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"Excellent 'Blog' which can be controversial at times, while maintaining it's humour. Keep it up Big Rab!"
"Updated every day with doses of good humour, political satire, a running commentary on the progress of author's home football team and his life."
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"Anyone who doesn't like the EU and has a soft spot for Albion Rovers can't be all bad"
"Facile and False"
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"People may also find the Ben Lomond Free Press blog illuminating, interesting and/or amusing. It’s not mentalist as such but familiar themes emerge. I particularly like accounts of encounters with strange elementals (of course! ELEmentals!) from elfin safety. And the fact that the blog is run by someone who plays in a blues band called Harmonica Lewinsky."
The other night in conversation with BLFP correspondent and good friend, Ferncake I discovered he intended to celebrate Boxing Day in the traditional way by taking in a sporting contest. This was none other than the Scottish Football League division 2 match between East Fife and Dumbarton. Taking temporary leave of my senses On due consideration I decided to join Ferncake on the supporters bus.
We duly boarded the coach at midday in High Street Dumbarton accompanied by our fellow flotsam and jetsam, some of whom looked to be suffering various stages of the effects of, and recovery from, the previous night’s festivities and alcohol consumption. Some appeared to still be meaningfully involved in that process.
One of our compatriots appeared with an independently powered boogie box/karaoke machine and proceeded to hand out song sheets. It was at this stage that I first began to question the effectiveness of my critical faculties in deciding to embark on the excursion.
Sure enough as we got underway the boogie box cranked into action. Although it was loud enough to drown out any attempts at normal conversation and as the Eagles belted out some of their 70’s hits I thought “never mind it could be worse”.
Then it got worse.
What is it about Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline that convinces the most tone deaf and normally modest individuals that they had only narrowly missed a stage career? Why do they sing Da! Da! Da! between the first two lines of the chorus?
Who knows? but it seems it’s a law of nature.
“Och” I thought “Never mind it could be worse”
“Her name was Lola – She was a showgirl” Aaaaaaaaargh!
Then we were treated to the club song. Believe it or not this is Ultravox front man and Bob Geldof’s Band Aid sidekick Midge Ure accompanied by the Dumbarton first team squad of 1977.
As we crossed the Kincardine Bridge (built in 1936 BTW) I noticed how windy it was. and as we drove through the Naval port of Rosyth, Tommy the coach organiser took a telephone call. “Lads the ref is out on the pitch. He’s in deep discussion with officials – The game might not go ahead – high winds!”
“If I could turn back time…….”
We passed a golf course. The hole flags would have been horizontal had the flagpoles not assumed an “r” shape.
Trees were bent over shedding leaves and branches as if they were begging for mercy.
We passed some wind turbines, they had been switched off presumably to minimise the risk of them taking off and entering orbit.
“Och it’s not too bad” we chimed in unison.
“Should be ok”
“I’ve seen worse……much worse”
“It’ll be on surely!
“The game’s aff!” hollered Tommy as we saw the sign saying ‘Methil 7 miles’
“We’ll just go to the ground ‘cos the driver has to have a break” he announced.
We arrived at Bayview and what a view of the (North Sea) bay we had with waves breaking on to the sea wall.
New Bayview. Yesterday's weather not pictured.
The crowds stream away in disappointment.
Despite the gales we all agreed we’d seen games played in worse and were a bit disappointed at the ref’s decision. However if the game had gone ahead it would not have been pretty.
The bar was open, so it wasn’t all doom and gloom.
By this time I was hungry enough to contemplate going out to catch a wild rabbit and eating it raw. Thankfully sustenance arrived via (free) pies and sausage rolls that would presumably otherwise have gone to waste. It was though a nice gesture by the folks at East Fife.
As we boarded the bus for the journey home I thought “never mind it could be worse”
The boogie box crackled into action. It seemed to be louder now.
“I AM THE ONE AND ONLY!” (Whatever did happen to Chesney Hawkes?)
Ferncake and I laughed.
It was all we could do as we contemplated the next two hours.
I heard this as I had another of my many nights of insomnia last night. I have a vast collection of Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio shows and this track came on in one themed on the bible. It’s Wynonie Harris lamenting woman trouble. I loved the lyrics.
Good that North Korea is getting back to some kind of normality after the demise of Kim Jong Il although “Salespersons and citizens burst out sobbing at fish shops in the capital city Friday” so clearly the authorities spreading pollacks hasn’t completely netted down the scale of the problem. I’m hooked on their news agency site (That’s enough fish jokes – ed)
Indeed Merry Christmas to all readers, whether you take part in the full religious thing or like me just reflect a wee bit on things and enjoy a couple of days off.
Our best present has been that Eve has been seizure free since her operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on 1st December. It will be a while before we can start reducing her medication but hopefully when we do it will confirm that the operation has meant she’ll be both seizure and medication free.
Thanks everyone for reading the blog in 2011. The number of email subscriptions has quadrupled in 2011 but the number of ‘hits’ has declined. I’m assuming that the two things are connected and that more folk are reading from their inbox.
However you read it, thank you. Thank you in particular to the folk who pass comment or send me stuff for inclusion – That is what makes the whole thing worthwhile.
So Merry Christmas to you all and I’ll blog again as soon as seasonal excess allows!
I wanted to send some sort of holiday greeting to my friends and colleagues, but it is difficult in today’s world to know exactly what to say without offending someone. So I met with my lawyer yesterday, and on advice I wish to say the following :
Please accept with no obligation , implied or implicit , my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible ,low stress , non addictive , gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious / secular persuasions and / or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all .
I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012 , but not without due respect for the calendar of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great ( not to imply that Scotland is necessarily greater than any other country ) and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee .
By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms :
This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/ him or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. The wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher .