USB Wine, download wine straight from the vineyards!

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In these straitened times this might be just what we need to get through the day!


Luke Williams launches his debut novel, The Echo Chamber, in Edinburgh


 Luke Williams launches his debut novel, The Echo Chamber, in Edinburgh, Scotland

Thursday 26 May 2011 at 6.30pm

Word Power Books        
43-45 West Nicolson Street

Admission Free! Donations welcome!

All Welcome!

“original, brilliant, inconceivable. It gives a reader new ears” Ali Smith

Enter the world of Evie Steppman, born into the dying days of the British Empire in Nigeria. It’s loud and cacophonous. Why? Because Evie can hear things no one else can. Although she’s too young to understand all the sounds she takes in, she hoards them in a vast internal sonic archive. Today, alone in an attic in Scotland, Evie’s powers of hearing are starting to fade, and she must write her story before it disintegrates into a meaningless din. But the attic itself is not as quiet as she hoped. The scratching of mice, the hum of traffic, the tic-toc of a pocket watch and countless other sounds merge with the noises of Evie’s past: her time in the womb, her childhood in Nigeria, her travels across America with her lover …

Luke Williams  was born in 1977. He grew up in Fife, Scotland, and now divides his time between Edinburgh and London. The Echo Chamber  is his first novel.

‘A hereditary ruler makes no more rational sense than a hereditary dentist’ (Thomas Paine)

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There’s that or there’s this:

Royal Waddin

Tune: Mhairi’s Wedding – trad.; new words – Jane Lewis


Sing a song of cuts and woe

Empty pooches in a row

The Chancellor’s collectin dough

Cutting as he’s able.

1. Students greetin in the street

Aye they cannae mak ends meet.

Get them oot frae unner oor feet

Fae the Royal Waddin.

2. Pledges fallin all aboot

Cooncil workers gien the boot.

Dinnae mind yer losin oot

There’s still a Royal Waddin.

3. Bankers sailin high and dry

You can mak it if you try.

Aye poor folk cud een apply

Fir the Royal Waddin.

4. Silk and satin, gold lame

Cameron weirs a lum hat tae.

Ma suit’s in the pawn, sae whit’ll ah dae

At the Royal Waddin?

Back to work after 40 years

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This is very short – so watch carefully. If you’re under 40 you might not get it.

Recreation’s Purpose …

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I am not planning to retire this summer, even though, perish the thought, I shall be old enough. I enjoy my work too much even to contemplate the notion. In addition, I’m a bit scared of all that potential unscheduled time.

But it must come some time so I’m grateful to that prolific writer, Anon, for these encouraging thoughts:

Recreation’s purpose is not to kill time,
but to make life,

not to keep a person occupied,
but to keep them refreshed;

not to offer an escape from life,
but to provide a discovery of life.

So now I’ll turn off the computer and …


A Tartan Tale

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Lairds! Castles! Heraldry!

On Ne’er Day Thea and I, one of us a little the worse for wear having rolled in at 9a.m., were on a mission in Buenos Aires. My daughter had promised to take me to the grandest shopping mall in town – Galeria Pacifico –  to buy me my Christmas present. The picture above is of the ceiling, I kid you not.

As you do when you’re with a teenager, we chanced upon the MAC (make up not computer) window. We we caused utter bemusement amongst the good citizens of this sophisticated city as, after a stunned silence, we shrieked with hysterical laughter, holding on to each other in paroxysms of glee.

The summer theme (it averaged 37 degrees while I was there) was tartan: a ‘Tartan Tale to celebrate holiday, in all its posh, punk, ancestral, anarchic, noble and naughty glory. Royal and raunchy, colours and patterns collide, fantasies come true, punk fairies take flight with enchanted new looks’.

True, the model portrayed a maiden who had apparently stepped from a book of Celtic fairy tales, right enough: straight-backed, green-kirtled; side-saddled, caparisoned palfrey awaiting beside a stylised thicket of medieval roses (I may have made it up about the horse).  Her proud demeanour suggested a damsel in captivity destined to grace the Round Table – and only to be released from the spell of an ancient and evil witch by the application of top quality cosmetics.

The lengthy story filling the shop window told of Castle McGregor by the banks of the River Laird in bonny Midlothian wherein lived the handsome Prince Edward who was yearning to marry the humble servant (who, we knew was in reality an enchanted princess). It was the name of the heroine that sent us completely over the edge to hysteria: Myfanwy.

You couldn’t make it up.

Vocal Dyslexia: wildly like spreadfire

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