Friday March 30th


The big news this week is that the whole country seems to be in the grip of a, very early, summer fever. Cloudless skies, sunshine and soaring temperatures have all contributed towards the feeling of summer resulting in a general lifting of spirits and an easy transition from winter. Actually the change in the weather could hardly have been more extreme as last Saturday the air was thick with a rolling fog then during the night-shortened by the putting forward of the clocks- was replaced by a heatwave which has yet to abate although we have been warned it is due to diminish over the weekend to be replaced by something more typical of this time of year. Until that time, however, I am determined to make the most of the glorious outdoors and so far this week has been taken up with long, lazy picnics interspersed with healthy activity which has, so far, managed to involve staying away from the pub which seems to be the main activity which springs to mind in Scotland as soon as the sun breaks rank and makes an unscheduled appearance. The weekend is nigh though and I doubt I shall be able to maintain my clean living lifestyle indefinitely.

This week, in-between sun worshipping, I managed to see an amazing film about New York photographer Bill Cunningham which was inspirational on so many different levels. Previously I was unaware of his existence but after his name was mentioned to me he seemed omnipresent in everything I undertook during the days leading up to me viewing the film about him, including an envious tribute from Andy Warhol in his diaries which I just happened to be perusing casually. The importance of this man in the fashion world cannot be underestimated as he is responsible for capturing street style in its infancy and natural habitat for at least five decades now. Not driven by material gain, financial reward or recognition his philosophy and perspective on life was refreshing in the extreme, shaming the culture we live in without ever dismissing or criticising it. Here is a man in his eighties who derives satisfaction from the simplest of pleasures and is more than happy with his place in the world whilst those surrounding him strive towards the unattainable in a misguided attempt to improve themselves or, more importantly, their status and standing. It is a film in which the central subject matter has a genuinely permanent smile warming his features and is an intriguing and fascinating insight to a life actually being enjoyed. If you can catch a showing of this film then I strongly suggest  you do. A full review can be found here.

The Apprentice is now in its second week but it is still to hit its full stride as there are still too many contestants to despise one in particular. This is always the best part of this show although I am becoming more attuned to the clever editing which sort of manipulates you into a certain way of thinking usually drawing you in being able to decipher who is about to be fired or, on occasion as a red herring, who should be fired and will be going very soon just not yet but far enough in the future for us to keep watching, if only to see the moment they do actually receive their marching orders. A full dissection of this weeks episode can be found here.

At least this week Laid In Chelsea returns-probably my favourite of all the terribly named ‘dramality  series’ clogging up the schedules- where there is no shortage of people to despise in equal measure. The sight of these over privileged, chinless and whinnying inbreeds –all to the Aga born- complaining continually about, well, nothing really is somehow fascinating TV, although spinning it out for a third series inside a year is probably  stretching things and difficult to sustain so perhaps this is one series too far. No doubt the Caggie and Spencer fauxmance yawnathon is still going on though I reckon they will have been engaged, married and divorced then reconciled since they finally got it together on the Xmas special.

Elsewhere this weekend it is the always great Neu Reekie this week featuring music from Withered Hand, spoken word from Ryan Van Winkle and Jenny Lindsay as well as the usual juxtaposition of animation and contributions from the house band Emelle. Later this weekend I am attending my first Salsa class mainly as an accessory to my newly acquired Mediterranean colouring- acquired courtesy of the heatwave- although I ,probably misguidedly, feel I have enough natural Latin rhythm that I shall indeed be taking the class by my second lesson complete with essential cha–cha heels. Adios!

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