last updated May 22, 2011


From Wednesday, the 25th of May, Wil Freeborn and I will be having a small exhibition of drawings at
Coffee, Chocolate and Tea in Glasgow. Please come along if you can. We are also having a follow up exhibition in Edinburgh next month which we can post more about nearer the time.

CCT invite

Posted by stupot at 11:14 AM Sunday 22 May

Albino Rasta Swedish Japanese

What a week of gigs it was. Little Dragon's appearance at King Tuts, inexplicably, was not sold out (describing my affection for their music). Live, her voice was as deep and as high and clear and sweet as you would hope for. It was good to also witness the band who didn't perform when we saw her duo with Damon Albarn in Amsterdam. Her clunky moves were even pretty endearing (this is sounding more and more like a man smitten - I'll stop soon). I managed to throw in a "whitbraw" - a complimentary phrase in Swedish, taught to me in Spain by a man from Carluke - after song two. "Ah someone speaks Swedish" She said. I ventured on, with the confidence that beer gives you, to compliment in Japanese after the next song - "Subarashii". I was going to progress through languages as the concert continued but it seemed futile and immature - I decided to just lap up the music and cheer like everyone else.

Yellowman's audience were much older - the dance-hall legend from Jamaica who has survived throat cancer has a face that tells that tale. In his mid fifties he jumps around the stage like someone half his age. Near-death experiences must shape you into a much more lively person I've no doubt. The crowd loved his infectious voice, charisma and moves - and especially the call throughout the evening - "Hello Scattish - How are you?". It must have been said 30 times and only increased in popularity as the evening wore on. There was an hour between support act and the main thing - a good amount of time to catch up with some familiar faces. Yellowman played for almost two hours, by the end shaking hands with most of the audience who were approaching the stage opened eyed and smiling like he was a deity. And he was pretty divine, it has to be said.

Wee Kirin

Posted by stupot at 07:13 AM Wednesday 18 May

Was he wearing a Helmet?

"Was he wearing a helmet" - a woman asked as we had a communal chat about the sad death of Wouter Weylandt in the coffee shop this morning. It's a rather annoying question these days - up there with how many gears does your bike have? "Yes he was wearing a helmet".

The front page of the sports section today showed the Belgian cyclist in his prime. I'd never heard of him before. In the Giro yesterday he crashed at high speed on a technical descent and, after losing a lot of blood, died despite 'reanimation' attempts. A crude term but one that shows how badly hurt he was. It's a shame that the only subjects to allow cycling on to the front page is either a death or drugs. It shows how our human nature is drawn to tragedy and controversy over success (The tour has been lead by an Englishman and a Scotsman which has barely been covered by the press).

Cycling is misunderstood in the UK - the general public is so distanced from the sport now that it does not seem to comprehend how competitors can put their bodies through so much effort. There was a naive question posed about safety by a BBC interviewer today, who seemed to miss the point that accidents happen, especially on descents at race speed. Italian roads are also not the best in the world, though - and despite the crash happening on a straight - I'm not suggesting it was the cause. David Millar commented that it's one of a million things you have to go through as a professional cyclist. Last night on our easy ride north and back into town there was none-the-less a few hairy corners. But human nature also dictates that you generally have a need for survival. I just wish I could say that the same for the young Belgian.

Posted by stupot at 09:04 AM Tuesday 10 May

Drawing Soundtracks

The ultra pleasant weather continued well into this week and May Day was no exception. It was nice that May Day fell on a weekend so it could be celebrated proper. I followed a march around the east side of the town centre before finishing at the (incredible and vintage but) gloomy fruitmarket where, eventually, some speeches took place. The most upbeat version of John Martyn's over the hill I've ever heard was part of the pre-speech soundtrack and similar minded people ebbed and flowed around a hall filled with stalls promoting CND, Palestinian freedom or Che Guevara. It was a good vibe but the lure of the sun was too much until I ducked into St Andrews Cathedral to see the Peter Howson exhibition and my dad chanting with others at their choir practice. Both provided excellent venues and soundtracks for sketching but I was happy to get some sun on the way home.

May Day

Posted by stupot at 05:04 PM Friday 6 May

The Art of Finding work

The eternal quest for finding work, for me, always seems to be closely linked to leaving the office / being away from your desk and / or being out on the bike. That could be as much about meeting people sociably, through work or simply not waiting for the phone to ring. Last week I couldn't calculate what others were taking off (it used to more simple) so took a few days off amidst the bank holidays. We meandered to Bute on the non windy Thursday and had a wonderfully sun drenched tour around the island. It was textbook Scotland - friendly ferry staff, good information kiosk, basic breakfast with average coffee, quiet roads, egg roll, ham and tomato roll, map out, deserted beaches, tearoom, chips on the harbour, victorian toilets, a wee bit of sunburn about. And the phone ringing for new work.

bute rothesay

Posted by stupot at 12:49 PM Friday 6 May