The Girl with the Edinburgh Tattoo

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Archive for the tag “Channel 4”

Back to the (No) Future



You have to hand it to The Donald – he has succeeded in uniting the world. The show of solidarity across nations is impressive. Particularly with women. Particularly with people who won’t be taken in by grubby, rabble-rousing politics delivered by a rebooted Mussolini brought back to life as a Simpsons character. Particularly in Scotland – but then we’ve always been united in our disgust for the big bully who Trump-trampled his way over large areas of our bonnie land.

Everybody knows the story regarding the Scottish connection now. The young Scots lass leaving the Western Isles to seek her fortune in the U.S. Which got me thinking – surely a new version of Back to the Future is on the cards? In this one the main character would travel back to make sure sweet and gentle Lachlan from the local croft ends up with the young Mary and not the big American blow-hard visiting businessman*. Get it wrong – history is changed and the world is doomed.

There are lots of other Twilight Zone style twists in the real tale. The grandfather settling in America only because he got kicked out of Germany. For the full – and chilling – story check out Matt Frei‘s excellent documentary on Channel 4.

Back to the real world though so I guess we just have to get on with it. That doesn’t mean sticking your head under the duvet and self-medicating with your drug of choice  – however tempting that may be. Get up, stand up and don’t let the big bully win!

*Biff was based on Trump – spooky!




Do or Di(e)!

ImageChannel 4 is doing a special (shameless head-start as the world’s press turns its attention to all things team Royal GB… ?) tonight on the auction of Lady/Princess Diana’s dresses. Now however you feel about the woman – overprivileged clotheshorse or martyr-heroine who changed the British royal family for ever – her legacy endures. I’m no royalist and can remember from the time veering towards the cynical when it came to Di’s love/hate relationship with the media, especially her last great performance post-mortem (OK, that wasn’t down to her). But… the whole myth and the woman herself must have got under my skin somehow because she informed my first book – The Rachel Redemption. I know Di fans weren’t too sure about the character at first but soon bought into the whole idea of the resurrection of a feisty woman who stlll had work to do. Thanks to everyone who bought the book and for your comments as well. Oh, and thanks Di – for the inspiration.

By the way – apologies for not posting for the best part of a month but I had to descend into that deep dark recess of the world known as estate agency for a while. Never mind – it’s actually provided a lot of inspiration for my next book which is set in Edinburgh. Keep checking my blog for updates. What has kept me going these past weeks tho has been reading a brilliant new blog by mon amour. It’s full of pithy, concise and punk attitude and is called The Edinburgh Enlightenment. Check it out:

A Grand Day Out or National Shame?

ImageWhat is it about this time of year when our thoughts on one hand are turning to green shoots, rebirth and celebration of life in general but on the other hand there is the inevitable bit of wanton cruelty and sacrificial killing. Don’t get me wrong, a bit of memento mori is always a good thing but not when this involves the goading or slaughter of some poor unfortunate animal. Now, as far as we in the UK were concerned this was always quite straightforward as it was always ‘those filthy foreigners’ who had a penchant for publicly torturing a donkey or pushing a goat off a tower. Oh yes, we Brits could sit back quite smugly and tut tut at the latest red-top headline presenting single cases of animal cruelty for our prurient pleasure whilst dismissing the whole area of fox-hunting and field sports as ‘something for the toffs’. But where would we Brits be without our staggering sense of hypocrisy?

Which brings me to the Grand National – the annual gore-fest masquerading as a cute and cuddly national treasure whereby ‘ordinary people’ are encouraged to have a flutter. Actually most people in this country have seen sense and have no interest in it, so it’s been left to the ‘I’m-worth-it’ brigade: women teetering on Jimmy Choo copies, with Asda fascinators, sipping prosecco; the blokes tanking up on over-priced lager and moronically betting on anything that moves. A little bit of the toffs’ lifestyle packaged up in digestible chunks for the working classes. Because that’s what it’s all about, eh? The ‘lifestyle’ as presented by the media.

But who would want to promote this tawdry and increasingly unpopular spectacle? Step forward Channel 4, giving themselves a break from showing programmes about diseased body parts with titles that would have been rejected by the Sunday Sport. My god, I didn’t think they could sink any further but they certainly have with their incessant and tasteless-in-extreme trailers for not only the event itself but a series of ‘specials’ that make the Carry On films look like Ibsen! And what glittering roster of talent do they have on these ‘special’ programmes? Well, it looks like a round-up of the current usual suspects hoping to showcase their latest book/TV show/contents of their handkerchief… Most bizarrely of those – or maybe not – is ‘vegetarian and Buddhist Russell Brand’. Hmmm… well it’s not for nothing that they say Buddhism is the perfect pick ‘n’ mix religion for showbiz folks… It’s like when they hastily erect a screen round the latest equine casualty and the focus shifts to another part of the ‘grand day out’ as a distraction – but do Channel 4 really think this shoddy piece of tinsel is enough to take our minds off a cruel event that if it played out on the streets of an Italian town would have our own tabloid hacks going into xenophobic overdrive instead of offering a free bet? Tell them to stuff it and support the anti-National petition or support Animal Aid in their campaign.

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