Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Gas Cooker Rocks

Got in last night after a no so barry shift on the phones - try callin up random cats to ask their views on the NHS while Barca v. Chelsea's on the telly, it's tricky. So i fancied a spot o telly masel and was mildly chuffed to see that after Newsnight, beeb2 had the snooker on. I've been keen on the old gas cooker since the mid 70's when all you got on telly was Pot Black and the odd clip o the world champs, often viewed on a wee b&w portable in ma bedroom. Around this time i was oft to be seen skulkin around the shadowy bits (they were all shadowy) of Manse Road snooker hall in Corstorphine - a true anachronism which, even in the long hot summer of 76, felt strangely monochromatic.

Anyway, interest for me probly reached a peak when Alex Higgins won the title for the second (and final) time in 1982. The Hurricane had previously won it in 72 but i was a right nipper then and didnae really notice. It's kinda been downhill since then with the occassional exception of some Whirlwind action from Jimmy White and of course, all those big tourney wins by local lad and Jambo Mr Stephen Hendry.

Hendry was never the most excitin player to watch but last night reminded me of what watchin top notch sports peeps is all about - sometimes they do things that make the rest of us feel like the dobbers we are. Check this out and tell me you wouldnae be shittin yer pants by the end if you didnae ken what was gonna happen. Must say that £147k for 10 mins work is more than a tad excessive. In fact it's obscene but hey, such is modern life.

And at least naekunt said "You're fired."

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Jenners v The Clash

The wedding of the year takes place a week on Saturday. This is mainly a right good thing: Giz and Ali (barry peeps the pair and clearly right for each other) will plight their troths, plus 2 vaguely overlapping gangs o gadgies and 2 separate families will welto it up together for the very first time. It's gonna be a belter o a day.

However, there is one wee downside to this - viz. i've been dragged round the shops for days on end seekin an outfit for my beloved to don on the day. If there's one thing i cannae stand (in truth there are hunners) it's shoppin (fitba!) for stuff other than books, tunes, food or bevvy. And if there's one thing slightly worse than that, it's shoppin (fitba!) for stuff for someone else.

This aftie's instalment took us to Jenners - the grande old dame of Princes Street (pass the boak poke!) Jenners is the very apex of consumerist Embra so i'm supposed to abhor the place. But to be fair, it's got a great toy department and erm....i've been known to sneak in at sale time for the odd hypocritical bitta Smedley, Penguin or Fred Perry. Twould be well cheeky to be too hard on the place. (Oh, and Giz used to work there, teehee!)

So aye, Jenners exists and has its uses but one of these is mos def not to play good tunes. Thus i was fair flummoxed the day to hear Rock The Casbah blastin out the gents dept. This is not the way it should be. Who asked Topper Headon if his best penned tune could be used to flog fashion? What's goin on when i'm diggin the sounds in a gaff like that? Have i joined their target demographic or sumfink? jist wisnae right so we nashed upstairs to the burdz bit to be hit with a spotta Coldplay. Much more like it - dirivitive, tory loving jobbies is what i expect to hear in the shops and ensures there'll be nae unnecessary hingin aboot from either me or Mand. Which has just reminded me - took a bit more time than strictly required to get the hell outta French Connection tother day (Mand draged aes in again, honest guv) cos they were playin somethin sung by Elizabeth Fraser. Didnae even recognise the song.

Those demographic targetters clearly ken things i'll never know. Which is scary.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Cheese Costs 50p

As a confirmed Euroscot, i've long favoured dumpin the pound to jump on board the Euro express. Gogs Broon's 5 key tests were an obfuscation for a decision that the government clearly never had the cojones to take. And let's be frank, it's a shite state of affairs that we have to pay commission to the banks and their pals any old time we can afford to splash cash in Ireland, France, Spain, Slovakia etc.

England's apparent attachment to its queen on the notes is one of the ways in which opinions in Scotland diverge from those elsewhere on this group of islands. Seems like we'll never get the Euro til we get independence. But that's really no the point right here, right now.

As i was reminded last night in the pub (Victoria Bar, Leith Walk: bit pricey, bit poncey, patchy tunes but i'm a sucker for those soft furnishings), cheese has, does and always will cost 50p. Some folks find this hard to get their heid roond but it's a very simple concept. (To be fair, before 15/02/71 cheese cost 10 bob but maist cats alive dinnae even mind the 74 World Cup so it's no a big issue.) Under my preferred state of affairs, cheese would suddenly cost 56.66 Eurocents which, no matter how it's dressed up just aint as catchy as the pounds and pence version. That's bound to be a hard sell to the skeptics.

