Ooh it’s been a long week.
The burd has worked double the hours she oughta, and slept only half as much as she needed to. I’m absolutely puggled. So what better way to celebrate the start of the weekend than to look out the dancing shoes for a shimmy round the sofa. I hope you’ll join me.
In fact, wouldn’t it be fabulous if the Scottish government decreed the last Friday in the month dancing night and village halls, community centres, pubs and clubs could put on dance nights for the nation? For folk of all ages, from the very young to the very old. Pleasant light exercise for all. Cheap and cheerful. Fun and frolicsome.
A A Bondy – I can see the pines are dancing
the Raveonettes – Last Dance
This band are nearly new; fortunately the track is brand new.
Orphan Boy were once tipped for the top but somehow they got lost on the climb. They took a couple of years out, regrouped and I for one am glad they did. Their new album has been playing a lot as I’ve been burning the midnight oil. They deserve a second chance and on this evidence will probably get it. Enjoy.
The burd is homeward bound and heading for the first time ever, I am ashamed to say, to the Wigtown Book Festival. To soak up the atmosphere, allow time to stand still, down a few beers, and maybe even attend an event or two. So who better to get me in the mood for the Machars than the area’s greatest living export and poet, Alastair Reid. I’ve met him a few times – he won’t remember – and he is a truly fascinating character, a real global itinerant, like so many from these parts. His translations are wonderful but at last, his own work is gaining in stature and recognition.
“…Face it. Curiosity
will not cause us to die –
only lack of it will.
Never to want to see
the other side of the hill
or that improbable country
where living is an idyll
(although a probable hell)
would kill us all.
Only the curious
have, if they live, a tale
worth telling at all.”
If ever you feel down about living in Scotland, remember how much worse it could be.
It is Banned Books week in the USA which celebrates the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. (Though at least they have a written constitution….) The week spotlights actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States. And there have been and continue to be many. Parents may wish to note that Harry Potter and the Twilight series are subject to current attention…. maybe not such a bad thing after all?!
Seriously though, over the years, attempts have been made, some of them occasionally successful, to ban all of these: the Great Gatsby; Catcher in the Rye; the Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird; the Colour Purple; Ulysses; Of Mice and Men; 1984; Catch-22; Brave New World; The Sun also Rises; Beloved; As I lay Dying; the Naked and the Dead; Rabbit, Run; Slaughterhouse Five; and For Whom the Bell Tolls. There are many more, not necessarily banned in the US, to be fair.
What a blue world it would be indeed without books. Particularly these classics. So if you find yourself at a low ebb and a loose end this weekend, spend some time with a banned book. And rejoice in sticking it to reactionaries everywhere.