Dec 13

Since You've Been Gone...

Well it really should be "Since I've Been Gone", but Rainbow didn't do a song by that title.



Anyway, I thought the best thing to get started with would be a brief canter through the important things that have happened in the past ten weeks since normal service was interrupted. 

And I suppose I'd better start with a bit of an explanation as to why everything shuddered to a sudden halt...

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Dec 12

Aargghhh!! Run!! He's back!!!!


Hello again Dear Reader, it's been a while, hasn't it? Did you miss me? No? Oh well, I'll try not to be too upset.

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Oct 5

Bert Jansch 1943-2011

Once again, another of this blog's heroes has departed this world. This morning (5th October) saw the sad demise of Bert Jansch, one of the best guitarists ever produced by Britain. He died in a London hospice from the effects of lung cancer, which had been diagnosed in 2009.


Bert Jansch was a major figure in the folk revival of the 1960's both as a solo performer and as a founding member of Pentangle. A Pentangle CD is a permanent fixture in my car's sound system. Regular readers will remember that when I compiled my own Desert Island Discs I included a Pentangle track. Click through for more details.

And this is a more recent rendition of the track I chose - Light Flight - from 2008:


They hadn't lost it, had they? One of the appealing things about this song is the unusual time signature: it's in 5/4 time, i.e. five beats to the bar. Apart, that is, from the sections in 5/8, 7/8 or 6/4. You have to be good to get away with things like that. (If you are sure you know this song, but can't remember from where, ask the question in the comments section.)

Bert had already been a successful performer and recording artist (with John Renbourn) when they formed Pentangle in 1967, a band that continued until the first break-up in 1971 but then managed to maintain enough of a coherency for the five founding members to be given BBC Radio 2 Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2007. And, as you can see from the above video, they were still going strong in 2008. Bert himself gave his last public performance in August, just six weeks or so ago.

One of the quotes I remember about Bert Jansch's playing came from Billy Connolly many years ago. Bert Jansch, Billy said was " of those guitar players that makes you feel as you only have one hand: and it's growing out of the top of your head".

Unlike the late Gerry Rafferty, Bert overcame a serious drinking problem, becoming completely sober in the late 1980's, an act that undoubtedly saved his life. He was known to be a very self-effacing man, as great men often are, and was content to let his talent speak for itself. And if you remain in any doubt about Bert's ability with stringed instruments, please just listen to the performance below.


(UPDATE 5/10/11)

I have been reminded of this. Click the GO button, sit back, close your eyes and marvel...


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Oct 3

Happy Birthday To Us!

Yes, we've made it. They said it could never be done, but we've made it. It's been a hard struggle, we've had to cope with severe hardships including change of location, the complete freezing for several days of TPDRSL HQ, 1,200 km round trips to the office, and tiger attack, but we've made it.

So Happy Birthday To Us!!


As is customary on these happy occasions we will now indulge in a little retrospection. Click through for The Best of TPDRSL...

My Favourite Post:

I love them all, of course, but this one I enjoyed writing and it rekindled in me a love of creating prose.

A Quiet Afternoon In Winter

The Most Popular Post:

Without a doubt it is the first post about the ScottishPower green scam:

Starve The Beast

One To Make You Smile:

To Brighten Up A Monday Morning

One To Make You Think:

Feeling Chilly? Blame BP.

A Puzzled One:

A Bridge Too Many?

A Sad One:

Gerry Rafferty 1947-2011

A Thoughtful One:

The First Of The Many

The Only Sweary One (So Far):

No Fergus, Scotland Bloody Well Doesn't Want That!

A Party Political One:

A Unique Ballot Paper

A Spooky One:

Mushstools, Toadrooms And Faeries

The One I Want You To Read Next Is Always Here:

See you next year!

Or tomorrow.

(By the way, there wasn't really a tiger attack: that was just an example of the curious form of humour for which this blog is becoming renowned. Or something.)

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Oct 3

Aux Armes, Mes Braves!!

The title of this post roughly translates into Scots as "Get Aff Yer Bums And Gie's A Haund", but I think the French is a little more elegant, don't you? The meaning is exactly the same - we need your help.


A group of people living in Scotland have decided that they have had enough of being force-fed nonsense about man-made climate change/global warming/climate disruption or whatever they are calling it this weather (see what I did there?). Click through to find out what they intend to do about it.

A meeting is to be held at a secret location near Stirling to decide on the best way of conveying the message of AGW scepticism to our elected representatives, who all seem to have fallen under the spell of the fear of the carbon monster. This meeting is purely an exploratory one with the aim of defining the role of the group, its scope, even its name.

The group has been initiated by another blog - ScottishSceptic - and the inaugural meeting will be on Saturday 8th October. The exact location is being kept semi-secret to deter casual passers-by, but full details can be had by sending an email to mike2011 [at] (sort the address out before sending). Alternatively, visit this link and make your request via the comments form.

I hope to be there, and I hope to see you there as well. This could be the start of something useful, or it could be a squabble shop: only time will tell.

Our governments - UK and Scottish - are about to enact policies that will impoverish our people, devastate our countryside and squander a massive amount of time, money and effort. Wouldn't it be a good idea to test if the reasoning behind these policies was valid?

The fat bloke in the posh frock? That's David Hume, that is. A leading light of the Scottish Enlightenment and known as one of the founders of modern scepticism.

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