...had his scent of amandines, but me? I live in the Modern Age, I've got MP3s to remind me of stuff.
The reader of this blog (hi, pal, howya doing?) will recall that I noted here a few weeks ago that our only begotten son was off to Australia.
That passage has now come to, er, pass and I therefore find myself bereft of a useful flunkey to transfer music from CDs to my MP3 player.
This totally unsatisfactory state of affairs has resulted in me having to perform the task myself and me alone. Long story short, I came across a Django Reinhardt album I'd forgotten about. Anyway, I've been listening to the master at work again, affording me a fresh opportunity to become totally depressed about my own plank spanking and, er, where was I? Oh, yes. Memory.
Listening to Django again reminded me of a story from long ago, back before the last Ice Age, when I was settling down on the floor, beer can in hand, at a student party. I was joined by a heavily refreshed guy I sort of vaguely knew and we were soon partaking in the communion that was current in those days, that is, passing round a home-made cigarette containing an interesting and quite challenging blend of selected herbal tobaccos.
The host of the party, very much against the temper of the age, had selected an album of Reinhardt, which I recognised, having been previously introduced to his work by a total nutter who knew more about the guitar than was clinically advisable.
This, remember, dear reader, was at a time when the "music scene" (man) was ruled by popular beat combos called Led Sabbath, Deep Zeppelin and the like, who tended to specialise in 15-minute guitar solos of the genus widdly diddly.
Anyway, my party companion started grooving along and asked me if I knew the identity of the guitar player. I gave him what chapter and verse I'd gleaned on Django including the fact that he didn't have full use of his fretting hand because of an accident, thus leading him over time, to develop his particular percussive arpeggio style.
Or words to that effect.
Imagine the pause as my refreshed party mate takes time to process this intelligence. And then he turns to me and says "It's a tragedy in't it?"
"What is?" I say.
"Well," he replies "can you imagine how good he'd have been if he haudnae been a bit spastic?"
Here's a link to Django playing a bit spastic. It's just a track, despite being on You Tube. Just shut your eyes and listen:
I had meant to post the clip below last week but didn't get round to it.
At that point, Rangers were still in Europe and Wattie might have still sweated on the prospect of an immediate UEFA ban, but after Tuesday evening's events at Ibrox, such worries will seem to Wattie like a distant, fond memory.
I'm fully aware that if you, dear reader, don't follow Scottish fitba then the foregoing will make no sense.
Let me just apologise for that and warn you that the next bit is going to be even worse....
Yes, we all know that "Downfall" been mashed up to bits, but there's still something exquisitely funny about a clip that has as its subtext at least two readings of the word "hun."
Admiralty sources confirmed to The JT this week, that HMS "Astute", an attack sub, to be stationed at Faslane, will be the last conventionally configured class of sub.
"To be honest", a spokeshornpipe told The JT, "it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify the cost of these hi-tech exercises in post-imperialist dementia to the public."
Finally bowing to the inevitable conclusion: that it makes no fuckin' sense to waste money on these pointless thantic tributes, the Navy announced plans this week to develop a new type of submarine, the Surreal Class. "The new class of sub will take the whole mad process to its logic conclusion - the creation of a class of weapon that expresses the sheer insanity of its purpose in its design."
It is expected that HMS "Ftaang, ftaang, biscuit barrel" will enter service on the 12th of never.
Inside: You wouldn't think a cutaway could express class relations would you? You'd be wrong. Have a look at this BAE cutaway of the Astute, note there are two eating areas, one for the officers and one for the scruff. It's like having two canteens in a dustbin, it makes no sense...
"Scotland will almost certainly suffer a deeper recession than the UK as a whole for the first time since the Second World War, according to a leading economic think tank." The Herald, Wednesday 18th November, 2009
As it looks increasingly likely that Scotland Manager George Burley will get the tin tack this week, we ask, what will happen next?
Dawn's early light: George is offered a blindfold, given the last rites and asked if he has any last requests. Request to learn how to play guitar turned down.
At the rising of the sun: George is marched into the barrack square and positioned in front of firing squad.Firing squad is made up of all the strikers and attacking mid-field players George has worked through in the last 22 months. The squad check the load, aim their rifles at the target on George's chest and fire on command.
Last post sounds: George removes the blindfold, inspects the evidence of missed shots on the wall behind him and exits the square to negotiate his pay-off from the SFA.
Officer commanding the firing squad, Colonel Gordon Smith, leaves without talking to the waiting press.
what happens when you put two revolutionary socialists together, alone, in the same room?
Answer: you create the objective conditions for a massive doctrinal split that will retard the development of socialism for 100 years!
To illustrate the truth behind this assertion, consider reader dear this extract from the return at the Springburn count: Louise Daid, Socialist Labour Party, 47 votes. Kevin McVey, Scottish Socialist Party, 152. Tommy Sheridan, Solidarity, 794.
Not a glowing performance one has to admit, but aggregated, that vote would've at least come close to that of the BNP candidate. Factor in the Green vote,(332) and again, in aggregate, the non-Labour left vote starts to look a bit more respectable. Or at least not catastrophically bad.
OK, OK, I know all the arguments around why you can't just carry-over votes between parties, but still.
Anyway, retailing all of the above provides me with an excuse to stick this link in to, in my not especially humble opinion,the best bit of political satire ever committed to celluloid bar none.
"The climax to the Scottish Government’s controversial year-long celebration of the nation’s culture has been forced to downscale due to a lack of interest.
In what is a major embarrassment for SNP ministers, a programme of headline concerts to end the Year of Homecoming is being moved to smaller venues following poor ticket sales."
The Jaggy Thistle, 26th January, 2009:
"OK, the organisers of Homecoming Scotland are are pains to claim that the Year isn't just about Burns, which is a relief, because if it was, then 2009 would be the shortest year on record.
But, I'm still a bit concerned that the initial emphasis on Burns is a bit unwise in marketing terms. To put it crudely, with Burns Night awa with the cattle and January not yet loused, I fear we're in a post pop-shot situation. We've had the climax, and now we're just going to spend the rest of the year cleaning up."
"Law change call for space flight" (and the law about employing loonies)
A change in the law is needed before Scotland can be considered as a launch site for commercial space flights, the head of Virgin Galactic has said. The firm's president Will Whitehorn said locations in Scotland and Sweden were being considered as bases for Virgin's European operations. But he said UK laws would have to be amended to allow flights to take place....
Lossiemouth in Moray has put itself forward as a possible spaceport, and the Virgin boss has said it has great potential. But he said: "Britain has no legislation to allow us to fly here - there is no regulatory authority. "The Outer Space Act, which Britain created in 1986, didn't really envisage a system like this. "It didn't envisage there would ever be space launches in the UK so there's no regulator, no insurance, no reliability or structure.
"But the British National Space Centre, which is a government quango, and Lord Drayson, the minister responsible for space, and the CAA are all looking closely at this issue."
It is thought that the government is actively looking at further legislation that also might impact on Virgin's operations: a new law likely to ban complete space cadets from running public companies.
Inside: I love that "Virgin Galactic" brand. So much more catchy than "Virgin Die in a Fireball on Attempted Take-Off".
Artist's impression of rocket, not showing passenger immolation.
George Reid, the distinguished former heid jannie at Holyrood has been appointed to conduct a review of strife-torn heritage body The National Trust For Scotland.
Mr Reid told the JT: "My role in the review will be more strategic than my oversight role within the Scottish Parliament. At Holyrood I was mainly concerned by the number of toilet rolls and the condition of the floor mops. In reviewing the Trust, I'll be much more concerned with the re-siting of the toilet roll cupboard and the possible purchase of a new mop bucket. I say "possible" because I will not be ruling anything in or out at this stage, but if I feel that there is a need for a new mop bucket at some stage down the road, going forward, then I won't hesitate to let the need for a new mop bucket feature in my recommendations."
Mr Reid concluded the interview by saying he was looking forward to his new role, putting away the chairs and getting away for his bus.
It is understood that since retiring as heid jannie Mr Reid has been making use of Holyrood when the parliament is not in session, hiring out the space for heats of the little-known cable-tv show "Strictly Come Ceilidh", with Mr Reid asking members of the audience if they'd like a dance. After making sure that all fire exits are securely locked.
It is understood that this attempt to supplement his pension was required after a titular arrangement to tour an Alexander Brothers tribute act broke down over "irreconcilable" musical differences with his partner:
Elsewhere on planet politics/entertainment this week, Culture Minister Mike Russell announced his plans to star in the hit panto "Snow White and the Eight Dwarves". "It should've only been seven dwarves" Mike explained, "but what with inflation...."
Real archaeologists in Scotland this week fixed rigid smiles on, gritted their collective teeth and congratulated ingénue amateur treasure hunter David Booth, who stumbled across a £1m treasure hoard.
Professor Beaker of Edinburgh's Department of Valuable Antiquities Found by A Lucky Spawny Get told the JT: "In over 30 years of painstaking, methodical fieldwork I've never come across anything worth more than hee-fuckin'-haw, and then this lucky bastard comes along and finds a million quid's worth of old stuff. Remind me again, in what sense is life fair?"
In a bizarre turn of phrase, oor Davie, whose day job is chief game warden at Blair Drummond Safari Park, told the press (this is true) that he only took up treasure-hunting to get out in the "open-air more".
So, does that mean that all the wild-life at BD just stay inside all the time?
Heavy drinkers buy cheaper drink, alcohol study shows
Cheap drink on sale at an Edinburgh supermarket
Published on 31 Oct 2009
A study of heavy drinkers in Scotland who consume up to 800 units of alcohol a week found they were buying cheaper drink than most other people.
One of the report's authors said it was "likely" the introduction of a minimum price for alcohol - as proposed by the Scottish Government - would reduce the amount of drink consumed by these problem drinkers and would also lead to a fall in alcohol-related illnesses.
The authors told a frankly amazed JT: "Who would have thought that price would've been the main consideration for people buying 800 units a week? Astonishing."
The report's authors now intend two other areas of pressing epistemological concern: the extent of form variation of water in crystalline form and the intellectual debate over the extent of The Deity's agency in the promulgation of the species Malus domestica. The wee green wans.