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Haven't been saying much lately. I should really get round to some sort of update. It's reached the point of being poked . . . I'm very sorry and will say something substantive soon.

In the meantime, those of you fortunate enough to be in Edinburgh may be interested in this event tonight at the Bongo.

The Processional, Beastie, No Point and Te Pooka drummers, and the Edinburgh Samba School. Five percussion groups for only five of your Earth pounds.


May. 5th, 2008 01:05 am
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Another picture of me on Wednesday. From the front this time.

Today I saw Nick Cave doing an impression of the Duracell bunny. He's surprisingly good at it. Barry Adamson was supporting. Expensive, but memorable. Lauren didn't feel up to the gig, so I (woe is me!) had to go along with Mark to stop the ticket being wasted. I passed on the opportunity to buy a tea-towel printed with the handwritten lyrics of The Mercy Seat, which I may come to regret.

In other news, the Hoose has Half Man Half Biscuit on the jukebox and a tremendously amusing carrot behind the bar. A picture may well follow.

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Saturday was Ansel Adams, which was very excellent, and then seeing St Jude's Infirmary doing a quick drummerless set in Avalanche. A very acceptable afternoon. Sunday was much Beltane stuff - a big walkthrough and a health & safety briefing. During the week I went out to practice arson with Jim, first at Crichton Castle (very nice, and I'd no idea it existed) and then with Jim and Charlotte at Dalkeith country park. Both excellent days out, and photos or even vido may turn up at some point.

On Sunday just gone there was various construction work on the hill, possible because we have storage space for a few days this year, followed by rehearsals of various patches. On Monday I trailed all over the place and came back with new albums by The Fall and the mighty Biscuit to show for it. Apparently an Edinburgh gig for the latter is fairly likely. Today Jim, Phil and I went to Vogrie country park for more of the same, with various old iron kilns, woodpeckers, oddly carved trees, caves and luminous fungus cropping up along the way.

I've spent this evening convinced I've forgotten something. I don't think I have, though. When the record finishes, I'll turn in. It's going to be a long day, and possible an even longer night.

Gena's back in town, incidentally, for a couple of days. I'm not sure how many people who'll be reading this up here will remember her.
zotz: (holding forth)
Sunday was, due to the season, up the hill for a practice, but this time after picking Jim up from Bonnyrigg. We managed a quick fireraising session at the end, which went surprisingly well given the time since we last did it. Then I took him back out to Bonnyrigg and went to the Ann Purna with L&S for dinner, as it's due to change hands soon. I don't go nearly often enough - it was as lovely as ever. Hopefully it'll stay that way. After that, the ISIHAC Greatest Hits show at the Festival Theatre, with them and my folks. That's the first time I've seen a game show do an encore - and the first time I've heard 1500 people attempt an unrehearsed rendition of "Donald Where's Your Troosers" on kazoos, too. Very fine. We all got to keep the kazoos.

Later I started reading Kevin MacNeil's "The Stornoway Way". I took a break at about three and finished it today. It's very good - a clever, funny, and sad memoir of a young Stornoway man who's never got his life together, and has moved back to Lewis after years busking round the world. The bits that are funny are very funny, the bits that are sad are tragic, and all of them are clever. I will have to find out what my Stornowegian friend makes of it, by lending it to him if necessary.

Today I went to Mo's birthday picnic on Portobello beach. This was very good, although Nivine setting her hair on fire was a little alarming. Fortunately no harm seems to have been done. During the early evening there was a very loud rumbling with no obvious cause. It turned out that it was two Tornadoes turning on their afterburners over the Castle - apparently the RAF were also having a birthday party. Show-offs.
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Samhain was good. Even the Scotsman was nice about us, and that never normally happens. I was incredibly unenthusiastic about it in the run up, and could hardly be bothered heading out the door on the afternoon, but I had a terrific time.

The drummers, of course, were fantastic.

We even had protesters this time. Clearly we have arrived.

The car has also been serviced and got its MoT. The guys at the garage now recognise it as an old friend, even though they only see it once or twice a year. Apparently a bit had fallen off the front suspension, and I would have noticed it if I'd tried any tight corners.

There'a a rumour Disgraceland is on tonight, but I'd got the impression it was next week and I can't find anything online . . . anyone know?

Apparently Jello's in Glasgow next week.
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The other week I came across a website with an early draft of Barry Hughart's highly excellent Bridge of Birds. If you haven't read the published version, then I'd recommend having a look at this to see whether it's likely to be your sort of thing. If you have read it then you're probably going to read that without my prompting.

[livejournal.com profile] niddrie_edge pointed me at a very odd story concerning a film called Darklands, made about ten years ago and in some ways rather like a version of The Wicker Man set in South Wales. The producers seem to have been putting it about that they and their film have been cursed by a scary gang of Edinburgh witches called the Beltane Fire Society (of which I are a member, and which is not witches). Now, in spite of the fact that this is very obviously the tallest Scottish witch story since the exceedingly tall Tam O'Shanter (or possibly even since MacBeth), they allegedly convinced Richard Stanley of this too, which I'm not sure I believe either.
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Beltane VidosRead more... )

Dreams. Read more... )

Gigantor! Yes, we're having a Gigantor on Friday. Read more... )

The Crimea have a new album out, and it's available to download for free in its entirety Read more... )

Shellac are playing London next week. Read more... )

There was a program on last night about Gilbert and George, and I enjoyed it hugely. Read more... )

Anyway, if you'd like to download a Gilbert and George piece to print out, it's here, but only for the next day or so.

My work this week has involved looking at a couple of upcoming bills - the Human Tissues and Embryos Bill and the Climate Change Bill, as you ask. There are a couple of consultations relevant to them still ongoing, if any of you are interested. Read more... )

I can also recommend the new Screaming Banshee Aircrew album. I've listened to it a few times since the weekend and it's very good.

Beltane 20

May. 2nd, 2007 11:30 pm
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Read more... )Anyway, for those of you who don't want to plough through my ramblings, here are some pictures, some more pictures, even more pictures, and even some video. Top comedy moment was probably the two Lauras hearing some punter behind them say that they hadn't expected all the sexual innuendo1 and were going to make an official complaint.

[1] Isn't innuendo such a wonderfully self-descriptive word?
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Even apart from the concerts, it's been an interesting week, a;though not a brilliant one for everybody. Neon last Sunday with Mark and Lauren, a train to London on Monday, a work course on the various administrative sections (libraries, door security, and so on), what they can do for us and for people in general, who to talk to, and so on. I have pages and pages of notes, which I'm supposed to type up for the benefit of orkers. Back to Ayrshire on Thursday, which actually meant pounding the pavements of the deprived and brutal lower east side of Millport. In the blazing sunshine and gentle sea breeze. Oh, the humanity!

I hadn't been on Great Cumbrae in twenty years, and it's quite delightful. Lots of little tenements, of course - closes and deucharies everywhere (whatever a deuchary might be).

It seems to have been more honestly brutal back here, though. Monday is, of course, Beltane and two of our torchbearers have been attacked in the last few days. One was beaten up on the Meadows on (I think) Thursday and had his jaw broken (hors de combat, of course). The other, also nearby, was stabbed a little on Friday, but he seems to be maintaining that it's only a flesh wound and is soldiering on. You're a better man than I am, &c.
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> How was your Easter, then?

Okay. Busy. Bluearsed fly territory for much of it. Read more... )
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It has been brought to my attention by [livejournal.com profile] nickys and [livejournal.com profile] original_aj that, inexplicably, not everyone has read the scintillating reviews of "Looking For: The very best of David Hasselhoff", which can be found here and also at greater length here.

I'm just back from the post-Beltane beach party. It was exactly what you'd expect from a drunken party on a beach in the middle of nowhere with fire, drums and the red men in attendance . . .
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Ed has one of these. This probably tells you something important about his sense of humour.

This week I've gotten back from London with a tightly-packed load of Kate's stuff and taken it over to my folks' place in Ayr, come back, picked up the last of Ed's stuff and brought it in, and helped [livejournal.com profile] decomposingsoul to move. So that's three house moves I've helped with this week. Tomorrow, a picnic on the beach. According to the Beeb, it's not likely to rain much.

I've seen Keith, too. It's been a couple of years and I was starting to worry.

