Just an Observation Friday September 7th


Traditionally I always refer to this weekend as the last weekend of the summer though this year I would be hard pushed to refer to a summer never mind any particular weekend to commemorate its departing. It is however usually the one when an autumn chill permeates the air and it is noticeably darker by about 8pm.  It also coincides with my birthday so the feeling of one year ending and another one beginning fills me with that cleansing feeling that autumn brings with it.

Autumn is probably my favourite season in Scotland as I love the colours and the temperature and it is probably the only season which delivers what it promises and the only surprises are usually pleasant. Last years mini-heatwave at the end of September was indicative of this and was almost like a gift from nature before winter kicked in-which it did on the first day of October- although last winter was probably more pleasant than the summer which followed. Or more correctly didn’t!

Nights in become more acceptable with the onset of Autumn but unfortunately this also coincides with the X-crutiating Factor dominating the weekend TV schedules between now and Christmas. Already it has posed a dilemma for me as last year I reported on it weekly and it was a great way of expelling a lot of inner bile as well as providing an amusing-and very popular- document as the desperation of contestants and ego tripping of the judges unfurled.

So far I have managed to avoid it but I have been out most weekends recently but usually a Saturday is the one night of the week I prefer to stay in –mainly to avoid the drunken populous exemplified by the stag and hen parties which take over the streets- and usually find myself getting caught up in it whilst acquiring an extreme amount of self-loathing for allowing myself to be ensnared.  It is however always amusing just to watch Gaaary Baaarloooow –whose diction is so retarded he is probably still thanking the Queen for his OBE for services for arselicking above and way beyond the call of duty- and wonder at what juncture of the proceedings he will, as  part of his head judge’s duties, inform Louis Walsh that a low-flying squirrel appears to have crash landed on his head in the guise of a new hairpiece.

It is not all bad on TV however as there are some great new dramas and these are spearheaded by the BBC’s‘Good Cop’ on Thursdays, ‘Inspector Montalbano’  and ‘Parades End’ on Fridays. A series of Jimmy McGovern’s ‘The Accused’ has also just finished   and shown that this country can still turn out drama of unparalleled quality when it puts its mind to it. However I would like to say please, please, please no more sport cluttering up the schedules as it has done over the summer. Even the most ardent sports fan cannot dispute the fact the medium has reached saturation point and whilst the Olympics, Wimbledon etc. have been important they are not to everyone’s taste and as such should not dominate so relentlessly.

This week also saw the great Patti Smith put on a stunning show in Glasgow. The energy , charisma and talent which this woman radiates and exudes from every pore is still overwhelming and I don’t think anyone who was at her show –or should I call it an experience- left disappointed. She gave her all and never more than in the closing rousing chant of ‘Outside of society that’s where I want to be’ of show closer ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger’ which turned her previously rapt audience into a seething mass of rebellious spirits. A full review of the show can be found here.

At the opposite end of the scale of the visceral excitable outpourings of Patti Smith probably lies the controlled Teutonic chilly iciness of pioneering techno stalwarts, the reclusive Kraftwerk.  Word has reached my ever attuned ears that plans are in motion for a live Edinburgh performance at an unlikely venue in the near future. I am not at liberty to say where until the final details have been confirmed, despite two friends trying to prise it out of me by stating-not even out of earshot- ‘Get a couple of drinks down him and he will tell us everything’. As soon as I know anything –and of course secured my own tickets- all will be revealed.

That is it for now and this weekend sees a round of parties and hopefully the new adaptation of Tolstoy’s ‘Anna Karenina’ as well as a film about the grande dame and director of twentieth century fashion, the imperious Vogue editor Diana Vreeland which looks like an interesting proposition. I am almost looking forward to next weekend already though and some much needed respite after the mayhem of the last few months. I never thought I would say this but I am more than a little partied out. At last!

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