Monthly Archives: September 2016

You’ve Got Sixty Minutes…..clock’s ticking…

The challenge- you get offered the opportunity to host your own sixty  minute radio show to play ten of your favourite tunes, songs that reflect you musical tastes and who you are.

Sound easy?

In theory it is. If like me you listen to music  on a daily basis then you may already have several playlists set up on your iPod. In reality, its much harder.

Try it…go on…pick just ten songs.

Personally, my favourites can very depending on my mood so choosing a mere ten tracks from the thousands in my music library is far from easy.

So, trying not to over think this, if I was  to host said show today this,  in no particular order, would be the playlist –

1- Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns n Roses

2 – Ghost by Massive

3-Ghosts Of Days Gone By by Alter Bridge

4- The Rambler by Black Stone Cherry

5- Where I’ve Been by Rival Sons

6- I’m Not An Angel- Halestorm

7- Simple Man by Shinedown

8- La Mano De Lucifer – Crobot

9- God & Satan by Biffy Clyro

10- Eden – The Mayfield Four

Ask me again tomorrow and the selection could look completely different!

videos sourced via You Tube

credits to the owners

Celtic Re-connections


This may surprise some of you who are more familiar with my usual musical tastes but I have a soft spot in my heart for Celtic music.

It’s not all about “heedrum hodrum” shortbread tin music but it’s about the Celtic music I grew up with. From the traditional tunes my dad played on his tin whistle like Soldier’s Joy, always tripping up over the same wee bit, to the Gaelic songs my Wee Gran would recall from her youth such as Fear A Bhata.

If you were to cast your eyes over the CD collection on my shelves you might be surprised by the mix of music. Yes, you could easily find Capercaillie nestled between Iron Maiden and Vivaldi. I kid you not!

I first saw Capercaillie play live as part of Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival more than twenty years ago and their album from that time Secret People frequently finds its way into the CD player.

When I saw that the band’s leading lady, Karen Matheson, was playing a rare solo show at The Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock, I was keen to be there. Cue and exchange of text messages with a music loving friend (remember Miss Rose Wine from my trip to see Chris Cornell) and a visit to the box office. Yes, sometimes folk do still buy tickets at the box office instead of ordering online.

I was surprised when we arrived at the theatre last Thursday evening that it wasn’t busier. (The last time I had heard Karen Matheson sing she’d sold out the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, some 2500 seats) As we took our seats in The Beacon it was a little sad to see less than 200 seats filled. Lack of advertising? Poor advertising?

Fara were first out on stage. Four young ladies from the Orkney Islands – three fiddles and a piano. These talented musicians played with a youthful enthusiasm and passion that soon had the audience on side. Their lilting Orkney accents stole our hearts as they told the stories behind the tunes that they played and sang. They added an element of humour too. One song that they played was titled The Dragon. The composer had apparently written it for his wife! They also played a homage to the band’s favourite tipple- Cheeky Vimto*. Their infectious energy had the audience engaged enough o sing along enthusiastically to the chorus of Games People Play.

These young ladies are a breath of fresh air to Celtic fiddle music.


After a short interval it was time for Ms Matheson to take to the stage. As it had been so long since I’d last heard her sing live there was a wee nagging voice in my head wondering if her voice would still be as fantastic. It is! She has a beautiful voice.

She stepped out on stage with four fellow musicians, who’s instruments included guitar, piano, accordion, mandolin and cello (It must be something about Miss RoseWine’s company- the last show we saw featured a cellist too!)

For eighty minutes or so we were treated to a haunting if slightly melancholy set comprising of some of Rabbie Burns songs but mainly her own solo material. Most of the songs were sung in Gaelic and, despite not understanding a word of it, the music spoke for itself. The speed at which she can sing some of the complex Gaelic lyrics has to be heard to be believed.

Like the girls in Fara before her, Karen Matheson told the audience the stories behind some of the songs and of her childhood singing at ceilidhs.

Karen Matheson ended her set with a single song encore, Ae Fond Kiss, another Burns classic.


Usually when I leave a show there’s a wee buzz- ok a big buzz – inside me at the thrill of what I’ve just experienced. (Yes and the ears are usually ringing too!)

As Miss RoseWine and I walked slowly back to the car there was an air of calm, a sense of serenity.

Maybe I’m more Scottish at heart then I gave myself credit for. There was a wee warm glow inside me, a little lightning bug of pleasure, where the Celtic music had touched not only my heart but my soul.



*Cheeky Vimto -Mix together a bottle of WKD with 50ml of Port and 25ml of Vodka  – apparently tastes just like Vimto.

Images source via Google

Videos sourced via You Tube

Colours of Emotion


Its been a long time since I’ve delved into my two small poetry journals. It’s been a long time since I wrote any poetry. As I was reading through my collection I stumbled across this one and thought I’d share it with you.

Colours of Emotion


Hate- so strong an emotion

So small a word.

Spoken filled with red fury.

Each letter’s edge sharpened like steel

Words hard to retract.


Respect –  steady and calm

Blue like a still deep lagoon

It takes time to reach its depths

Once earned its easy to let slip away


Trust – fragile and thread like.

Silvery shimmer. A dew soaked web.