I've also been listening to some of Auntie Clara's old recordings. Quite a voice. Family history's such an interesting thing, don't you think?
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It's always fun to go through a jar of old biros and find a cheap promotional ballpoint bearing the emblem of something unusual. Today I found out that I have one which says "VIAGRA" in big letters. And it doesn't fucking work.

Eastercon was a bit disappointing, mostly because I wasn't there as much as I wanted to be. The tiler who was doing the bathroom (there are some right fiddly bits, OK?) first said that he could only come on the Saturday (a tradesman on a Saturday? And only on a Saturday? That's breaking several laws of physics, isn't it?) then said with no notice that he was only available on Easter Sunday (my head explodes) and then didn't turn up then either. He was significantly ill, though, so my anger was wasted.

I went to see Mugyenko, a taiko crew from deepest darkest Lanarkshire, who were dead good. The heijun was there with four women . . . I don't know if this was supposed to be some sort of gimmick, but they weren't trying to make anything of it in the publicity or program and in any case they didn't need it, so hopefully it wasn't. Highly excellent, and if you get a chance I'd recommend you take it. They also had a couple of special guests over from Japan, one of whom used to be head of training for Kodo and the other was a Shinto priestess from a temple devoted to a god of drumming and performance. Fantastic.

Beltane's been and gone again too. Fred and I had the chance to fuck it up for everyone, in full view of an attentive crowd of 12 thousand people (nervous, me?), but we failed to totally and it went like bloody clockwork. The flame appeared and the crowd went Oooh, and then the tinder really caught and we got a big cheer. It was a little packed this year - three or four thousand more people than last time, which was significantly up on the time before - but it didn't cause too many problems. I got to see the bonfire being lit up close this time, and had an "Oh, that's Angus Farquar" moment. I have noticed him at least once previously. And someone tried to pinch my bum and missed. Apparently last year a woman saw us, shouted "Deatheaters! Deatheaters!" and ran to hide behind her boyfriend. Most odd, and not a little amusing. The club was good, with the Beastie drummers pushing the Processional drummers closer than usual with their performance. My bingo performance was pitiful. The Evening News had some lovely pics, which is just as well as apparently it's their photographer who irritates everyone every year by trying to be where he shouldn't be. They are very nice pictures, although a couple were spoiled by having me in them looking unappealing.

The next day I was helping derig, and afterwards we went to the Pear Tree. A couple of the Air Point people brought parts of their dragon down with them, and when we got the the pub, put the claws up onto the top of the wall before poking the head up and calling "hello" to their friends at the other side of the garden. How we all laughed, etc.

I had [livejournal.com profile] kixie and [livejournal.com profile] naturalbornkaos up for the weekend, and I'd said I'd meet them by the bower at the end. Unfortunately a few thousand other people also wanted to be there, so it wasn't a good idea and I didn't see them again until the morning. I had a very good time kicking around with them on Friday and Saturday, though.

This weekend I'll be Elephant-herding during a performance called The Sultan's Elephant, which is apparently inspired by Jules Verne and is going to look a bit like this. And is free. I'll be around until Monday, so if anyone fancies tea and biccies, let me know and we can maybe try to arrange something.

This week, I have mainly been being puzzled about politics and the press. And the general public, who I've started despairing of. Frankly, my hat is off to any and all politicians for their willingness to deal with journalists and voters every day. I'm bloody glad it's their job and not mine.
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Last night I watched a documentary about Johnny Cash. Actually, I'd seen it before, but I still watched it to the end. The prison gigs were amazing, and seeing his daughter talking about what she and the rest of his family thought of the Hurt video was gripping too.

I'd forgotten that at some points the incidental music is actually Mazzy Star. I checked a certain website today and found that a French singer-songwriter called Charlotte Marionneau has an album out featuring Sandoval and Robacs, and also Kevin Shields and Colm O'Ciosoig. It's under the name Le Volume Courbe - anyone heard it?

I had dinner with Kate and James and me mum and dad on Saturday, and then went to the Halfway House, which is very nice. I asked my sister about the LLLLLLRB, or whatever it's called. "It'll be amended." How far, though?

