A Sky Of Honey

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Kate Bush at fifty

Kate Bush  

Kate Bush

Kate Bush was fifty the other week.

This came as something of a shock to me (although I already knew that her fiftieth was approaching) because I always think of the nineteen year old woman who first entranced me when she sang ‘Wuthering Heights’ way back in 1978. For me, it was the start of a relationship of sorts (she has been a constant in my life although she hasn’t the faintest idea who I am) which continues to this day.

Kate has provided the soundtrack to my life. At every important moment, her music has been there for me and with me, encouraging, consoling, vivifying, and always enrapturing me. Each of her albums has its own personality and every one is now a friend; I spent time in the company of one, then another. And certain of her songs are now forever associated with the most profound moments of my life, so that when I hear them, I am instantly transported back to a particular time, a particular moment, a particular feeling.

Kate is also the only artist whose career I have followed unfailingly all these years. Others have come and gone; she alone remains, ever present. But although I class myself as very much a ‘fan’, I am astonished when I meet other fans and realise that their fandom far exceeds my own; although I think I know much about her music, it could really be the subject of one or two theses, and still there would be material left over.

And the music is really what it is all about. I don’t subscribe to that class of fandom which makes you think you have a right on that artist, who remains a private individual despite their celebrity. Kate has always been very protective of her privacy and I am glad about that; it is hers, to do with as she chooses. But it also means that there will forever be a mystique about Kate – something which is all too lacking in these days of pop culture, celebrity for the sake of celebrity and the over-keen desire to appear in every tabloid and magazine. Kate Bush bucks that particular trend and she does it in a skilful and very experienced way, and I am glad about that.

Happy Birthday, Kate…

Miss Pigfield – a brief introduction

Miss Pigfield Miss Pigfield

Miss Pigfield is a little pink woolly piglet. By her friends (of which she has an increasingly wide circle), she is affectionately referred to as Ms P, or – when they are feeling a little mischievous – simply as ‘the porker’.

But Ms P is not just any old piglet. Indeed, she isn’t old at all – she was put together around two years ago by a lovely young lady in Sweden. Since then, she has (literally) travelled the world. So much so, that whenever I read one of those stories which pops up from time to time in the news regarding stolen garden gnomes and mysterious postcards from across the globe, I remind myself that Ms P has travelled more extensively that that.

Raising Funds

Raising Funds

No, Ms P is certainly not just any old piglet; she has a purpose. Her raison d’etre is to raise funds for breast cancer awareness, aided and abetted by her human friends. And in the company of her current companion (more on her later), Ms P has raised just over £300. And she does this by very curious means. Cas, who is Mss P’s present travelling companion, and with whom she presently resides, also has a large circle of friends. And Cas came up with the idea of getting these friends to pose with Ms P and to have their picture taken with her. Many of them jumped at the chance to be snapped with a true megastar, and so a fund-raising venture was born – and has proven to be very successful!

From time to time I will post more about the adventures of Miss Pigfield and some of the people she meets during her travels to various locations.

iPhone copy and paste

iPhone

iPhone

While we all wait (impatiently) for Apple to add copy and paste functionality to the iPhone – which may not be ‘a priority’ for them, but sure is for the rest of us – you may be interested to know that one developer has created an interim fix for the problem.

You can read all about it at 9to5Mac

Beth Rowley

Live on stage at Oran Mor, Glasgow

Live on stage at Oran Mor, Glasgow

Beth Rowley is a young woman to keep your eyes on.

A rising star on the british musical scene, Beth has just released ‘Sweet Hours’, her new single from her debut album ‘Little Hours’, which was a top ten hit. This is her third single from the album.

I had the pleasure of seeing Beth perform live at Oran Mor, Glasgow, several months ago and got the chance to chat with her afterwards. I was struck first of all by the power, range and sweetness of her voice; and then by how nice a woman she is. She was a pleasure to talk with and was very down to earth – none of the pretensions which are so common in the music industry.

When I saw Beth, she was supporting Duke Special; it’s good to see her now embarking on a upwardly mobile career path and I wish her every success – she deserves that success.

You can read a Times Online article about Beth HERE.

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A broken spell

Stuart  

Stuart

Its taken me nine years but I got there in the end. After being a passionate watcher of ‘Big Brother’ since it exploded onto our television screens, the magic has finally worn off and the spell has been broken.

In the beginning, there were ordinary people who wanted to take part in what was rightly (well, sort of rightly) called a “social experiment”. These people had no pretensions about wanting to be famous – they just wanted to take part. Their expectation was to be on the show and then to return to their normal lives, which most of them did (Craig Phillips being the winner and the notable exception to that particular rule). Also, at that time, Channel 4 was a fairly minority channel – most people were watching ITV so Big Brother really was a televisual experiment and no-one was quite sure what kind of a reception the show would receive – or whether the programme would ever be repeated. Of course it was. And that was when the problems began.

Not so slowly, but very definitely surely, the type of people coming on to the show changed; one popular expression which might be applied here is “media whores” – the sort of people who don’t really care what they have to do, as long as they get onto the television. The sort of people who aren’t really interested in the programme itself, and who see it very much as a stepping stone into the celebrity limelight which they crave.

Unfortunately, these people tend to forget that most famous people are famous for a reason – they have ‘something’ they can do; and simply having been on a “reality” TV show doesn’t quite cut the mustard.

The remnants of the current crop of hopefuls are proof in point. With the possible exception of Lisa, all the others seem to have their eyes focussed somewhere beyond the show itself; one wants to be a famous musician; several others want to be models; most of the ones who have (thankfully) already left the show don’t really care – just make them famous.

But the blame doesn’t lie exclusively with the people; the producers need to be held to account for what has become a travesty of ‘reality’. Big Brother is not reality. It is formulaic, predictable and ultimately vacuous, a it like the housemates, really.

Time to put this old nag in the knackers yard once and for all.

Sunbeds in Scotland

Sandi Thom

Sandi Thom

I noted with some amusement that Scottish singer and musician, Sandi Thom, was recently chosen to be the face of a campaign highlighting the dangers of sunbeds, particularly when used either excessively or by the young.

Now, the dangers of sunbeds are certainly very real and I am not disparaging that in the least. But what I did find amusing was that a Scottish personality was chosen. Still don’t get it? OK, here’s a wee clue..

  1. Scotland
  2. Sunbeds

Yes, you’ve got it now – the two things really don’t go together at all, do they?