Tag Archives: Scotland

Listening to the Tories and their supporters, you’d think that they’d become the governing party. This is despite the fact that they’ve got fewer seats than Labour had until Thursday, and as far as the SNP is concerned the second biggest party just got a whole lot smaller. But the Tories are going to do what Labour wasn’t able to do, and that’s to scream SNP bad at such a pitch that windaes will shatter throughout the land. What they’re not going to be able to do, despite their claims to the contrary, is to block another independence referendum if the SNP introduce a bill for one in Holyrood.

Scream Tory, Scream

Bathgate 2.0

cafe
Cafe in Bathgate, Scotland by Sarchi

This is the “Main Street” leading up “the hill” into the proper Downtown or Precinct of Bathgate (West Lothian, Scotland).  The White Building at the end there is (perhaps former) Masonic Lodge Bar.  The “Kurry King” wasn’t there the last time I was in Bathgate (I think Thomas Cook was) and of course, There are three Internet related stores right there.  Crazy.  When I was last in the UK, the only PC I had access to had an amber screen and these odd “solid state” disks that had motors in them.

That was over 15 years ago now.

Wow.

I think I should start saving for a trip; if only so that my Daughter can see Scotland before she’s too old to see it like a Kid.

Bathgate no More … Wid Ye No send us Back a Letter?

Sometime in the far future that I can’t see now, I’ll head over the big pond with Spawn and Wife in Tow and visit the “old country” and they’ll see the dirt that spawned me; someday.

Here’s an old hit about Great Britain from my VOX Blog:

There are disused lots and fields all over the outskirts of
your home town. Somewhere there is the graveyard of a disused factory
or farm. When you were young, did you go and check it out? Did you
investigate the remains of a former workplace or home?

When I
was a teenager, and visiting Scotland, my friend Stuart and I dissected
the remains of Industrial and postwar Scotland as it appeared around
Bathgate. We dug through old paperwork in a broken farmhouse, climbed
stairs that hadn’t seend feet in 20 years and destroyed (through
misadventure) a wall that had been built before Churchill had walked on
the planet. We had our hands in the guts of living and dead history.
You’d have thought I was going to be an anthropologist or archaeologist
of some stripe the way I immersed myself in the past. Arms deep as it
were.

We squatted in those fields and with our rough tribe of
peers we listened to music and some of us got high and drunk in the
remains of the British Empire. Not the grand houses or castles, but
the forgotten entrails of industrial estates and disused farms.

I
watched kids lose themselves in what may have been the former grounds
of their Grandfather’s employer. They didn’t see the irony of their
idle decay among the decay of their country. They faced a future of
service jobs and had no idea that the only thing that they would ever
produce in Britain again was culture. This was before the REAL
worldwide rise of Brit Pop in the 90s. These guys are Mothers and
Fathers now, last I heard Stuart was a surfer. Still exploring the
reaches of the British Empire.

Now you ask yourself, what does this have to do with Music?

Well,
British Music exists solely as a reflection of the Music that has come
before, all Music in Britain is measured by it’s predecessor. This is
true in the case of “Kasabian” as it is in the case of “The Beatles”.
All British culture is just “how is this better than this other thing
that came before”, which is probably an outgrowth of the fact that the
British isles are filled to the brim with the remains of the past. One
can hardly walk in one direction for more than an hour without
stumbling over some piece of history older than the houses on your
block.

It’s no wonder the kids squat in fields filled with relics, it’s fairly unavoidable.

I
haven’t been home in over a decade, I don’t know if those fields are
gone or developed. I apparently left Scotland for the last time just
before a huge development boom, when the people were still hard and the
CCTV cameras hadn’t overpopulated the towns. So I don’t know how
things are now, maybe they have cleaned up the Past and moved on.

It’s just a story after all.