On Sunday my mum dropped round to see how the bathroom's doing, and wave me some pictures of a place she's thinking of renting for a week on Skye sometime. She waved the picture at my dad because it was in Totescore, and he said "That's my granny's house." It's all mod cons now, but he stayed for months on end when the water came from the stream, and the toilet was "anywhere between here and the sea". Marion died at 103 about three days after my 5th birthday. I don't remember ever meeting her. I met her other daughter, my auntie Janet, when I went up with my dad to take my gran up for the summer a couple of times in the mid to late eighties. After Janet died it was sold. My dad reckons his family have been around there for four or five hundred years.

I know when Glen's wedding is, now - last night I was discussing with people how appropriate it is that it'll be in a distillery - so I know I get to visit Islay soon. Campbelltown, too, most likely, which will be interesting.

During Sunday there was the tech walkthrough on the hill, which involved demonstrating our (hah!) mastery of firemaking skills for gav, so he knows we can actually do it. I was, of course, bricking it because I was sure wasn't prepared, but Amy stuck around (a star, as usual) and after a slight false start we got a blaze going very quickly. People seemed impressed. More practice follows. It was interesting to do it up on the monument in the wind. I'd already been up there for three hours as sunshine turned to cloud to snow and back to sunshine. It was good to get home to the warmth - after picking up 160 pounds of scrap cotton, of course. No rest for the slightly inept.

This new "location" thing's quite nice, isn't it? I wonder if anyone will find it useful?
zotz: (holding forth)
I didn't see Clearlake on Monday. Read more... )

Yesterday I was mostly, courtesy of a friend, looking at photos of a piglet being fired out of a mortar.

Sunday's walk round Calton Hill was good. Read more... )

There's a review here of a new mclusky compilation, either (in a one-disk form) for those of you who haven't yet worked out what the fuss was about or (the three-disk one) for anyone who didn't pick up the singles with "Hymn for crashed cars" or "Dave, stop killing prostitutes" on the back.

Apparently Rainbow is to return to television. Only a couple of days ago someone linked to these Rainbow comic strips (only slightly altered to update the humour), which must have been an omen.

Must remember to play Jääkärinhumppa at Gigantor.

This piece from the Scotsman about the Da Vinci Cod, the Holy Blood and the Wholly Specious, and Rosslyn Chapel is amusing. The bit about giving directions to tourists is particularly good.

[livejournal.com profile] fizzyboot dropped round last night and we played a couple of games of Go.Read more... )

I had a short discussion a few days ago with someone (can't remember who) about band namesRead more... )

I've just had a joiner round to get Ed's front door open. He was a bit sniffy about the quality of the boarding, and asked if I knew who (or, implicitly, "which cowboy") had done it as he didn't regard it as secure enough. He insisted on adding more wood on the other side of the door after he'd fitted a new lock. New door to come too in due course.

A bit of a mess inside, but not as bad as I expected. After a couple of months drying out, the scraps of unfinished food were dry rather than rank. Even the open can of pilchards didn't smell of anything.

A couple of J*h*v*h's Witnesses came round here after I got back. They seemed very nice, but didn't want to talk. Just as well - the place is a mess and I was a bit busy.
zotz: (southpark)
Nothing much has been going on. I've been to the pub a couple of times, gone to see Ed, dropped in on Lara and Seth, had dinner with my folks, and spent money on the car. Ho hum. Ed mentioned a bittorrent/accesscotrol Firefox plugin called Allpeers which is upcoming - anyone actually know more about it than just the publicity? Likely to be much cop?

I tried to help Matt spend money on a car, too, but it didn't quite work out. Still, wandering round dealerships and meeting a real-life secondhand car salesman was interesting. We met fake salesmen too, but it was obvious they weren't real because they weren't obnoxiously pushy.

My watch battery's gone, or my watch is. I'm not sure which, but this also may be expensive. And the clock in the kitchen needs a new battery, so unless I'm sitting here I don't really know what time it is.

Still, the weekend's looking good. Bloco Vomit on Friday (anyone else fancy?), the Gin Palace on Saturday (Gwaaan . . .) and Bauhaus on Sunday. Possibly followed by sprawling around at Neon. Should be good. I've always wanted to be deaf.

I saw this article today and found it amusing :
On the WB TV series "Charmed", Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano, and Holly Marie Combs portray bitches.

