Wednesday, 29 August 2007
I was at the Bafta screening of Hallam Foe last night, go and see it. Filmed and made in Scotland, it is a powerful and evocative piece of work. I met the producer, Gillian Berrie at the after drinks reception and got a quick snap. Gillian has been the driving force behind several films, not least Red Road and her latest, Hallum Foe is a testament to her boundless energy. The accompanying music is brilliant.
In September of 2005, I was taking some photographs for the Lofi rehearsal studios web site. I heard a really nice sound coming from one of the studios and went in for a wee nosey. A bunch of young guys from Cumbernauld, The Dykeenies were in full flow. They didn't mind me taking a few shots and I knew from that moment on they were destined for greater things. It wasn't long before Sony put pen to paper. They gave me an invite to their first single release at King Tut's which was packed to the rafters and have since done T In The Park and numerous other big name events. I read in the papers today that they did a free gig at the opening of Apple's new flagship store in Glasgow and that their new single Clean Up Your Eyes has topped the Scottish chart. It was the first time i Tunes had recorded a gig in Scotland for sale online. Yes, the boys are well on their way and good luck to them. They are phenomenal.
Monday, 27 August 2007
On Sunday I walked up to the top of "The Dumpling", or Duncryne Hill to use its proper title. Situated at Gartocharn it is an easy walk of half a mile to the top and affords great views over the islands on Loch Lomond. I had earlier in the year made the journey to the top of Ben Lomond, which was looking down on me from a distance. Getting to the top of the "Ben" is an entirely different task than conquering the "Dumpling". Never confuse the two.
Shortly after arriving at the summit, I saw my first Robin of the year. I can't remember seeing one this early, ever! It scoffed a piece of bread and disappeared into the ferns.
Next stop was Balmaha on Loch Lomond. I remember going regularly as an early teenager with my old pals. We would hire a clinker from the boatyard, complete with "Seagull" outboard and take off to the islands for a weekends fishing. The old fleet is still there but I noticed that they now have go faster Mercury machines, Ah! the romance has gone. Some of the old boats still ply the Loch and keep that romance alive, you only have to look at the woodwork and compare the old with the new to see what I am talking about. Right, time to stop talking like "Old Father Time". My wee dog was having trouble tackling the jetty and I had to pick her up on the way back. I thought the warning on the third last board on the jetty was a bit obvious. Surely it wasn't there for that said same obvious reason?
In the car park I spotted some Harley Davidson's parked up. I particularly liked the
customised finishes on one of them. I had a picture in my head of a big rough, tough leather clad biker sitting astride the beast, then I noticed the Sunday paper strapped on the back. Probably a lawyer or university lecturer, not that I have anything against either.
Friday, 24 August 2007
I have always kept fish as I like them. Last week I decided to give them a treat and bought a much bigger tank. They seem to be loving it as my two Japanese Weatherfish, who were almost totally reclusive in the old tank, spend most of their days out and about loafing around on the rocks.
I never go anywhere without a camera as you never know when something unusual might present itself. I was sitting at the traffic lights in Glasgow today when a council truck passed me on the inside. I managed to get this shot off through the windscreen before it turned left. Someone with a sense of humour methinks.
I do a lot of driving around in my job. I can criss cross the country several times a
week in all weather. The other day I passed a field where a large puddle had formed due to the heavy rain. Taking advantage of this were three swans. It looked like they were having a pit stop on the road to somewhere else. I thought it was worth a snap.
Wednesday, 22 August 2007
As a "Bankie", ( one who resides in Clydebank) abandoned shopping trolleys have been a way of life since I was a wee boy. Never before have I ever seen one in such a state. Maybe someone was unhappy with their shopping bill! Mind you, I suppose if you are a shopping trolley, it's a far more glorious end than being chucked in the "Knolly" (Forth and Clyde Canal) that's Bankie speak.
The Playhouse in Edinburgh was the venue for Scottish Ballet last Saturday night. I have to admit it wasn't what I had imagined it was going to be. The first set was accompanied by music from Radiohead, the second set had the performers looking like they were naked but the third was spectacular and far too short in duration. I was really getting into it when it was suddenly all over.
I was very surprised at the lack of people in attendance. There were hundreds of unsold seats but at £ 35.00 a brief, could that have been a factor? All in all, thoroughly entertaining and I would advise anyone to go along.
Saturday, 18 August 2007
On a very dull and overcast Thursday evening, I set off from the Crown Plaza Hotel on the "Cruiser" along with around one hundred Chamber of Commerce members from across the city. We passed through Bell's Bridge, came about and cruised down to the Erskine Bridge and back. It was interesting to get a perspective on all the well known landmarks from the middle of the river.
The only shipyards left are that of BAE Systems. It was clearly evident how technology has moved on in that field as we had minutes earlier passed the tall ship
Glenlee and we then cruised past a couple of the latest design of ships moored alongside the hangers. It was interesting to note however, that the basic shape of the hull from both were still very similar.
The "Titan Crane", on the site of John Brown's shipyard in Clydebank was particularly impressive. It was recently opened up as a visitor attraction and I was annoyed at not being able to attend the ceremony due to a prior engagement. The experience of going to the top is spectacular, so I have been told. I will be going up to see for myself.
The event was hosted by Clyde Waterfront and everyone on board had a great time.
Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Why is it always pouring with rain at the footy? Falkirk's first home game of the season was against last years champions, Celtic. The "Bairns" got off to a flying start after a magnificent header from Michael Higdon left the Celtic keeper no chance with just five minutes on the clock. It took an own goal by Falkirk's Kenny Milne and then his subsequent dubious sending off in the second half to scupper any hopes of a first home win. Nakamura's peach of a free kick saw Celtic go onto a comfortable 1-4 win.
Saturday night at the Grosvenor Hilton, Glasgow proved to be a winner. Nearly £3,500
was raised for the Billy Riordan Memorial Trust. The money will be spent on upgrading
the clinic at Cape Maclear, Chembe village in Malawi.
My old pal Tom Morton was on hand to get the auction going but to his astonishment, a
surprise lot came up for grabs out of the blue. Yes, you could get your hands on an old
album he made way back in 1978 in collaboration with various notable worthies. Guitarist Graeme Duffin of Wet Wet Wet fame being one of them. One lucky bidder got the cream by bidding £100.00. He is seen here with his signed copy, Graeme and Tom. I bought a load of raffle tickets but my luck just wasn't in. A very enjoyable night was had by all.
Friday, 3 August 2007
Anyone who knows me will tell you that gardening is not a hobby of mine. Cutting the grass and hedge is about as far as it goes with me. As a consequence, the back garden is like a jungle for the most part and with loads of strange plants, weeds etc all over
the place it does attract a rich and varied bird and insect population.
I spotted this wee beauty today. I thought it would be more at home in a more tropical
climate as opposed to a back garden in Clydebank. Does anyone know what it is? Is it lost? I must know!
I was working in Ayrshire a few days ago and decided to come back the long way via the coastal route as is was a great day to be out and about.
On leaving Port Glasgow, the cloud formation combined with the height of the sun in the sky produced this spectacular sight.