Showing posts with label 2020. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2020. Show all posts

Thursday 31 December 2020

SONGs of 2020


There were a few songs that helped through the tough times we all unexpectedly suffered through in 2020. 


Songs of pulling together. 

There were many heroes of 2020 – those who selflessly worked in care. 

Each Thursday we clapped on our doorsteps for the health workers – perhaps the clapping might get rid of the virus!



Times Like This by Foo Fighters

A star-studded cover version of the Foo Fighters' Times Like These has topped the UK singles chart after a close battle for the number one slot.The charity single, which features Dua Lipa, Chris Martin, Jess Glynne and Biffy Clyro, beat The Weeknd's Blinding Lights by just 3,000 copies.


Stand by Me 2020


True Colours by the local school choir


Hit song Blinding Lights by the Weeknd spent 8 weeks at No One 


Ceilidh nights – with renowned fiddler Duncan Chisholm’s from the western isles. Perfect pick up.



Live concerts and festivals were cancelled – but many albums were released.

Taylor Swift re-recorded her albums as Spotfiy take so much of the money on the streaming services. 

Lewis Capaldi – most streamed 

One World concert Lady Gaga

Tv shows and concerts with Zoom audiences. 


**TV meanwhile TV series kept us afloat too. 

Queens Gambit

Normal People

The Crown




Bond movie delayed for one year. Cost 250m with 5m in media.

We saw Tenet by in a near empty cinema in September




*The Big Indy night in -


Tuesday 28 January 2020

Coastal Connections: at Celtic Connections Festival 2020

This new festival within a festival proved a highly successful and sold-out event. For the price of a ticket, we were given a wristband as access to musical performances of the highest calibre, celebrating Scotland’s vast coastlines and many islands.

The festival was held over the concert halls several spaces – the main auditorium, exhibition hall, Buchannan suite, and Strathclyde suite. The main event took place in a more relaxed setting in the main hall, with tables and chairs set up in the front area. All this proved ideal for families and for dancing. 

Some of the festivals top ceilidh bands took part – 
From north Uist we were treated to the perfect voice of Julie Fowlis along with Eamon Doorley, Zoe Conway and John McIntyre. Diamh from the Hebrides, proved a strong presence with accomplished musicians and with lead singer, Ellen MacDonald
Capercaillie from Oban, were the ultimate professionals: a band with strong tunes with contemporary rhythms led by
 accordion player and festival director Donald Shaw and with the moving Gaelic voice of Karen Matheson. Tiree-based Skerryvore are a powerhouse ceilidh band led by pipes and song, and they lit up the final show here. 

The more intimate spaces musicians included  - Orkney bands Gnoss and Fara; fiddler Gillian Frame from Arran; Ceol Nan Eilean from Benbecula; from Cape Breton Miller, MacDonald, Cormier and Feis Rois with John Somerville’s Voyage of the Hector; Esther Swift’s The Flood; from Lochaber Ingrid Henderson, Anna and Mairearad from the Black Isle. 

There were also art displays and musical instruments on show. I thought there might have been more coastal signage or art displays. There certainly are many outstanding photographers who shoot powerful images of Scotland’s incredible coastlines, perhaps a display for another day.

I’ve been fortunate myself to visit Scotland’s islands recently and the north coast. If the weather is kind ( as it is in may or the autumn) there is nothing to surpass the wildness, the subtle, shifting light, blinding wind or thunderous waves or perfect white sands.

(photos from north Uist nature reserve, Scarra Brae Orkney, North Coast 500

The festival had a dramatic opening spectacle with STORM, a 10m high sun goddess STORM made of driftwood by Edinburgh’s Vision Mechanics to celebrate our seas. Her voice the chorus of the waves to celebrate our seas, care of our coastlines and to put our environment first – she made her journey from the Clyde to the Glasgow concert hall.

Tuesday 31 December 2019

Year of Flux and Turmoil

Change doesn’t mean we forget the past – we forget the past at our peril. 

The days are cold and frost lays heavy on the ground, but we must reflect this is a crossroads time – and we must now make important choices for our futures. Can we make a better future in the UK as a group of indy nations – like other modern states do? Can this be more successful? But what exactly does success mean? Does it mean more money in our back pockets, or saving the planet? Does it mean a well-being culture alongside successful businesses? 

Saving our planet from climate erosion is now a urgent priority. 
One dominant theme is the mistrust of politicians, but it is also mistrust of the media and press, who are supposed to inform us?

2019 ends with another major UK election but will it settle anything?
We are at the end of a decade and look forward to 2020. Our years of turmoil end with a major election in which choices were stark. Boris is a selfish, scheming chancer, and I have no trust in him or his side-kick Cummings. England continues to tie itself into knots. The trouble is Labour are providing no opposition. Will Ireland consider reunification – if so will Scotland vote for Indy?

In America there are several strong women role models I admire, women who give back – Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Angelie Jolie, Hilary Clinton and more. In Scotland and the UK I struggle to think of good, present day female role models though – Nicola Sturgeon, Anita Roddick, Virginia Woolfe, 

*HEROES of 2010s - Greta Thunberg, Obama, Andy Murray, 

I’ve believed change can only occur in small places, at the grassroots level and while we must see the big picture.

**The Past Decade
I look at photos of the 2010s
The early years were hopeful – we had Obama, a UK coalition, hope of Scottish indy, 
The decade held many tragedies – Grenfell, Windrush Trump, Brexit, Boris, climate crisis. 

Now we have chaos, and rich oligarchs gaining more power, and wealth.
Sometimes the world goes off its axis, and I hope it will right itself again!
Its hard to understand the Brexit vote – but Fintan O’Toole is the best read(Irish Times)

**Looking ahead 2020
Celtic Connections January 2020
Climate conference Glasgow, November 2020
700 years since 1320 Declaration or Arbroath, April 2020

HAPPY HEW YEAR FOR 2020, I took a late walk on the moors in the gloamin tonight and the sky was a perfect glow. Hope its a good sign for the year ahead!

***Time is now running out ** 
We are facing several major crises. Its crucial we see the urgency of our decisions.

*Respect for our Past
I worry some have little regard for culture, history or past stories. This isn’t about dusty books on shelves – but is essential to understand our choices today 
Scotland’s only hope is indy in Europe. 

And we do have horrific images to witness – dying species, melting ice sheets, dangerous fires, severe floods, 

Letter to EU 
I hope those in Europe understand why Scots seek indy now. Brexit is not about the EU. Its about English nationalism, and about a UK creaking and not fit for purpose. The UK today is a disunited kingdom – all 4 nations are not working well together. Both Ireland and Scotland are on different trajectories: and many in Ireland are seriously considering and debating reunification for the first time. 
Only 10 years ago the SNP had only a few MPs, now it has 80%. The SNP is socially democratic and progressive and not about racism in any shape or form: and totally opposite to other nationalist parties in Europe. Scottish nationalism is inclusive and outward-looking: it is empathically not narrow, elitist or exclusive. For centuries Scots heritage and ideals have been ones of travel on our seas to distant lands  Its English nationalism that is right wing. Perhaps it is in essence the Scottish democratic party? JK Rowling claims her villain Voldemort would be a ‘nationalist’ – its clear she totally misunderstands our Yes Movement. Its about the right of an ancient nation to self determination: and to have equal rights to those in the south! No more, no less.