…are what all folk songs are usually about, but topics for beautiful melodies can also include manure and cabbages, or so I learnt recently.
On Friday, I had the great pleasure of hearing Julie Fowlis and her band play at the Bury Met. The support act is best forgotten – suffice to say I was delighted when they were told they were “out of time” about twenty minutes into their set. I don’t think they’ll be invited back to the Met in a hurry (at least, I fervently hope not).
This tour is promoting Julie’s second album, Cuilidh. Like her first album (Mar a Tha Mo Chridhe), Julie has researched and selected traditional tunes from her native Uist, giving a glimpse of otherwise obscure works from an oral tradition to a wide (and ever-growing, with all her great reviews) audience. The artists worked so very well together – they weren’t just doing a gig, they were having fun, clearly enjoying every minute. They had apparently had trouble on the roads getting up here from their London gig the previous day, arriving at about a quarter to eight after a seven-hour journey – goodness knows how they managed to sound so fresh and alert, then! I shall be going for a second helping when they play in Sale in a week or so.
Two tracks from each of her albums can be heard on Julie’s MySpace page.
And yes, apparently some of the songs sung during the concert, while sounding romantic, were in fact about spreading manure on the garden and other such prosaic activities.
Yes! Thank goodness for them all – each and every unelected one of them.
A Manchester MP – Tony Lloyd, claims that voting against the casino would be a “vote against Manchester”. I beg to disagree. Do we not already have enough knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing morons infesting the place? Why try and attract more?
“My city and my constituency is [sic] still one of the poorest parts of this country”, says the MP. So of course, I suppose he believes the casino would make people richer? I’m sure it would make a hell of a lot of money, but it would all be taken from the pockets of his constituents – not put into them.
I applaud the decision of the Lords. If the so-called super-casino were ever to become a reality, Tony Lloyd’s constituents and city would be all the poorer – culturally, financially and spiritually.
I am proud to be able to say that I am no longer a patron of Tesco’s supermarkets. The many reasons why this is an excellent idea are detailed at Tescopoly. I was increasingly fed up with all the packaging, the terrible effects on British farming and dairies, and the fact that so much produce is flown in from far and wide.
Why buy New Zealand lamb? Really – what’s the point? I buy superb quality lamb born and reared not 20 miles from my front door. Why buy apples imported from Italy, the USA and from all other points of the compass, when our own traditional apple growing businesses should be supported?
I now exclusively shop at independent, small farming businesses, markets and cooperatives, and I urge everyone else to do the same – you may be surprised at the lack of extra expense. Now I’m doing better “home economics” with buying a big joint of meat and making it last for the best part of a week (including the bones, for stock), my grocery bill has actually gone down. Fresh veg from local producers, in particular, is both better and cheaper than the insipid, over-packaged supermarket veg (the varieties of which are chosen for their longevity on the shelf rather than for any considerations of taste).
I will doubtless revisit this topic, but for the time being, here are some recommendations for food shopping in the Manchester area:
Finding good quality sources for food is a piece of cake – look at the Big Barn website for a searchable database.
Predictably enough, money continues to rule the roost in our public “services”. Royal Mail want to close 10,000 (yes – ten thousand) post offices.
What do they mean by this? Do they mean they will still be able to provide just enough of a service to say that this country still has some semblance of a postal system? Or is “viable” here meant to mean that those at the top of the postal tree continue to get earn massive salaries? If the post office is in such dire financial straits that such cutbacks are necessary, why is Adam Crozier, the Royal Mail chief, on a salary of
Oh so close to a Darwin award:
Man has internal injuries after trying to launch a firework rocket…from his bottom.
The Jerry Springer Opera is still touring and drawing condemnation from ignorant bigots. Happily, people seem to be organising amusing counter-protests too, just like we did in Manchester a while back. Here’s a report from Norwich.
I love this story. While clearly a tremendously unfair (not to mention odd) way to settle something so serious, I find it inordinately pleasing that in 2006, an election can be decided by who picks the longest pencil. What deranged genius thought up that idea? Is it a hoax by some prankster at the BBC?
A man was sitting at home one evening, when the doorbell rang. When he answered the door, a 6 foot tall cockroach was standing there. The cockroach immediately punched him between the eyes and scampered off.
The next evening, the man was sitting at home when the doorbell rang again. When he answered the door, the cockroach was there again. This time, it punched him, kicked him and karate chopped him before running away.
The third evening, the man was sitting at home when the doorbell rang. When he answered the door, the cockroach was there yet again. It leapt at him and stabbed him several times before running off. The gravely injured man managed to crawl to the telephone and summoned an ambulance. He was rushed to intensive care, where they saved his life. The next morning, the doctor was doing his rounds. He asked the man what happened, so the man explained about the 6 foot cockroach’s attacks, culminating in the near fatal stabbing.
The doctor thought for a moment and said,
“Yes, there’s a nasty bug going around.”
More on Monday’s festivities at Mediawatch Watch, in the Manchester Evening News (sans photo de moi, the buggers, but with some amusingly-wide-of-the-mark comments), plus a report from the anti-protest protest organiser, Mike Landers. And more photos here.
Oh, and we were filmed by Channel M!
No – me neither.
I joined in with the counter-protest against the religious zealots at the Manchester first night of the Jerry Springer Opera. There were perhaps half a dozen Christian protestors, and 20 or so of us counter-protestors. All went swimmingly, although we were initially concerned that no Xtians would turn up at all! Everything was high-spirited, with songs sung and chants chanted. The theatregoers all laughed and shouted their encouragement, even though the few zealots were telling them that they would burn in hell (I’m not making it up – that’s what some of the punters told us).
flaneur AT flanerie.co.uk
- Pavel and I by Dan Vyleta
- Clear Waters Rising: A Mountain Walk Across Europe by Nicholas Crane
- Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore
- Age of Extremes : The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991 by E.J. Hobsbawm
- Das Reich: The March of the 2nd Panzer Division Through France, 1944 by Max Hastings
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein
The Quincunx: The Inheritance of John Huffam by Charles Palliser
- The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
- Paperweight by Stephen Fry
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
- A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
- Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
- April 2007
- March 2007
- December 2006
- November 2006
- May 2006
- April 2006
- March 2006
- February 2006
- January 2006
- December 2005
- November 2005
- October 2005
- September 2005
- August 2005
- July 2005
- June 2005
- May 2005
- April 2005
- March 2005
- February 2005
- January 2005
- December 2004
- November 2004
- October 2004
- September 2004
- August 2004
- July 2004
- June 2004
- May 2004
- April 2004
- March 2004
- February 2004
- January 2004
- December 2003
- November 2003
- October 2003
- September 2003
- August 2003
- July 2003
- June 2003
- May 2003
- April 2003
- March 2003