Sunday 26 June 2016

Brexit: Has the Nation State changed?

Now is a time to look at the bigger pictures after this surprise Leave EU vote by middle England’s older voters. In todays world of instant Internet connections and easy travel - perhaps the Nation State and what it means has changed irreversibly? 

Its important to know and understand both our nationhood and our interconnections with other places.  Perhaps it is necessary to be grounded in order to be outward-looking?

Englanders want England back it seems. Scottish people want Scotland back too. What this all means for Ireland or for their ancient old rivalries is hard to call – will the northern Irish people really want old borders back again?

However what will this mean for scientists and others who rely on co-operation and funding in Europe?

The rest of England has spoken up against the Elites of both London and Europe. Just as Scotland too has been speaking against these elites. The banking crash of 2009 is causing major upheavals.

**The EU is not a Super state – neither a state nor an empire but a union of states and peoples whose policies were arrived at through consensus seeking and compromise.” 

Scotland has voted to REMAIN in Europe and Nicola Sturgeon has said another independence referendum is now on the table. 

**CELTIC Interconnections Against Imperialism of northern Europeans are discussed by historians Alan Raich and Alexander Moffatt, All the ways of marking beliefs and expressing power, and understanding of our heritage and place in the world.
“British nationalism and legacy of imperialism, comes to the 21st century through contemporary mass media every day and evening”
Perhaps this VOTE has been about the Control and Lies of Murdoch's press?

Saturday 25 June 2016

CELTIC Interconnections Against Imperialism

Celtic Arts & Identity
This exhibition explores our interconnectedness throughout Northern Europe. 
In their article historians Alan Raich and Alexander Moffatt, discuss the many Celtic connections in the fight against reactionary imperialism.  And their way of marking beliefs and expressing power and understanding our heritage and place in the world. 

There are many Acts of Renaissance – meaning rebirth – decided acts of cultural rejuvenation, all across northern Europe, in opposition to reactionary ideas of imperial authority. 
The "only way this emphasis can be fully delivered is through the arts.” Celtic art draws inspirations from plants and animal life.

**The EU is not a Super state – neither a state nor an empire but a union of states and peoples whose policies were arrived at through consensus seeking and compromise.

“British nationalism and legacy of imperialism, comes to the 21st century through contemporary mass media every day and evening”

What are the repercussions of Brexit.

Firstly, many appear to believe the lies in the media – from migrants taking peoples jobs to believing their standard to living will increase with a Brexit. The poor have been hood-winked by a Tory elite and those in London who have been amassing millions on their properties.

Secondly majority of young people voted to stay in the EU. They already feel let down by the older generation – and now they feel old people, who pine for long lost good old days of empire – are dragging them out .

Now England wants its independence there’s a lot for Scotland to consider.

Scotland now has to choose  – do we want to be part of Europe or part of the UK?

Sunday 19 June 2016

Edinburgh Book festival EIBF 2016!

I am looking forward in August to the place for contemplations, introspection, literary collaborations, thought-provoking conversation, famous faces, - the imaginative landscape that represent creative liberty at EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL 2016! Scotland has always been an outward looking, inclusive, open to new ideas, country. This years theme is IMAGINE BETTER! 

From stories of migration, shifting power and the shaping of our society and cities, through to music and the future of the Middle East,  this year's program themes lead you on a journey of discovery through fact, fiction, poetry, personal stories and world affairs.
The 2016 program is now launched! Once again this August at the Edinburgh International Book Festival will be transforming Charlotte Square Gardens into a magical tented village and bring together more than 800 writers to celebrate the possibilities offered by books. 

This year's program is inspired by Churchill: We shape our environment and then that place shapes us. 

Share stories and interpretations; to create meaning through conversations; and to envision a better world.”

This year, the Book Festival is truly international with over 800 participants from 55 different countries coming together to share their books, ideas and stories.   
TICKETS GO ON SALE Tuesday 21st June

Writers appearing at this year’s Festival include:
Han Kang, Hisham Matar, Mervyn King, Malcolm Rifkind, Val McDermid, Eimear McBride, Chris Packham, Liz Lochhead, Kim Leine, Chimwemwe Undi, Sjón, A L Kennedy, Howard Jacobson, Gordon Brown, Alan Cumming, Can Xue, Robin Yassin-Kassab, Simon Callow, Shappi Khorsandi, Nina Stibbe, Wolfgang Bauer, Frank Gardner, Stuart MacBride, Irvine Welsh, Laura Bates, Janet Ellis, Lionel Shriver, Sarah Ardizzone, Gregor Fisher, Philippe Sands, Gillian Slovo, Kenny MacAskill, Sumayya Usmani, Sue Perkins, Tom Devine, Jessie Burton, Jem Lester, Kit de Waal, Arkady Ostrovsky, Ian Rankin, John Boyne, Ali Smith and many more…

Saturday 18 June 2016

Rab Noakes performs a home gig!

This was a relaxed and informal gathering for Rab to perform in and it was fun to have a chat.  The conservatory was set with chairs for the 30 or so people invited for this special evening.

We had time to chat with Rab before his set and he clearly enjoyed the more social setting. He said he sang song interpretations , rather than cover version.. I asked him about his musical influences and how he mixes both a Scottish and American sound. He said, like Dylan he grew up listening to the radio and to musicians such as Buddy Holly, Billy Fury and to 20th century skiffle.

He said his SONGWRITING was an organic process and that no two songs came in the same way. He said sometimes the melody and idea came first, or playing a guitar riff.

*For his first set he sang songs from his new album and some of his most popular songs.
 SONGS: Moving On, out of Sight, I’m Walking here. No More Time, Moonlight and Gold, When one dog barks at the shadow, Most dogs bark at the sound, Branch, It happened All the Same, Mississippi.

*For the second half Rab performed some Americana songs
 SONGS: Don’t say money doesn’t matter, Roll on Saturday, Lonely by Twilight, Jackson Greyhound, Where Dead Voices Gather, Waters my Friend, One More Shavin Haircut, Travelling Light, Slippin Away
One song spoke of the opportunities come your way – grab them.

Rab’s partner told me about his submitting songs for the project ‘SCOTLAND SINGS’.

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Hollywood Seller of Dreams

We’d all like to dance off into the sunset where there is a bed of Roses!

Unfortunately life simply isn’t like this. It is more like a Grey European film, with small ups and downs.
Hollywood fills our heads with unrealistic dreams of escapist fantasies.
 *     *     *     *     *     *

Some people leave behind a great and memorable foot print on the world. Their words, images, inventions or music resonate and move others and improve peoples lives.

Sometimes luck matters with photography! After we enjoyed our chilled beer at Valle Gran Rey on the Canary island of La Gomera - oddly unknown to us we were running on hour ahead on holiday having set our phones to Spanish time by mistake - we left the restaurant and after walking along the front captured the sun just as its last hello sunk behind the sea's calm horizon. Many couples were sitting waiting and watching too for those last glows... perfect.