Thursday, 31 October 2019

Independent shops Unchained! Daunt books

– "we need a huge cultural shift"– James Daunt
‘I want to become an anti-chain chain. To make each store like an independent bookshop. ‘

Former banker James Daunt has made a great success of his independent bookshops Daunt Books. London’s Marylebone 1990. He took over Waterstones in 2011 and has turned it around and sales Waterston’s Piccadilly doubled from 8m to 16m ! Now he’s taking on the American bookshops Barnes and Noble. 

His plan is to curate selection of books right for each town or city: and to stop the centralisation by head office.

 “I will give the best bookseller in each store change – the structure, equipment, money and tools to live up to these principles in a way right for their location. “
"Each shop picks its own book of the month. To donate traditional publishing model – all has been tightly controlled fro head office. " 

"A great bookshop is where section after section is authoritative, and all the right books are next to each other, sparks interest that you did not know you had. I almost never walk out of a bookshop with the book I thought I was going to buy. 
That makes me feel lucky."

If you look like a bookseller they’ll know you are one!
The most successful High street I’ve visited in Scotland, is Castle Douglas, which has fought to keep its high street chain free with small independent shops – cafes, art, bookshops, bakery, and much more. 

Victimhood in a kilt

**Scottish Cringe
Historian Tom Devine talks of ‘Victimhood in a kilt” – particularly the popular John Prebble books - 
Glencoe, Highland Clearances. 

Not so long ago, and even now, we are told Scotland needs hand outs and is too wee and too poor! It’s a total lie.
But Scots must stop apologising! The Gulf stream makes our weather temperate and our weather (while it may be changeable) is actually better than many places! I lived in Chicago which in winter has15 feet snow drifts and minus 15 degrees wind chill. Some places suffer tornadoes or Tsunamis.

I grew up with the Scottish cringe. ‘Donald where’s your troosers and naff white heather club sashes. Now at Celtic Connections I see respect for our old bothy traditions and Gaelic songs – for our Scottish enlightenment and our innovations.  

We should in fact be proud!  The trouble is our history has been neglected and suppressed , especially over the past decades. In fact we’ve been told lies and disinformation. 

People in Northern Ireland know about England’s rivers but not about the rivers in Ireland. The Irish were told it was the Scots who murdered when an independence and reform uprising in Wexford in 1798. So then fifty years later Irish troops were used for the Highland Clearances when the people were chased off their lands and put on ships to Canada. 

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Black & White PHOTOS Celtic Connections

Julie Fowlis at Transatlantic Sessions
I have been shooting images at Celtic Connections since 2008 now. Its been a honour to do so. I enjoy the festival’s buzz and how much the musicians enjoy the collaborations: with Scottish folk meeting the traditions of countries worldwide.  There is the great variety of Glasgow venues: from the atmospheric Old Fruitmarket, the classical City halls, the excitement of the main Glasgow concert hall.

Blue Rose Code
Eddi Reader
Rab Noakes
Siobhan Miller and Kris Drever

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Bonnie Greer on Question Time spoke some Home truths!

Bonnie Greer on Question Time – spoke some Home truths! 

Bonnie Greer on BBC Question Time – spoke some Home truths! 
First of all , she said, "‘Ireland owes this country nothing, the UK doesn’t own Ireland. It is not a play thing for the UK. Ireland is Europe." 
Second. "’The US is Irish. There will be trouble with the US if the UK thinks it can mess with Ireland. I’m from Chicago, you must understand on St Patricks day the river there is green!"

She spoke a few home truths to people with closed minds – to people who really need to hear.
I often watch BBC question time each week with some trepidation, of the small minded, insular and ignorance often displayed, both by the audience and by the panel. 
What a breath of fresh air she was

She put journalist Melanie Phillips in her place too.
Bonnie Greer attended the Edinburgh book festival in 2014 – she is an American-British playwright, novelist, critic and broadcaster, who has lived in the UK since 1986. She is the Chancellor of Kingston University in Kingston upon Thames, London.