Thursday, 29 January 2009
I was saddened today to hear of the death of John Martyn.
I know the word legend is often used to describe a person at this time but I'm sure there is no one out there who would disagree that he was among the very few who truly is deserving of that accolade.
From my early teens, I was a fan. I remember buying Solid Air, the title track being a tribute to his close friend, the genius that was Nick Drake who died in 1974.
I was one of the lucky few to hear him play a secret gig at the Bein Inn back in April 2007.
He played the whole of Solid Air to about forty of us. Although it was obvious he was not enjoying the best of health, the twinkle in his eye was self evident and he was clearly enjoying himself. The highlight for me had to be his rendition of May You Never. His mastery of the guitar was quite breathtaking.
Here are a couple of shots from that gig.
Monday, 26 January 2009
I went for a walk on Sunday afternoon and visited the Kibble Palace for a heat.
Now, this notice caught my eye, Killer Plants. Just the job I thought and sure enough, there they were. Very beautiful but sinister at the same time.
The one thing they all had in common was a kind of welcoming bolt hole from the elements but if you were stupid enough to go in, there was no way back.
How better a way to celebrate 250 years of the bard than in the company of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespear......... plus a few of their chums.
The Old Fruitmarket came alive when they hit the stage and with guests such as Edwyn Collins and Bitty McLean on the line up, I can tell you it was some night.
Robert Burns would have loved it.
Monday, 19 January 2009
I was taking photographs of a dress commissioned by Madame Tussaud's for the mannequin of Michelle Obama.
The dress in question was made by Glasgow designer Joyce Young. Joyce runs the highly successful company, By Storm and has fitted out many a superstar in a range of fantastic outfits.
Her latest Tartan Spirit range, takes the use of tartan into the twenty first century.
I remember going to the Art Gallery on school visits and finding the whole experience a bit of a bore.
Well, on Sunday afternoon it was freezing and raining so I went along for a look. The place was jumping and I have to say, it's not the old boring place it used to be. Quite the reverse in fact. It has a very calming feel about it. A cross between a library and an old stately home would be how I would describe it.
Where else can you go to see a Spitfire swooping above elephants and Giraffes ? It is packed full of amazing things to cater for all tastes and ages. Well worth a visit and it's free.
Friday, 9 January 2009
Thursday, 8 January 2009
I have always been fascinated by aircraft. How do they do it? (stay in the air that is)
My house in Clydebank is near the flight path of Glasgow airport and I still find myself
fixated by them. On a clear day you can see just how many of them are flying around. On New Years Eve, I spotted two planes converging, producing the Scotiish Saltire on a walk in the Botanic Gardens, spooky or what?
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Every few years, along come the headlines, "Arctic Conditions Hit The Country" etc.
I don't get it.
What does everyone expect in December and January in the UK, blazing sunshine ? I know it makes conditions difficult but you would think it was some kind of new phenomenon never before experienced.
I found these old coloured slides of my late mother, sister and me on a frozen Loch Lomond way back in 1962. I remember it vividly and thought it was magical. Check out my grannies hand knitted balaclava, brilliant!
In fact balaclava's are so good that even the Arctic Monkeys, for obvious reasons, have written a tune about them.
I was working on the local papers the last time the Loch froze solid, it must have been around 1980. Whilst taking photographs of children playing next to the hull of the completely ice locked " Maid of the Loch", I noticed a motorbike way in the distance coming straight for where I was standing. It was the chef from the Ardlui Hotel at the top of the loch. He had ridden his bike all the way down on top of the ice. I'll bet there are not a lot of people who have ever done that.
Compared to those two winters, I would say it is quite mild in comparison.
It's now 2009, what happened to 2008?
I spent my New Year in Helensburgh. It was a quiet affair at home, that was after my two sons decided to go out partying at about 11.00pm.
Up until then, the house was invaded by around ten of tomorrows "captains of industry" who all seemed hell bent on having a good time. It was never like that in my day!
I joined my old pal Iain and his good lady Marion after the bells for a few quiet drams
and got back about 2.30 am to find the house had again been invaded by now, the same totally unintelligible young men.
Here is a photo of some of them before they went off. Nice bunch of chaps, what!