The Girl with the Edinburgh Tattoo

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Archive for the tag “Game of Thrones”

Happy Festive Families!

WaltonsWell – did you manage to survive the ridiculous Christmas bubble where people – through an accident of birth and not through any choice of their own – are forced together to make merry and perhaps even make conversation with other? Most people manage one day of festive torture when the pressure is put – witch-trial-like – on some poor individual to stage-manage the perfect day by providing food, presents and refereeing/counselling services and then getting tut-tutted at when she lobs the empty bottle of Bailey’s at dirty Uncle Billy’s head? I believe there are some people who attempt more than one day of this Big Brother-type set-up but then I suppose that is why we have pubs, shops and A&E!

Families have always been something that can drive you off the edge. They are endlessly fascinating though because – even if you’re lucky enough to be an orphan or choose to cut loose from your own – you can never escape. You will be subsumed into someone else’s at some point. And pick up a book or watch a film – your surrogate clan will be there. From Game of Thrones to Eastenders; from The Godfather to I Claudius; from Star Wars to Emile Zola’s Rougon-Macquart dynasty – we can’t get enough.

Personally speaking I like to keep with the fictional and give the real people a miss. As they say – ‘you can choose your friends… ‘

Rory McSwiggan Wants Nothing to Do With Himself

2015SELFARM_1URory McSwiggan comes with good comedy credentials – gay, middle-class catholic from Northern Ireland. Nice big tick on my to-see list then. He doesn’t want to talk about these things in his show though. Maybe I should have read that disclaimer before I went along the other night instead of just going on his personal profile. As a result I thought I had walked into the wrong show.

We had the expected niceties of ‘where are you from?’ etc… – usually done with a selection of the audience – but Rory actually covered us all. True, it was a smallish gathering but it did start to feel a bit like a work training day – but less structured. After the introductions it was established that some people watched Game of Thrones and others didn’t. Cue a song – there is an accompanying guitarist on stage – inspired by Game of Thrones. It was then time to throw things open and get other suggestions for songs. More people wandered in and the roll call was taken again but as their suggestion wasn’t that inspiring they didn’t get a song. Some people managed to sneak out at this point which did provide a bit of a laugh when Rory later asked ‘where did that guy go…?’ A bit like a useless supply teacher losing control of the class.

Best bits were probably his impression of film critic Mark Cousins (well, a few of us got it) and his take on people from N Ireland who preface their recollections with ‘it was at the height of the troubles…’

I’m not sure if Rory has a regular stand-up show but wanted to try something different. It’s a shame but there’s potential there if he could only be persuaded to talk about himself.

Review for 14 August

Game of thrown-ups!

salmond thumbsupWhat should Alex Salmond get for Christmas? I would say a large reality check with a good measure of humility on the side. In his mind, however, he already has the second-best present on his list ticked off. As well as polishing up a brass neck that can be seen from outer space, he’s buffing up the brass crown he was hoping to be wearing come this festive season. It won’t go to waste, though – as he’s already indicated he’s quite willing to plonk it on someone else’s head – probably Ed Miliband’s – come the new year. So, from would-be-king to kingmaker – we knew it all along, didn’t we?

Without sounding too Russell Brand about it all – it would seem that the vast majority of politicians are egomaniacs and can’t be trusted. With people like Alex Salmond and Nigel Farage particular examples, with their never-ending gall and talent (of a sort) to wring out every last ounce of self-promotion from a situation, however negative. It was particularly jaw-drop-inducing that big Eck should hold court on the day that crashing oil prices were heralding the scrapping of jobs in the Aberdeen area, once known as Trump-town. Not such a safe bet for funding a new nation then, eh?

That shouldn’t mean we should give up and not engage though. It was great that so many people got involved during the referendum debate, however a sad aspect was friends and families being torn apart and in many cases still not speaking to each other. The key is knowing that politics is a dirty old business and that people who were at each others’ throats one day will be doing deals the next, leaving us lot looking like a bunch of muppets if we continue to trade insults and wage war on each other.

But back to some other items on Alex Salmond’s Christmas list – perhaps the Game of Thrones box-set and a copy of Machiavelli’s The Prince? Some chance! He could act as adviser on both of those. I’ve heard he’s actually (gasp!) going to be taking some time off (we’ll see… ) to rest a repetitive strain injury on his wrist. I’ll resist making any cheap comments but merely say it must have been all that rubbing!

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