Each fibre strong but break one

And it all comes tumbling down.


Love – white and creamy.

Reminiscent of fresh milk.

Warm at first. Pure.

Easily curdles through time

And mistreatment.


Red, blue, silver and white

The emotional colours of my tarnished life.




Keeping All Of The Plates Spinning….just


No, I’ve not been playing with the crockery or learning circus tricks but this week has been nothing short of bedlam. Weeks like this come along every once in a while and this one caught me unawares.

In the past friends and co-workers have said to me that they don’t know how I do “it” every week. I’m not sure what “it” is because I’m usually well organised to the point of being OCD about certain tasks.

I guess “it” is normal daily life and we all just have to get on with “it”- we don’t really have any choice at the end of the day.

Perhaps in an  average week I juggle a few more plates than some folk but that’s my choice (keeps me out of mischief!) but I’m human too.

So here we are at Thursday – half of my brain is saying “Surely it’s only Tuesday?” and the other half is saying “TFIF tomorrow!”

The “To Do” list is only part way ticked off.

All the “salt mine” plates are spinning away merrily, all the “mum” plates are hanging in there too, the social media/ fan page admin plates continue to spin, the Book Baby 3 plate had a wee wobble but has been rescued- whew!- the blog post plate….well…


Something had to give….. I’m only human after all. 🙂

images sourced via Google

3.4 cats ….yes we have a new arrival

I don’t very often mention in my blog posts that, apart from The Big Green Gummi Bear, Boy Child and Girl Child, I share the house with three fur babies. Well it was three until recently!

We are now a 3.4 feline family!

Yes- we have a new addition to the household. A little grey and white kitten who belongs to Girl Child.

The Big Green Gummi Bear struck a deal with Girl Child several months ago that depending on achieving certain grades in her SQA exams, she could get a kitten. Girl Child kept her end of the bargain. Cue MAJOR kitten hunting. I think in the space of 24 hours she sent me more photos of kittens than I had seen in my previous forty some years! And yes, all of them were very cute.

After a short but thorough search, we found her future fur baby. Cue more emails and photo exchanges and Hey Presto before we knew it we were all in the car  heading to the far side of Glasgow to collect said fur baby.

Part of the deal Girl Child had struck with her father surrounded the naming of said fur baby. He has named the last two cats who have come to live with us. We have Pythagoras a huge ginger and white tom cat and Frankenstein, a Birman tabby who looks like two different cats stitched together. The third and oldest fur baby, is my big black fluffball. My boy names Sioux.  

So what name had been chosen for this tiny grey and white baby?


It has proved to be an apt name!

Less than five minutes into the hour long journey home, this tiny bundle of fur pooped in the cat carrier. Stinky it most certainly was!

Like Sioux many years before him, Stinky’s introduction to his new home involved a bath to remove the poop! Poor wee fur baby. What a soggy start to life in his new forever home.

Having been dried off and cuddled, we introduced him to the litter tray and to his dinner bowl. And that was the one and only time we required to complete that lesson. At nine weeks old, Stinky figured it all out and there were no puddles and no little “stinky” bundles left anywhere for us. I was really impressed that this little guy had it figured out so fast.

Move on a few hours and it was time to introduce him to the first of his big furry brothers. Sioux is the most gentle and tolerant of the three older cats so we introduced him first.

When he saw the kitten, I swear that cat rolled its eyes at me as if to say “Are you kidding me? Another one?”  He was not impressed. There was no aggression. No anger. Just sheer terror when the kitten ran towards him! We kept a close eye on them and a truce appeared to have been reached. So far so good.

Next morning there was a queue at the back door waiting to come in for breakfast. Frankenstein was at the head of the queue. Well it was now or never…I let him in as Stinky danced round my feet. (Frankenstein is quite aggressive normally with other cats and it took a long time for him to settle in here.) Frankenstein eyed the kitten suspiciously. Stinky ran towards him. Frankenstein’s ears went back and he crouched down and hissed at the newcomer. To my utter amazement Stinky did the same. Frankenstein legged it and disappeared upstairs as fast as his paws would carry him. 700g of kitten had just stood its ground against 4kg of cat!

Pythagoras came in a short while later. He’s the biggest of the three at 6kg but isn’t the bravest. Again the kitten ran to greet him. Pythagoras bolted into the kitchen and up onto the table with a look in his eye that screamed “Save me!”

And that’s pretty much the way it has been for the past ten days.

The kitten is ruling the roost!

And it’s not just the Fur Brothers that Stinky has full control over. He’s done the same to the humans who live here too. Yes, even the Big Green Gummi Bear! Countless hours have been spent playing with, cuddling him and just simply watching him. He is a tiny ball of fluff but he’s a HUGE distraction.

He’s irresistible. (Yes, I know I’m biaised)

I will say though, he is not good for creative progress. My poor Book Baby 3 has suffered twice already at his tiny paws. He danced across my laptop and reformatted the entire document. Sheer skill as he managed feats on Word that I have zero knowledge of! The next night he danced across the keyboard and deleted over 300 hundred words. Let’s say I was less than impressed by those dance moves.

But then he looked at me with that cute wee face and those huge blue eyes and purred…..and all was forgiven!StinkyStinky 2fur babies