Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Rows Arenae All Bad

If you've been hangin wi the same person since the days Bobby Gillespie played drums for the Jesus and Mary Chain, you're gonna have the odd day when you run outta decent stuff to say and end up havin a big old row about bugger all. Such was Friday. One minute we were debating rice or naan, the next we were hissing abuse over tarka dal. A less than half scranned curry was abandoned and soon we headed in different directions to get pished alone. This was a bit gash.

But the upside is that waking on Saturday morn, we both knew a bit of effort was required.

Pausing briefly to gulp coffee and alka seltzer, we were out the hoose and up the toon by the back of 9. We hit Henderson's for a spot of Breakfast With Burns - a wee taster for 3 Burns related shows at the Hanover Street veggie restaurant, with brekky chucked in for free. The shows in question are John Cairney's one man recounting of tales and poems of and by Burns (very funny judging by the wee bit we got); Loving Burns, which is Alicia Devine's vision of Burns through the eyes of some of the women in his life; and 18th century music on geetar and funny shaped recorders by John Sampson and Stewart Hanratty.

All good stuff after which me and the lemon were mos def talking and laughing again. Oh, and we met Elph in Henderson's (one of us is stalkin the other, i'm sure of it). He reminded us about Rough Cut Nation at the National Portrait Gallery, to which i'll take my camera. Elph is also gonna be working on a piece live at this Saturday's Festival Headspin (11-5 at the Bongo Club). That's gonna be a cracker of a night.

But back to last Sat. Heading back down the Walk stoatin round a few charity shops, we picked up a groovy 60's/70's retro mirror for a mere 3 quid. Result, though when we got it home, our hearts sank a tinge at the sight of an IKEA sticker on the back. Ho hum, looks no bad even though awkunt else in Scotland has one just like it.

So how to fill our Saturday afternoon? Pittenweem Arts Festival. Pittenweem's one of many old villages strewn along the East Neuk of Fife from Elie to St Andrews (that's my definition, sure others would argue). They used to land fish and build ships all along this coast. Now they mainly play golf, sell fish (fine for pescatarians, bit pish for the likes o me), cater for lucky tourists (very picture skew) and play home to an unlikely number of musicians and artists (it's that quality of the light, dahlings). The Beta Band were born round here and the Fence Collective still do it in these parts.

Pittenweem is unlike anything i've ever been at. Every second or third home, shop, garage, church hall is turned into a wee gallery, crammed with original visual arty bits by local and international painters, sculptors, embroiderists (?) and jewellers. It's magic. You get to talk to the artists, ask them about their work, tell them when you don't get it, tell them when you do get it, haggle bout the prices, comment on their beard etcetra. Cos it's gettin close to ma birthday, Mand was felling mighty generous and dug deep to buy me 2 signed postcards (2 quid a pop). Framed originals were a bit out of our current league. I tried that line bout the artists bein old and lookin like they'll peg it soon at which point their works'll rocket in price. But I was reminded that i'm neither an ageist nor a capitalist so told to shut ma geggie and be done wi the cards. Which was fair enough.

Pittenweem Arts Festival is on til the 9th of Aug and well worth a deek if yer in the area. One of the artists showing is Graeme Murray. I was at Primary School with Graeme, met him for the first time in years at a wedding a few weeks back and bumped into him again on Sat, this time whilst viewing paintings in his own home. Now that was weird.


  1. embroiderers...thats what i call myself when i remember to pick up a needle. i have to say for someone that spent most of the last year teaching english, i had a lot of trouble spelling that!

  2. Glad you dig the barry baffies, Montague. Sartorial splendour was my forte in the 80's.

    J, of course. Thank you. What was i thinkin about? It's clearly embroiderers who indulge in embroiderism. If you're partial to embroiderism, you'd have a ball in Pittenweem at this time of year. I always have trouble spelling jewellery but can honestly claim to have never taught English.

  3. Naldo, you sell yourself short.
    I would say that you have often pointed out a misused apostrophe, misspelled word or the correct use of a metaphor. If that doesn't make you a teacher of English, I don't know what does.

  4. That Guy in the photo looks like a young Duncan Ballantyne in a 60's version of Dragons Den !

  5. Al, kind words but there's a fine line tween pedantry and pedagoguery and i've been kent to cross it.

    P, the shabby furniture and grumpy demeanour have confused you. It was mos def his ma's 70's furniture pictured in the 80's and he was merely hungover, not scheming up ways to make big bucks from other peeps' ideas.

  6. Yeah I have anaw, quite often in fact. The difference is I didn't know that's what I was doing - I just had to look pedagoguery up the dictionary. Therefore you continue to educate, thank you.