Blogs

Saturday 30 March – Monday 1 April 2013

Over the past two weeks I’ve been writing a series of short stories about running, six so far with another idea scribbled down in my notepad. I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve had to dig deep to find so many stories on the same theme, or simply because of the special relationship I have with running, but the inspiration for many of the stories comes from way back. My story about a presidential guard charged with protecting him during his...

Saturday 30 March – Monday 1 April 2013

I didn’t go for a run over the rest of the bank holiday, as I developed a cold. I am, let me repeat, a fair weather runner. Though I’ve run pretty regularly my entire adult life, but I do not run if it’s raining, in the snow, in the ice, or if I have a cold. My running is affected before I’ve any idea I’ve a cold coming on, it’s the first symptom. As you can see from my previous blog, I found the run a struggle, I was stiff, uncomfortable and my...

Friday 29 March 2013

A fortnight's break from running because of the snow. Mrs Oblong comments that I write about running more often than I do it. Whilst this is true (a couple of running-based short stories this week) it's not exactly fair. My body is stiff and the wind is icy cold, I struggle to find the inspiration and can't get beyond a slow trudge. I feel my age. Not just the body feeling crap and frail, but some unstoppable part of my brain wants to complain...

Winter Bone (2010) BBC 2 10.45pm

Winter's Bone based an adaptation of Daniel Woodrell's 2006 novel of the same name. I had to look that bit up on the internet. Quite simply the film has pushed to the top of my must read books. Of course I’ve got must read books and must, must read books and books I’m ashamed I’ve not read (most nineteen century novels). Written and directed by Debra Granik, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence as a seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly Jessup, in the rural...

Ralph Glasser (1986) Growing up in The Gorbals.

I gave up on Scotland. I’m as patriotic as the next man, but I could only watch a bit of their game against Serbia. It was 0-0 at half time. We’ll lose. We always do. Growing up in the Gorbals is one of my favourite books. It’s a coming of age drama set in a period when even the plague rats demanded new housing. Glasser is Jewish and an outsider. Kids don’t know whether to batter him for being a Proddy or a Catholic, or just leave him alone. The...

Perspectives: Warwick Davis – The Seven Dwarves of Auschwitz. STV 10pm

Warwick Davis is a dwarf, so he was just the man to tell us about the Ovitzes, a Jewish family that ended up in Mengele’s zoo inside Auschwitz. As Mengele told one of the Ovitzes’s women, ‘they were lucky, because otherwise they could have ended up over there.’ Over there was a crematorium capacity of 5000 bodies a day. At one point Warwick is shown on the train tracks and a camera swoops along like a train and flies over his head into the...

NEDS (2010) written and directed by Peter Mullan.

I watched this DVD after watching the Scotland v Wales highlights. I didn’t know the score, so like to torture myself that way, but not enough to torture myself by watching the whole game. Highlights are enough. NEDS is not the Scottish play, but it is a Scottish film. Many folk I know have watched and commented on it because part of it was filmed in Salisbury Place. I knew this in advance because my pal Gordy Murdy works for a gangster I went...

Understanding Self & My New Therapist

So here we go again. It's a new scene but the same scenario. The therapist assumes many things, but does not know what the heck is wrong with my brain. I just got back from my appointment at 2 pm. I drove myself in my new car about twenty minutes to the office. I went two hours early, because I was nervous about getting lost. So I took my time buying banana bread and some oatmeal pastries and sat in the office and read for an hour. I'm reading...

Alice McDermott (2002) Child of My Heart.

I bought this book for 10p about a year ago out of my library. Somehow knowing you have a book means that you read other books in front of it. I read this in two goes: one half the first day and, well I’ll let you work out the rest (but don’t tell me your answer, I hate fractions). It’s a simple story and it’s all there in the first line. ‘I had in my care that summer four dogs, three cats, the Moran kids, Daisy my eight-year-old cousin and...

Mayday Hospital

It all started when I was five years old, I woke up from the night and climbed in mummy and daddy’s bed and complained of an ear ache. Mum spoke “we will go see the doctor in the morning” so we did, they gave me ear drops and a week later I went on holiday to Spain with the family, on the plane my ears popped and I screamed “OUCH!” all my hearing went funny and a loud beeeeeeeep noise went off in my ear for at-least ten minutes, I explained this...

Pages