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Headline of the Day

I haven’t read the NME (New Musical Express) for many years. When I was a devoted reader, more than 30 years ago, it was the arbiter of the Zeitgeist. It had a great letters page and the legendary cartoon strip the Lone Groover. Imagine my surprise when I spotted this headline on Google’s news page:

mediumThe full article is here.

Apparently, although the information, delivered by AEG Live CEO Randy Philips was allowed to stand as testimony by the judge.

This all brought back memories of the ‘seance’ held by camp old fraudster British medium Derek Acorah. Del got together some gullible nutjobs of Michael’s most devoted fans to hold a question and answer session with the dead king of pop.

I must warn you that this could reduce you to tears……

And if you’d like to see more of Derek’s amazing talent click here

BNP Badgered

Regular correspondent Jeni sends a link to this wonderful story headlined “Far-Right Extremists Chased Through London by Women Dressed as Badgers”


It turns out that a march to protest against a proposed UK badger cull was taking place at the same time as one by The BNP/EDL.

The Nutter on the Train

Mrs Rab and my older daughter are on their way back from Manchester where they attended a Muse concert at the Etihad Stadium last night. Muse are, I am informed,a popular beat combo.

Anyhoo I just got a text to say that they were sat adjacent to ‘the nutter’ on the train but that fortunately he (the nutter) had got off at Preston.

I only had to cast my mind back to Friday night when, having completed the Newark to Edinburgh leg of my train journey, I boarded the Helensburgh train at Waverley. As I settled into my seat I was aware of a ruddy complexioned round face smiling at me from the opposite aisle about three rows down.

“Awsafuckinsaletginafertyswackolly” was what I think he said, but having spent two seconds attempting to decipher it I thought it best that I avoid eye contact with him for the duration of the journey.

“Awsafuckinsaletginafertyswackolly” he said again, this time a bit louder and adding ‘big man’ on to the end.

As the train pulled out of Waverley, there was a loud fssssssstt sound and an expression of frustration and annoyance from the nutter. “Fuxxxake!” he said as some precious White Ace Cider from his 1.5 litre green plastic bottle fizzed over and on to the plastic wrapping around……a plant from Marks and Spencer; presumably a peace offering for Mrs Nutter.

The Nutter proceeded to drink the whole bottle between Waverley and Drumgelloch, a suburb of Airdrie, probably the location for chez Nutter.

“Awsafuckinsaletginafertyswackolly” he said in his valedictory announcement before disembarkation.

I assume that there is a Marks and Spencer plant now decorating a window in Drumgelloch. Either that or there’s a broken window where the Marks and Spencer plant flew through it……….

More details on the Preston train nutter tomorrow.

I’m off down south again in the morning.

Thank goodness I’m going by plane this time.

Worth Every Penny?

A rather bizarre service was offered in a taxi I travelled in this evening.

A bit steep but surely tempting?……


Another thing I thought I’d never see…..

A real astronaut singing (his own version of) Space Oddity…..live from space! Is this no’ brilliant?

Chris Hadfield is no slouch with the camera either. He obligingly took this photo:


Old Music News

Early one mornin’ the sun was shinin’,
I was layin’ in bed
Wond’rin’ if she’d changed at all
If her hair was still red.
Her folks they said our lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like Mama’s homemade dress
Papa’s bankbook wasn’t big enough.
And I was standin’ on the side of the road
Rain fallin’ on my shoes
Heading out for the East Coast
Lord knows I’ve paid some dues gettin’ through,
Tangled up in blue.

Aficionados of Bob Dylan’s work will immediately recognise the above. It’s from the opening song on his 1975 album, Blood on the Tracks. Tangled Up in Blue, according to some schools of thought, was written by Dylan after an intense few days listening to the Joni Mitchell album ‘Blue’.

Indeed if you go here, one writer claims that Dylan himself imparted the following, “People get that way about Joni Mitchell songs. Bob Dylan once told me that he’d written “Tangled up in Blue,” the opening song of the much-celebrated Blood on the Tracks, after spending a weekend immersed in JM’s Blue (although I think he may have been talking about the whole album, not just the song).”


His Bobness and Joni in happier times.

I was reading an unrelated article in the Independent this morning and on the ‘other stories that may interest you’ tab I noticed a headline in which Joni Mitchell denounced Dylan as a ‘plagiarist’ and a ‘fake’. Scanning the article at first I thought it was a few days out of date but actually it was from April 2010. Old news that I had missed.

