Archives » 2010 » October

No Country For Dead Men

Just a reminder about Writers’ Bloc’s latest reading at the Ghillie Dhu, 2-6, Rutland Place, Edinburgh EH1 2AD on Tuesday night, 2/11/10, from 8 pm.

Dumbarton 4-1 East Fife

League goals against predictor:- 140

SFL Div 2, The Rock, 30/10/10

League goals for predictor:- 18.

Well. It’s a start.

But we must be careful not to assign to this the attributes of a revival.

Yes we were 2-1 up – 2 goals in a game is a miracle in itself – but we only made the game safe after they had gone down to ten, and later nine, men.

It’s only two points off the teams above us, now, though, which is not unsalvageable with 25 games to go.

The new manager seems to have geed them up so hopefully boys will get a confidence boost.

I can’t work out from the team sheet what formation we used.

Watching Sons TV won’t be a dreadful chore this week.

Livi next up. Tough one.

A draw would be a fantastic result.

Incommunicado

Due to the magnificence of BT I was internet-less yesterday.

I happen to live slap bang in the middle of the area affected by one of their machines in Edinburgh going kaput.

Life went on though and thanks to being able to schedule posts I wasn’t completely incommunicado and you might not have noticed I wasn’t here.

But I couldn’t reflect on the appointment of Derek Ferguson as Assistant Manager nor on our upcoming confrontation with Morton in the Cup.

At least we won’t get punted by a non-league team.

Friday On My Mind 30: My Friend Jack

More psychedelia for your delectation.

The Smoke: My Friend Jack

King Rat by China Miéville

Pan, 1999. 421p

King Rat cover

Saul Garamond is arrested when his father is found dead having fallen, jumped or been pushed, through a window of their house. Saul is sprung from custody by a mysterious figure who calls himself King Rat and asserts that Saul’s mother was a Rat. King Rat is able to move freely between the London which Saul knows and the unnoticed spaces which constitute a hidden Rat city. Under his tutelage Saul becomes rat-like too but King Rat, of course, is not quite what he seems. In this netherworld Saul also meets the Bird Superior, Loplop, and Anansi, head of the spiders. Meanwhile Saul’s friend Natasha, a creator/DJ of Drum and Bass, is befriended by a mysterious flute player called Pete and Police Inspector Crowley is increasingly puzzled by the spate of bizarre and bloody murders occurring on his patch.

The other city conceit seems to be one of Miéville’s running themes; it also occurs in Un Lun Dun and THE CITY & YTIC EHT though of course this would be its first appearance. (King Rat is the last in my attempt to catch up with Miéville’s oeuvre apart from his latest Kraken.) This one is very London-centric though, which annoyed me strangely.

The language of the novel is simple; even a little sketchy at times. In this it has pre-echoes of Un Lun Dun. Indeed, were it not for the violence and the expletives this could well have been a tale for young adults.

Though the plot strands do cohere and music is integral to its resolution, at times the novel appears diffuse, as if it does not know whether to be a fantasy, a musical odyssey or a police procedural – though it has embedded within it a nice retelling of the Pied Piper of Hamelin story told from the rats’ point of view. Miéville also takes the opportunity to throw in a minor bit of political consciousness raising.

Had I read this on first publication I could certainly have foreseen an Un Lun Dun – though perhaps not a Perdido Street Station.

But… One of the characters seems to be under the impression that layered music never existed before Drum and Bass. Come off it.

Manager Goes

At least as regards first team responsibilities.

It’s not too much of a surprise given the abysmal performance of the team this season. The players looked completely at sea and clueless on Saturday (as at other games earlier) and it seemed that Chappie had “lost the dressing room” as that piece of football-speak has it.

I suppose the sideways move means the board couldn’t sack him outright as it would cost too much.

I hope this isn’t a case of be careful what you wish for. But then we were on course for relegation anyway.

I don’t know anything at all about Alan Adamson who’s taking temporary charge but he could hardly do much worse. Let’s hope he plays players in their correct positions and can impart some confidence to them.

Edinburgh Again

We took another stroll along the Water of Leith yesterday and there was the heron again. (I assume it’s the same one we saw before.)

It was quite undisturbed while we were going past, standing stock still, making the photo easier. It only moved up on to the bank after we were along the path a bit.

We browsed the book and charity shops in Stockbridge for a while but I came away empty handed. The good lady picked up two books to add to her to be read pile.

This time we came back via the town and so passed the Dene Bridge at the upper level.

There’s no idea from here of how high above the water the roadway is nor of the immensity of the pillars.

Later we dropped into the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art off Belford Road.

