Welcome to the Burd’z flutter on Friday. Nowt to do with betting, sorry to disappoint. But a regular post to set your Friday aflutter if the start to the weekend is all seeming a bit flat. The theme? Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue….
I’m a big music fan. A regular follower of several excellent music blogs. I only download authorised free tracks and usually follow up with a purchase or ten. The recent meltdown of my external hard drive and the loss of thousands of choons has resolved my determination to go back to independent record stores and to buy tangible stuff. Oh, and I still intend to get my turntable down from the loft and back into operation. I only made the resolution at New Year……
So something to get the weekend started, an old familiar, a track that never fails to lift my spirits or make me smile. You can’t play it here – not getting into that malarkey, all far too complicated – but follow this link to a bona fides video clip. Oh, and you could do worse than mosey along to the Picture House in Edinburgh on Wednesday to see the great man perform in person.
….. Something new
There’s so much good new music coming out of Scotland these days where to begin? And while noisy guitar bands predominate, the base is increasingly diverse and remarkably accomplished. Occasionally we can be guilty of over-hyping the next big thing, but I think everyone has called it dead right with Mitchell Museum. The night I bought the album it played til midnight. It still gets regular full airings. And their set at the Wickerman Festival this year was a real highlight. Oh, and bless, the boys even tried to help the burd resolve her hard drive problems by tweeting their followers. Visit their website to listen to some tracks off the debut album – I especially recommend Mission 1 – and then go buy it!
I read. A lot. The eyre is full of books. I have gradually weaned myself off a very expensive book buying habit by rediscovering my local library. And visiting charity shops. And borrowing others’ books, though just as happy to lend mine out.
This summer, I dug out a special edition of Raymond Chandler’s the Big Sleep (reissued in the original UK hardback cover to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death), bought originally as a gift for an as yet unintended recipient, and promptly gave it to myself. I think it is the third time I’ve read it and each time I find lines that take my breath away, that I missed last time round. In a single sparse phrase, Chandler can capture a location, describe a setting, portray a character, convey a mood or change the pace in ways that we mortals can only ever dream of. There’d be worse characters to spend this weekend with than Philip Marlowe.
“It was raining again the next morning, a slanting grey rain like a swung curtain of crystal beads. I got up feeling sluggish and tired and stood looking out of the windows, with a dark harsh taste of Sternwoods still in my mouth. I was as empty of life as a scarecrow’s pockets. I went out to the kitchenette and drank two cups of black coffee. You can have a hangover from other things than alcohol. I had one from women. Women made me sick.”
…. something blue
My life, as a slant of rain on the grey earth fields is gathered in thirsty silence, disappears. I cannot even guess the roots, but feel them sighing in the stir of the soil I die to. Let this rain be on the children of my heart, I have no other ones.
On the generations, on the packed cells and dreaming shoots, the untried hopes, the waiting good, I send this drop to melt.
The Sheaf, Edwin Morgan
I guess we’re all feeling a little blue this Friday. It’s not often Scotland buries one legend and mourns the passing of another. Both Jimmy Reid and Edwin Morgan were inspirational figures whose wonderful talents speak for themselves. RIP.
“To unleash the latent potential of our people requires that we give them responsibility. The untapped resources of the North Sea are as nothing compared to the untapped resources of our people, I am convinced that the great mass of our people go through life without even a glimmer of what they could have contributed to their fellow human beings. This is a personal tragedy. It’s a social crime. The flowering of each individual’s personality and talents is the pre-condition for everyone’s development.” excerpt from Alienation, Jimmy Reid’s acceptance speech on becoming Rector of Glasgow University