The Indy article led me in turn to this one

There’s complimentary stuff:

“I was what was known as a ‘late Dylan fan.’ At one time I was almost anti-Dylan, and I made a lot of enemies… I thought he was putting me on, I couldn’t accept him. The thing was, I shared no experience with Dylan at the time, I thought a lot of his stuff was ambiguous, and not written honestly. It’s like I always thought Shakespeare was real wordy and weird, right until I went to Stratford and saw a man who recited Shakespeare like it was really 20th century. It lost all of that super-drama stuff that really turned me off, and it flowed, and I understood it. So it’s the same thing with Dylan; now every time I listen to him, the things I thought were just words for words’ sake make sense to me.” – Mitchell in Brian Hinton’s Both Sides Now

However, after they performed together at the 1994 UNESCO Project in Japan, Mitchell had this to say about the experience:

“On the third night they stuck Bob at the mic with me and that’s the one that went out on tape. And if you look closely at it, you can see the little brat, he’s up in my face — and he never brushes his teeth, so his breath was like… right in my face — and he’s mouthing the words at me like a prompter, and he’s pushing me off the mic. lt’s like he’s basically dipping my pigtail in ink.” – Barney Hoskyn’s 1994 interview with Mitchell

“Now for the plagiarism accusation — from what we can tell, Dylan has been accused of borrowing liberally from Civil War poet Henry Timrod on his 2006 album Modern Times. When the Independent compared lyrics from Modern Times with the work of Timrod, and found several instances where the words or the sentiment are similar. A few years earlier, Dylan faced similar allegations when he “borrowed” several lines from a Japanese writer, without accreditation, on the rather ironically-titled Love and Theft.”

“Since we’ve compiled some evidence, we can’t help but be on Team Bob. It sounds to us like Mitchell is bitter and jealous of his esteem which is weird since many consider Mitchell to be the female Dylan. In addition to her jabs at Dylan, she’s also made incendiary comments about Joan Baez, and in the same article that called out Dylan yesterday, describes Janis Joplin and Grace Slick as drunken whores. Then she compared Madonna to Nero. We just can’t defend her after reading that. Plus, for someone with such an axe to grind, she sure loves covering Bobby.”

Plagiarised from flavorwire and The Independent

Handsome gesture….

From Ansa Med Italiano

FireShot Screen Capture #043 - 'Saudi Arabia_ authorities expel men because 'too handsome' - United Arab Emirates - ANSAMed_it' - www_ansamed_info_ansamed_en_news_nations_emirates_2013_04_26_Saudi-Arabia-authorities-ex

Thankfully I managed to stay five days in the middle east in December. Phew! – close thing…

Sweet Sorrow

When Chris Holmes decided to resign from his job at the Borders Agency at Stanstead Airport he did it by writing his goodbye on a cake….

Chris Holmes' resignation cake.

Spotted in The Guardian

The Maine Man

Christopher Knight, 47, known as the North Pond Hermit, after his arrest

This is Christopher Knight, known as the “North Pond Hermit”.

The Guardian reports:

He would meditate on an overturned bucket while staring up at the sky and knew all the eagles that nested nearby. And in his 27 years of seclusion in the woods, Christopher Knight also refined his tastes in the food and gear he stole to survive, authorities said on Thursday after dismantling the hermit’s lair in the far north-eastern state of Maine.

In the 47-year-old’s camp they recovered goods that included high-end LL Bean sleeping bags and a new tent.

He was wearing brand-new shoes and gloves, all believed stolen, when authorities arrested him after he tripped a surveillance sensor at a camp last week. They believe Knight may be responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries of food and other staples during the nearly three decades he hid in the woods.

Some of the equipment retrieved by police from Christopher Knight’s dismantled camp

Knight’s arrest came a little more than a week after the capture of a self-styled mountain man in Utah who shared some of the same traits. For six years Troy James Knapp ransacked cabins on national forest land for guns, food and high-end camping gear, authorities said.

Knapp, a 45-year-old California parolee who went on the run in 2004, faces 29 burglary-related felony and misdemeanour charges in Utah that could keep him in prison for life.

Authorities say Knight does not show signs of mental illness and they have uncovered no other motive for his seclusion except that he wanted to be alone.

Read the full story at The Guardian

That Cher eh?