Vinyl is dead, long live vinyl

How do you pronounce it? Vahyn-l? Vīnĭl? The living room in my childhood home had a big wide bay window. Standing on either side of the windows were two tall white bookcases my Dad built. They had a deeper base section to house the record player and my parents combined record collection; my Mum was a screaming Beatles fan in her youth, my Dad tended towards folk, but both met in the middle ground of singer songwriters and rock bands. My parents are both musical, Mum played the piano, Dad the guitar and banjo, both sang in choirs and my Dad still performs at the Royal Concert Hall. Music was a constant part of my upbringing and their record collection …

Continue reading

Time for me

The house I grew up wasn’t far from a large roundabout, you could see it from where I sat at my desk in front of the bedroom window. I used to sit there in the evenings and watch the cars driving up and down the hill, round and round that roundabout. Of course I wasn’t sitting there with the express purpose of watching cars; I was supposed to be there to do my homework or study for exams but I think it was an important time for me to properly learn the art of procrastination, and I would like to point out just how well that particular skill has served me over the years! Evening after evening I’d sit there …

Continue reading

Finding the glimmers

As a child of the 70s our future was bright, so bright we had to wear shades. It was full of rockets and space exploration as the buzz of the moon landing continued to pervade my childhood years, spurned on by Star Wars and the promise of galaxies far far away… It’s easy to question where our jetpacks are, why I’m not eating meals in pill form, and what ever became of space elevators anyway? We had dreams and hopes and aspirations all of which were to be manifest in many wonderous objects that would impact our daily lives. It makes me wonder though, what do the youth of today aspire to? What do they dream for their future? Is …

Continue reading

No such thing as over sharing

I’ve only ever taken one shower with my clothes on. I was alone at the time and can still remember the sensations as my t-shirt started clinging to me, my jeans growing heavy and cold on my legs. I was drunk, had just thrown up then crawled into the bath and turned the shower tap on. I lay there as the water fell on me and I cried. My wife had (rightly) just left me and gone back to Scotland, I was alone and in the early grips of the darkest days of my depression. I’m not sure why I turned the shower on, perhaps a memory from a movie scene was my inspiration, yet looking back it all seems …

Continue reading

Six by Nico: Vietnamese Street Food

It doesn’t seem that long since we last ventured to Six by Nico, largely because it isn’t. Due to the vagaries of multiple calendars, we ended up booking to go on day 2 of the newest menu which was taking us to Vietnam. I’m a huge fan of eastern flavours, and have to admit I was pretty excited to try the Six by Nico take on some of my favourite Vietnamese street food style dishes, I mean check out this menu! SPRING ROLL – Rice Paper / Crayfish & Crab / Vietnamese Herbs PHO – Chicken ‘Noodles’ / Tiger prawn / Aromatic Broth CHÁO VIT – Rice Porridge / Duck / Peanut / Mooli SEA BREAM – Rice noodles / …

Continue reading

Barcelona

No, not the Ed Sheeran song, if anything my recent trip to this wonderful city evoked the original (and best, and I’ll fight anyone that says different) song performed by two soaring talents… Barcelona It was the first time that we met Barcelona How can I forget The moment that you stepped into the room You took my breath away Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé View this post on Instagram Gaudi with ALL the filters.. amaze!! A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on Mar 11, 2018 at 3:49pm PDT This was my second trip to Barcelona, the first being a lifetime ago as part of an off-site working weekend. I don’t remember much about that last trip as we …

Continue reading

Pianoforte

I’m sure I had full length trousers I could’ve worn – I know for certain I had a pair of dungarees at some point during the height of my Oor Wullie phase – but for some reason in my memories of cycling to my childhood piano lessons I’m always wearing shorts. Wheeling my big black Raleigh Enterprise out of the garage as the first snow of winter falls, I sling my music bag over my shoulder and head round to see Mr. Pullen (he wasn’t ‘Robert’ until much later on). To properly paint this picture, let me give you some more detail. This was at a time when everyone, EVERYONE had a BMX. My bike was not a BMX, it …

Continue reading

Six by Nico: New York, New York

It’s been far too long since my last visit to Six by Nico but – boy oh boy Riff – it’s sure been worth the wait! The last menu – a best of complilation – was a nice way to kick start 2018 but as soon as I saw the first listing for the new menu I knew I had to start spreading the news… (ok, I’ll stop with the New York based puns… maybe). And what a menu, go on, pick a bad one from this wonderful line up! BAGEL – Smoked Salmon Royale / Dill Pickle / Cream Cheese BUFFALO CHICKEN – Confit Chicken / Gorgonzola Mousse / Pickled Celery EGGS BENEDICT – Slow Cooked Egg / Miso …

Continue reading

Stop blaming Facebook

“The next two decades it’s gonna be privacy. I’m talking about the Internet. I’m talking about cell phones. I’m talking about health records and who’s gay and who’s not. And moreover, in a country born on the will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this?” ~ Sam Seaborn, The West Wing. In case you missed the news, it turns out that tens of millions of people have had their Facebook data used by a company called Cambridge Analytics to help skew the last US Presidential election (good summary here). The joys! Facebook privacy has always been a bit of an open secret, at least to those who work in IT. You can control a lot of the …

Continue reading

Switching Off

My bedroom is never completely dark. Sure, the black out curtains help, but the gentle glow of street lights still sneaks into the room, the orange glow casting gentle shadows. Once my eyes adjust I can make out the detail of the print hanging opposite my bed, the sleeve of a shirt hanging off the back of a chair. In a bid to lull my brain into a state of rest – I’m not sure what woke me at 3am but I was most definitely awake – I started pondering what was in store for me tomorrow. Starting with the basics, what’s the date tomorrow? And then it hit me, it’s March. The third month of the year. Already! Where …

Continue reading