There are sculptures outside; including an unmistakable couple of Henry Moores.

One is at the front.


There is another beside the path which leads down from the car park to the Water of Leith.


Much of modern art leaves me cold but Moore’s sculptures are interesting.

Most of the stuff inside is a bit meh but the figurative paintings by the Scottish Colourists are an exception. (I’m used to these though as the excellent Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery has a fine collection of Peploes as well as some others.)

There were too some pictures by Alasdair Gray on exhibition in the Gallery to tie in with the newly published book of his art work, A Life In Pictures.

No Country for Dead Men: New Stories for Samhain

The latest Writers’ Bloc Halloween show (titled as above) takes place next Tuesday 2nd November, 2010.

Due to a prior engagement (I’m working that night) I shan’t be able to attend.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t.

The promotional information is below.

Fresh from a barnstorming performance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Unbound programme, Writers’ Bloc announces an evening of spoken word with an uncanny twist.

Expect new stories about: Gertrude Jekyll and Mr Hyde; a board game played with real human beings as the pieces; not-so-little green men; and the Hound of the D’Urbervilles. All will be performed with Bloc’s trademark energy and verve.

No Country for Dead Men takes place at the Ghillie Dhu, 2–6 Rutland Place, Edinburgh EH1 2AD, on Tuesday 2nd November from 8 p.m. Admission is an affordable £4.00 (£2.00 concessions).

Winter’s Shadowy Fingers (iv)

Motoring to the game yesterday I couldn’t help notice that the Ochil Hills had snow on them.

First snow of the season. And it’s still October. The clocks haven’t even changed.

Even if it had disappeared by full time (much like any hope of staving off relegation) another long hard winter may be on the way.

Stenhousemuir 4-0 Dumbarton

League goals against predictor:- 140

SFL Div 2, Ochilview, 23/10/10

League goals for predictor:- 15.

Two must win games in succession both lost.

Now every game will be a must win until relegation is confirmed. (At this rate that will be sometime in January.)

This is the penance we must suffer for the good times.

Onebrow opined during the game that he’d always thought that the way we won promotion two seasons ago was too good to be true. And so it proves.

This was 4-0 going on a complete embarassment. And to the team merely one place above us in the division.

It was over as a contest as early as the third minute when we lost the sort of scruffy goal you concede when you are going to be relegated.

A routine ball into the box wasn’t hoofed away by Devlin as it should have been – Chissie would have got rid of it no bother – Grindlay flapped at it, knocking it onto the Stenny player, off whom it trundled into the net.

I don’t think Michael White would have fumbled that ball. He was in goal, as Onebrow pointed out, in the only two games where we’ve managed to get any points this season.

Grindlay doesn’t come for crosses – the defence is clearly unsettled; three of them had a go at him for staying on his line a few minutes after the goal, when we could easily have lost another – and his kicking from back passes is appalling.

Next up, the obligatory penalty against us at Ochilview. I thought Ben Gordon got there first, the ref didn’t. That all started when Andy Geggan had, I think Devlin, free in space on his right in a good position in their half but hit the ball too short, straight to a Stenny player. Promptly up the park, whistle.

Up steps Ross Clark. Remember him, Chappie?

Stenhousemuir could have gone home then. We still wouldn’t have scored.

The next one you could see coming from halfway through the move. The defence was posted missing from the crossball and Ross Clark (remember him, Chappie?) drilled it home. Grindlay stood still.

We played a bit better in the second half but Stenny had taken their foot off the gas.

We keep finding ever more bizarre ways of conceding goals. The fourth was a complete joke. Nugent had the ball covered. All he had to do was play it, back to Grindlay (OK, maybe not) or out the park, or pass to Ben Gordon, or even turn and go upfield. Instead he just stops running and a Stenny player breezes past him – the report on the club website says as if out of nowhere but he was clearly visible all the way – rounds Grindlay and pops it in.

The Stenny announcer gave the man of the match to Ross Clark. (Remember him, Chappie?) He did score twice, I suppose, but (a much slimmed down in appearance – Ed) Stevie Murray had a good game for them, too. Remember him, Chappie?

Stenny won’t have an easier three points all season.

Until they play us again of course.

It’s past time for Jim Chapman to consider his position. The players either aren’t playing for him or just aren’t good enough. He’s got rid of, or let go, the more robust characters. There was nobody on the field inspiring the team to get into the game. A complete lack of fight, competitiveness and effort. Where’s Chissie when you need him?

During the week Gordon Strachan was noble enough to fall on his sword. Sadly, I don’t expect Chappie to have it in him do the same.

Oh; and Grindlay must go.

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