ohn Watt & Davie Stewart, in the dance hall at the first festival – 1974. © Peter Fairbairn, Kilmaurs
It was the annual Girvan Folk Festival at the weekend and by all accounts a good time was had all around. While I did not attend any of the two dozen or so events I do live in the very heart of the town of Girvan and this meant I was within earshot of most of the pubs and hotels which hosted the groups and bands playing their music and teaching others the skills of folk. This was the thirty ninth festival, tinged with a hint of sadness as the instigator of the festivals Bobby Robb died last year.
In the Roxy Beer Garden 2013. © Tog Porter – Wigwam Photography
While it is no secret that Girvan has suffered in the current recession I was proud of the way that the town managed to bring in a couple of thousand visitors over a weekend and take good care of them. This despite the diminishing in facilities in the town (don’t get me started on politics!) and weather that was thankfully mild but dull and rainy. Listening to the music gave me free entertainment and some joy too. It is always good to hear people having fun (my neighbours got married at the weekend too) and while I got little sleep on Saturday night I lay awake with a smile on my face while the guitars played away the wee hours.
I have heard a rumour that some people complained about the charge for a weekend in secure parking and camping in the town. This charge being to turn away those not interested in the festival and for security, including a police presence, to keep families and others safe. I personally think that about 35.00GBP for a family of four for a weekend pitch during an event is perfectly fine but some did not. The security was needed after the activities of some ‘people’ (and I use the term loosely…cretins would be more accurate) last year and some property damage. There was no trouble this year that I am aware of.
If you have an interest in Folk Music check out the website for the festival and even if you don’t do it anyway as it is worth five minutes to see all the pictures.
Perhaps my schedule will allow me to attend some of the gigs next year for the big fortieth festival in 2014.
Well done Girvan!
My eldest son got another ‘senior student’ badge today from his school. Those who follow this blog might remember he also got this badge back in September last year. Getting it twice in a year seems to be something of an achievement. The badge has no meaning in terms of school work in class its a citizenship type award instead; being given instead for aiding others in school life. I will not go into details but the lad often assists other pupils who have medical or social needs beyond the norm and it goes with his caring and responsible nature. As normal he will accept no praise so a five pound note left in his pocket this evening will do the work for me.
Tonight is also the bi-annual parents evening at the school, so perhaps he will score big twice this week. Or even three times since the ‘star awards’ are middle of this week and he may make the grade there too.
Well done son!
At the age of eighty seven Britain’s longest serving and only female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died peacefully after a stroke this morning. While I do not discuss politics typically I could not allow the death of the ‘Iron Lady’ pass without comment here.
As a baby born in 1979 I lived my first eleven years with Margaret Thatcher as the leader of the nation and even now I remember being very confused when she stepped down as I could not imagine her not being in charge! If you agree with her political choices or you don’t it cannot be denied that she had a bigger impact on Britain than almost anyone else in the 20th century. She was involved closely with the end of the Cold War and oversaw the re-taking of the illegally seized Falkland Islands too. She broke the power of the Trade Unions and resisted the increase in UK integration with Europe too. It is fair to say that although I admire her I am in a minority in Scotland where she is disliked or more by many even to this day.
How will history judge the Iron Lady? Time will tell but I personally think that she will be remembered in the positive overall.
For the full story and links to videos from those who knew or were influenced by her visit the BBC News page.
Well the date has been announced. The date which will see a vote here in Scotland over whither or not we remain part of the United Kingdom or become once again a separate sovereign nation. On the Eighteenth of September Twenty Fourteen so about a year and a half from today.
I am not political and I am not a great believer in politicians either but this is more than a policy choice or party spin this is likely to be the most important vote I will ever cast and so to that end I am going to keep a distant eye on the campaign as it moves on. The ‘Yes’ and the ‘No’ sides and as the date approaches I will focus more on it.
There are many questions to be asked and I have no fixed opinion myself as of today. Am I in favour of Independence? Time will tell.
The Swag of the Day!
Its me birthday today…Huzzah! Its also been a long week of many things the future will show, hence the lack of blog postings and updates.
Thanks to all who gave me a gift. Not only a physical object but also their time, for the emails, phone calls and also visits in person. Above you can see some of what I received including several graphic art books and DVD’s too. I may do a posting or two on some of these but they are all smashing great objects which will keep me ‘nerding’ for many hours over the coming weeks. You will also see a polo shirt behind everything else. This is a staff shirt from my local hostelry the ‘Roxy’. They adore me so much they gave me a uniform so that I might work for them…but the 15mm.co.uk shirt I currently wear would have to be prised off with a white metal crowbar first!