So, my solution: independence now or ditch those 5 key tests ( i think they were chucked long ago but no-one's ever told me so) and adopt a simple round cheese/Euro rule. I'm no central banker but currency markets are up and down affairs and it cannae be long til the cheese is worth a rounder number than 56.66. Whether it's 50, 60, 70 or 40, on the day that the cheese/Euro ratio is divisible by 10, let's cut the crap and have it.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Bubbye Sunshine

The pic above shows Palolem beach, Colomb bay (beaches need sand to be called a beach - Brighton may be havin a laugh but it sure aint got a beach) and the very north end of Patnem beach at the bottom of the shot. Last Friday i woke up in Patnem beach and by Saturday afternoon was at a stag do in Peebles.

Modern transport's a wonderful thing (baby) cos it really can get you from one place to another awfy awfy sharp. However, it also burns a lotta petrol which i'm lead to believe helps screw up the world's weather. This isnae good.

On a personal level, there's also the downside of that thang called jetlag. This sensation appears to be exacerbated by going straight from Patnem to Dabolim to Bombay to London to Embra to Leith (for a quick shower and change o scants) to Peebles (for said stag bash) to the Phoenix (for traditional Sunday sesh action) til closin time with only 5 hours kip.

My heid is now officially up ma erse. Sideways. Great stag tho and shooge shout out to Seony for the lift from Embra to Leith to Peebles. I may feel like a paper bag o pish but it's good to be home. Scotland i love you (and to be fair, the sun shone all weekend in Peebles, cept when twas dark natch).

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Thon Barbara Woodehouse used to get right on ma diddies and i kinda struggled to tell the difference tween her and Mary Whitehouse. This was probs just an aversion to affirmative, plummy spoken English women, which was nae doots down to my erm....feeelings for the Thatcher woman. Truth is tho, that Babs wiz into dogs so she gets my vote big time.

Over the last 3 months, our wee pal Roxy has been a constant source of soundness - always pleased to see me an Mand and right up for barkin should a stranger come calling. Goa has an extremely low crime rate by Embra standards but thefts in the night (generally perpetrated by westerners on other westerners) are not at all uncommon. The best thing tho has been long morning walks along Patnem and Rajbag beaches to the Talpona river. Roxy and her chums right dig chasing birds along the shoreline - full pelt for a coupla hundred yards then a nonchalent, almost Gallic shrug when the bird wheels out to sea and the dugs pretend they werenae that bothered anyway. (Oh-oh, that's more anthropomorphic than a stupid Disney cartoon or sumfink.)

All we had to do was feed her, deflea her and show her a bitta love and attention - usually just by bein around a bit and ticklin her belly or some such stuff. If life at home was differently arranged, i'd have a dog there too but that aint happenin any time soon cos i'm no really intae coopin up a beast all day in a tenement - that's nae life ataw in ma book.

Anyway, my point? Dugs are barry, they get ye out yer pit early doors (back o 7 most days here), keep you a bit fitter than you woulda been and give back all the love and time you put into them. Roxy'll be back to the hills wi Raju in a few days, havin a rare old time chasin rabbits instead o birds. She'll be fine without us and we'll just have to get over missin her til we're back here next season. Bring that on.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

The Sash My Landlord Wore

In 1985, me and ma pal, Bunty, went to Kreuzberg in Berlin cos that's where Bowie hung out whilst making his best records. We fondly expected to end up sipping Turkish coffee wi Dave, Eno and Iggy (this was extremely naive cos by '85, Bowie had entirely lost the plot) but most bizarrely, all we stumbled on was a German oompah stylee Orange parade. Seriously: no flutes, no lambegs, no accordions, just big brass instruments, orange sashes and a banner of King Billy on his white charger - all making lotsa noise and scaring the locals in a predominantly immigrant part of town.

Thankfully, i've no yet come across drunken loyal orange oafs in India. But i was at a Shigmo parade tother night which featured among other barry radgeness orange turbans, vast bangin drums and flowing silk sashes. These sashes were worn round the waist and of varied hues including pink, blue, green and yellow. There may have been other colours, i wisnae really payin attention. Anyway, my landlord, the super-chilled Mr Sarvesh Komarpants (aka Bhole), wore a pink sash and was part of a cool wee stick dance troupe which scooped a prize for best performance of the night.

Bhole's possibly the most relaxed man in the most relaxed place i've ever been - Goans take it awfy awfy easy. But on Shigmo night he and his chums were givin it nantas and to my untutored peepers, fully deserved their prize. Goin by the nick of my man the next day (strictly hammock bound til nightfall) i suspect the cash prize was mainly spent on fenny. By the way, Bhole's on the left of the 2 geezers in the middle o the pic above.

Great night out, lovely man. Sheesh i'm gonna miss this place.