In memoriam – Neil Armstrong

“For those who may ask what they can do to honour Neil, we have a simple request. Honour his example of service, accomplishment and modesty and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”



Remembering Roy

Roy Buchanan died 27 years ago today, yet his music lives.


Scots Scriever – Baws

If it’s not enough that public money is wasted here in Scotland supporting Gaelic, a language spoken by less than 60,000 people – more residents speak Polish – we have a second dead “language” being promoted. Creative Scotland and the National Library have appointed one Hamish MacDonald as the Scots “Scriever” with the aims of writing new literary works in Scots and engaging the public in the “language.”

That’s really nice work. The post attracts a salary, publicly funded, to the tune of £50,000. The residency is for “a period of two years, based at the National Library of Scotland, with an approximate engagement of one week per month throughout that time.” Tasty! That’s £50K for 6 months work, or £8,333 per month. Really good going Hamish and so soon after the publication of Creative Scotland’s Scot’s Language Policy.

Shame it’s not a real job. Or a real language. Examples?

Mr MacDonald said: “I am delighted tae be offered the new an vitally important role as Scots Scriever wae the National Library of Scotland. I luik forwart tae workin wae communities throughoot Scotland in gie’in voice tae this vibrant language which, whether spoken or written, deserves tae be celebrated everywhere.”

From the Scots Language Policy:  “Scots Scriever: In pairtnership wi the Naitional Library o Scotlan, we will fund thegither the foondin o the furst Scots Scriever – somebodie weelkent, rootit in Scots, wi the joab o wurkin wi the cultural sector, folk in toons, an – in parteecular – the scuils athort Scotlan tae bigg up awaurness, kennin aboot an yaise o Scots. This joab will gan alang wi the Scots language policie wurk o Education Scotlan an aw, in wurkin wi thir Scots language co-ordinators.”

“Tae ken mair on Creative Scotlan’s Scots Leid Policie an oor wurk tae support Scots an Gaelic, please contack.”

That’s not a language, at best it’s a dialect. As confirmed by the policy document itself. How can you describe four or morw dialects as a coherent language. You can’t.

“A note on Scots dialects and the translation of this policy:

There are four main dialect regions of the Scots language, and many other sub-dialects within them, all of which are valid and acceptable means of communication in Scots.

Creative Scotland have chosen to translate and publish these materials in Central Scots, as it is the dialect of Scots spoken, read and/or understood by the largest number of speakers in Scotland, covering geographically the largest population base in Scotland. However, Scots has not been standardised, nor has it been used widely as the language of formal policy so there are many shared Scots/English vocabulary items that have been used by the translator in making this document as widely acceptable as possible.”

In reality “Scots” is simply bastardised  English with appalling spelling. The above “equal validity” nonsense is frankly embarrassing.


A beautiful Daxi! One day.


Mission achieved


Well, this year of the big save has not gone quite as smoothly as I would have liked. The financial vicissitudes of the past nine months have meant my new saving was rather short of the desired target. The main cause was a weakness, once again, for watches which caused resulted in financial recklessness, buying too many books, both electronic and physical also contributed. I suppose there are worse items to “waste” money on.

The good news however, is that enough has been saved with assistance from the long term savings to put a good dent in my mortgage, which comes to an end in September. Before I renew for another fixed term, I’ll be able to splat it. Whether it’s a wise use of savings or not, is an interesting question. One could retain them for a rainy day, one could head off and buy a lovely new watch with low depreciation or even moderate appreciation and possibly make some money when selling it in the future. Interest rates are the key consideration. Currently being so low but about to rise, so they say, it seems to me to be the best, most sensible, if incredibly dull option to pay off a chunk of my one debt.


Seeing it visually helps. This line chart shows in the last three years, how the remaining balance on my outstanding mortgage has halved. That big leap downwards at the end is the effect of applying the big splat. This is the joy of a simple repayment mortgage, once you get over the interest hump at the beginning of the loan, the remainder quickly diminishes.

The ultimate intention is to get shot of the damned thing as quickly as possible, hopefully within 3 or 4 years which would mean that it’s paid about five years ahead of schedule. I dream, speaking entirely selfishly, that on the day after I make my final mortgage payment, the then Chancellor will regrettably announce a massive interest rate rise. One should have dreams, and if they’re based on a solid reality so much the better. Being mortgage or debt free “’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished!”

Catalinbread Topanga

Let’s segue from Hendrix to Bond with Howard from Catalinbread and the Topanga spring reverb! Outstanding!

Death List – George Cole


Sad to see George Cole pass on – I never really watched Minder but he was brilliant in the 60s films, particularly the St. Trinians.

Kids Company

Looks like it’s curtains for Camilla Batshitcrazyidjh.