Special mention to my best buddy Jim Brittain who took several days off his work to come and stay here with me in Girvan for my birthday weekend. Also Eve Hallow who amused all with the scratching of his long nails on every chalkboard he could find. Also my Good Lady who organised not only a rousing cheer or two but also a cake and other surprises.
Normal service resumed soon!
p.s. I am 34 today in case the title is somewhat confusing in this posting.
What a magnetic kid!
Coming home from school today the oldest of my three sons, the Thinker, presented to me his beloved father the latest example of his achievement at school. A metallic magnet plate telling him that he had reached the point of having ten stars in his class. Stars are given for good work, good behaviour, good time keeping and helping others. I think of it more as ‘citizenship points’ than ones for education. He does well every year in this and his teacher has told me that he looks out for others constantly…if only all human beings were this way.
Well done me laddo!
Doctor Who’s Dalek creator Ray Cusick dies aged 84
I learned today that the man who created the iconic shape and form of motion of TV’s most vicious foe had died from heart failure. Ray Cusick may not have been as famous as Terry Nation or as recognisable as Tom Baker when it comes to Doctor Who but his contribution to the series went a long way to making what it was and what it has become in recent years.In a 2008 episode of Doctor Who Confidential on BBC Three, Mr Cusick explained that inspiration for the Daleks’ design came from a lunch with special effects expert Bill Roberts, who was responsible for making the creatures.
“Mr Cusick picked up a pepper pot and moved it around the table before he said: “It’s going to move like that – no visible means.” Dr Who viewers were told on the show that the Daleks had been the creation of a scientist who believed they would help him survive a war on their home planet of Skaro. But the alien race was later responsible for his death. Mr Cusick, from Horsham in West Sussex, leaves two daughters and seven grandchildren.
It is the fiftieth anniversary of the series this year and while this event will not greatly impact on the events planned it will make them a little sadder.
Eve, GBS and Sam
Its been a hectic week for it was time for the ‘creative staff meet’ hosted this time by me here in Girvan in Scotland. As you can see from the picture above myself (centre…ain’t I pretty!), Sam Croes on the right and the crypt keeper himself Eve Hallow on the left (yes, he does manage speak with that on!) had a jolly time of it. Being face to face allows for a lot of conversation and ideas to flow quickly and they did. It did mean that I have been out of the office all week but I do promise to catch up on, what I am told, is all of the fifty plus emails for me that are awaiting answers.
As well as work we did do some sight seeing too as it was Sam’s first time here in Ayrshire so I took him to see Alloway and the land of Burns along with some scenic sights. This was made easier by four dry and sunny days in a row which for Scotland is a rare thing. Eve did not come along…sunlight does not agree with him strangely…
Sam was kind enough to give me some pressies from his homeland of Belgium and I gave him some goodies from here as did Eve Hallow. I have not pictured all of the presents as I drank some of them and ate others but I will review the excellent looking comic books and the music too. Time should not be so pressed now for me.
Gifts from the lands of Ghent!
Its rare to have so much talent in one room and it was a blast and I can’t wait until we all meet up again in London at Salute 2013 in April. In a time of instant communication and ever faster computers sometimes you just can’t beat working shoulder to shoulder on exciting things for the future of miniature wargaming. Eve say’s he might even turn up to Salute without the mask or his shovel for digging up corpses!
No Battleaxe for the Warrior this evening!
Was it David Bowie who said ‘Fashion’ in his song and that its an important part of life? Either way my youngest, the Warrior, was stage centre a couple of nights ago at a local branch of a high street clothes store modelling their wares for small boys. He did a grand job and should be rightly proud of himself. Being able to follow instructions and modelling tips at the age of just four and a little bit is impressive. Sadly I did not see him myself as I was embroiled in other things that evening but his achievement is worth announcement. Well done lad.
He is available to hire if you have a catalogue shoot! Reasonable Rates! :-)
Sadly the joint post-apocalypse wargaming blog begun between myself and Maj Diz Aster called Terra Burning is no more. In effect it was a still birth of a project for no sooner had the details been agreed and the blog begun the poor Maj had a series of incidents that led to him telling me he was quitting wargaming. While I am happy to say that Maj has returned to wargaming now fired with new enthusiasm for different scales and genres other than 15mm science fiction the TB blog was doomed. Without his assistance I was unwilling to take it on alone. Indeed I seldom agree to joint projects like this one as my time is limited and I get rather a large number of offers each year. I had hoped Terra Burning would be a hit but alas…twas’ not to be. The blog has been removed from the sphere.
I may post some of the article I had spent hours drafting for Terra Burning over on my own TTWG blog if the mood takes me but for now it seems the rad ruins and the wasteland scarred precincts have fallen silent. Sorry.