They are, however, quick to stress that they prefer the term "Biccans."

I have already mentioned that I'm very easily amused, haven't I?

Someone (presumably their owner) posted these pictures of last year's Beltane on Edinburgers. Points for spotting anyone you know.

The cat's been getting stranger. And I mean it's been gettng stranger to Ren and Stimpy levels. Although she goes outside a lot, I took pity on her recently (what with it being cold and wet at the moment) and put a litter tray in the kitchen. Inevitably, while filling it I spilled a few crumbs of litter (they grey gritty(-kitty) stuff) on the floor. Shortly afterwards she was crouched down sniffing at it, and a bit later I swear she was tucking in. That's one damn strange animal.

I've mentioned to a couple of people an odd dream I had involving a friend (who for obvious reasons will remain nameless, at least here). It startedwith him pointing out a poster in a shop window advertising a particularly OTT model figure (creature, seated) and then moving on to him mentioning, then demonstrating against my complaints and objections, that he had a medication dispenser fitted into his scrotum. Within seconds he was holding a hairy purse-sized container in his hand and prising it open to show a metal medical contraption. While standing out in the street. I hope he's suitably ashamed of his behaviour.

More recently, I had an odd dream about driving around a city which I knew to be Sheffield, but was nothing like the real Sheffield. It had the most amazing - and impractical - modern roads and buildings. Stunning. Later I was helping a friend with her infestation of crab - it was a bit like a robber crab, but not as big - a bit over a foot across - and with rather more than the usual number of legs and claws. At the end, for some reason, it became a much smaller (but still fairly big) furry spider. A lot of it involved trying to carry it out of the house by getting it to grab various sticks and implements with its various appendages. I quite like gettting dreams like that, but it doesn't happen very often. This is as opposed to the previous sort, which I'm glad doesn't happen too often.

Actually, those robber crabs - they're quite impressive, aren't they? And kept as pets, too. There are some odd folk around.
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Well, Samhain was good. Read more... )

I even made work by Tuesday lunchtime, as planned.

Tuesday night was a quiet one in, I think, but Wednesday was our own little postmortem in the Holyrood (the larger general postmortem is on Sunday, I think) and then to the Hoose. Thurday was Cthulhuing at the Saunderses' place. Tonight I'm not sure about. I actually felt like I'd done some work yesterday, as I've managed to extract prices for kit from people. Surprisingly reasonable prices, too - do you know that we can get a really really good stereomicroscope for 15 grand? I still don't have definitive prices for those lightbulbs, though.

I'd also like to draw your attention to this pome by Oliver-Michael and these posts by [livejournal.com profile] anonymouseth.

There's also this remarkable silly subwoofer for any of you that are interested in such things and have a medium-sized castle to put them in.


Oct. 3rd, 2005 01:14 pm
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Oh - I also got a call yesterday from the guy (Martin?)organising the post-Samhuin club. Apparently I'm on before the drum'n'bass, which sounds a lot better than being on after it.
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Keith came round last night, so I was a little late for Cthulhu. I didn't want to kick him out, because I've seen him so rarely since I lost his phone number. I have it again now, so hopefully I'll see him again in the next week or so.

After Moleplaying, I went to the Hoose with my brother. A couple of torchies (Amy and Micah) were there, heavily recommending Black Sun Over Genoa.

Demon have fucked up again. They haven't been taking payment for the last year or so, because they decided to only use my old Cambridge address for the direct debit, and also to get in touch to tell me there was a problem. Of course, they didn't try actually emailing me as well, or anything clever like that, because they're a complete bunch of spanners it isn't company policy. As this has happened before and presumably will happen again . . . who does a decent ADSL, gives out static IP numbers, and ideally has a news server good enough to carry upg?

This scary post of JWZ's doesn't actually contain nudity, but might take some explaining if one of the cattleorkers sees it. Perhaps best to wait until you're at home if this might be a problem.

The Scienceblog is reporting that fishermen in Thailand have netted a catfish in the Mekong that turns the scales at 646 pounds (which is about 295 kilos - about the size of a grizzly bear). There's a photo. It's worth seeing.

Oi Polloi are playing again next week, along with the Gin Goblins. Sounds worth catching. It's a G8-related thing.


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