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Live It Up 110: Fairy Tale of New York. RIP Shane McGowan

And now Shane McGowan has gone. I doubt he needs any introduction.

There is really only one song that I can use to illustrate his legacy. It is most people’s favourite “Christmas” song. It does not deal with traditional Christmas themes.

I note this is not the version with the “cleaned-up” lyric. (Though the person typing out the lyrics  did misspell a four letter word.)

The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl: Fairy Tale of New York

Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan: 25/12/1957 – 30/11/2023. So it goes.

Alistair Darling

I saw on today’s news that Alistair Darling has died.

He was Chancellor of the Exchequer during the 2008 financial crash and is credited by many as having been instrumental in ameliorating its consequences. That its perpetrators/enablers subsequently were not punished for causing it – as they ought to have been – cannot be laid at his door.

He seems to have been well thought of all round. Not something that can be said of the usual run of politicians.

Alistair Maclean Darling: 28/11/1953 – 30/11/2023. So it goes.


I hesitate to mention Henry Kissinger, whose death was also announced today, in the same breath. The two could hardly have been more different.

Henry (Heinz ) Alfred Kissinger: 27/5/1923 – 29/11/2023. So it goes.

Terry Venables

I was sad to hear of the death of Terry Venables, former footballer and England manager, with many strings to his bow.

Not least was that he became manager of Barcelona, whom he led to their first La Liga title in 11 years and to a first European Cup Final in 25 years. Soon nicknamed El Tel he had endeared himself to the fans just after his appointment by addressing them  in Catalan.

His interests outside football were less inspiring, with question marks over his business affairs.

More to his credit though was that along with Gordon Williams he was the co-creator of Hazell, a fictional TV detective. The pair also wrote a football based book together They Used to Play on Grass as well as several other novels featuring Hazell.

It is for his footballing legacy that he will be remember longest though.

Terence Frederick Venables: 6/1/1943 – 25/11/2023. So it goes.


A S Byatt

I saw on the TV news last night that the author A S Byatt has died.

She won the Booker Prize in 1990 for her novel Possession: A Romance, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Children’s Book in 2009, but the only work of hers I have read is Ragnarok: the end of the Gods.

I really ought to have got round to at least those two award winners.

So many books, and only 365 days a year to read them in.

Antonia Susan Duffy (A S Byatt;) 24/8/1936 – 16/11/2023. So it goes.

Something Changed 73: Angel. RIP Angelo Bruschini

I saw in the Guardian that Angelo Bruschini, guitarist for Massive Attack from 1995-2003 has died.

I can’t say that trip-hop was ever my thing but it was a significant genre in the 90s.

Massive Attack: Angel


It seems some mystery surrounds Bruschini’s birth date.

Angelo Bruschini: 1960/1 – 23/10/2023. So it goes.

Ibrox Disaster Memorial, Markinch

I have posted before about the memorial to the five boys from Markinch who died in the Ibrox Disaster.

Earlier this year a fence was erected around the memorial in order to protect it from accidental damage. (Delivery vans had been going over the grass surrounding it.)

The gravel laid round it sets it off well.

Memorial to Ibrox Disaster, Markinch

Ibrox Disaster Memorial, Markinch

Ibrox Disaster Memorial, Markinch

Bishan Bedi

One of the most distinctive cricketers of my youth, Bishan Bedi, has died.

A brilliant left handed spinner, he batted right handed but it was his headgear that made him stand out. He tended to wear patkas, a variant of the Sikh turban.

As a bowler he conceded only 2.14 runs an over in Test matches. Of those who took over 200 Test wickets only three other bowlers have better stats.

He eventually became India’s captain and showed his strength of mind by declaring a Test innings against West Indies early as a protest at their bowlers aiming more at the Indian batsmen than any attempt to get them out less dangerously. He made a similar decision in a one-day international against Pakistan.

Here he is taking 5 wickets (for 55) against Australia in Brisbane in 1977.

Bishan Singh Bedi: 25/9/1946 – 23/10/202. So it goes.


Poppy Watch 2023

Last week in the shop where I picked up my newspaper I noticed on the counter a collection box for the Poppy Fund. That was nearly a month before Remembrance Day though.

This is the second year in a row where I have seen poppies available to the public before I saw any on the television, but I have since seen one sported  by a member of the public in a TV audience.

Thankfully the politicians have not yet got into the act.



Bobby Charlton

One of the best football players of my lifetime, Bobby Charlton, a silky inside forward (and later midfielder) with an explosive shot, has died.

He was a member of that inspirational Manchester United team known as the Busby Babes of whom too many died in the Munich disaster. For ever after he naturally dreaded flying but as a professional footballer at the top level had to do so many times.

He then captained that formidable side United team which also featured club legends George Best and Denis Law when they won the European Cup at Wembley in 1968.

As a World Cup winner he will be forever an English football immortal. His record of international goals for England (49) stood for decades. Some poeple attribute England’s defeat in the 1970 World Cup quarter-final in against West Germany in Leon to the fact that manager Alf Ramsey, thinking the game won, withdrew Charlton to save him for the semi. That decision allowed Franz Beckenbauer to dominate the midfield and inspire the Germans’ comeback.

Sadly his last days were blighted by dementia maybe induced by heading the heavy footballs of his youth and playing days.


Robert Charlton: 11/10/1937 -21/10/2023. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 79: This Old Heart of Mine. RIP Rudolph Isley

Another week another remembrance. Rudolph Isley of the Isley Brothers died last week.

My favourite song of theirs will always be Behind a Painted Smile (no 5 in 1969) but their first UK hit reached no 3 in 1966.

The Isley Brothers: This Old Heart of Mine



Rudolph Bernard Isley: 1/4/1939 – 11/10/2023. So it goes.

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