jeeves for the big daddy of vol-au-vents, a scotch pie. And I’d tell him to drown the pastry with Bertie Worcester sauce. Read more…


July 23, 2016 Leave a comment


Interesting take on Donald Trump here.

Categories: General

Dog Wash

July 21, 2016 22 comments

Whilst walking back from a friends’s house after a discussion on routers and a possible modification to the scarphing jig I came across the mobile dog wash. Ollie was not with me but as you can see from the picture below he’s encountered the dog wash before and was not impressed.

(I have posted this pic previously)

Ollie Dogwash 1

He’s due for a wash so I asked the lady in charge how much it would cost to shampoo a long haired collie. “£28.50 and we use only natural products and essential oils”.

Tough shit Ollie it’s the garden hose and Tesco shampoo again.

Categories: General

The Revolting Jock Caviar Producer.

The United Kingdom is in many respects a highly unusual country. It is a unitary state comprising four countries. Well, there are questions surrounding Ulster’s status – Read more…

Categories: General

May We Start?

Our beloved Sceptred Isle now has a new PM and her cabinet is coming together. Philip Hammond is a sensible choice to be Chancellor. He is nothing terribly exciting. Nor, frankly, is Theresa may, but he’s a stable, reliable figure that inspires quiet confidence. I was somewhat taken aback by the Blond Bombshell’s appointment as foreign minister. He ably managed London for many years so it’s unlikely to be beyond his capabilities, but it’s a strikingly elevated position for someone with no ministerial experience. Perhaps it is her name, the fact that her name rhymes with “dud” and that she shares it with a former Australian PM who was just that, but I developed a distinct disdain for the good lady (bless her heart!) during the Campaign to Liberate Britain. Davis and Fox’s appointments are brilliant. Davis is no fool and no delicate flower. I have confidence in his ability to manage Britain’s independence. Fox, likewise, has the intellectual heft and the right mindset to prevent Britain from getting into a rut. Fallon has not been the worst in his position and it’s doubtful that replacing him would have led to any improvements.

Categories: General

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