There’s been a few blog posts missing of late, which is mainly down to my departmental Christmas celebration on Thursday. Following that event, I’ve been very busy with my writing, preparing my Christmas newsletter, and getting Ranfurly Review ready for publication (due out very shortly).
So, I’ll start where I left off and wind back to Thursday lunchtime where I sank a couple of pints in Bar Kohl on George IV bridge with a few colleagues. It’s primarily a vodka bar but for most of us plain Janes simple lager sufficed. We then moved to Johnstone Terrace to a place called Hanams, where the rest of the department joined us. It’s a Kurdish and BYOB restaurant, which meant by the time we had finished I’d enjoyed a hearty and delicious lunch comprising mixed traditional starters and a Lamb Tashreeb. I was also pretty pished from all the beer and wine I’d taken in after an over-estimated visit to the off license.
From there we moved to Finnegan’s Wake for a few more beers. I cut off from the rest of the crowd after a while and made my way down to the Voodoo Rooms where I had a previous booking to see Phill Jupitus in conversation with Ian Rankin. Phill was in town to promote his new book, Good Morning Nantwich, a book about Phill’s love of music and radio and how it changed his life.
I’d misjudged my arrival at the venue and had time to sink a couple of pints in the main bar, though, which due to the time of year and location was full of suits and yah-yahs, i.e., not my type of people at all. I spent most of my time Tweeting from the corner and taking notes into my my iPhone to be used in a work of fiction at a later date.
Eventually, I moved into the small ballroom and the show began. Phill Jupitus, who used to be a stand-up comedian for many years before he went to work for BBC Radio 6, was hilarious and warming in front of the 100 Edinburghers that turned up. He talked openly and frankly and after talking for some time, before taking a seat to be asked questions by Ian Rankin.
I was particularly delighted to hear Jupitus work through what his Desert Island Discs selection would be, with top of his list being Gangsters by The Specials. Our musical tastes, it seems, are very similar, particularly as we both have the ska connection, so when I met him at the end we talked about the new Specials tour, talk of a new album, the Ordinary Boys cover of Little Bitch and, of course, he signed a copy of his book I’d just bought, shown below. If you can’t make it out, it reads: “Colin dude, Al Capone’s guns don’t argue…,” which for the unenlightened, is the opening line of the song Gangsters by The Specials. Quality stuff!
Speaking of music, today’s the day we find out if John Cage’s 4’33” has made it to number 1. I’ll be tuning into the chart show to find out, probably the first time I’ve done so in about 20 years in the days when I used to tape the songs I wanted off the radio. Nowadays I can afford to buy them, which is another reason it’s a crying shame the charts are full of pish.
I registered earlier for a month-long workshop at Savvy Authors in January: One Story, Many Voices is being run by Devon Ellington so I know it’s going to be a tough and a lot of hard work, but very rewarding journey. I’ve also got a tonne of work to get on with today. I’ve already finished tidying the house for Christmas and simply must get through the following:
- Catch up with blogs
- Publish Christmas newsletter
- Publish December Ranfurly Review
- Begin 2nd draft BACCARA BURNING
- Catch up gig reviews
- Wrap Xmas presents
Phew! Until tomorrow, when hopefully we’ll be celebrating anyone being at the Christmas No.1 slot other than the X-Factor.
CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR DEALS
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Get 25% off STELLA, my spy novella with a twist, when you order the e-book from the publisher’s website at www.eternalperss.biz. Simply quote 612JMZN67VZX at checkout.
Grab issue 24 of Open Wide Magazine for only £1 (one British pound) and you can read my short story, LETTING GO. It’s well worth it!